The famous crapmobile

This entry will be a little different from most of the others in our story, but it’s such a “moving” story, and one previously unwritten, that I thought it might be appreciated here. It occurs during our tenure in Garland, Texas, and it happened on an ordinary day.

Kevin Wieser and I had left the church in separate cars, heading for our favorite eating establishment – Uncle Wings. This incredible dinery was deceptively named, for it was not a KFC competitor. Uncle Wing was a Chinese buffet restaurant, nestled into the corner of a small strip mall less than a mile and a half from the church.

It was part of our daily routine to eat together and usually consisted of the normal..

“So where do you want to eat?”

“I don’t know. Where do you want to eat?”

Insert a long list of suggested restaurants, including Grandy’s, Chili’s, Black-Eyed Pea, Wendy’s, Golden Corral, etc. Finally, one of us would hit on one each of us felt like stuffing our stomachs in, and away we’d go.

However, on this particularly fine day, we had taken separate cars – Kevin in his maroon Nissan something-or-other, and me in my mighty fine roadster, a 1991 red Geo Metro. If I played my cards right, I could almost shift into fourth gear between stoplights on the way to Uncle Wings.

I was never really that self-conscious about this car until after this day.

We ate and bantered back and forth about fantasy football, church and the dream of DJ-ing a morning comedy radio show together. We are still rather funny (to us) when we’re together, and we had dreams of blessing the entire metroplex of DFW with our wit.

We concluded our meal, and I jumped back into the Metro for the obligatory, testosterone-induced drag race down Avenue B to see who would make it back to the church first.

I had barely shifted into third when my… (At this point, I’d advise the squeamish and mothers with small children reading over their shoulder to please be ready to minimize the screen) stomach made a strange, rumble-gurgling noise. It was almost immediately accompanied by an intense discomfort immediately behind my belt.

I’m sure I turned pale, and I can distinctly remember saying, “Whoa.”

I have an affectionate term for stomach cramps that lead to power dumping (yes, this is the screen minimization part). I call them “crap waves.” I don’t know how else to describe them, but in random conversations (with both men and women) over the years, I’ve discovered that I am not alone in this experience. Others have their own terms for these gut-knuckling, forehead-sweating, on-and-off grips of bowel pain that precede a hasty trip to the toilet where one remains until a significant amount of groaning and unusual noise takes place over a period of time. (Is that a bland enough description?)

Anyway, this sudden bowel concert concerned me greatly. I knew what it hinted at, and I was in the middle of post-lunch traffic on one of the busiest streets of Garland. And I was driving. Not good.

Well, I instantly formulated my strategy: Intermittent relief by controlled farting. I felt I could make it to a bathroom in the church (somewhere high on the third, unused floor at this time of day) if I could just let out a couple of relief-producing farts. With that thought, I slowly leaned to one side to aide in the gas passing, and… the explosion happened.

I don’t know how to say this delicately… I pooped my pants. Bad. The runny, voluminous kind.

I’m sure I uttered a completely appropriate expletive and regardless of the traffic danger, veered to the far lane, and made a quick block so that I was heading toward home in less than 15 seconds.

I drove the next five minutes to home with my left leg straight as a rod, jammed against my floorboard to keep my heinie elevated above my seat. I didn’t want to mar the Metro’s fine linen upholstery.

Upon arriving at our house at breakneck speed, I envisioned doing a General Lee slide into the curb in front of my house until I saw our neighbor out mowing his yard. I had to settle for a nonchalant parking job and then exited the car as normally as I could, walking slowly up to the house so that I would not attract attention to myself.

I thought I had done rather well, until I stepped soggily into our bathroom and looked at my pants over my shoulder in the bathroom mirror. They were brown. So was my shirt about a foot up my back! I realized that my cool, “No-I-haven’t-just-crapped-on-myself-it’s-your-imagination” walk up our front sidewalk had been a farce. I was a walking, gushing advertisement for laxatives.

Anyway, I threw those clothes away in a trash bag and took a long shower. Eeeeew. I still get chills thinking about it all.

I finally got changed and headed back out to the car, thinking the ordeal was over. I was going to be late for staff meeting at this rate. When I opened the car door, the smell hit me… Then I saw it. My entire seat was stained brown – and it was damp.

I spent the next half-hour cleaning my car up. Thank goodness my neighbor had gone inside. (He was probably calling his friends and describing my Cool Crap Walk to them.)

When I finally made it back to church – late for staff meeting – Kevin looked at me quizzically and whispered, “Where did you go?”

I refrained in embarrassment from saying, “In my pants,” and sat silently through most of that meeting, pondering the betrayal of my bowels.

It was at least a couple of days before I could bring myself to go back to Uncle Wings…. and my Metro finally sold later (not because we were trying to get rid of it or anything…). We didn’t tell the buyer that it had become affectionately named the Crapmobile.

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