well, THIS is inconvenient

July 18, 2008

You know how sometimes, you’ll be just standing there, talking to someone, maybe about why they’re wrong for thinking Juno was a crass and crude representation of high school life, and you get that “not so fresh” feeling in your gut, a bit queasy, a bit uneasy, things piling up, shifting around, and maybe a bead of sweat forms on your forehead?

In the history of humanity, has this EVER happened in a convenient place? Like, in my bedroom, while watching tv or reading a book, while my beautiful bidet-toilet waits in the next room? No, it’s always airport bathrooms, or you’re on a train, or even at a very new friend’s house for a bbq.

This happens to me (not EXACTLY like this, not ALWAYS talking to someone about Juno) about once a quarter. That is, maybe 4 time a year. I haven’t always had this problem. Just as long as I can remember.

One time this happened in Barcelona. Scheduled to present to about a hundred sweaty Europeans about some Identity Management software, I was in the speaker ready room when that “not so fresh” feeling hit me, letting me know that I was anything but ready.

I spent the next hour on the floor of a public restroom stall, doing the hokey pokey, “not so freshness” coming from both north and south poles. I had no Euro cell phone, so I couldn’t call a replacement speaker. I managed to pull myself together and walk into the presentation room with 30 seconds to spare. A room overflowing with conference goers, no moving air, and a spotlight highlighting every bead of sweat on my face. I almost fainted several times, and spent the rest of the afternoon passed out in my hotel room tub.

But last night, I was at the company picnic. Not at the company office, where I already don’t like the bathroom, but at a city park. In the middle of ranting about why Aaron’s take on Juno was so completely out of touch and indefensible, I had to suddenly stop, mid-sentence, and say “um, I have to go.”

People have tried to think up unique tortures for me, like someone in the next stall offering to share their fries and burger with me en medias rex. This was much worse. City park bathroom, bare metal toilet, puddle of water on the floor. And me having to do the hokey pokey, the big 180, all while sweating so much I could have wrung out my shirt. And when I flushed, the whooshing water would cool off my nether ye, and briefly super-cool the metal seat, pretty much to super-collider temperatures. Which actually felt a little nice, considering the sweat. Rinse, repeat.

Does this happen to you? Is it just me? It is just me, isn’t it? DAMN it!

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13 Responses to “well, THIS is inconvenient”

  1. KanyonKris Says:

    I don’t think you’re alone here. My “suddenly gotta go” frequency is about the same as yours. I rarely have to break off in mid sentence though. But that’s not a good thing as holding back the “tide” is not fun, but sometimes you just have to (i.e. no bathroom for miles on a drive).

    I have a few stories along this line, but I’m not sure I could convey them as delicately as you have done so I’ll tell you in person, if you want to hear. Just remind me about Lucky Charms and the canyoneering trip.

    Now further on this subj… uh, , gotta go.

  2. Grizzly Adam Says:

    Wait, 4 times a year you have violent diarrhea AND vomit?

  3. dug Says:

    adam, is that a lot?

  4. Corey Says:

    It’s not just you…although I don’t have the added bonus of puking with it. That happened once in Wyoming and I vowed to never do it again. So far so good.

    As for the the “not-so-fresh” feeling, within the last year that sort of became a recurring theme for me. It wasn’t all the time, just every time I ate food. Any food.

    Through this experience I discovered two things:
    1) I am now old. (36)
    2) They make a pill for it. (digestive advantage)

    But to bring it all back around to cycling, several weeks ago I forgot my daily ‘old’ pill and then went mountain biking on a new trail I had been wanting to check out. About a mile from the trailhead the “not-so-fresh” feeling came on very suddenly. There were no bathrooms except the construction outhouse at the trailhead. This part of trail was wide open, and bordered by a golf course on one side, and the main road on the other. There was NO cover, so I rode like mad to get back to the construction outhouse and made it, eventually. The cycling shorts have been burned. That’s all I’m sayin’

  5. Grizzly Adam Says:

    4 times seems like a lot. At least to be puking AND uh.. that other stuff.

    I have had those ‘uh oh’ moments, that ‘not so fresh’ feeling and all that. But rarely is it accompanied with vomit.

    I like to think I have a powerful sphincter muscle to help hold back those sudden impulses. They seem to always hit when I am driving home. I rip into the drive way, dive out of the car and make a mad dash to the bathroom. The car still running, the garage door still open, and my family left wondering what just barreled through the house.

    And of course. There is no toilet paper.

  6. fish Says:

    It isn’t just you. It happened to me for a long time (like ten years) after I got back from Argentina. It’s lessened a little now, to more like once a year that I’ll double up. I think mine are just better contained now to one direction.

  7. Flahute Says:

    Unless I’ve eaten something really bad (as in week-old uncooked fish bad), it’s generally limited to the Southern end of my torso … but I definitely know the feeling.

    The worst time is when it happens when you’re on the phone with a client, and you have to very quickly make up an excuse and ask if you can call them right back.

    And I will admit to making my mother pull over on the side of the road (thankfully, in the desert), so I could run behind a saguaro and some sagebrush, and dig a quick hole in the sand.

    But while I can’t find the story right now, I seem to remember hearing one on This American Life, involving crazy aunts and Tupperware while driving.

  8. bikemike Says:

    must not be just you but you’re the only one who talks about it, ALOT.

    did you used to write for Beavis and Butthead?

  9. dug Says:

    bikemike, maybe. did you use to WATCH beavis and butthead?

  10. bikemike Says:

    dug, worse. a friend of mine used to imitate those two anytime he called you or you called him. for five minutes (if you didn’t hang up on him) all you got was heh heh heh, poop! or FIRE FIRE FIRE!. so, yeah, i’m pretty sure i recognize the writing style. not an insult, mind you. just very , uh, unique. thanks for the flashbacks.

  11. mark Says:

    Dug, you need Cipro. Or some other really strong antibiotic. Srsly. I had similar problems, except that mine was more like a daily recurrence of splatter paint, for about eight years after my two year stint of eating latin food every day ended.

    Then I got an abscessed tooth and had to have three rounds of very strong antibiotics before the infection got out of my jaw bone. I’m now two years splatter paint free (more or less).

    Apologies (at request of my wife) for the nasty visual image I suggested.

  12. evilreview Says:

    i have never had to both poop and barf at the same time. hey look: i just jinxed myself. heading to bathroom now to wait impending eventuality.

  13. BUD Says:

    Dug, obviously you are not alone in this. For some reason every time we went to Target while we lived in Pittsburgh, I had to “go”. It was the weirdest thing, like something in that particular store pissed off my bowels. Who knows? The craziest part about it is that it has never happened since we moved from Pennsylvania. And I have been to Target many times out here.

    BTW, Rachel and I LOVE Juno! We rented it and watched it one night, and then Rachel got up early and watched it the next morning. She then watched it again with me that night. Sweet movie homeskillet.


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