Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

My body is entirely stretched out, duvet has slipped between my toes and there is hope in my heart as I awake on my day off, Friday the 24th March, you absolute beauty.
The sun is out, i’ve got exciting plans for the day and I am damned sure I am not going to miss a minute. So I jump out of bed. Literally, I propel myself across the room like a cork leaving a shaken bottle of bolly.
Suddenly black spots appear in front of my eyes and I’m walking like Mick Jagger with a hangover. I drop to my knees, culminating in a pile of limbs, pyjamas and confusion. I slowly return to verticality and get ready for the day. Extra time equals eggs for breakfast, curly hair and better than normal make up.
I make my way up the M40 singing Celine Dion with my full vocal capacity the entire way. Good god the Titanic theme is hard to perform with air con going, my tongue feels like stone! I get around half a mile from my friends place and I am still clicking and clacking my tongue around to try and promote some sort of moisture in my mouth. I down a big bottle of water and feel human once more.

I pull up into the car park. I am early but only by around 30 minutes and I need to park up pronto. My car is sounding weird, possibly due to it not being used to being driven for so long in the sunshine, possibly because I drive it weird, but something doesn’t feel right. I check my phone and the battery has gone from a suitable, but not ideal 20%, to a panic inducing 3%. Damn Snapchat! The light was so good, I couldn’t resist!
I park up. Bladder full to the brim, 2% battery and I quickly message her
I’M HERE BUT V LOW PHONE BATT – WILL WAIT FOR YOU IN CAR !!!!
I get a response immediately. A response far too instantaneous for someone driving a vehicle to come and save me. I swallow hard as I read the words before me.
Sorry! Only just leaving work, nav says 1hr 6 xx
What. The. Actual. It’s a bit late for kisses!
Jesus. Okay, what can I do, what can I do.
I need the toilet. I really, really need it. I contemplate driving to find somewhere to relieve myself (sounds ruder than it is) but my phone was acting as my sat nav. My friend’s new place is so new it isn’t recognised on my proper navigation system and I really don’t trust my sense of direction to explore a new town and find my way back without a phone or sat nav.
It’ll be okay I reassure myself.
It’ll be fine, I say unconvincingly.
I have to go.
I’m parked in the midst of an incredibly over looked new build car park. There is a grassy knoll to my right. Do I want to commit a crime on a grassy knoll? Urinating in public?
Some children appear on bikes seemingly not interested in this part of the car park, could I sneak out and have a wee behind a tree without them seeing and screaming?
No. It would be indecent exposure, urinating in public and inappropriate behaviour around a minor.
Absolutely not.
I need a plan b. Almost immediately, the kids disperse, like a.. a water sprinkler, spraying freely and flowing liberally.
God I need a wee.
The children disappear into their houses. It’s 5pm now so I’m imagining it’s their dinner time.
Perhaps I could knock on one of their doors and ask if I could use their loo?
I put myself in their shoes. Would I let me in for a spontaneous wee? Of course I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t open the door to a stranger let alone let them place their bare buttocks on my toilet seat.
Something has to happen. It’s making me feel sick. I feel like a human water cooler, ready to dispense at the slightest touch.
I have a eureka moment. I scurry out to the boot and get my screen wash bottle (particularly large opening at the top, ideal when lack of aim is on the agenda). I’ve torn a hole in a face wipe and put it around the opening of the bottle to create an absorbent and fresh smelling drip-catcher. I astound myself sometimes.
I leave a small amount of screen wash in the bottle to act as a disinfectant. I stand at the rear of the car and consider who will be able to see me if I do have to take a piss in the car.
Shall I get in the boot and do it in there? At least no one would see me. No one could judge me.
No.
Knowing my luck it’ll lock me in there and that’s how I’ll die;
Pants down, screen wash against my crotch, locked in a Vauxhall boot. My parents will think I was some sort of sex pervert.
Actually can you even open a boot from the inside? Oh god, I’d end up having to push the parcel shelf up and climb out the back like that girl from ‘The Ring’. Leg over shoulder, arm over ear , kicking over a bottle of piss and screen wash in the process. I disgust myself.
I return to the front of the car and get in behind the front passenger door. I use my chiffon scarf (ask your nan) as a skirt and take my jeans and pants off. I slide down onto my knees in the footwell and place the bottle in the desired position. At least if someone sees me now they might I’m praying?
That’s what I’m hoping anyway.
It’s all over. I’m empty. The bottle is almost half full (ever the optimist!)The faint whiff of watery wee and screen wash is eliminated by the lid being promptly and securely replaced. I redress just in time for the kids on bikes to re-assemble like The Avengers. 5.15pm. Must have been sausage, potato waffle, beans, DONE. Back out to play.
I’m then left to just sit there in the car, contemplating my actions and avoiding eye contact with the bottle and myself. I can’t look myself in the eye. How did it come to this? Is this where I saw myself at 27?
The shame.
Around 30 minutes later my friend arrives. She goes to hug me but I just don’t have the audacity to make her embrace a dirty creature like me. I warn her back and tell her the story.
Fiona, if this is the reason I hardly hear from you now I apologise.

The moral of this story? Always keep the empty screen wash bottle. You never know when you might need to urinate in it in the back of a Corsa in a West Midlands car park.

Sarah

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