“Big Boy” Summary
On an Easter Sunday in Chicago, Sedaris and his sister Amy attend an afternoon dinner party held by their mutual friend John. A table is set up in the yard so that the guests can enjoy the nice weather. Once everyone has taken their places, Sedaris excuses himself and goes to the bathroom, where he finds “the absolute biggest turd” he has ever seen sitting in the toilet.
Sedaris tries to flush the toilet, but the turd stays put. Sedaris considers leaving the turd where it is, but realizes quickly that this is not an option, since every guest at the party had heard him say that he was going inside to use the bathroom; if he leaves it, the next person to use the restroom will assume it’s his. Sedaris agonizes over the injustice of the situation he finds himself in, noting that all he wanted to do was use the bathroom and run some water over his face.
Growing desperate, Sedaris promises that if this gigantic turd will simply flush, he will repay the universe by performing an “unexpected act of kindness.” He attempts another flush, but it is unsuccessful. His panic only increases when someone knocks at the door, wanting to come in. “Just a minute,” he says.
Sedaris remembers how his mother impressed on him from an early age that everybody poops—that it’s natural and that there’s nothing wrong with it. Though Sedaris knows she’s correct, that doesn’t mean he’s prepared to take responsibility for this particular turd.
He considers wild solutions to this problem, including picking up the turd with his hands and flinging it out the window. He abandons this notion, however, because the bathroom window is on the first floor, in plain view of the guests outside. If the guests catch him tossing a turd out the window, it will be hard to convince them that it’s not his turd, especially since the true culprit is unlikely to come forward.
Another knock sounds at the door, and Sedaris says, “I’ll be out...
(The entire section is 526 words.)