Dear Lady in line for the bathroom at Winslow’s Home: Words cannot adequately express how grateful I am that you let me cut in front of you to use the toilet Saturday during lunch rush hour. Although I am certain you could hear the pain in my voice and couldn’t help notice me dancing around like I’d just been shot in my ass with a hand buzzer, you seriously saved me, and no doubt yourself, from a near-death explosion.What you could not know was how I spent the previous 12 hours to get to this humiliating place. Let me just admit that I was over-served at the costume party we attended the night before. I spent the better part of the night dancing with George Valentin from The Artist, somewhat to my husband’s chagrin. (the party theme was Silent Movies). I slept in full make-up but did manage to peel off my Josephine Baker-inspired banana skirt costume before diving head-first into my bed. You try fending off people copping a feel of your bananas and try to stay sober!

I woke up early in an unbelievably decent state considering what I drank the night before. “Wow. I don’t feel that bad. I didn’t drink as much as I thought!” No, you did. You just got one of those time-released hangovers which don’t start until you have been awake for three hours. Like an al-qaeda sleeper cell that hides low until the time of the attack. We drove to Dewey’s, a local pizzeria, as early as we could plausibly claim we were there for lunch. We ate a huge pizza and drank no less than 53 ounces of diet coke each. Feeling satiated, I decided to run some errands by myself.

Fifteen minutes from home, it hit me in the car. Caffeine-fueled colon cramps. If a driver had looked at my face, he may have worried I was about to give birth. How close to the truth that would have been. The cramps were coming in waves, like labor. This was not going to be a benign shart experience. An entire pizza and a liter of cola was about to blow out of my ass, and there was nothing I could do about it. All I could think about was how I had done this shit to myself. I didn’t have a stomach virus. I had over-imbibed and was about to pay the ultimate price by defecating all over my car. I went through scenarios in my head of what I would say to the cops if they pulled me over. If they pulled me over after I’d pooped myself, I would say that my colostomy bag had exploded and I was speeding to get home. If they pulled me over before I shit myself, well, then I wasn’t sure what I was going to say because I was so physically uncomfortable, and about to deliver a crap grenade.

I was reminded of the time I took an ill-advised trip to Target after ingesting magnesium citrate in preparation to cleanse my colon before my first colonoscopy. I had gone to the restroom to empty the pipes four times, so I thought that was it. It’s one thing to be stuck in a Target bathroom stall for 20 minutes shitting my brains out among moms with toddlers and quite another to be trapped in your car, unable to breathe for fear of blowing crap all over the seat of your SUV. I was in a serious panic. I’ve changed baby diapers where they’ve crapped all the way up their back to their hairline. This was going to be one of those moments.

Knowing I would not make it to my house, I pulled into Winslow’s Home, a quaint place to get quiche or a gardening tool that is always packed on Saturdays. I rushed past UGG-booted families and men in sweaters to the back of the store to the singular restroom. I pushed away thoughts of what I would do if I shit down my leg in the hallway. Lady in the line for the restroom, I’m so sorry that no good deed goes unpunished. I can only imagine what the room smelled like after my ass erupted and I fled the restaurant in horror. Goes to show you that it’s the small things that matter in life. Like not actually shitting yourself.

P.S. Sorry, Winslow’s Home. This is probably not the endorsement you were hoping for, but I love your establishment. One tip, however, you might want to stock the loo with deodorizing spray.