I was at my daughter’s tennis match yesterday when I suddenly felt my stomach churning. I made my way over to the bathrooms and found that they were locked up because it was after school hours. As I returned to the courts, the stomach churning turned into stomach cramps and I knew that I had to find a bathroom very soon. Then I saw it; a portable toilet looming in the distance.
I had no choice. I squeezed my butt cheeks and tried to walk naturally toward the port-a-pot at a rate of speed that would not cause any alarm. You might wonder how does one walk “normally” while squeezing butt cheeks together. It is quite difficult to accomplish this task. You have to first put your hands in your pockets because it looks more natural that way. Then, you take baby steps while crossing your feet (one in front of the other) and sort of swing your hips from side to side allowing the butt cheeks to remain squeezed. I’d say it sort of resembles the way a runway model would walk, however it might not have the same “style” that a runway model would exude.
So here I am at the tennis courts surrounded by people I know because I either taught with them, played tennis with them or coached their kids in tennis. It was bound to happen. As I was frantically attempting to reach the port-a-potty without calling attention to myself, I heard a familiar voice yell out, “Hey, Betty!”
I tried to turn toward the voice while keeping the butt cheeks squeezed without falling on my face. I couldn’t accomplish this task, so I just turned my head in her direction. I must have looked a bit spastic as I stood my ground and attempted to the crane my neck toward the voice which belonged to Molly who I used to play tennis with.
“Hey, Molly.” I yelled over my shoulder, “How the heck are you?”
She meandered over to me and I had to tell her the truth. I explained that I could not talk right now because I had to use the port-a-potty. She took in my stance and immediately recognized the symptoms - although she mistook my stance for a weak bladder problem (which I also have). Anyway, Molly wished me luck and moved aside to allow me to continue my hellish walk.
Luckily, I was not interrupted by anyone else and I actually made it to the port-a-potty without further incident. I opened the door and was greeted by dizzying fumes which almost caused me to pass out. I had to enter, though, because not entering would be a worse fate. I closed and locked the door saying a silent prayer that I would not get stuck in this ghastly john.
I opened the lid and a swarm of mosquitos flew from the depths of human waste. I gagged and almost puked. My stomach reminded me that I was about to explode from both ends so I quickly sat on the awful throne. I was contemplating how I could puke between my legs since I couldn’t reach the urinal when I felt the mosquitos bitting my butt. I vowed right then and there that I would not puke. Thankfully I didn’t.
I sat there for at least 10 minutes hoping beyond hope that this would be my one and only visit. I emerged from the port-a-potty with a new appreciation for my indoor plumbing and extra high toilet seat. I made my way over to watch my daughter play and was relieved that it appeared my stomach cramps had dissipated. My daughter was just about finished with her match when I felt it again. Only, this time I had to run to the john. More mosquitos met me and, sadly, I had to stay longer which meant more mosquito bites.
This time when I came out into the sunlight, I quickly grabbed my nearest daughter, Jennifer, and told her to get me to her house right away. Both my older daughters were watching the match and Jennifer just happened to live not far from the courts. I threw my car keys to my other daughter, Katie, and told her to take the car home.
“Tell your dad to pick me up at Jennifer’s.” I yelled to Katie as I ran like a bat out of hell to Jen’s car.
“Drive as fast as you can!” I instructed Jennifer while I grasped white-knuckled onto her dashboard.
“Mom,” she informed me “we might hit some red lights on the way.”
“Ignore them!” I spat back through clenched teeth.
“Do you want me to take you to a gas station?” She asked innocently.
I turned on her. “Jennifer, just get me to your house. I don’t care how you get there. I don’t care what laws you break. I don’t care how fast you drive. Do you understand me!”
She handed me a cup and told me to use it if I had to. At one point, she took a turn so fast I thought we were going to be up on two wheels. We made it to her house and she pressed the garage door opener - nothing happened. I screamed at her to try the damn thing again.
“Mom, I have a key to the front door.” She said.
“I won’t make it to the front door!” I yelled.
The opener worked. I jumped out of the car and started to run, legs crossed, into the house. Jen started laughing hysterically because her neighbor across the street was watching me. I’m sure I looked like a running version of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame. I didn’t care. To say that I made it with not a minute to spare is an understatement. I had not a second to spare.
I stayed at Jen’s for another hour making periodic trips to her bathroom and thanking God that there was a bathroom to make a trip to. Today, I counted twelve mosquito bites on my cheeks - not too bad really when you consider it could have been much worse. After all, I was wearing white shorts!