Bathroom Breaks, a Quickie.

Yep. You read that right. I entitled a Chatter article ‘Bathroom Breaks’, but I promise I’ve got good reason.

Apart from toilet humor in general or when it genuinely drives the plot, how often do we ever see characters pause during story action to answer the call of nature? Movies and television have gotten a little better over the years. Characters stop to eat, sleep, pay bills, and yes, use the restroom. But has literature taken a similar turn for realism? Arguably, it doesn’t matter. We know people get their newspapers every morning, wash their cars, and flea dip their pets. Those things aren’t relevant to their stories… are they?

If everything we do adds up to who we are, how much is safe to leave out?

In today’s Monday morning quickie, let’s take a poll on this, as I’m sure we are all still making the effort to get in our daily doses of reading.

As far as day-to-day realities like teeth brushing, taking out the trash, and applying antifungal to a foot rash — how attentive is today’s literature to the random nuances we experience everyday? Furthermore, are the small realities boring enough to ignore? If literature lacks this attention to detail, should we even be bothered by it?

The first topic of August has launched, and I ask you to elaborate upon a vague snapshot from an episode of my favorite show.

We launch a new article, or ‘Chatter”, for you to peruse daily. Last week Kathy wrapped up her series Talking with a Poet. Stay tuned everyday for our new series, insights, and future workshops.


About RicoChey

I'm just an unmarried, childless, thirty-something high school dropout with big ideas and a small attention span. Weave drunkenly behind me as I meander through my own life: a winding path of musings on life, relationships, food, the few politics I can stomach discussing, and probably really dumb stuff like the ratio of Sex and the City episodes wherein Carrie does and does not appear to be wearing extensions.
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3 Responses to Bathroom Breaks, a Quickie.

  1. When fiction, whether in a novel or TV show (or movie), makes deliberate effort to not mention daily necessities, I notice and then I get irritated. Those DieHard movies where McClain never needs a snack or gets the urge to pee … really? Who has that kind of stamina in a crisis? What romance or apocalypse can be plausible to a reader if hygiene is not discussed? Ever? I’m sure, of course, that making the effort to include such details causes novelists and screenwriters big headaches. Maybe they’re so taxed by stretching their imagination that reality seems boring. Too bad.


  2. Pingback: Can Your Characters be Themselves | Brigit's Flame Writing Community

  3. t.s.wright says:

    I watched a movie this weekend that made reference to this, in a way. I like the way their answer. “That’s the stuff that happens between the panels.”
    The movie, “Super”, was about a sad man who has grief induced nervous breakdown and decides to become a crime-fighting comic hero in real life. The beginning is awkward, but funny. The rest is tragic and embarassing.

    When you’re telling a story, pacing and flow are critical. If hitting the sandbox isn’t critical to the story’s flow, I have no problem if the writer skips the needfuls.
    Imagine what a difference it would have made if, during a crucial moment staring down evildoers and terrorists, John McClain started wiggling like a five-year-old and complaining that he needed to pee.

    I get annoyed when movies include the bathroom time in a way that has nothing to do with the story. In Kubrick’s “Eyes Wide Shut” there is a scene at the beginning where the main characters are doing all their morning prep in the same bathroom. As Tom cruise does benign things like shave and brush his teeth, we get to witness Nicole Kidman on the toilet having a wee and sniffing her armpits after she applies deodorant. Perhaps this established that they were a long-standing couple, totally comfotable…maybe a little complacent…
    I hated that scene so much I skip the beginning if I find myself inclined to watch it.

    I’m in the no camp on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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