It was my 40th birthday. I had to work all day at some apartments I owned. I push mowed the entire acre grounds and then painted number four’s nicotine-stained living room walls. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that being a landlord is glamorous. Not even if that someone is Suze Orman.
But I digress. Like I said it was my birthday and I was working and I was sweaty and stinky and cranky. When I got home there was a cake pan on my porch swing with a note that read simply, “Enjoy!” I looked in the pan and saw something yummy and chocolately. One of my neighbors had made me brownies for my birthday! How sweet! Things were definitely looking up.
I gulped down a brownie because I hadn’t eaten all day and I was ravenous. Then I took a shower and changed clothes. After all that, I sat in the kitchen and waited for my girlfriend to come home from where ever she was so we could go to the local watering hole and meet a few friends. I’m not big on drinking, but I was thinking I might tip a few tonight. After all, you only turn 40 once, right?
I ate three more brownies while waiting for my girlfriend. (who shall remain nameless because I don’t like her now.) By the time GF arrived I was sitting in the dark, giggling at… well, I don’t know what. GF saw the cake pan of brownies and asked, “Where’d you get the half pan of brownies?”
“It’s not a half-pan. I mean, it is now, but it wasn’t to begin with,” I said.
“You ate all that by yourself?” she asked. “It’s half empty!”
“I prefer to think of it as half full,” I said.
She looked at me weird and cut herself a brownie. She took a bite. “Wow,” she said. “These taste really potent.”
“What do you mean potent?”
“I mean, they’re Alice’s brownies,” she said.
“As in Alice B. Toklas,” she said. “Gertrude’s Alice. She was always making pot brownies.”
“They have pot in them?” I gasped.
An hour later we were at Granny’s, the local bar, surrounded by friends. I watched everyone as they drank and talked and laughed. They were very scary-looking. Their faces seemed to be made of elastic. When they smiled they had too many teeth. It reminded me of silly putty after you moosh it on a cartoon then stretch it out. Their necks were as tiny as toothpicks. How did they mange to keep their giant stretchy heads balanced on their tiny toothpick necks? They were sucking up all the oxygen in the room. I couldn’t breathe.
I stood. Everyone in the entire bar turned their wibbly wobbly heads and stared at me. They whispered behind their hands. I had to leave. I had to leave before they sucked up all the air.
I weaved my way to the ladies room and closed myself in the first stall that was unoccupied. The air in the bathroom tasted horrible. I suddenly bent over the toilet and heaved. I spewed chocolate into the bowl.
I vomited for a long long long long time. And when I stopped vomiting, I cried.
There was a rappity-rap-rap on the stall door. “Who’s there?” I called out in a fake cheery voice.
“It’s Linda. Are you okay?”
“I think I shit my pants,” I whispered through the crack in the door.
“For real?” she asked.
“Yes. I didn’t have to poop when I got here. At least I didn’t think I did. But with the force of the heaving and vomiting, I think it just kinda happened on its own free will.”
“Oh,” she said.
“Listen, Linda. You don’t have to be in here with me. You didn’t sign up to be babysitting a 40 year-old woman who shit her drawers,” I said. “You can leave. I won’t be mad.”
“Okay,” she said. I heard the door open and shut.
“Linda? You still there?”
No answer. She was gone. Talk about fair-weather friends.
I waited a few minutes and left the bathroom. I weaved and tripped and stumbled and eventually found myself in front of microphone. I looked around. I was standing on a stage. Four men sat at a table in front of me. They were wearing kilts.
“Sing Proud Mary!” one of the men bellowed in a thick Scottish accent.
“Yeah!” Everybody in the whole bar shouted. “Proud Mary!” Some people stomped their feet. Others pounded their fists on the table.
I leaned in to the mike – it squawked! – I backed up a tiny bit and said, “I ate half a pan of Alice brownies and threw up and crapped my pants. I’m also forty years old today.”
One of the kilted men stood and toasted with his mug, “Happy birthday to Miss Poopy Pants!” The bar went wild, toasting and drinking and singing Happy Birthday.
After the song, I said into the mike, “Thank you, my strange elastic friends with big heads. I am now going to walk home while I am still ambulatory.”
And that’s all I remember.
I woke up the next day in my front yard still wearing the same clothes as the night before. I let myself into my house and went to the bathroom. I was relieved to find out that I had not pooped my pants after all.
The moral of this story is: As you age (and you will), sometimes the best thing that happens to you is that you didn’t shit your pants.
Coming September 9th!