Monday, August 19, 2013

How I Became the Whiz Kid

I like to think I'm reasonably smart. After all, I can read and spell my name reasonably well. So it stands to reason that those qualities alone would certify me as a whiz kid. Right?

I wish. 

Long ago and far away, when I was in eighth grade--so 13 years old--we had a very exciting event in our small town. Our high school football team made it to the regional playoffs. I grew up in a small town in Texas, so you can imagine. Football is a religion and playoffs are Heaven itself. Either way, the town was abuzz and we weren't missing this game come hell or high water. 

I'm not going to go into specifics of the game--not because it wasn't exciting (even though it wasn't), but because we lost, and I don't want to have to relive it. 

Nor do I want to relive what happened next. However, because everyone who's heard this story thinks it's pretty funny--only because it didn't happen to them--I've decided to print it here for posterity. You're welcome.

Anyway, we had about a 45-minute car ride home, so we had to keep ourselves entertained. We did so by playing Make Me Laugh. The game is exactly what it sounds like. At one point, very abruptly, I decided I didn't want to play anymore. I tried to play it off as in I thought the game was boring and wanted to move on, but my friends weren't having it. They demanded to know why I didn't want to play. However, it didn't take very long for them to figure it out. 

What did they do? What every good friend does--worked harder to make me laugh. It didn't take them very long before what was on the inside of my body--in my bladder--exploded to the outside. I was drenched, and so was the back of the van we were sitting in. I...was...mortified. 

Of course we had to tell the parents of the van, even though I was crying and begging them not to. And of course, I didn't have an extra pair of underwear. Who, at 13, thinks to bring extra underwear because they pee their pants?!? Certainly not this kid. 

Fortunately, someone did have extras. I'm not sure what's more disturbing here: that I, as a teenager, had a major toileting accident, or that someone else in the car had extras because of their own (possibly?) toileting issues and I was about to be wearing them. 

Regardless, we pulled over to the nearest gas station to remedy the situation. I think my friends felt bad, because they shuffled with me, one in front, one behind in order to get to the bathroom with as much dignity as was possible in a situation such as peeing your pants between the ages of six and 60.  I changed, used the restroom for good measure, and off we went. Life was good. 

Or so I thought. About ten minutes into our journey, I felt a familiar sensation. I won't waste time building it up: I had to pee again. Yep. So I informed everyone in the van that I needed to do business again, and we saved another embarrassing situation. 

Again--I wish. My "voice of reason" prevailed and I decided that, by God, I would make it home to the comfort of my own clean bathroom. So I kept quiet. 

My voice of reason crapped out. The above scenario played out again. Tell me that this isn't weird: another change of clothes and underwear were produced that weren't mine or came from my mom. How many accidents were these people planning? Yuck. Regardless, beggars couldn't be choosers at this point. So we repeated the Pee Pants Shuffle, I used the restroom, changed clothes, and off we went. 

To make an already long story short(er), I'm going to kind of gloss over the fact that there was, in fact, a third incident about five or ten miles later. I was out of luck on clothes this time. This may have actually been a good thing, because I'm not sure what I would've thought if I knew there had been anticipation of three or more accidents in the same car on a given period. And I should probably tell you I was restricted from liquids at this point. 

If you think I ever lived that down, you would be wrong. In fact, I had a similar incident later on that year where I required two changes of clothes, but one was only because I fell in knee-deep mud  while rock-hunting and running from snakes on a science field trip. My senior yearbook is even inscribed with "Whiz Kid." But that's only because I'm super-smart. I know that because, now, I always have access to extra underwear.

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