Print Issues
Destler Dodge

A lot of people told me not to buy pills off of the internet. At the same time, nobody wanted their shit to glimmer as much as I wanted mine to.

Some background might be necessary here. The idea was a simple one, and it was presented to me almost as a joke by a colleague who shall remain nameless so as to not formally tie her to such a sickening odyssey. Apparently, there are places online where you can purchase tiny digestible capsules filled with non-toxic glitter that make your feces different sparkly colors. Considering that the body issue was coming up, wouldn’t it be funny if someone wrote an article about said pills? A modest chuckle sounded from those sitting around me. By the time it had subsided, I had already ordered three of the gold varietyfrom an Etsy store fittingly titled "SparkleCaps."

I didn't choose to write the piece because I thought it would be a fun, quirky article to publish in an issue bursting with hard information, but rather because it was something I felt that I had to do for the sake of journalism itself. I did, however, decide to do some research on these otherworldly pills before willingly ingesting them, and everything I found seemed to scream “This is a really terrible idea.” An article on Vocativ entitled “Are People Really Taking Glitter Pills to Make Their Shit Sparkle?” warned “No, they're not actually intended to bedazzle your poop—even if that's how plenty of customers are using them,” and a similar article on Elite Daily entitled “There’s Actually A Pill For Sale That Will Make Your Poop Glitter” cautioned “...reviewers have conveniently left out any information suggesting they’ve tested the sparkles out on their digestive systems.” The pills are supposedly meant simply to be a decorative piece to put on a necklace, bracelet, confusing sculpture, etc. Despite this disturbing new information regarding the potential havoc I could be wreaking upon my digestive tract, I remembered that Elite Daily also publishes hard-hitting articles like “59 Reasons Why Pizza Is Literally 100% Better Than A Boyfriend,” and decided to stake my own claim in the wild journalistic frontier.

The pills arrived about a week later, accompanied by a charming handwritten note thanking me for my purchase written in all-too-appropriate hot pink glitter and a special “bonus” pill of the “funky stripe” variety. I took one with the next morning’s coffee and awaited my total spiritual and physical demise, but felt nothing out of the ordinary. A couple of hours later, a newfound excitement surged through my body with the realization that I really, really had to pass some feces. This excitement abruptly transitioned into crushing defeat after gazing hopefully into the toilet bowl and seeing nothing but an ordinary, pedestrian poop devoid of any shimmering splendor. Undeterred, I took two with a sizable lunch, but was still greeted with a disappointingly average but reassuringly healthy-looking piece of fecal matter later in the day.

Beginning to feel pangs of frustration wash over me, I decided to up the ante a little bit, much to my body’s panicked dismay. I took four pills, three of the gold ones as well as the elusive “funky stripe,” with an enormous pancake dinner. Perhaps throwing my digestive system yet another curveball with the classic “breakfast-for-dinner” play would throw it off enough to cause it to start actually shitting glitter. Despite all this, my pre-sleep fecal ejection, while uncharacteristically painful, remained a barren, glitter-less disappointment.

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, and there are several that I’m sure I’ll uncover in therapy years down the road, it’s that humans are ugly, deceitful creatures who will build you up on promises of sparkling shit and will proceed to crush you with absolute betrayal. Or, more importantly, the lesson here might be to just not buy pills off the internet because someone told you they’d do wholly inhuman things to your feces. Regardless, the human body is a complex, often repulsive, but far more often beautiful anomaly that simply is not meant to perform such fairy-like feats.

Yet.