Mellow Yellow

November 9, 2012

Which came first: The Soda Pop or this Poem?

If it’s yellow, let it mellow.

If it’s brown, flush it down.


I have to be honest. I wasn’t expecting the election results to come so early and I didn’t want to worry my election day away checking emails, Google results and Instagram. So I turned my phone off and worked in the yard figuring whatever will be, will be. The yard work consisted of constructing a set of stairs into the side of a hill giving us safer access to our ripening lemon tree which stands short, a new kid in an aging avocado grove. Physical labor is still in my blood. All men above me in lineage were working types and I use it to my advantage now as exercise and zen, a way to lively-up-myself to conjure fresh lyrics, a tip from Bob Marley, learned in the latest documentary about him.


Later that evening I took a break from writing my new romances and powered my phone on. I’d heard that my roommate had a flat tire and I wanted to see not so much if he was okay, but whatever pic may be posted of him changing the tire. I hadn’t anticipated the election being concluded so soon, assuming it would be a tighter, longer race, hence my enthusiasm for the vote this year. Needless to say, and perhaps tactless to say, I was so shocked by the early reports, to turn a phrase, I about shit myself.


And so to commemorate the end of this election season, I rest my political commentary on this blog with a post about a time I actually did shit myself.


In our house, if it’s yellow, we let it mellow. And if it’s brown, we flush it down. We haven’t gotten into compostable toilets yet, but predict they’re in a not too distant future. But this isn’t an entry about being green. It’s about childhood, when I didn’t know what being green was; only that being green wasn’t easy according to my Muppet Idol.


For a short while in my strange youth, I used to be bothered with going to the bathroom. I didn’t want to stop whatever I was doing; breaking concentration, inspiration or motivation with temporary relocation. And so I would hold it until it was painful.


One summer I was playing in the waves at VA beach. Or maybe it was Nags Head. Or Myrtle. I can’t remember the geography. I just remember the east coast beaches being wide and when you’re near the water, it’s a long way back to the motel, and suffice to say at my young age, I couldn’t be trusted to go it alone and I didn’t want to bother an adult. So I suppressed my urge.


At one point I’m a little above knee deep in the whitewash trying to act casual when a large wave appeared and flipped me over. At this point I got the full realization of having the shit scared out of me.


Rather than put my tail between my legs, I put my trust in bio-remediation and released the contents of my shorts into the retreating flush of the Atlantic Ocean forgetting that waves ebb and flow. Almost as quickly as it went, it came back again, washing up on the beach seconds later. With handfuls of sand I buried what I could, all to the sand crabs dismay. I felt shitty about it. Literally and figuratively.


After that incident I began planning my time a little wiser. These days I enjoy my quiet time in the bathroom, as most men do. In fact, it’s the most common place you’ll find me tweeting, following my Instagram feed, or updating this blog. :)


  • Avatar of Moniroca
    Moniroca said ...

    El WC sempre ha estat un lloc inspirador si s’hi pot estar tranquil! :)


  • Avatar of binkie3
    binkie3 said ...

    love those childhood story’s, especially the ones people try to forget.

    a likewise story: When my big brother was really small, my dad put him in a bath, wile suddenly something was floating in the water. My dad, thinking it was an old sponge, grabbed it firmly to squeeze the water out and trow it away.. only to realize his precious boy had taken a dump in the bath. Surprise!!

    Unfortunately I wasn’t born yet, would have loved to see my dads face ;)
    I imagine my brother smiling as if he was saying: got you!!! haha

    Well at least,after reading your story, now I understand why one of my own boys took a shit behind my couch when he was about 4 years old, too busy with more important things to go to the place you go when you need to go! thanks for illuminating that ;)

    I don’t have any poop story’s myself, loads of other embarrassing story’s though (although I think they’re great and should be shared, cause they’re funny and it helps my students to realize their mistakes aren’t that bad)(mine are worst for sure) Haha, lets all laugh about it..

    Your story remembered me however of sort of a similar story, when I was about 16:
    (you know, that time when a girls body changes a lot and they aren’t quite comfortable with the noticeably changes yet…)
    I was swimming with my little nephew when I noticed a strange bump in the upper part of my bikini.
    a quick search revealed a little fish, the poor thing had died (according to male friends, it had to be a beautiful dead) My nephew, who saw everything happen, ran up the crowded beach screaming repeatedly: “mommy, she caught a fish with her boobs” pointing at me while I tried in vain to disappear in the sand..

    Funny story now, However:
    I’m sure glad you weren’t there at the time, wouldn’t like to have caught your addition to the ocean ;)

    ps. I read your “shut up and sing”…
    please never do so, your words in and around songs (written or told) have meaning and hit home-runs in my heart. I’m sure with lots of others too. I saw your latest Dutch concert in Ziggo Dome Amsterdam. (you know, I was that curly woman in the seats to your right ;) But loved it and felt enlightened coming out.
    Please keep using your talent and speak up. You are heard!
    I sure hope I will succeed in touching my students’ minds and hearts, even if it’s just a little fraction of what you achieve! Keep being you!

  • Avatar of DeepDive
    DeepDive said ...

    Not everything is as it seems…Here’s the truth about the matter:

    Hydrogen sulfide is produced in small amounts by some cells of the body and has a number of biological signaling functions. The gas is produced from cysteine by the enzymes cystathionine beta-synthase and cystathionine gamma-lyase. It acts as a relaxant of smooth muscle and as a vasodilator and is also active in the brain, where it increases the response of the NMDA receptor and facilitates long term potentiation, which is involved in the formation of memory.

    A build up of hydrogen sulfide in the blood stream would suggest that some element isn’t binding with H2S and neutralizing the compound
    At low levels, hydrogen sulfide gas has a strong foul odor similar to rotten eggs. You can smell hydrogen sulfide gas at lower levels than may cause health effects, so smelling the gas does not always mean that it will make you sick. However, at higher levels, your nose can become overwhelmed by the gas and you cannot smell it.

  • Avatar of consuelo
    consuelo said ...

    “Singer Jason Mraz to make historic appearance in Myanmar to help fight human trafficking”


    Thank you, Jason, for all you do to create a just, sustainable world for us all.

  • Avatar of Glambron
    Glambron said ...

    Well, did you hear about the constipated accountant?
    He couldn’t budget.

    Did you hear about the constipated composer?
    He couldn’t finish the last movement.

    Did you hear about the constipated mathematician?
    He worked it out with a pencil.

    Did you hear about the constipated Wheel of Fortune player?
    He wanted to buy a bowel.

    Incontinence Hotline…Can you hold, please?

    If you’re an American when you go into the bathroom, and an American when
    you come out, what are you when you’re in the bathroom?

  • Avatar of Marie
    Marie said ...

    First, sorry for my english!
    I live in south of France and it’s difficult for me to understand all of what you say. But I wanted to say that I came to Paris next monday to ear and see the show, it was formidable, a real moment of plaesure! I would like to see again… I wait impatiently for the live cd. All the artists on stage were so nice and so accomplices, music, Jason’s voice and presence, lights, general atmosphere, it was so cooool!
    Thank you for all this love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Avatar of meliserr
    meliserr said ...

    This post really made me laugh… although, I have to concur with our man, Jason M-R-A-Z, I do to email, read the news, etc. while i am in the bathroom. I love Jason! :)

  • Avatar of NormaBackwards

    First off I too was the kid that did not want to be bothered with silly things like missing out on playtime to go to the restroom. So sadly I shit myself playing in the sand box, now I know you’re probably thinking I did what any cat would do and buried it in the sand but no I’m the nasty kid that continued to play until I was finished in the sand. Quite a lady I know.
    Secondly I recently stayed in GA on Jekyll Island in a house named “Mellow Yellow” every morning we played a YouTube video of a performance of Donovan playing none other then “Mellow Yellow”. It is a great song and pretty much became our anthem during our little vacation!

    Jason, thank you for being such an open person and such a fun kid like me! :)

  • Avatar of jeffynus
    jeffynus said ...

    After a week of sadness and loss, I’m so glad I checked in on your blog and found this. I needed a laugh like that…thank you!

  • Avatar of shorekimmy
    shorekimmy said ...

    If anyone would like to see J’s roommate/tire changing sex god Bushwalla perform for you….
    There are still some tickets left for Feeding the Soul’s Holiday Spectacular!
    Get them tickets while you can friends, this sells out every year. BUSHWALLA, Steve Poltz, Madison from KPRI and more!!! Dec. 1st Star Theatre Oceanside. This years show benefits Canine Companions for Independence.
    Sorry for the shameless plug in your comments J <3, you know we love you too.

  • Avatar of shorekimmy
    shorekimmy said ...

    @Ally your comment cracked me up, my morning green juice almost came out of my nose. <3 you!

  • Avatar of shorekimmy
    shorekimmy said ...

    I saw that picture, “Tire change sex god” lol It was gorgeous outside on election day, glad you got some outside play time in too.

  • Avatar of 4meclara
    4meclara said ...

    Le Zenith, Paris: oh, the WAIT was so worth it! You were AWESOME! What does that spell?… :) (PS: I usually don’t comment on the same post twice, but now I think of your story… every single time… :)

  • Avatar of Peaceout
    Peaceout said ...

    I just laughed so hard at the image of you in the bathroom Instagram-ing, I scared my cats.
    Instagram will never be the same.

    Thanks, G.

  • Avatar of michelle.darwich

    Nice to know Im not the only one who does most of my “interneting” while sitting on my throne

  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...


    What a beautiful homage!

    This is not about the instragram:

    It’s all in your head! Get it?!!

  • Avatar of Ally
    Ally said ...

    J, some of your fans already think you walk on water…

    Now, they’re gonna think your dumps are capable of hangin’ ten ala Kelly Slater :)

    ~Ally Old Soul

  • Avatar of mmm_elly
    mmm_elly said ...

    I doubt that the amount of time you spend in the bathroom catching up on messages and emails is enough to let you read even half of the messages you receive… at least, I hope so. If not, well, you might want to get that checked out. In any case, I’d just like to take the time to thank you for allowing me to believe in the power of music and change. (Apparently your poop-related post moved me enough to share this with you).

    You’ve inspired me to make some changes in my life. Great big changes. And, for that… I am very grateful.

    Hope this finds you well.



  • Avatar of heatherluvnlit

    Thank you for the amazing tour back to my childhood and great laughs!!Love the honesty!

  • Avatar of ashley
    ashley said ...

    I loved the new marley doc, too. Cried a lot at the end; but loved it. It made me want to learn the “shakeshake.”
    Very pumped about Barack. I was toasting a vegan mallow when the news came in.
    Safe journey in Europe, pal!

  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...

    I knew it all along. You’re NOT anal retentive!

    Considering that I think you were a kitty in a previous life, the poo-burying is not surprising.

    Have fun in Europe!


  • Avatar of AnnaKris
    AnnaKris said ...

    Hey friend!

    Thanks for sharing.

    I must admit it was very disappointing to see that Stockholm was not included on your European tour. Now…why is that? What are those of us who love your music supposed to do now?

    Do not despair, where there’s a will there’s a way.

    I’m taking my two best friends and we’re heading to Barcelona! We’re leaving husbands, kids and pets at home and are super stoked to get to see you in concert!

    Do we have any requests, I hear you asking yourself, seeing that we are coming all this way…and actually, yes, we have a few. “Butterfly” for my friend Érika, “Song for a dancer” for Toni and “Never too late” for me, Anna. An extra treat would of course be if you sang Carlos Olmeda’s “Dear Anna”…

    On your next tour to Europe, please swing by Stockholm. You should know that we have the best tap water in Europe.

    See you in Barcelona!

    Besos y abrazos


  • Avatar of ginoactivo
    ginoactivo said ...

    Come to south america next year! Come to chill with us!

  • Avatar of gmhefner
    gmhefner said ...

    HA! one word comment…..


  • Avatar of Zlion
    Zlion said ...

    That beach experience may or may not have happened to me as a child ;) .
    Anyways, thank you for sharing. Glad to know the john is someone else’s favorite spot for social media duties.


  • Avatar of Telluselle
    Telluselle said ...

    On election: Media always want to create drama.

    On your toilet habits: So you are on the toddler level now? I affirm John Cage in Ally McBeal (which is why there are toilets with different amounts of water to use):

    John: I flushed the toilet
    Ally: Excuse me? You have a remote toilet flusher?
    John: Sometimes people leave in haste forgetting to flush. Other times there are residual remnants. I like a fresh bowl
    Billy: Um, why don’t you just flush before by hand?
    John: My regularity is easily thrown. Unclean bowls, trouble me.


  • Avatar of 4meclara
    4meclara said ...

    LOL :)

  • Avatar of mrazwordplay
    mrazwordplay said ...

    HA! We think alike. At night we go by that motto (during the day, you never know who will drop by!).

    Don’t Waste Your ‘Waste’:)

  • Avatar of kidest
    kidest said ...

    this actually got rid of my headache. thank you ~

  • Avatar of MarLuna
    MarLuna said ...

    PLOP! Why do men take so long to use the bathroom, and wait until the moment it’s time to leave to relieve? It’s been on my mind the things that would bother me in marriage, that now that it’s ending, it’s no longer “as” bothersome. Wondering what “I did” that irked him! I end up laughing at myself to witness the ridiculous, or end up understanding my behavior, and my lacking of the whole concept of love and forgiveness.

    Ah, but the lessons in my life are now exposed in my biography report in memories, in which I am self-correcting in love’s ink. How lovely we are to remember our follies, and smirk and shrug at the ways we tried to remedy them, we are so fricken cute!

    I give my admission of guilt to: Gemco Dept. store girl’s changing room for the ‘mellow’ puddle left by a full belly of cherry Slurpee (no pun intended) the poor employees who had to marked the clothing as damaged, and especially who had to clean it up. Maybe I should add the person changing in the next stall, who heard a thunder shower-sorry about your socks. Especially to my Mama whom I didn’t tell I needed to go until we were clear across the other side of the restrooms.

    I remember my mother throwing money, apologizing as she pulled my arm (and my sisters) across the aisles (we probably were the models for the Mexico boarding crossing signs).


  • Avatar of LadyHannahBoo
    LadyHannahBoo said ...

    Good job it wasn’t a swiming pool, could have been a tricky scenario! I hope your lemon tree is happy with it’s new steps. “..and he’s climbing a stairway to le-e-mon”. Sorry, had to be sung!!

    I hope that you recieved my letter and presents (Emma Davidson), Jason, sorry about the grovelling but I would so love for my friends and I to all be able to sit together at your London gig considering I did buy us all the tickets. I bought 2 originally, then met two beautiful friends who I felt deserved the tickets so I gave them to them. Then was gutted that I didn’t have a ticket so bought 1 more, but was sitting right at the back :0( , then bought one more for another friend but we have seats one behind each other. I was in such an excited rush to buy tickets that I forgot to use the code I was sent. What a fool, and how sad I felt as I wanted to be as close as possible, you’re my hero, as well as being totally gorgeous (God, I am such a creep, an honest one tho). So please please please, I’d do anything, including sinking so low as name dropping that I am a very good friend of a guy who was dating Coco Thadius, who apparently made a bit of an arse of himself when with you a few years back. Or a blow job from 3 gorgeous ladies, which ever tickles your fancy, heh heh. Anyhow, I wish you a wonderful tour around Europe and am sooooo looking forward to seeing you and the band soon!!!!!!!!!!! Big LOVE

  • Avatar of sailucie
    sailucie said ...

    What a funny story, dough i felt sorry for you.

  • Avatar of amyneedscoffee

    Jason Mraz….Your songs/ lyrics create a visual that inspires my art. Although this is an amusing story….. I dont think I can paint the visual :) I enjoy your honest stories… I think that’s the guy in you. Reminds me of my brother calling to share a story of an “accident” in a Home Depot aisle the morning after alot of keg beer. Really? Not something many girls discuss so matter of factly, my bro…. laughing at himself. It’s gotta be a guy thing!

    Back to inspiration…. I need some! Im having a creative block… please toss out some words/ thoughts I can work from. Not sure if you ever got some of the art I sent you …brightly colored almost cartoon in nature …a lot inspired from you. Right now a lot of pencil pre-drawing & erasing! Help!

  • Avatar of lovePEAR
    lovePEAR said ...


  • Avatar of lovePEAR
    lovePEAR said ...

    hahaha happy fockers ;) thank you for the down to earth Love, I really needed that now :) Delivered in perfect time and space <3 Poop pops all ways hahahahah ;) Holding harmony ;) hahahahah <3

  • Avatar of consuelo
    consuelo said ...

    Thanks for sharing, Jason. I’m still working on how long to “let it mellow” and keep a clean toilet bowl. But having a septic system and well for water on my property encourages me to use less water (shower with a friend), compost instead of using the kitchen grinder/disposal, and avoid chemicals in cleaning body or house. With the proper care this system can recycle my water for me. Lemons and avocados! Growing any garlic? That’s all I need in my guacamole. Have a great time in Paris, my favorite city. Check out the Musée de la Vie Romantique in the 9th arrondisement if you have time. Plaster casts of George Sand’s “sensuous right arm and Chopin’s delicate left hand” among other things.

  • Avatar of kaunkst7
    kaunkst7 said ...

    Jason’s Journal from the John! ;-) Jason Mraz, this is not an image I wanted in my head!!! lol You crack me up!!!

  • Avatar of GloriousMe
    GloriousMe said ...

    What a lovely laugh. Pleased with the election results myself. Looking forward to the new romance novel.

  • Avatar of GnharleyO
    GnharleyO said ...

    As odd as it may seem, this post makes me feel at home. The Atlantic beaches may not be the most beautiful in the world but they will always have a special place in my heart. Thanks for sharing!