...Not the kind of wheel you fall asleep at...

Mr. Pee-Pants

I suppose I had to write about it eventually. This is the tale of Mr. Pee-Pants.

Early Friday morning, I trekked out to Antioch College with my sibs and mom to see my sister graduate. It had started raining on the way there and so they decided the ceremony would, sadly, have to be moved indoors--sadly because Antioch has managed to have an outdoor ceremony for 25 straight years (we blame my sister who shared with us this fact a couple Saturdays prior, thus effectively jinxing it and calling up the rain gods and goddesses).

The ceremony was like no other--Antioch University is infamous for bringing in controversial commencement speakers. In 2000, the speaker was death-row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal. This year students voted to have Ward Churchhill speak, but their choice was vetoed by the administration. Instead, alumnus John Sims came to speak. Antioch is a school that prides itself on its radical liberalism (its student population rife with various races, genders, cultures, transgender students, and viewpoints), and John Sims directed most of his speech towards the fact that Antioch chose to silence Ward Churchhill and their students by vetoing him as speaker, tying this in to why Antioch is such an important school and space and needs to stay that way. This received resounding support from the student body.

The student speeches were also like no other. Many spoke of what they'd learned at college, like any commencement speaker. But these speeches were infused of talk of truly embracing diversity--sexual orientation, transgenderism, gender, race, culture, class, etc. And they were infused with a fiery spirit and political passion that I've never even caught a glimpse of in student commencement speeches before. One student devoted her speech to giving Ward Churchhill the space to speak that was vetoed by the administration, reading a lengthy quote by him as her commencement speech. Another spoke of the need for political change and upheaval and how it was the responsibility of the seniors to seek this out. One of my sister's friends introduced her speech with one of the most glorious singing voices I've heard, echoing with passion through the room. Another group of theater students did a short sketch poking fun at Antioch's radical liberalism and making the student body roar. But all student speakers spoke of the same thing--entering the college with fear in their hearts at what a radically different place it was compared to the comforting societal norm of their high schools and how they've wrestled themselves into new places of understanding as they came to absorb and appreciate it all.

Students then received their diplomas, dressed in everything from jeans and a hoodie to dresses and heels to one singular student who'd managed to get her hands on a cap and gown. And each time a student's name was called, the other graduating seniors let loose belly-whopping cheers for them--a show of sincere support (and comraderie) that I've never seen in another school graduation either. They are a tight-knit bunch. They are a good bunch. They are the folks that are hopefully gonna end up wrangling our nation back towards something good, something that makes sense--and they are the folks that are gonna fucking sink their teeth into us and drag us with them.

Oh yeah. But back to Mr. Pee-Pants.

After post-commencement celebrating, we ended up at one of the local bars. I sat around talking with my mom and my sibs until my sister (who'd only gotten 3 hours of sleep the night before due to some pre-graduation partying) could keep her eyes open no longer and headed home. It had started to pour like mad just an hour or so before and the violent lightning had knocked out all the streetlights. So we decided to stick around a little bit longer.

My brother and sister were super-chatty because of the joint they'd smoked earlier as we all sat out in front of one of the academic buildings and chatted about aliens and horror movies and Camp Trans. My sister's ex-girlfriend kept my brother and mom occupied and I chatted the hyperactive manicness out of my sister. Finally, when we realized we had a bit of a drive to get back to the hotel, we took off.

Soaking wet and bellies weighted down with beer, we headed out on the highway. The rain was sheet after sheet after sheet pulled tightly over the windshield. My mom could barely break 50 mph and still manage to see in front of her. We were all slightly chilled because our clothes were damp, and we sat quietly, listening to Sublime. The drive was much longer than expected due to the also unexpected rain. About 10 minutes in, my brother asked my mom how much longer it was. She told him, "No more than 10-15 minutes." Twenty-five minutes later, we still weren't there.

The time kept growing, and apparently so did my brother's bladder. "Man, I've got to piss so bad I'm not gonna be able to hold it much longer" he grunted when another five minutes passed and we still weren't in sight of the hotel. We all laughed a bit, understanding his pain which, coupled with the constant reminder of flowing water all around us, must have been terrible.

He then starts lurching around in his seat, muttering half-drunkenly, "Shit, I don't know if I can hold it. Can we pull over?" Mind you, it's raining Moses-style and to pull over would be dangerous. He's kinda hopping up and down in the seat with growing agitation and my mom suggests peeing into her water bottle. However, one might speculate that she hasn't seen a penis in a while upon catching a glimpse of the bottle--the lip of the bottle is not nearly wide enough to pee into with ease... and without back-spraying action.

My brother has begung to drunkenly whine, and so I shout, "The bag! You can use my plastic bag!" My brother looks at me and says, "No way" but not even seconds later, I'm scrambling to empty it as he begs for relief.

The slight tang of urine wafts through the car as my brother spills out profuse apologies over and over and over again for torturing us so. But then he sighs with relief as his bladder is finally emptied.

Moments later this sweet relief is broken by his sudden realization that the bag in fact has a hole in it.

My sister and I begin to shriek with both laughter and shrieks themselves, and we scramble for (thankfully) another plastic bag, shouting, "Double-bag it! Double-bag it!" And howling with laughter.

My brother is ashamed and not finding it quite so funny (which of course necessitates that we must make fun of him all night for it) and spends the rest of the car ride quietly holding his bag of pee.

My sister and I sit in the back seat, trying not to make eye contact, because with each caught glimpse, we burst into unending peels of laughter and become recipients of my brother's dirty looks.

And so goes the tale of Mr. Pee-Pants.

Whereabouts of the pee-bag are still unknown.



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