"Oh man...I really need to pee."
The words floated across my head like an ominous warning--a bell on the verge of a good toll--a pale horseman of some yuletide apocalypse. I was only seven, you see, and I still believed in Santa Clause. Being that it was Christmas Eve, and close to three o'clock in the morning, I found my young self in one of the most difficult predicaments of my childhood occupation. Allow me to explain.
This was 1989, and I was living in Germany with my mom and dad. I never had any brothers or sisters, but that is not really integral to this yarn. I was an imaginative child, and I vividly, and with voracious capacity, believed undisputedly in the existence of Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy, the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, aliens, ghosts, Michael Jackson, Leprechauns, other worlds, David Bowie, and monsters under the bed and/or in the closet. Most of these pseudo mythical creatures are (like my lack of siblings) not important to this story. But it's important that you know that i believed with all my heart in all of them (and in some cases, still do). But this story is about Santa, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, whatever you wish to call him. It's also important that you know the following bit of information: As previously stated, I lived with my parents at this time; in a small apartment in a mostly American community in Bonn, Germany. The apartment was set up as such (bear with me, this is crucial): When you entered the front door, you entered immediately into the living room. On the other side of the living room, opposite the front door was another doorway which opened up into a hall that ran parallel to the living room. In the middle of this hallway was the bathroom. On one end of the hall was my bedroom, and on the other end was my parent's bedroom. That said, in order to use the bathroom, I WOULD HAVE TO PASS BY THE DOORWAY THAT OPENED UP INTO THE LIVING ROOM...where our Christmas tree stood. It is essential that you remember this information. Got all that? Good. Now, it is also essential that you remember this next bit: The previous Christmas, 1988, was our first Christmas in Bonn. I distinctly recall having woken up somewhere between the hours of midnight and one o'clock, only to hear the t.v. on. Curious, and troubled, I ventured out from my room to find my dad sitting on the living room couch watching football.
"Dad?" I asked. "Hadn't you better get on to bed? ...Santa's coming."
"Oh..." He chuckled, "I'm going in just a few minutes buddy. But you had better get on back to bed yourself, and don't come back out, you don't want to scare Santa away!"
Naturally, I took this advice to heart. My dad was a smart guy afterall; he knew what was up; and scaring Santa away obviously would mean a severe decrease in Christmas toy horde. And so I clambered back into bed and the next thing I knew it was Christmas morning and all was well and I was none the wiser.
Which takes us back to 3:00 A.M. on Christmas morning of 1989...and my excruciating need to relieve a very full bladder.
Something had to be done. That much was apparent. But to risk passing by the living room and scaring away Santa? An absolutely unacceptable option.
Lay there and wet the bed? Equally undesirable and unacceptable.
Allow my bladder to explode in a tepid and gooshy festivus of diabolical luke-warm urine and plasma? By far the least desirable of my options.
Slowly, ever so slowly, and with oh so much stealth, so as not to awaken my parents, or worse, scare away Santa, I crept down the ladder from my bunk bed...and left my stuffed animals behind like fallen soldiers on a battlefield. Closet monsters would be damned, I had more urgent and literally pressing issues to deal with.
Like a young ninja in the night I crept to the darkest, fartherst, most quietest corner of my bedroom, steadied myself, said a quick prayer...and peed, all over the carpeted floor.
Nobody ever found out. Not mom, not dad, not Santa Clause, not nobody. There is however, and amusing and ironic epilogue to this tale of my awkward youth.
Several months later I was forced to repeat this very act, so as not to scare off the Easter Bunny.
In the words of Dave Barry, "I swear i'm not making this up."
Stay tuned for twenty albums to take in a space ship. That really will be next week's blog. Srsly.