Friday, June 08, 2012

Driving on the Peeway

Yesterday afternoon we left LA (alas) to come down to Orange County to visit my husband's family. Now I've been going on and on about how much I love Los Angeles and yesterday I learned that that was because I'd never been stuck in rush hour traffic on the 405.

To say the least, we didn't exactly plan our departure time well and things didn't go as we'd hoped. I have no idea what we were thinking. Clearly we weren't thinking at all.

Less than five minutes into the trip we hit a massive standstill. The freeway was a parking lot. A hot, dusty, smoggy parking lot. In hell. Irritable drivers laid on their horns. Air brakes on tractor trailers wheezed and whined and naturally we were stuck next to a pick-up blaring that Mexican music that sounds like polka.

The evil toddler that has replace Baby Lawns on this trip began to scream and beg to get out of her carseat. We played Small World for her on a loop until I swore blood leaked from my ears. We pointed out billboards and trucks and whatever we thought in our hopeless state might possibly interest her and get her to forget her incessant complaining and howl of "Moooommmmmyyyyyyy."

I can recall only a few other times I've been so miserable. Could it get any worse I wondered.

Of course. I had to pee.

I had to pee and we were in gridlock in the HOV lane. We couldn't move to get off the highway and even if we did the closest exit led into a neighborhood I'd seen on one of those terrifying shows they have on MSNBC on the weekends about gang violence.

There was nowhere to pee.

I decided to be patient although I was near hysterical in my mind. My kidneys cramped and I was pretty sure my bladder was about to rupture and I cursed the Starbucks tea I'd had earlier.

Just when the pain got so bad that I was honestly about to open the car door, walk out onto the freeway in broad daylight, rip off my jeans and let go right on the asphalt, I had a stroke of genius. Or insanity, but all geniuses are a little nuts, right?

Remember that astronaut that went off the rails a few years back and drove over night to go kill her ex lover's new girlfriend? Remember the big to do about that story was that she'd worn a diaper so she wouldn't have to stop?

I thought of her.

Then I looked at the baby who never had to worry about finding a restroom. Why? Diapers.

And I had plenty of them at arm's reach.

Was it possible? Could I pee in a diaper in a car in LA rush hour traffic on the freeway? Would it work? There was one way to find out.

The diapers were a little small. I couldn't put one on. I'd have to more so pee ON the diaper rather than wear it. It seemed a bit weird. I was kind of disturbed by the whole thing to tell you the truth but look, I had to pee so badly that my eyeballs were practically yellow. Desperate times people. I could attempt peeing in a diaper or I could end up peeing my pants and destroying the rental car.

The diaper won out.

I climbed into the backseat, shimmied out of my jeans and grabbed some diapers from the baby's bag. Once splayed open before me, the diaper looked troublingly small. I had second thoughts. My kidneys throbbed.

I took a chance and went for it.

"Are you tweeting this?" my husband asked.

I scowled.

"You're going to write about this aren't you? Are you doing this so you can write about it?" he suspected.

I wanted to gouge out his eyes. Sometimes my husband gets on my nerves and this was one of those times.

"No! I'm doing it because I have to pee so badly that I need dialysis and because my other two options are to A. Piss my pants in the rental car or B. pop a squat on the 405," I said.

He offered to snake through the traffic to the exit.

"No," I said, " it would take an hour to go fifty feet and I don't want to hover over a dirty bowl in a bullet riddled Carl's Jr. over there in New Jack City, thank you very much."

So I peed on a diaper. Three diapers to be exact. Apparently I pee a lot more than my child because about ten seconds in the diaper began to swell like it does when the baby goes in the pool and I didn't want a 35 pound pee bomb leaking in the rental or exploding urine soaked jelly balls all over the place.

A convenient box of baby wipes helped complete the adventure and when it was over I felt about a bazillion times better.

The traffic didn't improve. It took us three hours to get to Newport Beach where we got off and took PCH to Laguna to see the sunset and run on the sand which we all needed after that drive.

Chips and guac. Margaritas. Roses blooming on the cliffs. A line of dolphins in the distant kelp. All's well that ends well as Ma Ingalls used to say.

So what'd you do on your vacation Vic?

The usual. You know. Shopped in Beverly Hills, played in the Pacific, peed in a diaper.


Anonymous said...

OMG, that's hilarious! I feel bad for you though, I've had to pee so bad at times, with nowhere to stop. Hmmm, maybe I should carry diapers in the car...the kid is out of the diaper stage here, but...

Melanie said...

I feel your pain! I got stuck on I-635 one time when there was a chemical spill up ahead and the freeway was totally shut down. There wasn't any "creeping along" -- it was nothing less than a parking lot. People cut their engines in order not to run out of gas! And, wouldn't you know it, I had just polished off a 32-oz bottle of water prior to getting in the car. My story ended differently than yours, but I hear you loud and clear when you say that you felt a bazillion times better after it was over! LOL!

Jackie said...

I haven't laughed this hard in years! Seriously. SOOOOO funny!!!!

Tooter said...

Just what the doctor ordered.

Anonymous said...

You are ingenius. Good thinking! My only question is what was Baby Lawn's reaction?

Diary of Why said...

Oh my god. Thank you for sharing this with us! Ha!

Joyce Patton said...

I live right off the 405 at Euclid (Fountain Valley) and I swear you could have used my facilities! ;-) Seriously though, that's one funny story... I've had to go badly, but never used a diaper!

Anonymous said...

That is crazy and a very smart solution. CA

Anonymous said...

Great story. What did your daughter have to say about this?

The title should be LA is a Great Big Peeway (which will now be stuck in my head for the rest of the day).

Anonymous said...

I was using a Swiffer wetjet at my dad's house the other day and I swear the cleaning pad thingy is just a rectangular diaper. They should market them as Swiffer Highway Emergency Pads.

Head Ant said...

We usually have fast food cups that have worked in a pinch...

Dawn said...

Awesome story! I bet Crazy Astronaut Lady has inspired many a desperate traveler.

There is no better feeling than peeing when you really have to. I am in Paris this week, and I have had more than one traumatic restroom situation already.

sadi said...

I once had to use a popcorn bucket in the back of my then boyfriend's van when the drive in theater closed the restrooms early. I ended up marrying him and he still teases me about it after all these years!

jenjellybeans said...

I, too, have peed in a diaper. The baby and I were doing the 4 hour drive to my parents' house without my husband. Three hours in, and I was about to explode. My daughter was asleep, and there was no way I was waking her up just so I could pee in a gas station bathroom. So I pulled over, climbed in back, and made use of a size 3 Huggies diaper. And when we got to my parents' house, I snuck it into the outside garbage. I did not share this story with my parents. I did, however, share it with my sisters, because we're gross.

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I was stuck in the passenger's seat leaving VA Beach and highway traffic stopped as we were crossing an overpass. Like, FOREVER. Unfortunately, I had consumed several large caps of coffee beforehand. I waited, like you, until I thought I would burst. I was miserable. I finally squatted down on the floorboard and pissed into a McDonald's coffee cup. The problem was, I filled it, and there was more that I needed to get out. I cracked the car door and poured my pee onto the highway. Then I filled the cup again. My sister, who was driving, had only one remark, "Damn, sis, those Kegels really pay off."

jaybee77 said...

I've just had to do the same thing & I found your story after a Google. I've just done a 4 hr drive from the county to Melbourne airport to pick up my friend & daughter. I've done the drive with my toddler from hell who screamed almost the whole way. I'm exhausted so I got myself a grande latte for the trip. Got to short term parking at the airport, the baby is finally asleep & I find out the flight is delayed so I'm going to be here at least an hour and a half. I'm absolutely busting. No way I can walk to a loo even if I was game enough to wake the child. I know all about crazy astronaut lady, my daughter brought home a reader from school which featured her so I jotted down the url of the Wikipedia article below her photo. Anyhoo, I too resorted to the nappy. Thats what we call them in Australia. It worked. But it was horrible. Hopefully never again. I'm glad I'm not alone.

Amy said...

I used a beach towel once when I was in college. My friend and I were coming back from the shore (she was driving), we were stuck in traffic and I had to pee very, very badly. I didn't want to squat on the side of the highway, and the only thing I could think of was peeing into our beach towels as they were fairly dry and likely absorbent. My friend understood my dire need and told me to do it. So I peed into two beach towels in front of my friend. Yes, I sure felt a bazillion times better after that pee!

Another story (since a similar one was mentioned): When my son was 6 he had to pee during a long trip but there weren't any easy to get to restrooms. He said he couldn't wait any longer. I gave him a cup to use as it was an emergency situation. He wasn't kidding, wow did he pee a lot into that cup.

I enjoyed your story and glad to know that I'm not the only one who has had an awkward bathroom situation. It can be so difficult when you are stuck in traffic and need to urinate... somewhere, anywhere... to get relief.

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