Tuesday, February 12, 2008

One dark night on the Kansas Turnpike...

On December 29th, 2005, I found myself driving back to Austin from my hometown of La Crescent, Minnesota. I left at about a quarter of 11:00 and fought through about 90 miles of dense fog at 40 miles an hour. I followed up the fog with a stop at the Taco John's in the truck stop on I-35 in Clear Lake, Iowa, where I bought enough Potato Ole's to kill a medium-sized goat. I pushed on through Iowa and Missouri, took a small detour to the Taco John's on Kansas Avenue in Bonner Springs, Kansas (where just one week earlier, I had called ahead from just outside of Gardner and bribed the workers to stay open until I got there), and meandered my way back to I-35 through Bonner Springs and Olathe.

As I was passing through Emporia, about to get on the limited exit Kansas Turnpike, I felt a rumblin' in my stomach. Not to be deterred from pressing on through the night, I kept on driving. No looking back. Well, about ten miles past Emporia--and twenty miles to the next oasis--my bowels let forth a mighty roar. A roar so strong that a sizeable chunk of refuse came jumping out when the door was opened.

Sitting behind the wheel, unable to move for fear of the feces soaking its way through my boxers into the pair of pants that I would no doubt be free-balling in shortly, I remained frozen but for my arms directing the car to stay between the line and the concrete median.

Now, if you've ever taken the Kansas Turnpike south from Emporia towards Wichita, you know that it is separated almost entirely by a three-foot concrete median which prohibits police from turning around and there's very little traffic on that stretch of highway anyway, so if you come across a vehicle with suspect headlights, you can slow down pretty easily. Needless to say, I averaged about 100 miles an hour while hurtling towards the next oasis, slowing only a few times for fear of getting pulled over.

As I pulled off the highway into the parking lot, I scanned for the closest spot to the door between the McDonald's and the gas station on each side, knowing that the bathrooms lay just within that door from having been there a few times.

I opened the car door and got out gingerly, making sure to squeeze my cheeks so as to prevent any unwanted movement of the package I was about to specially deliver.

Duckwalking into the bathroom, I rushed into the nearest stall without neighbors on either side, unbuckled my belt, and--leaning ass over the toilet--took my pants down carefully.

As I looked down, assaying the damage done by my bowel's insubordination, I was shocked to find that there was nothing there. Quizically, I kept examining my pants, sure that there was something I had missed. I stood up; checked the toilet. Nothing there. Looked around the floor near the base of the toilet. Still nothing. Shook out my pant legs. Nothing.

I took care of business, drew my pants back up, gathered my druthers, and went back into the world, having not actually shit myself.

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