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February 25, 2004

The Challah Shit

bakedgoods-challah.gifEveryone, at some time or another, encounters a story about poo. If you’re anything like me, you might have three or four. Poo sprays and pennies aside, one story from my immature cache rises about all the rest. It is in many ways a legend; in my years since the incident, I have heard a number of versions, corroborations, and alternate endings all revolving around the same theme: the Challah Shit.

College finals period can get pretty nutty. No one is sleeping, the library is open late, and everyone is a bit giddy. Combine that with a competitive all women’s school and the winter of 95/96 in New England, which dumped foot after foot of snow, and you get a pretty crazed bunch of students. It is at those moments when anything can be funny. And when something is actually humorous, then it becomes really hilarious.

I’m not sure what I was doing in the library that night. In fact, all memory of actual purpose during those hours has been completely erased, replaced by blurred rushes of people, loud laughter, and the discovery of the gigantic, braided turd in one of the second-level restrooms.

It was so large that it sat grandly and firm on the base of the porcelain pot, slightly form-fitted to the bottom curve. It was so long that the two ends of the load peeked out of the water, quite contrary to the general concept of a normal person’s coiling poo. This was a real turd. It was solid, immovable, and most amazingly, took up so much surface area that we all had to stand there wondering how the hell it had traveled through someone’s intestinal system, let alone expelled from their anus.

Speculations began to fly. Perhaps it was like one of those growing sea monkeys that expanded to triple size when exposed to water. Maybe it was a strange geological fusion of many smaller turds, creating some sort of cosmic formation. And never mind its origins, how in the world would it come even close to being flushed, let alone travel through a network of sewage pipes? This piece of crap was dense; there was no way that frequent flushing would break its material down enough to fit through the 2” circumference of the toilet siphon.

We all scratched our heads in wonder. Final analysis would lead to the following conclusion—the specimen resembled, most specifically, well-baked, expertly braided challah bread. It had come from a person who had a) a fecal retention issue or/and b) someone with an unusually large, flexible sphincter. Either way, the appearance of the Challah Shit was both a miracle of production and release.

Further laughter and gathering of students ensued. Some one had a camera. The evidence was captured on film. Then, as time passed and we became more and more aware that we were crowded into a college library bathroom staring at a loaf of shit, the crowd dissipated.

Finals were finished, we all went home, and the story seemed to fade into the typical chatter of campus lore. The following year I moved out of the housing that sat near the library and spent my third year at NYU. When I visited with college friends, we reminisced about the story, and every so often, I’d hear of a sighting in a dorm bathroom or again in the library.

When I returned to campus for my senior year, I again lived in a house right next to the library. One night, probably during mid-terms or finals, I told the story to a group of housemates. To my surprise, their nods were in agreement, not amazement. Recent rumors had attributed the Challah Shit depositor to being a resident in our house. Apparently, the Challah Shitter had been periodically leaving loafs on our end of campus for three or more years. What had originally been an assumption of grand constipation morphed into a person with unique fecal expulsion capacity. I was floored.

I’m not sure if the Challah Shitter was ever truly exposed. It’s been five years since I graduated, hence I no longer have any campus contacts who can report on any potential sightings. I wonder, however, if the Challah Shit has joined the ranks of college legend, much like the Whispering Woman or other traditional mischief that travels the campus circuit. If it hasn’t, I should, for as far as I’m concerned, a good, ghastly poo-sighting during finals period served us all well—proof is in this story, eight years post-sighting, and still going strong.

Special thanks to Q for giving me the Lawrence end of this story. I left out a bit-- please feel free to comment in the missed pieces.


Posted by callalillie at February 25, 2004 9:05 PM | Education , WTF?


holy shit, that's a great story.

Posted by: tien at February 26, 2004 10:04 AM

Very nice, Core. And this is why that to this day I, I will NOT eat challah...if I'm at Shabbat services, I will have a nibble with my eyes shut but not if the bread is very well-baked and a dark brown.

We suspected it was someone in the house because we saw a similar sized turd floating...actually it sank and languished like a dead weight at the bottom of the toilet bowl in one of the stalls on the 2nd floor. We tried flushing but the thing refused to budge. So we stood next to the bowl and took pictures instead. The next morning, I saw the housekeeper in the bathroom battling furiously with the Challah shit with the aid of a plunger. She took me aside and whispered, "The poor girl. She must be in so much pain. I think she needs more fiber." I may not know much about giant, anuerysm causing brick like turds but I do know that whoever produced it does not need more fiber.

Talking about fecal matter, I think this city has turned into a reservoir for dog shit. Everywhere you go, you see little piles, big piles, stains on the sidewalk. And then, sometimes you see a huge mound. How can a person keep an animal that produces shit of that quantity and size in their apartment in New York City? It should be a crime.

Posted by: Quinn Lai at February 26, 2004 10:11 AM

I still can't believe that a turd of that size came out of a normal human being. Ever since the discovery of the Challah Shit I've been ery careful to go to the bathroom when I need to, as not to store anything up. I think I'd die if that ever happened to me.

Posted by: corie at February 26, 2004 12:06 PM

well, this is the end of the blogworld as we knew it. things will never be the same again.

Posted by: Jimmy Legs at February 26, 2004 12:54 PM

What's the matter, JL, don't got the stomach? I say, if we can hear about Tien's stomach flu, we can hear about the Challah Shit.

Posted by: corie at February 26, 2004 1:13 PM

My God, I remember writing a "Giant Shit in the Dorm Bathroom" essay for my English 101 class some 30-odd years ago. (You can tell how much I enjoyed English 101.) At least it did not look like a Challah.

Posted by: your aunt at February 26, 2004 2:57 PM

yes, the aesthetic relationship to a challah was definitely the tipping point for me/us. i don't think it would have been as funny if it had been your average fecal structure.

Posted by: corie at February 26, 2004 2:59 PM

it's amazing. i came across this page looking up abandoned subway platforms and i find a story about a poo. curiously, at my college, in 1999 we found a giant turd too. shaped like challah bread, and too massive to flush. being an art school we just assumed it was a clever student..but how did they replicate the smell?

Posted by: heather at June 13, 2004 4:23 PM

Perhaps the culprit was a travelling wonder...

Posted by: corie at June 15, 2004 12:05 PM

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