When was the last time you nearly wet yourself?
For me it was about a year ago. How? C's mother was very kindly giving me a lift down to London, where I was going to meet up with a couple of friends and then head on to Twickenham to watch some rugby. We had a very pleasant journey, chatting about this and that (I'm pleased to say that we get on pretty well) and after a couple of hours I was dropped off outside Wembley tube station.
At this stage I was beginning to feel my morning coffee making its presence felt. Nothing too serious, but a quick check of the timetable showed me I had a couple of minutes to try and find the station facilities. They were shut. Never mind. Had a quick look up and down the high street for a Burger King or something, but there didn't appear to be anything. No worries. The need is not too great, so I make my way back to the station and get on the tube.
I'm not sure how familiar you are with the London Underground, but Wembley is one of the outlying stations (oh, I know this all now) and the tube is actually excruciatingly slow and takes an hour or so to wander its way casually into London.
Can you see where this story is going?
After a while I begin to tap my foot. Then I begin to jiggle my legs. We're getting a bit closer. We reach a point where I have to stand up and start pacing up and down the carriage. I'm starting to sweat and I think people are starting to look at me now. Only a few stops to go.
I'm not going to make it.
I jump off the train 2 stops before Oxford Circus (where I was planning to get off) and desperately start to look for the loo. Now, if you think about it, how many toilets have you ever seen in an Underground station?? You see my problem? You know how some of these stations are actually really deep underground and you have to go through what seems like miles of corridors and dozens of really steep escalators before you see daylight?
I was beginning to panic. I crouched down for a second to assess my options and to ease the pressure, and I swear to God I am thinking of looking for a quiet corridor.
Lucky for me this station is near to the surface, and I race up the stairs and into the street. There's a pub. Thank God. The toilets are downstairs.... crap.... run run run, push open the door and horribly my bladder starts to relax as I sprint towards the urinal...not yet! not yet!
I have rarely felt so relaxed in my life.
I was really, really close to doing something that I haven't done for well over 20 years, which frankly would have been pretty embarrassing.
When was the last time you were this close? Please tell me it isn't just me?
(I'm not even mentioning that the same thing nearly happened to me again, a couple of months later... in the car...stuck in traffic...looking for a carpark... but you don't need to hear that story.)
It's common, right?
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