Don’t Panic.


Some of yesterday’s post can be explained by the fact that I actually was kind of sick. Some of it it due to pure filthiness, of course, but I was sick. And I’ve gotten worse.

“Felling better, buddy?” my boss asked, stopping me in the hall today.

“Just look at him!” my friend Melissa exclaimed. I hadn’t realized until then that I looked more or less terminally ill.

So I’m doing the right thing and getting plenty of fluids. My reward? Sneezing chicken noodle soup through my nose (which isn’t actually as bad as it sounds; it was the cracker that came with it that was the problem) and nearly wetting my pants on the subway ride home.

In a normal day, I go to the washroom so often I’ve seriously considered just moving my desk in there. So you can imagine what happens when I get plenty of fluids. Waiting to get home to go to the bathroom can be like magnetism; the closer you get, the stronger the pull.* I held out as long as possible, but only a few stops from my house, I twice felt the terrifying sensation of my bladder spasming and starting to let go. This is it, I thought. I‘m going to piss myself in public. And I’m wearing light-coloured pants! I fought it off, and as the train pulled into Castle Frank station, got off. Dashing was out of the question. Jostling anything would be bad. I walked gingerly up the stairs, left the station, and walked out back. A nature trail that I hadn’t ever known was there was my salvation.

I’ve been in this position before, and I’m know I’m not alone. For instance, my housemate’s brother recently found himself having to take an emergency slash when we were headed out on the town one night. “Hold up guys!” he yelled, walking behind a nearby garage. “I’ve got to take a piss.” A woman walking ahead of us turned, frowned, and walked back to scold him for pissing on her garage. Then I advised him on a much better place to go: A block north of Pape station, there’s a basement stairwell behind a dentist’s office.

What we need to do is collect this kind of knowledge and compile the best places to go in case of bladder emergency. Focus on, say, the nearest refuges to every major stop of the TTC and every other major transit system in the world. For instance, the Pizza Pizza one block east of Islington station once served me well in a moment of need. If I were at Bloor and Yonge and desperate, I’d try the nearby Harveys. Union is a no-brainer; it has washrooms in it.

Collect all this info and put it on a website so that people can download it and store it on their Palm Pilots or cell phones or what have you. Maybe have it so a GPS-enabled device can constantly download the nearest bathroom location and have it waiting to be instantly accessed whenever needed. Wikipedia and H2G2 notwithstanding, this is the kind of thing that would put us all that much closer to having our very own Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I guarantee you Ford Prefect had this kind of information at his fingertips whenever he needed it.

*I’ve gotten as far as my yard before, briefly and desperately fumbled with my keys, and then realized, Well, the yard is fenced in. And that was good enough for me.

9 Responses to “Don’t Panic.”

  1. 1 James

    This post has been removed by the author.

  2. 2 James

    I’ve actually peed in that stairwell behind the dentist’s office myself (I’d originally written this as “I’ve actually peed myself in that stairwell…” before rereading it and opting for a quick edit). On one hand, I’m appalled at my own uncouthness; on the other, I blame the dentist for placing a stairwell so conveniently usable from a main street without being so visible from it to spoil the mood.

  3. 3 James

    Also, perhaps I’m just new to this blogger comments thing, but I had no idea the anti-spamming measures had gotten so drastic. I had to offer not only a username and password but enter a five digit randomly generated keycode. All this for a comment about a sick guy almost pissing himself. It’s like doing a Tom Cruise-in-Mission Impossible body-rappelling down a laser-strewn room to grab a PopTart or something.

  4. 4 Peter Lynn

    Wait — you didn’t have to do a palm scan and retinal scan? I’d better patch that security hole.You’re not uncouth. That stairwell is so inviting that it might as well have a big urinal cake at the bottom.

  5. 5 James Wall

    Even worse than being on a train and needing to micturate is being on a train after having had a few too many drinks, and needing to vomit.The train sways just enough to make your stomach heave and ho. And even late at night, there’s always at least one hot girl that you want to impress by not throwing up all over yourself. And you can only swallow it so many times after it reaches your mouth.Open a window? Hardly – those fuckers are soldered shut. Do it discreetly, behind one of the seats? No, because if you’ve ever vomited properly after too much booze, it’s a fairly noisy affair. It takes some great bellows, some great suckings of air, some very noisy “hnnnnghh—BLAAAAAH!….hnnnghh…hnnnghh…hnnnghh-BLAAAH!…oh god i’m going to…BLAAAAAAH!”This can go on for a while. I also vomited in a taxi once, but I was so shellacked that I hardly even noticed it happening. I just felt something falling out of my mouth and into my lap. I think I made a sound like “buruuph”, and I looked down at myself after the driver started screaming “YOU DIRTY FUCKER! YOU DIRTY FUCKER!” I had just thought it was a particularly well-endowed hiccup. Anyway, cheers for the linkback.

  6. 6 James Wall

    Ha ha! My barfing stories are off the internet!

  7. 7 Peter Lynn

    I was the same way. I was looking for empty bottles or cups. I remembered I had a plastic bag in my briefcase and wondered if I could use it to fashion some kind of urine collection bag. Situations like that turn you into Excreting MacGyver.But peeing or puking, it’s the hot girl factor that’s the worst part. There was one near me last night too. At least when you’re drunk, though, you just don’t care as much.Anyhow, you’ve reminded me once again that I really need to get to work on putting out a fancy leather-bound book titled The Greatest Puking Stories Ever Told.

  8. 8 James Wall

    When you’re drunk, it matters even more, because you’re sitting there thinking “Man, I’m so great, she must totally be in to me.”

  9. 9 Peter Lynn

    Man, nobody’s into me right now. I look like I’ve been hit with the Steve Buscemi ray.

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