Day 339: A Near Overdose of Humility

I peed my pants at a gymnastics training facility yesterday. I didn’t pee my pants so much as I peed into my pants. Maybe that’s not a clear enough distinction. I didn’t have my pants on when I peed into them. Well, I guess, technically, I did have them on, but they were down at my ankles. This sounds terrible. I was in the bathroom of the gymnastics facility sitting on the toilet with my pants down around my ankles. On Sundays, they turn it into a kid’s play Mecca for 2 hours. Wow, I really don’t know how to tell a story do I?

I was playing A-Breaker on my iPhone as I began to urinate. I should have been paying more attention, but I was near completion of a very difficult level which I had been stuck on for days. It wasn’t until I was almost done (with the peeing, not the level. I’m still stuck on that actually) that I realized the sound wasn’t quite right. The sound of urine striking porcelain from a couple inches away is the principle indicator to men that we’re aiming correctly. When standing, we establish a visual on the target, but while sitting, I think most of us just trust our ears and our guts that we’re hitting the toilet. It’s no surprise, then, that when I heard the unmistakable sound of liquid splashing against denim, I froze.

I hope there was a hidden camera in the bathroom recording me on the toilet staring intently at my phone, carefully maneuvering my index finger around it’s screen, while,  for a solid 5 seconds,  an arc of urine was landing squarely in the interior seat of my jeans.

Here’s something I learned yesterday: When they’re around my ankles, my jeans make a pretty decent bowl.

I knew I had to stay calm and not make any sudden movements, else the shimmering pool in my inverted jean seat would spread to the leg and possibly down to my socks. At the same time, I was acutely aware there was some significant soakage happening. I had to act, but carefully. First I had to put my phone somewhere. I was wearing a t-shirt, so there was no breast pocket and I couldn’t use my jeans pocket for fear of disturbing the koi pond in my pants. I had to hold my phone in my mouth. With it placed gingerly between my teeth so as not to scratch the screen, I unrolled about 15 feet of toilet paper, wadded it into a softball sized sponge and dipped it slowly into the standing pool. It became saturated far more quickly than I anticipated, leaving me holding a soggy ball which I dropped between my legs into the toilet.

I was ready to do some blotting. I couldn’t stand up yet, because my jeans were still too wet; unfurling them would only cause the saturation to spread. With my phone back in my mouth (I’d taken it out to catch my breath and swallow), I made another TP softball to press and rub against the 8 to 10 inch diameter circle of pee. I should have probably mentioned earlier that my jeans were  light colored, making any wetness very visible. Instead of soaking up any remaining liquid, the TP ball left trails and clumps of damp lint. My only move was to stand up and walk out of the stall.

I didn’t realize the extent of the damage until I pulled my pants up. The back was soaked from my belt down to the upper thigh area. I was hoping there might be an Xcelerator hand dryer that I could stick my ass under, but alas, I was at a gymnastics training center, not a Thai fusion restaurant. I used some hand towels with only minimal success. So I took a deep breath, pulled my shirt down as far as I could, and walked back into the room packed with parents and children.

It’s lonely walking into a large room full of people who have no idea of the ordeal you just suffered. I wanted everyone to immediately stop and look at me with understanding eyes; eyes that said, “Sweetie, did you pee your pants?” They were all parents, so that type of empathy wouldn’t be foreign. Unfortunately the world doesn’t revolved around my humiliating mistakes. I wandered through the crowd, found my wife and told her about the mishap. She had a healthy laugh and said, “Oh wow. Yea, that’s pretty bad. Hopefully  it’ll dry soon. Just don’t sit down anywhere.” I wrote this to heal.

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

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