I Never Ate the Sandwich


Friday was an epic day.

I had two meetings for Drunk Monkeys, one at 2:00 and one at 2:30. Jen asked me to meet her at a coffee shop at 1:30 so we could prep a couple things before the meetings, since we didn't know what to expect. Earlier in the day, I had eaten breakfast, but when it was approaching time to go, I wasn't hungry. Fuzzy encouraged that I have a snack, so I had an apple. My meetings were going to be short, though, and I was going to be home pretty early, and I also had early 6:00 dinner plans. I was going to be fine.

Once I arrived at the coffee shop, I ordered a tea. I had already had coffee that day, but I didn't want to sit there having not purchased anything. I sat there sipping tea and waiting, when Jen texted that she was running late. I decided to go sit in my car. Never being one to pass up a public restroom, I went to the bathroom, and then went to my car to await her arrival, me and my tea.

Jen arrived at 1:55, and we went to the first meeting. It was awesome. Plans were made. And as anyone who loves the art of alcohol is wont to do, the bartender we were meeting with pulled out an amazing rum and a delicious green chartreuse to try. Tall pours, too. We split them, thanked him, and said our goodbyes. We had to get to the next meeting.

On the way to the car, we talked about how unexpected the impromptu tasting was, and Jen even noted that she was going to have to fake her way through the next meeting cause she was a bit buzzed. Since I had not had lunch, I felt the sips more than I normally would have, but I knew I was still ok. Fortunately, the next meeting was only a 5 minute drive away.

The next meeting was also awesome. We got a tour of a facility, a history of distilling and so much information that was mind-blowing. We were there for a long time, and we loved every second of it. Just when we were about to make a date for a filming, our host says "have a seat, so you can try some things." How could we object?

Looking back, I think we tried 13-15 different things (whiskeys, liquors, etc), small pours, but these were some hearty products. I knew was driving, so I pounded 3 glasses of water while doing the tastings.  It got to a point where I had to start being smart--I didn't want to turn anything down, but it was a lot of booze on an empty stomach. We said our goodbyes, hoping that we didn't make too big a fools out of ourselves. I had to pee, but decided not to ask to use their restroom, for some prideful and stupid reason.

We left, and Jen smartly determined that we needed to eat some food. We found a little coffee shop in the industrial park where we were, and I ordered a croissant and a glass of water. I asked if I could use their restroom. They said no. Weird, it being a coffee shop and all, but whatever, I was doing ok. There were others in the room when I asked, so I thought that maybe once we were the only ones there, they would make an exception for me. We talked for a while, but I realized that I wasn't paying any attention to Jen due to the rising urges in my bladder, and I also realized that there was a constant stream of people in this oasis in no-mans land. Finally, I couldn't wait any longer. I asked the barista where the closest restroom was. She didn't know. I asked again if I could use their bathroom. She said no. I looked at Jen and said "We gotta go!!" I practically ran to the car, and was miserable until I was able to find a grocery store, thankfully. Grocery stores always have a public restroom and this one was my saving grace. Crisis averted. It was 4:15.

I gave Jen a ride home, and traffic was terrible. I got her home a little before 5:00, and I looked at my GPS and the restaurant I was meeting my friend at at 6:00 was 48 minutes away. After chatting for a second, I told her that I had to go, cause I already had to pee again and I was going to swing home before heading to the southside. Remember, I had been binge drinking water and booze for 3 hours at this point. She invited me up to use hers--perfect! Then I would be able to head straight to the south and all will be well. Jen saved the day!

Instead of hitting the road right that minute, I decided to call Fuzzy and talk to him for about 10ish minutes before hitting the road. Once I got moving, I was squarely in 5:00 bumper to bumper traffic. I was driving down Foster when the feeling hit me again--my bladder was calling. I started thinking about my options--if I went home, I would be late. Do I call Noah and see if he is home? Ah! There is a McDonalds at Foster and Sheridan! And a grocery store across the street! Options! Perfect. I was going to be fine. As I approached the McDonalds, I saw that it was closed and under construction. Due to the lane I was in, and the oncoming traffic and the changing traffic light, I panicked and found myself suddenly on Lake Shore Drive, 11 miles from my destination. In 5:00 traffic. ETERNITY from my destination.

I made a series of bad decisions. I know there are gas stations off of many exits on Lake Shore Drive, but not every gas station in Chicago has public bathrooms. In fact, most don't. I zoomed passed Lawrence, I thought about Gill Park at Irving Park, but yet, drove past that. Belmont--what's there? Too late. Fullerton--time is running out cause once you are downtown you are screwed, North? Pipers Alley didn't ONCE pop into my mind. Til suddenly, I found myself on the outer of 4 lanes downtown. I was miserable and I thought I was going to pee in my pants. You don't think clearly when you are in that situation. I realized that I had passed Fuzzy's old office, which I know has a public bathroom. I started shaking. I went into crisis-prevention mode: If I couldn't get to a bathroom, what is my last ditch effort? I know!

I had had tea earlier! There is a cup in my car! I could pee in the cup! I'm a pro at peeing in cups--I've had kidney stones for years! I can do this!

Traffic slowed for a second, and I opened my car door and poured out the remaining tea that was in the cup. I didn't WANT to pee in a cup in my car while driving, but I was starting to think there was no alternative. I started wondering how I could do it: I took off my coat so I could put it over my lap so no one would see. I unbuttoned my pants. I looked in my rear-view mirror; would that guy behind me know I was peeing in a cup in the car? I looked to my left--would THAT guy know I was peeing in a cup in the car? If HE was peeing in a cup in his car, would I know? I decided to test it to see if it would work. I tipped the cup near my groin to see if it would be possible to fit the cup in my sadly-too-tight jeans. Suddenly, I felt a cold wet sensation on my lap. Did I pee myself? No, thank God--there was still a little bit of tea in the cup! And now it was now poured all over my crotch in a way that looks like I just actually DID wet myself.  To add insult to injury, I realized that there was no way that the cup was going to fit inside my pants. I tried to rip some of the height of the cup off. I was unsuccessful. I was miserable.

Reminder: All of this was being done while I was driving.

Things were looking grim. I was just about to accept that I was going to pee in the seat of my new-to-me car, and I would have to call my friend and cancel. My friend that I was supposed to meet in about 5 minutes. I looked at my phone--6.8 miles away. There was no way I could make that, even though I knew that traffic was going to lighten up past Roosevelt. It was now or never. I was praying to not wet myself. I was praying to make it through each second.

I was first in line at the light at Balbo. I remembered that there is a Target on Roosevelt. I would go there. Success! The light turned green, and I punched the gas in the car so I could cut over 3 lanes of traffic to take the Roosevelt exit. Success! But once I was there, I realized that the Target was too far down. NO! I saw a beacon of light--a Subway! YES! I will turn left and go to Subway! Oh no! There is no parking! But alas! Right past it is a Jimmy Johns! With parking right in front! THIS IS MY MOMENT.

I pulled into the parking space. I buttoned up my pants and hopped out. I knew that there was no way that I was going to get a ticket in the 3 minutes I was going to be in the space, but I am a good citizen, so I paid for parking. Here in Chicago, you have to wait to get this little slip out of a machine to put on your dashboard, and when you are about to drip urine down your leg, that can take FOREVER. I got the slip, and then remembered that I have a giant pee-looking stain on my jeans. If I go walking into this fine business establishment, asking hurriedly for the bathroom with a giant pee stain on my pants, I was surely going to be denied service. So I got my coat and put it on after I was already out of the car. I was in such a rush, I put my coat on OVER my purse. Whatever, who cares. I went in, got directed to the bathroom, and finally was able to relieve my misery. GLORY.

In the bathroom stall, I was faced with a familiar cunundrum. Do I walk out confidently, head held high, thank them for the use of their facilities and breeze out the door, knowing I would never see them again? Or do I repay for their services by purchasing a sandwich? Having a small bladder and the aforementioned kidney stones, I have used many a public restroom in my life, with no intention of ever spending a dime. I'm a confident public urinater. So I decided that buying a sandwich would be silly, especially since I am trying to save money and I was on my way to dinner plans that I was currently late for. I would just waltz out. I took off my jacket, put my purse on the outside, and exited the bathroom. I made eye contact with the guy who directed me to the bathroom, and suddenly, I found myself non-chalantly browsing the sandwich options and ordering an italian sub, no big deal. Like an idiot.

From there, there was only about 5-7 minutes left in my epic journey to the South Side. I breezed through traffic, parked, and ran into the already crowded restaurant, where my friend was patiently waiting for me. I, on the other hand, was still frantic and trying to calm down-- I was shaking from trauma, hunger, and maybe even still a little hint of booze.  I tried to focus on the menu, ordered the first thing that I saw, and then launched into the tale of the most epic and ridiculous 4 hours of my life.

And then we ate chicken and waffles, celebrating that I didn't have to pee in a cup in my car.

I barely touched my water.


possibly the greatest story EVER. Ever.


You should be writing your life for TV!!!

Oh, baby! I hate having to pee and you were in a jam. I am glad you didn't have to pee in a cup!!!

You are awesome.

This is one of those times that men's plumbing is better suited to relieve oneself while driving!!!