Often I have described events in this blog that involve the stupidity or embarrassment of others. My friend at the Riverdale Farm can attest to that.
But the time has come to take one squarely on the chin.
My immoderate bowel has reached legendary status among my peer group. Close calls in Walmarts and fleet-footed flights from A to B have been the food to fuel many many stories in the past; that is why, when going against my older brother's advice while at Price Club to purchase the jumbo pack of Imodium, I inadvertently set a course for disaster of Germanic proportions.
The victims of today's tale are myself, a legion of school children, and good taste.
But the first step in a good colon-related story is admitting that you have a problem.
Morning came, but I hesitated to greet Her with my usual song and dance routine to Billy Joel's 'Uptown Girl'. Contorting uncomfortably in bed, my body was telling me that the dinner I ate the night before was going down with more drama than the Soviet K-19 Widowmaker.
The morning passed like rolling thunder--noisy and foreboding--but I was determined to make an appointment that I had been eagerly anticipating.
The streetcar is not a place to 'ride out' a colonic storm; the stifling recirculated air is, in many ways, a hard way to keep the aforementioned storm a private pain. The experience of traveling from Broadview and Gerrard to King and Simcoe gave me new sympathy for others who have been forced to live their private pains in the public eye: Ben and Jen, David and Liza, me and Swiss Chalet.
But something changed when the streetcar approached King and Simcoe, deep within, that led me to pull the bell chain a little harder than needed. A quiet anxiety that had been building within me from the moment my foot touched the sidewalk outside our home was coming to a boil.
Hundreds of school children happened to be gathering at Roy Thompson Hall that day, yellow buses constipating movement around the concert venue, much to my chagrin.
Acting like nothing big was up, I casually deboarded the streetcar and glided into the streetcar shelter. My brother, I thought, must be called and employed as a secretary on my behalf. He'll call the producers I was to see and tell them that the "chefs" at Swiss Chalet were sons of bitches and I was unable to hold my appointment. Or something to that effect.
Just as our cell phones connected, Fate dealt the final, humbling blow.
All my brother heard on the line was a tremendous heave, followed by a mighty splash of vomit, then legions of children screaming and fleeing the scene. In desperation I tried to answer his cries of "Tell me where you are! I'll come for you!" but my body was busying itself with the manufacture of unsavory orange and chicken flavoured snow cones.
The next recollection I have is scornful looks from school teachers, teary-eyed fear from a random collection of school children huddled as close to the crosswalk as possible, and my brother heroically placing me in the passenger seat of his Vibe.
Nothing puts life in perspective like vomiting in public. Trust me.
If I had children, I would have gone home and hugged them.
But I don't.
So I watched a movie and went to sleep.