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DIRTY DEEDS
Making peace on the potty
BY CAMILLE DODERO

Itís been said that one way to remedy unrequited love is to picture the object of your affection on the toilet ó the theory being that such an unsightly image should severely dull the romantic allure. But 27-year-old Dave Praeger believes the opposite: imagining friends and foes on the throne can actually bring you closer. And itís by this community-through-the-lavatory logic that Praeger has christened April 15 ó mark your calendar, plan your dinner, call the plumber ó Poop for Peace Day, a date when people are encouraged to assume the potty position and meditate on one universal truth: everybody poops.

"Poop is the great equalizer," Praeger explains over the phone from his New York office, where he works as an ad copywriter. "Itís a day of meditation and reflection. You sit there and do your business and you think about George Bush doing his business and Osama doing his business, and you realize that underlying all our politics and all our differences, weíre all the same, trying to fulfill the same needs and desires."

Although Praeger moonlights as the founder and editor of Poopreport.com, a four-year-old site of "intellectual crap," the Brooklyn-based webmaster didnít come up with the idea of scatological utopianism. Rather, the unorthodox notion originated with Tristyn Finn Cherian (www.tristynfinncherian.com), a toddler from Brooklyn who "writes" his own weblog. Two years ago, Cherianís site suggested that Iraq-war protesters make their doodie an act of protest. "It said something like, ĎWeíre going to poop on George W. Bush, and every time you poop, think about how that represents his policies,í " recalls Praeger, who snuck away to an empty conference room in the middle of the workday to talk with the Phoenix about turd politics. "Hold on for a sec ó do you need this room?" he says to someone in the background. "Can I call you right back?" When he does, he admits that his employers donít really know about his online status as a poop panjandrum. "Itís not that they would not like it, itís just that," he hesitates, "I donít feel like explaining it."

At first, Praeger linked Poop for Peace Day to Cherianís online journal, but after a year, he asked to appropriate the idea for his own site. "They said yes, but I think they thought I was creepy." Originally, Poop for Peace Day was April 16, but Praeger changed it this year to Tax Day ó primarily because it was a weekday. "People are much more likely to be at their computer on a Friday for a reminder." He adds, "People have also speculated that Tax Day is a pretty shitty day, anyway."

Right now, thereís a conference call in the works for Poop for Peace Day ó which will allow at least 200 people to share their experience. Praeger also hints that he might have some C-list celebrity endorsements, though they have yet to be announced. But never mind; the point is to remember that despite class, ethnicity, or partisanship, weíre all fundamentally human. "Itís remembering that you can get Americaís worst enemy and Americaís greatest heroes, and you feed them Taco Bell, and the same thing is going to happen," muses Praeger, who swears that his work isnít sponsored by the Mexican-style fast-food chain. "Actually, thereís no advertising on the Poop for Peace page at all. Itís all about the movement."

Visit www.poopreport.com/Peace for more information.


Issue Date: March 25 - 31, 2005
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