middaymoon's Reading Room
Though this story is many weeks old, I still feel as if I have to tell it. Think of it as a warning, a drama, or simply a young man's idle ramblings. It doesn't matter. Oh, and by the way, if you don't dig bathroom humor, you definitely won't dig this.
Not that it's funny.
On this fateful day, many seemingly inconsequential factors came together to bring this absolutely inconsequential event to fruition. I remember it well. March 25, my mother's birthday. AKA National Make Someone Feel Awkward Day. You may have heard of it.
Being the self proclaimed king of awkward situations, I set out to make the fullest use of this glorious holiday. At one point, just before math class, I found myself facing one of the biggest chances for true awkwardness I had ever faced. I found myself in a mens' restroom. The situation was perfect; along the short wall near the stalls were 5 urinals, with the two on the far edges and the one in the middle currently in use.
It was what I had been waiting for. The most potent weapons in the awkward arsenal have to do with privacy, personal space, and being socially cool. What I was about to do would take advantage of all three factors. I took a deep breath, crossed myself, danced a small jig for luck, and dove in.
I stood right beside two strangers and started to do my business. The timing was perfect; the guy on the other side finished and left, leaving me and my new friends to ourselves.
Let me outline some basic rules for guys' room etiquette. Leave an appreciable gap between urinals when you pee. Do not acknowledge other people while you or they pee. Keep your eyes to yourself. Turn slightly away from the person next to you to properly situate yourself.
I had just broken rule number one. To add to the effect, I looked at each boy's ear (they were staring pointedly at their own hands), nodded, and said hey. Then sure that I had made things as awkward as possible for not one, but two people, I began to actually position myself for relief. And thus the horror started.
There is an understood fear of guys eying your junk when you're peeing, which is why turning slightly away is recommended before exposing yourself. However, this is where I ran into trouble, because there was nowhere to turn. Turning one way would just expose me more in the other direction. Due to another random example of coincidence, class was about to begin without me and I simply had no time to wait. All I could do was skimp a bit on the ideal positioning (you know what I mean, guys), cover as best with my hands, and hope that good luck jig worked.
After several seconds of release, the lack of a yellow arch was worrying. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the edge of my fly was catching the stream out of mid-air, and the traitorous cloth was channeling the liquid down my right pants leg. This was partly because of my haste and improper set up, and partly because the urinals themselves are about two feet off the ground. Aiming is so much more important when the target's between your feet.
I did not panic.
It was only a matter of huge strength of will that let me stop peeing mid-squirt, but by then it was too late. From the crotch of my jeans to the knee, a long wet spot peered up at me smugly. I finished my business more carefully and pondered my situation. The joke was over; I had just peed my pants in a public place.
Two choices presented themselves. I could try to dry it with a the hand dryer, but again the problem of time arose, plus I was worried that the heat would make the wonderful scent of urine emanate from my pants at a level that would be undeniable. The second choice was to leave it and just walk out. I hastily threw that idea out, and then promptly bent down to look it over again.
The joke was back on.
I went to the sink and poured a little more water on the spot, both to dilute the smell I feared and for the sake of the guys watching. Then I simply walked out, smiling broadly and making eye contact with everyone I passed in the hall. If I saw that someone noticed the spot, I just grinned a little more and nodded my head, as if to say, "Yeah, I just peed my pants. What's up?"
You see, I'd been given a gift that could have easily been a curse. By acting as if I'd peed my pants, I was making people believe that it was just a joke, that I had put water on my pants to fool them. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I could get away with it. I got my momentary kicks at their horror, until I "broke character" and ended "the joke," and I also avoided the extreme embarrassment of having people believe me. It's a mixture of my reputation at school and my best dead-pan stare. Can you imagine?
"Did you pee your pants?"
*dead-pan stare* "Yes, I did. Look."
*is disgusted* "Gross, man."
Here, a bit of obvious exaggeration is the perfect touch. "Want to smell it?" Then I break into my jokester's grin.
Anyone would think I was just joshing them. It was just a bluff, at its core, but a hilarious bluff nonetheless. In fact, I was almost sad when it dried up.
The lesson here is that every choice you make in life adds up, and little things can become something so momentous and moving that your life will be changed. Or you might just wet yourself.