When Things Turn Bad

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

It's been a hard week. Tensions and emotions have been high. I've touched on subjects I don't usually touch on before, but it just wouldn't have felt right not bringing them up.

And now I'm about to talk about another hard subject. Something many of you may wonder why I'm even going to bother going down this road. What good can come from it? But I always try to speak the truth, and the truth is that this happened to me. Perhaps in writing this I may found out that it's happened to some of you, as well. So here it is.

 It was a beautiful fall afternoon.

The type of day where I could get away with simply a vest over a sweatshirt, no scarf necessary. Yellow leaves littered the sidewalk as Har and I took our normal post-lunch jaunt around the neighborhood. Might be the last really nice day, I thought to myself, as I have every day since the end of September. And so Har and I walked a little further than normal in an attempt to really soak up the sunshine.

We were two blocks from the park we were planning to go to (which was roughly a 20 minute walk from our house) when it hit me. The feeling that makes your hair stand up on your arms, sweat instantly gather around your forehead, and the thought of "what the hell did I eat for breakfast?" enter your mind.

What it is a vuvuzela? Because that's the sound that just came from my stomach.

I don't know what you call it in your world, but in mine it's simply called a "poop attack." I know that's not a pretty phrase, but there's really no sense in pussy footing around here. It's the human body. It's natural. I think.

Given that this wasn't my first rodeo, I was well aware of the fact that this first wave was simply a tremor. A teaser if you will, of the trouble that was about to come if I didn't get myself to proper facility and asap. I calculated the time between when I first felt the thunder in my stomach and saw the lighting in my eyes and knew I had roughly 3.5 minutes before the next wave.

My options at this point were to call my body's bluff and continue on, hoping it was just a false alarm, or I could start the long waddle home. I was at a crossroads. Literally. Starbucks to my left. Funeral home to my right.

The next wave came quicker and faster than the first and made the decision for me.

Given that I had Harlow with me, my options for public restrooms were limited, but I could tie him up outside of Starbucks while I ran in. But one quick glance to the left and I saw two other dogs outside waiting for their owners inside getting coffee (or perhaps suffering through their own attack) one shall never know because that option was just eliminated. Harlow doesn't allow me to tie him up next to other animals, it makes him feel like a dog.

So I moved toward my right, back in the direction of my house praying that my bowels would not turn on me. They were clearly angry, but how angry I didn't yet know.

And then the funeral home doors opened up and the sidewalk was flooded with mourning elderly people.


It was a busy street so we couldn't just cross, instead we had to wait for the largest funeral in the history of funerals to slowly, ever so slowly, clear the sidewalk.

As the third wave hit I actually groaned and said aloud, oh my God I'm dying here. Not my best choice of words for the moment as several glares were thrown my way.

In a panic, we took a sharp turn down the alley. In case things got really really bad, I scanned my surroundings for a stray sock, an old shirt, a large leaf. Survival mode had kicked in.

My thoughts started to move to, if I have to do this- could I get arrested? I could tell the police what happened, certainly they'd understand. Unless there's a school full of children nearby...

No matter how I looked at it, the outcome didn't look good.

We moved as quick as possible down one block after the other. My bowels were taking me on an emotional rollercoaster the entire time. One moment I saw hope. The next, defeat. Hope. Defeat. Hope. Defeat. Hope. Where's that big leaf?

When we got to a stoplight and things seemed very bleak Harlow actually glanced to his "Harlow bags" then back at me as if to say, this one's on me, I owe you!

Please no, I begged my body. And God. And the Universe. Whoever was listening.

Nobody ever wants to be in this situation, not ever. Not at a house party, or work, or on a street corner. It's a terrible feeling. And it's just not supposed to happen like this. It's what nightmares are made of (and also stupid comedies.) And blog posts........

We pushed on and I started to see that I could make it home if I played my cards just right. However the closer we got, the more excited I got, the more excited my body got. It always seems to happen like this. When the homestretch is near, everyone feels it.

We got to our final stoplight, the busy intersection of Lincoln and Wrightwood and 100 other streets. And what do I see?

A funeral procession of cars. THE SAME ONE.

You might think I'm making this up. And I wish I was. But it's the truth.

The largest funeral in the history of funerals had a procession of cars that took up three stops lights.

Not one, or two, but three. Had the cars been at a standstill blocking the intersection I would have walked in between them, but they weren't. They were moving at snail pace just fast enough to kill me.

Right as I was about to Bridesmaid myself in the street the last car came though. And Harlow and I ran like the wind toward our house (as much as you can in this situation, if you know, you know.)

I feel blessed to report that my story ended okay on this horrific day. But I know not everyone's does. And I'm aware that this a subject no one wants to talk about, or read about, so if you've made it to this part, God Bless. I just wanted to open the dialogue for this and let you know that if you've been in this situation you're not alone.

This is my PSA to the world.

And yes, I'm resisting the urge to make a terrible "Public Shitters Anonymous" joke here. It just came into my mind this second and I can't help myself.

Okay I think I'm going to leave now. This probably should have wrapped up after "it's been a hard week." But I got in too deep and couldn't stop. I'm done.

*This post will remain on my page until my mom calls me and tells me to take it down. 


  1. Never in your life have you been as grateful to finally have three bathrooms. What the hell DID you eat for breakfast?? And yes, we've all been there. No shame.

  2. Oh girl, I've been there!!! This is why I don't run outdoors... because I always have to poo when I'm like 20 minutes from home and no bathrooms are around. I ended up buying a treadmill so I'd just be a few steps away from my own private, clean bathroom.

  3. In our house, we call that a "Code Red".


  4. I had to make a frantic stop on the side of the highway in rural Illinois. All i can say is THANK GOD they hadn't harvested that corn yet...and that i had a spare roll of toilet paper in the car!

  5. The same thing happened to me this week. Only, I as in the middle of teaching class. My students didn't seem to mind being let out early though. I just hope no one heard my vuvuzela...

  6. Oh Lord, I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one. I live in a small town, and when I walk "the block" it's actually about a five mile walk around town. One time I was walking it with my brother, and about half-way through, I got the rumblies (that's what we call it 'round here). He refused to stop at our lone little restaurant while I ran in to use the restroom, so we kept walking. At one point, he thought it would be funny if I sat on a garbage can while he stood and chatted with me. "No one will even be suspicious, it won't look weird." And then he proceeded to point out nice garbage cans to me. He's a bit of a jerk, fyi.
    I've also been known to duck into a friend's house to use the facilities while out walking "the block".
    I now take my walk/jog routes back and forth past my own house. yeesh.

  7. Oh this is terrible, I have felt like that at times and it is terrible.

  8. Oh god- that's the worst feeling. It hasn't happened to me in a while, but it used to be a regular occurrence back when my long runs were 10-15 milers in college. My tip is to become a frequent customer at a decent number of the cafes along your walking route so you have favors saved up for the next time (ugh, why is there always a next time?).

  9. Literally happened to me about a month ago with continuing random occurrences. I contemplated using a turnout but thankfully I made it to a rest area. SO awful!

  10. Public highway and a giant campaign sign (thank goodness).......leaving this right here.............

  11. ohhh yeah. We've definitely all been there. Not sure if you know who the YouTuber Grace Helbig is but she's got a podcast called Not Too Deep where she interviews other YouTubers. Each episode she asks them about their worst pants-shitting story. It's great and really makes me feel so grateful that i've only ever had close calls.

  12. This reminds me of the time one of my friends was staying at her mom's college roommate's (who she'd never met before) place in Paris... she went out sightseeing, needed to pee (she will forever be thanking every Parisian deity out there it wasn't #2) but was too cheap to buy a 5 euro croissant or coffee and too scared to ask to use the restroom w/o paying for something... ran back to the apartment, couldn't hold in the pee, and peed right there in the lobby... JUST as her mom's college roommate walked out of the elevator to see it running down her legs. They made eye contact and everything. I still can't tell the story without crying.

  13. LOL that last line about your Mom hahahaha.! It's not even weird because we've all been in a similar situation. WE'RE HUMAN. But glad you made it home. That scene in Bridesmaids kills me. I'm always left wondering...and then what did she do lol? Horrible.

  14. Is it bad that I am a bit relieved to find out that this doesn't just happen to me? When I was seven months pregnant my husband had to stop along side the highway. Since we had no toilet paper I had to use his sock. I was so embarrassed!

  15. DUDE. multiple times. And I swear to god I've thought up the same things.. Hmmm what can i wipe my poor ass with if I can't last any longer?

    The absolute worst was when I stayed at a guys house one night, someone i was just hooking up with and i woke up in the morning and had the urge to poop> i was like yo i gotta go home now. But he lived 25 mins from my house. I was so tired and hungover but I drove the whole way home and the whole time i kept thinking OMG IM gonna shit myself in my car OMG. It actually hurt to just sit there. UGH

  16. Every time I am training for a half marathon and it is long run day...this happens! EVERY DAMN TIME!

  17. My husband has literally jumped out of a moving car before to run to a restaurant and use the bathroom. NO bueno in the city but nature has called while I was IN nature in Croatia before. You gotta do what you gotta do, wherever you are! Also, glad your Mom hasn't told you to take this down :D

  18. Oh...my...gosh! I am SO glad that your mom did not tell you to take this down before I got a chance to read it. Too funny. My body tends to do that to me as I'm dropping off the stepdaughter at school. I'm running into the house like I'm on fire so I know the feeling. Thankfully, funerals don't occur at 7:00 in the morning for me. Ha! ;)

  19. YES! This is the best blog post! We have all been there and if they say they haven't they're lying. I am glad everything turned out okay for you!

  20. Thank God for someone brave enough to speak out on this subject. I've illegally parked to make it to a facility in time. My dad literally shit himself in a tree stand once because he couldn't make it down fast enough. It happens to the best of us.

  21. This happened to me while on a run with my dog a few years ago... All I have to say is thank goodness for the underwear lining in running shorts. I lied, I also want to say that it is a super awkward feeling walking up your street as nonchalantly as you can while simultaneously trying to prevent shit from falling out of your shorts and exchanging friendly nods at your neighbors.

  22. Dying!!!! And unfortunately can relate...


  23. I've had several near-misses as well, including a few weeks ago when I was returning from a dud of an event with my girlfriend. Although I made it without pooping my pants, I did not make it without letting out some noxious gas... and my gas is distinctly nasty.