Shitfishing: The Thing No One Tells You About Getting Older Because It Would Scare The Shit Out Of You

Damon Young
Damon Young

It happened last week. I was watching my daughter and watching the Cavs game. Which means I was watching the Cavs game and my daughter was sleeping somewhere within 12 feet of me. And midway through the second quarter, I felt some gas. Which was expected, because I had a milkshake earlier and I'm lactose intolerant and I give no fucks about this lactose intolerance.


So anyway, I decide to let the gas out. But midway through the gas removal process, I suspected that it wasn't just gas. So I postponed the process and ran upstairs to the bathroom. And then I ran back downstairs because my daughter was still down there and sometimes I forget that I have a daughter and can't just be leaving her downstairs by herself. And then, daughter in hand (this time), I ran back upstairs, laid her in one of her crib-like contraptions, and (finally) ran to the bathroom.

And confirmed my suspicions. No, it wasn't just gas.

Now, if you are a human person reading this, this has undoubtedly happened to you. Unless you have the world's most discerning sphincter, you've definitely let a couple soldiers pass through the gates without proper i.d. before. And hopefully you were able to stop them before they got to the front door.

This happening once a year or so isn't a big deal. But it happening like once a month — which is what's happening to me now — is. Yes. At least once a month (and possibly even more frequently), I'm in a situation where I have to pause everything I'm doing — walking, talking, eating, and even breathing — because I'm not quite sure if my gas decided to bring some friends with it on the way out.

To make sure this wasn't due to some medical issue, I shared this situation (and the increasing frequency of this situation) with my dad, a friend who happens to be a doctor, and another friend who's an actor but played a doctor on TV before. And they all said "Yup. This shit just happens more often when you get older. Just, um, deal with it. And never be more than 200 feet away from a useable toilet." My dad even shared that he sometimes carries an extra pair of drawers in his attache.

Now, I know this act has a word, and I know that this word is "sharting" — a combination of "shit" and "farting." But, I feel like shitfishing is a more appropriate term for this entire process. Yes, shitfishing. Why shitfishing? Because we're all aware of what it means to catfish someone — to lure someone into a relationship by making them think you're someone you're not. Shitfishing follows the same script, by luring you into thinking your gas is just gas when it's really not just gas. Basically, last week I was shitfished into almost sharting.

And, as I get older, this is happening more frequently. Which is cruel because if you actually charted its frequency, it would look like a U. When you're young — from one day old to maybe 10 years old — you're shitfished more frequently because you're just too young to always know the difference. Plus, your diet is likely more lactose-based, which matters. And then the frequency gradually decreases, culminating in a virtual shitfishing void in your late 20s. I think I was shitfished zero times between 26 and 29. But then, as you near 35, it starts trending up again. And now every time I go out, I'm doing accompanying scouting reports for available restrooms within a walkable radius.


Anyway, since no one cared enough to warn me about this, I'm here today to warn each of you. As you continue to get older, you will get shitfished more frequently. And there's nothing you can do about it. Except prepare. And maybe cut down on the milkshakes.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


Sigma_Since 93

Things that have happened with age:

Fuller face
More gassy
In bed earlier
Knees and hips pop
Pants getting tighter (currently fighting this one)

Curse you father time!!! Dropped another digit on me today. One minute you got me celebrating that I'm still here, the next I'm cursing you for the need to run to the bathroom after eating butter pecan ice cream.