Monday, June 23, 2008

Cranberry Juice

Bright and early last Thursday morning I was on a yellow schoolbus, second seat back from the driver, sitting with a little girl who was throwing me vague "you're a stranger, don't you dare offer me candy" looks.

I had meant to sit with my own son in the middle of the bus but his little friend stole my seat. This same friend also attempted to spray his entire suitcase of clothing with bugspray in my tent. We were on an overnight trip...why did he bring four shirts and two more pair of pants, all of which he wanted thoroughly coated with DEET? I made him stop after one shirt which I refused to allow him to hang in the tent to dry.

Because I was prepared to be a mindful chaperone, I did my part in making sure every one of them cute screaming buggers had gone to the restroom before we'd gotten on the bus. We weren't stopping for a potty break for two hours and no one had broken into their snacks yet to supply empty bottles. Even I went because I like to set a good example for the young folks. We all boarded the bus with empty bladders and dry armpits.

After thirty miles of the wheels on the bus going round and round in the Nevada desert, I was sweating and I had to go.

Ten more miles of bumpiness and I really had to go.

Another ten and my eyeballs were yellowing.

When we passed the road sign declaring that our potty stop was a mere 60 miles away I started to sing "99 bottles of beer" silently in my head.

I have a 33 year old, thrice pregnant, woman's bladder...alrighty folks? It has it's limitations and I discovered that a schoolbus is one of them.

I could have asked the bus driver to stop and he would have too. No one would have been upset since I had taken the prerequisite squat before we left...however...we hadn't passed a tree for sixty miles. Not a tree, not a big rock, not an abandoned house or a shed or a car or a bush or even a larger than average roadsign. There was nothing at all to crouch behind to relieve my bladder until we got to our destination. On the salt flats you can see for miles and miles and miles because they are the salt FLATS.

I debated in my mind, between bottles 84 and 46 how truely embarrassing it would be to have my son's teachers and my husband's colleagues hold a blanket up by the side of the road so I could pee behind it. Not only did I consider my embarrassment, but that of my 9 year old son's. Hey, isn't that the kid whose Mom took a piss by the bus tire? Heh, yeah, what a dork!

Had it been just me and family, I would have just pulled over and wet the sagebrush.

Debate over. I'd just have to hold it. Legs crossed, fingernails digging into my palms. 45 bottles of beer....

I have never been so glad to see the town of Ely, Nevada in my life. I was also never so glad to be sitting in the second seat behind the driver on the bus. Preparing myself as the bus parked, I steeled my will so I could stand and then walk the twenty feet to the gas station without wetting myself. There was no point in holding it in that long if I was going to fail at the last moment.

When I finally sat on that gas station toilet I felt triumphant. 16 bottes of beer.

Then I spent the next few moments convincing my bladder that it could relax. I did manage it though, through a loud sigh and bottles 15 through 6.

Now it's Monday and the field trip was a sweaty success, but between straining my bladder and the bleeding hot bus dehydration, I've developed a urinary tract infection. Either that or the bus ride has knocked yet another one of my kidney stones loose. Both are such a hoot.



  1. Ooooo! Deep sympathies woman! I applaud your reasoning vis a vis the nine year old angst of being the one with THAT mother. I woulda done the same @^%$ thing.

  2. Unfortunately, I saw that UTI line coming. The things we do for our kids....

  3. Do you remember those ads about the pause that refreshes? Now you know the REAL pause that refreshes. Kind of makes one wonder what the person who thought up that one was doing at the time of his/her inspiration.

  4. lmao, ok this is one of your funnier blogs, sorry that its you we are sort of laughing at though. Of course our laughter all DEPENDS on your vivid description.

    Next time you might consider sitting in the back of the bus, rolled down the window and peeing out the window. The kids might not even see u, however the bus behind yours would have a good view and evidence on the windshield afterwards!



Absent Minded Archives