by ROSIE WATERLAND
When I was 18, I peed my pants in Coles. Granted, I was a little (very) intoxicated. I hadn’t yet built up the kind of tolerance that comes from the regular consumption of cheap vodka and even cheaper wine. I was at a party within walking distance of my house, and I managed to convince my boyfriend that I could get from said party to my bedroom on my own with no hassles or delays.
So off I trotted, heels in hand, headed towards a warm bed (by which I obviously mean the crawl space next to the toilet). What my boyfriend didn’t count on was there being a Coles between Point A and Point B. And everybody knows that when walking home from a big night, drunk brain takes over regular brain and leads the body towards food instead of home.
I can’t remember the exact details, but what I do know is this: at some point during that five-minute walk, I ended up in Coles looking for crumpets and Fanta. And I peed my pants.
It was pretty close to closing time, and I must have looked an absolute mess because the security guard stared me down with a worried/puzzled look on his face. Of course, drunk brain assumed he was staring at me because I looked fabulous, and that put a pretty confident spring in my step. The fact I was carrying my heels instead of wearing them and one of my false lashes was dangling off my face also didn’t register with me. I sauntered through that entrance like I was walking a red carpet.
I then proceeded to aimlessly wander the aisles for 20 minutes.
It was somewhere between deciding on the crumpets but still not sure about the Fanta that I got the feeling. Like my bladder was suddenly, and out of nowhere, overflowing to the point where it had decided to start pushing out liquid whether I agreed or not. That feeling.
I ignored it at first, and continued with the more pressing decision of which fizzy drink I should buy and cuddle up with in bed. (And again, if the story includes me being drunk, feel free to assume the word ‘bed’ means ‘toilet’.) But it got worse. And worse. I even tried that subtle manoeuvre of pretending I was looking at something on the bottom shelf so I could crouch down and try to use my foot as some kind of plug, but to no avail. This wee was happening. And it was happening now.
At this point I had three options: I could leave immediately, find some bushes outside and do my business; I could go right here in this aisle, which although a public place, I currently had to myself; or, option number three, I could attempt the impossible feat of reversing a waterfall, proceed to the counter and buy my desperately needed items, risking the very real possibility I would wet myself in front of a security guard and terrified staff member.
It was 2am and I was crouching down in the dog food aisle with no shoes on. A decision clearly needed to be made. Guess which option drunk brain chose?
I proceeded to the checkout, with what I estimated was about 30 seconds before this dam exploded. Of course at this point the manager entered the scene, and decided it was imperative he count every five cent coin ever placed into circulation and put them into little bags.
This is obviously the moment a sane individual would have made a run for it. But damn it, it took me twenty minutes to decide I wanted those crumpets, and I wasn’t leaving without them.
So with the security guard, manager and checkout guy all within ten feet of me, I carried out what I thought was the only viable option left. With my crumpets and heels in one hand and Fanta in the other, I decided to let that wee flow as discreetly as possible. Drunk brain reasoned that I really wanted those crumpets, and the chances of anybody noticing were slim. Drunk brain was wrong.
You know when you’ve been busting to wee for such a long time that when you finally get to go it just keeps coming and coming? And coming? This was one of those times. Finally opening the floodgates was beyond satisfying, but within two seconds it was clear that this was no discreet operation. As the warm liquid ran down my leg and formed a puddle on the floor, I think the four of us in that Coles shared an oddly intimate moment. First, they couldn’t take their eyes off me. Then they stared at each other in equal parts horror and disbelief. Then back to me. And all the while I just stood there, like I was any normal lady waiting in a supermarket line, absolutely not doing a wee.
When the stream finally receded, the manager was the first to snap out of our shared trance. ‘Can I help you?’ he asked, as he motioned me over. “Yes, thank you,” I replied, as I held my held high and walked over to the counter with an air of importance (evidently, drunk brain had decided the only way out of this was to maintain my dignity by acting like a royal), all the while leaving wet little footprints in my wake. “I’d like to purchase these please,” I said with a head toss. All three of them continued to stare at me. It was like I was a crazy person with a bomb and nobody wanted to do anything that would make me nervous.
It was a little anticlimactic after that; I just paid for my crumpets and Fanta and sashayed out of there. I didn’t look back, but I’m certain the three of them stood there in shocked silence for at least another minute. Then they had to decide who was taking care of that puddle.
So there you have it, one of the most humiliating moments of my life. And I’m sure a story told at many a Coles Christmas party.
I wet my pants in Coles, and didn’t leave until I had bought my crumpets.
And yes, I am fully aware that supermarkets have surveillance cameras and it’s something I prefer not to think about.
Over to you. What’s been the most embarrassing moment in your life?