Everyone is hanging you out to dry, Flock. But not your good buddy Knapplc. I could try to hold on to my dignity, but I'll forego that little bit of pride I try to hang onto just so you don't have to hold the ignominy of this incident alone.
Mine won't be as funny as yours though. That was damned funny, my man.
So here goes...
I'll preface this by stating that I'm 35. I'm well past the days when it's OK in any way to piss myself. I have no bladder condition to lay blame to, I have no prostate problems (yet), and I haven't been "piss" drunk in over a decade. This was all on me.
So here's the scene. It's about, oh... four weeks ago that this happened. It's sometime about ten days before Christmas, about five or six work days before the end of my fiscal quarter. I have case goals to accomplish on a quarterly basis, the Fourth Quarter is traditionally our busiest time of year, and we were a man down the entire quarter. Goals weren’t reduced, and we had to pick up the slack. It was F’n busy. Plus it’s the Holidays, and I typically host quite a bit for friends and family. The short of it was that I was WAY overworked and I was getting no sleep, so naturally I turned to the Nectar of the Gods for energy:
And I drank lots of it. Lots and lots. Starbucks Venti for breakfast, another for the drive to the office, another for break and another for lunch. Sometimes one for afternoon break (break being a relative term wherein I power-walk the five blocks from the office to Starbucks and back for my Atomic Go Juice. This can be done in 15 minutes flat unless there’s some yutz in line ahead of me ordering one of those girly foo-foo drinks with cream and cocoa and God-knows-what-else. These people should all be shot. But I digress…)
Anyway, I drank a LOT of coffee.
Now, coffee being full of caffeine, and caffeine being a diuretic, I had to go a lot. I have a bladder of steel thanks to Dad’s insistence that a nine-hour drive to visit Grandma in Chicago should and always would be accomplished with only two pits tops along the way – one for gas and one for gas and lunch. If you had to piss, you were waiting until we stopped, no exceptions. So I learned to hold it. This has served me well in my adult life of coffee binging and deadlines. I can cache a lot of Joe before I really have to go.
But when it’s time to go, it’s time to go.
So here we are in crunch time before the end of this December past, and I’m slamming Starbucks like there’s no tomorrow. I’m flying like a kite, getting Greek Hero kind of work accomplished in record times, burning up my keyboard at 3,000 words per minute (with no errors, of course) but then the time comes when I Had To Eliminate Waste.
Now, it’s about 100 yards from my desk to the nearest john. I work in one of those abominations known as a 1970s-era Office Block. It was designed to have an open floor plan, but being that I’m a badge-wielding Investigator for the State of Nebraska, understandably the issues I deal with are private matters. So they’ve taken my city-block sized building designed for an open floor plan and chopped it up with about a thousand semi-permanent walls to provide our clients and us some semblance of privacy. What this means is that I have to negotiate a maze of cubicles and hallways just to get out of my department, then I have to wind through the maze of interior building hallways to get to the pisser.
I’m doing that pinch-kneed waltz you do when you’re in a bad way all the way through the maze until I finally get to the bathroom, and by the time I get there I have to GO. There is no negotiating with 200 cc’s of used coffee.
Unfortunately, I work for the State Government. What that means is that the workforce demographic is quite a bit older than your average company. It’s got some cushy perks like plenty of holidays, plenty of vacation/sick leave, etc, and what that tends to mean is that the people who get these jobs don’t tend to leave them. So the workforce gets older.
Older people use the bathroom more.
A lot more.
I can’t remember the last time I went to that john and found it empty. I don’t think I ever have, and I’ve been there for about five years. And damn, but those old guys STINK in there (sorry, Lush). I hate going into that place because someone’s always letting off a Sneaky Pete every single time, and more than half the time it’s accompanied by a Stuttering John loud enough to rattle the tiles on the wall. You know what I mean. I’ve perfected the hold-your-breath-for-45-seconds-while-you-piss-and-wash technique through practice and dire need. Last year a guy passed out in there from lack of oxygen, it was so bad. I kid you not.
There are three urinals in the john on my floor. The Sixth Floor john has five, as does the Third, but One, Two, Four and Five all have three. I don’t know why. I burst into the room (with breath held) at about Mach 7, hand on belt buckle, ready to get to business right quick – only to find that all three urinals are in use. Not only that, but there are another two guys in line waiting to fire away when the front line soldiers have spent their ammo.
I’m frantic. I can NOT wait. It has to be right now or I’m going to soil myself.
Desperate and beginning to break a sweat, I look over to the festering cesspools that are the toilets. Now, most of us are guys here, and most of us know how guys treat public restrooms. We’re men, ergo we’re slobs. And that’s at home when our wives/girlfriends/mothers are there to kick our asses when we make a wreck of the house. When we’re in a neutral-site restroom, as we all know, it’s game on. We piss everywhere, leave toilet paper (used and unused) laying about in tatters, strew paper towels liberally about and generally trash the place. There’s someone who’ll clean it up. We don’t care.
The toilets on my floor are abysmal. They’re target practice for a particular breed of State Worker that we’ve all come across – that socially unacceptable jackass who everyone ripped on in high school, who then grew up but never really grew up
(you know what I mean) and now amuses himself by making the lives of anyone he can as miserable as he can get away with. Those people are assholes to the janitor on my floor and any other poor schmuck who has to take a dump when they’re done. There are several who work on my floor.
I hate them. I have a personal policy that I never use the john in this bathroom unless I’m about to rip my bowels apart. I’ve suffered through some pretty excruciating pain rather than subject myself to those stalls in my time.
But, this time I had to go. And it was only #1. I didn’t have to make contact. I could stand off and remain unsoiled. I had that going for me.
Luckily for me, there was a stall open at the end of the row. The handicapped stall. Now, I know I shouldn’t be in there normally, but I’ll say this in my defense – working on my floor as long as I have I know that there are no handicapped guys who use this stall. Plus, in the event that there was a guest handi-man present who needed to use the loo, I would be done in just under ten seconds (or fifteen, if that last cup had cycled through already, too).
Now, in my building the handicapped stalls have an odd feature. Maybe this is more normal than I think because I don’t use handicapped bathroom stalls and this one is my only frame of reference, but this toilet has an extending device that sits on top of the stool, raising it nearly a foot from the height of a normal john seat. Apparently this is more convenient for the disabled – I don’t know.
But it threw me off just a bit, which may account for what I did next – I sat down. My mind was on my work and my situation of impending urination doom, and I just wasn’t thinking. The next thing I know I’m sitting on a high-chair toilet with my feet nearly off the ground, and the floodgates open.
Ah, sweet Nirvana.
But there was one problem.
The extendo-device on top of this toilet was tall enough that I pretty much had to pee on it. No big deal really, until you remember that piss is just another liquid, and it has to follow the surface-tension properties that the law of physics lays on all liquids. I’m no expert in all of this, but what it meant to me on that day was that my urine, instead of succumbing to the forces of gravity and depositing itself neatly in the bowl like it should, was curling under this extender-thing that it was traveling down and going FORWARD instead of going down when it got to the end.
Remember, I had drunk a LOT of coffee.
Those of you who drink a lot of coffee know that in general the body does not absorb coffee. It is, as I already mentioned, a diuretic, which means that you tend to piss out just about exactly what you put in fluid-wise, and sometimes a bit more if you’ve drunk some water on top of that.
Coffee goes in, coffee goes out. And when you drink as much as I had, it comes out pretty strong. It was all pure, unadulterated (if slightly less caffeinated) coffee.
And it was going all over my light tan pants.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t realize this little disaster until a pool roughly the size of Lake Havasu had formed under my feet, which had drained out of my underwear and through my pants.
With remarkable speed I changed the direction of the flow and prevented any more damage, but by that time I was screwed. I had literally pissed the equivalent of a 16-oz cup of coffee into my own pants.
And it stunk something fierce.
Initially I was angry (coffee rage, for those of you who know what I’m talking about), but pretty quickly I started to laugh at the absurdity of my predicament. Here I was at least 100 yards from my desk where I kept my wallet and keys, with tan pants now stained a nasty shade of brown, soaking wet, with the unmistakable odor of piss and recycled coffee all over them. I had to somehow get to my desk, get my keys and wallet, backtrack to the elevators, get down to the garage and into my car, drive home and change, and then get back to work, all without anyone knowing what I had done.
This would not be easy.
Oh, did I mention that I am the only male in an office full of 19 women?
The problem this creates is that my coworkers are, shall we say, chatty. I don’t think I have to elaborate on the talkative nature of women. Enough of you are married to know that if I’m caught, I’m never, ever, EVER going to hear the end of it.
So there I sat, pants soaked, in the stink of Government Worker gas, and only my wits to save me. I gathered as much toilet paper as God had seen fit to have the janitor stock in that stall and did my best to wring my pants as dry as possible. My shorts were discarded and flushed – the one saving grace of my building is that the toilets are so over-engineered that you could flush a small water buffalo down the tube without needing a plunger for backup – and re-garbed.
I opened my stall and barreled for the door and fresh air. The hallway outside was mercifully empty. So far so good. I can only imagine what that must have looked like – me, soiled unmistakably by my own… er… hand – walking as stealthily as possible back to my office, soaking wet and trying to make no noise. Probably it would have been quite funny, but at the time I was in no mood for it. I was busy, I was angry, and I was desperate.
I took the route past the service elevator, back behind the storage area, but that only took me about halfway. The rest of it I would have to go openly on public routes. There was nothing else for it – I had to go.
By some miracle, the route to my desk was empty.
We have not one but two receptionists. I don’t know why. Neither of them were at their desks. My Executive Director, usually interested in stopping you as you go by for a chat, was at that moment on a call. The fax machine was unoccupied, as was the printer area – usually a VERY high-volume site. Finally, to let you know that miracles still happen to everyday people, the kitchen was completely unoccupied. That NEVER happens.
For the first time in the 45-year history of my office, everyone except the receptionists was ensconced at their desks at the exact same time, which was the exact moment I chose to sneak through the office. I have to tell you – if this job I’m in doesn’t pan out, I swear to you I have a career as a Ninja ahead of me. I was the very shadow itself moving through that office.
Just a short hallway left to get to my cube and I was safe—
Then disaster nearly struck. My boss’s office is just next to mine. I walk by her door to get to my cube. Just as I walk by she lifts her head up and calls me in. Shlt!!! “I have to get this faxed to so-and-so” I lied, not breaking stride. She bought it. I had a 30-minute reprieve before she wanted to see me, but then I had to be in. Fine. I could do this.
I grabbed my keys, pocketed my wallet and turned to go. Just then, I had a brilliant idea.
I keep an extra shirt in my office. I don’t know why, but I brought one in and left it in a drawer when I started, “just in case.” It served me well here. I grabbed it from my drawer – a long-sleeved button-down dress shirt. Just the thing! Acting fast, I tied the sleeves around my waist, letting the shirt drape down the back of my butt like a skirt, hiding the most embarrassing portion of my issuance.
Yeah it looked kind of gay, but what the hell. I was desperate.
A quick check of the sides told me that very little damage was visible around my makeshift cloak. I was good to go.
I was out of that office, down to my car, home, back to the building and back up in 25 minutes. I broke every traffic law in the book and then some on that drive, but again I was lucky – no cops, and relatively no traffic on the freeway at that moment.
Not one person mentioned the shirt around my waist as I walked out, and not one person noticed that I had changed pants at some point throughout the day.
Less than 30 minutes after what could have been my personal “Waterloo” I was back at work. Nobody ever busted me, and until this minute I have never told anyone else about this.
So there you go, Flockers. That's my story.
I swear it's all true.
In case you were wondering, I burned those pants.