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The Last Time I Peed My Pants

Pee Pants Sketch By S.K. Bentley

Life is short, and sometimes it goes by so quickly that you don’t know you are reaching Significant Milestones as you go through your day.

So when I peed my pants during the field trip to Mount Vernon in the third grade, I didn’t know that that would be the Last Urine of Bentley (at least until I get that “elderly incontinence” problem I’ve seen referenced in Whoopi Goldberg ads for “Poise” pads). No, I didn’t realize this until years later, when I thought, “Hmm, it’s been a while since I peed my pants.”

Had I known then, perhaps I would have thrown myself a party, or at least mournfully played “Taps” on the recorder, since I did not then, nor do I now know how to play the trumpet.

I was wearing red velour pants. I believe they were a little too short for me. Red velour floodwaters and a long-sleeve yellow shirt, an outfit that just screams “loss of bladder control en route to a historical landmark.”

Instead of taking school buses to Mount Vernon, we had a special treat: a ferry ride down … umm, some canal. Perhaps the B&O Canal? Let me check Google Maps and get back to you.

Huh, would you look at that? It’s the Potomac River. I should have known that.

But moving on.

I don’t remember the details of the day—what I had eaten or drunk, if I remembered to use the bathroom before climbing onto the ferry. What I do remember is that HOLY CRAP DID I NEED TO PEE. Like RIGHT THAT SECOND. I made my way down the narrow stairs to the bathrooms.

I should probably tell you now that I am not a hoverer when it comes to public restrooms. I do not hover. I do, however, lay down toilet paper over the seat so that I may sit without fear of contracting cooties.

I carefully laid one strip of paper down. Then, as I laid a second strip down on the other side of the toilet seat, the ferry rocked, knocking the first strip off. So back I went to the first side, laying down a new strip of toilet paper. The ferry rocked again, and the second sheet of toilet paper fluttered to the ground, mocking me.

You’d think this would have nudged me to switch hit and just hover the fuck already. But no. I kept trying one side, the other side, the first side again, as the ferry swayed back and forth. This is a maneuver I now like to think of as “Sisyphus’s Public Restroom.”

Eventually my bladder overrode my attempts to create a hygienic urinating environment, and I totally just pissed myself. Do you know how absorbent red velour is? It is quite absorbent. I stopped the flow immediately (I am somewhat of a Kegel prodigy), turned around, pulled my pants down, and let loose. I may have taken a second to tuck a sheet of toilet paper under the leg on the side of the seat that was unprotected.

Luckily, red velour highwater pants are enough of an atrocity that they hide a multitude of sins—and several tablespoons of urine. I actually remember nothing of Mount Vernon itself, or if I learned anything useful about George Washington. Basically the entirety of my thoughts that whole afternoon was, “Can anyone tell I peed my pants?”

Here endeth the lesson.

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