Friday, April 1, 2011

...It Happens!

Today I will share a laugh at my own expense - what the hell, it's Friday and I have neglected my little piece of cyberspace for too long!

Many years ago, on a gorgeous summer evening, my grandparents made the journey from the valley to the mountains where I lived for a weekend getaway. My boyfriend and I planned to meet them at a great steak restaurant we knew they would love, which was located in the village within walking distance of their hotel. It was a lakeside restaurant fashioned after a boathouse, and featured booths made from vintage wooden Chris Craft boat hulls. They served the best Surf and Turf on the mountain and we hadn't been out for a nice meal in a while. This was going to be a real treat.

The four of us dined on steak and seafood dishes and enjoyed a nice bottle of red wine. We took in the view of the lake and chatted about the novelties of living in a resort town. The restaurant was about half full, and as I looked out over the dining room I noticed a kind of haze, or was it the wine? No, it was definitely a haze, like the kind you see when they bring out a sizzling plate of fajitas; only they did not serve fajitas. Hmmm. Interesting.

After about thirty seconds, I noticed other people noticing the haze, which was starting to look a lot more like smoke, but no one seemed overly concerned about this. At this point, we were feeling fat and happy, what a fantastic meal that had been. We started thinking about getting the check and were still wondering what the deal was with the smoke.

Just as we started seriously looking around for someone to inquire about the possibility that there could be a fire in the kitchen, the hostess came walking briskly but calmly through the dining room to confirm there was indeed a fire and everyone needed to get the hell out! I mean she said that yes, we all needed to exit in a quick and orderly fashion.

While we did not waste any time in leaving, we were sort of wondering about how we were going to pay the check, but realized it might be a moot point in a few minutes. We stood outside on a nearby dock, as Gram was very curious to see what was going to go down. It quickly became clear that the situation was a bit more serious. Apparently, the fire started from a dirty grease trap (perfect) and soon there were big black clouds of smoke and fire billowing through the roof! It was time to move along.

As the four of us made our way to the stairs that led to the upper level of the village which was an outdoor shopping area, I felt a slight rumbling in my stomach. I didn't think much of it until about a minute later, as my grandparents discussed the possibility of dessert, when that slight rumble turned bona fide on me. I could feel the heat begin to rise and little beads of sweat began to form above my lip. My mind started racing at the realization that there were no restrooms nearby and not much time before the disaster in my gut would put me in a position of ultimate personal mortification (which almost rhymes with __________).

Now, I have always been amazed at how resourceful one can become when put into a situation that seems hopeless. I like to think of myself as a problem solver, but this was going to take some really fast thinking. I made an excuse to my boyfriend about going to check something out over yonder and maybe seeing if the ice cream shop was open.

Once I was a few feet away and knew they weren't looking, I broke into a full sprint, squeezing my cheeks with everything I had and heading for the only place I knew I might find some privacy. This was not going to be pretty or ladylike.

At the end of the village there was an open area with a big gazebo reserved for people getting married or having parties. It was situated at the lake's edge and surrounded by huge pine trees, whose branches came down pretty low. Thankfully, it was late and there was no one around, so after a quick look, I dropped my drawers and squatted down, praying for death. It was one of those situations where you're not quite sure which end this event will spring forth from, but you've got to be ready for both. As the sweat was coming down my forehead, I felt a giant rumble and then well, there was a situation.

Just as I was feeling relieved at not having messed up my pants, I realized there was nothing to wipe with. Like I said, I am a problem solver- just call me the MacGyver of sticky situations. Since I was surrounded by pine trees and not oak, I went with the only other possibility at the moment and peeled off one of my socks. I was never so happy to be wearing socks! Oh happy day! I was, however, sorry that I had to leave that sock behind.

What a relief! I was back from the brink of disaster virtually unscathed except for the loss of a sock. I had never littered before (or since) then. I ran back to where my boyfriend and grandparents were waiting, still watching the firemen trying to put out the fire in the restaurant. I had been gone about ten minutes and they were beginning to wonder what happened. I said I was looking for a place to get some dessert, but that everything was closed. I am sure I looked a little disheveled and my face still felt flushed.

After saying goodnight to my grandparents, we got into our car and I decided to tell my boyfriend the story of my stomach disaster. We laughed until we cried and he almost didn't believe me until I showed him my feet. I threw the other sock away when we got home.