Friday, January 15, 2010

Emptying the Tank

So I am quite lucky when it comes to my morning commute. I
only have to drive about 20 miles, and I usually make it in less
than half an hour. If you compare that with our drive times when
we lived in California, I have paid my dues and have earned this
short trip. My bride and I both had at least a 3 hour round trip
commute when we were living near LA.

As you can well imagine, before I left for work in the morning
it was crucial that I empty all the tanks in preparation for up
to two hours without access to the facilities.

As some of my loyal listeners may know, I sometimes go to the
gym early in the morning, and while I am exercising, I usually
drink copious amounts of water. When I get home, I drink some
more, and then will typically have at least one cup of coffee.

However, even though my current drive time is pretty short, I
usually have to make a trip to the boy's room right away when I
arrive at work. You know how it is after the morning coffee. To
be safe, I always do one final purge right before I walk out the
door. One would think that would be enough insurance for a 25
minute trip.

We had some mighty cold weather last week in North Texas. I
think it was last Monday where the temp had gotten down to
about 20, and then right before I left for work, a very light foggy
sprinkle fell for just a few minutes. Of course it froze, and
it was just enough freak all the drivers out.

So I am calmly driving along to work along the 183. Ten minutes
go by, and as per my plan, I am about half-way to work. Traffic
is doing OK, so far nobody has decided that the speed on the
freeway should be 5 MPH, ice or not. I pass all the familiar
landmarks, check my time and mileage, when I notice that there
are brake lights ahead.

They are not just slowing down, however, they are stopped. I
stop as well, and I check my watch, I won't be late. it's rather
odd, though, how we have stopped, but are not actually
going again. And as the minutes tick by, and we are not moving,
it slowly becomes apparent that we have a problem, Houston.
That's Problem with a capital 'P'.

So far I am not panicking. I am only about 8 miles from work,
how much longer can it take? I start to have these inner
conversations with myself...before the situation gets out of
hand, I need to calmly explore my options.

I can just hang on and hope and pray for the best. It's not as
if this is the first time in my life I have been caught away
from the loo. A little discomfort, but I will be fine.

Soon I become surprised at how quickly I am approaching critical
mass. I need to start planning NOW what I am going to do if it
gets dire. I can't just get off the freeway and find a
restaurant, I am at a dead stop in the 'fast' lane with traffic
blocking me all around.

Another desperate option would be to fill up a water bottle or
container of some sort, so I glance around my car. Nothing.
Luckily, males have external plumbing, so as a last resort, I
can always open my door and lean out. I won't have to drain the
entire tank, but just relieve some of the pressure.

I prep myself mentally, as that will be the Final Solution if
things don't get moving pretty quick. As Chucky would say,
"A baby's gotta do what a baby's gotta do."

Now, before anyone starts to think I am a gross male pig, let me
remind you that when the bladder is stretched to capacity, the
walls of it are only two cells thick. I don't think it would
take much at that point to cause a massive decompression that
would land me in the hospital at the very least.

I look around me at the other cars, trying to see if anyone else
is in any obvious discomfort, when I am startled by a horn
blaring behind me. We are moving!

With fresh resolve, I command my body to 'man up' and take it
for five more minutes. I arrive safely at work and jog into the
Men's room. I get a few odd looks, but I don't care...I am here
safely, and I am still dry!

Now, for a nice cup of coffee!

Peace be with you.


  1. Haha, that's happened to me one time recently actually. Never happened so bad any other time though.

    I was out at a concert with some friends of mine that was 2 1/2 hours away. Had a few drinks at the show along with alot of water. Concert let out at 2a, and the long commute commenced. Thank god I had a water bottle in the car because I wasn't stopping for anything. I just wanted to get the hell home!

  2. I feel you on this... I do. Since I was prego my bladder dropped and my ability to "hold it" has lessened. A mere sneeze can send me running these days!

  3. God, that's my life... we used to take 14 hour road trips to MS when I was a kid and McDonalds and gas stations didn't stay open on holidays, so I had many, many emergency situations at max capacity between rest stops on the Natchez Trace. At this point in my life I've been so scarred by it that I have to know that there is a bathroom nearby or I freak out... my nerves get so frazzled that having to pee becomes a self-fufilling prophecy. Or on planes if I'm not sitting on the aisle, or next to someone I know. Panic, because I don't know if I can get out when I need to if they fall asleep or load their tray table with crap.

    When we went to Scotland I used every single bathroom we stopped at, whether I had to go or not.

    Let me tell you - it got so bad on those trips that I realized if I sucked my mouth in, I wouldn't produce as much saliva, and less saliva means less liquid to swallow. So I did that. I avoided chewing gum. I barely drank anything... I'm a mess.

  4. Kristy, I saw your Scotland pics, looks like you had lots of fun!

  5. I had sooooooooooooo much fun... I always hate to leave... but I can't wait to go back again!

  6. I made a comment on your post that had a picture of you having a drink it what looks like the loo!