We’ve all had moments in life when we’ve had to take ourselves aside for a quiet word, like an umpire at a rowdy netball match, and tell ourselves to get it together. You find a reflective surface, look yourself dead in the eye and say ‘it’s fine, don’t worry… BUT that life fail you just did probably could have been avoided, so it’s time to rewind and take a little look at where it all started to go wrong.’
For me, one of those reflective moments began at a buffet table in Slough.
I am not proud of this. A few years ago I was at a friend’s birthday party with the most glorious, beige buffet spread imaginable. I’m talking 12 crisp flavours and sticks with cubes of cheddar, not even bothering with the pineapple – these hosts knew what we all wanted. Needless to say, I had my fair share of white dip that evening. After the night died down, a few of us moved on to a party at another house down the road.
For an hour or so we danced, made friends with the adorable house dog and annoyed the neighbours by discovering the trampoline in the back garden. Then a couple of us wanted to call it a night, so the host (read: kid whose parents’ house we were staying at) said we could stay in her baby brother’s bedroom. Snuggled into the tiny human-sized Spongebob duvet, I’d just began to drift off when I realised I needed the loo.
That’s when it happened. Angry at how I’d just treated it, my body completely betrayed me and, locked in the family bathroom, I produced the biggest poo of my life.
My life, people. It was so big it didn’t even splash, because there was no water left in the loo – it had sort of plugged the hole at the bottom. Like a rock.
First, I tried like a fool to flush, but obviously that just made water sit on top of The Rock and almost flood the bathroom.
Panicked, with members of the growing bathroom queue now banging on the door, I began my search for tools; shampoo, nail varnish remover, cotton wool… My hand even hovered over the collection of family toothbrushes (could I use them as tiny spades?!) until guilt got the better of me.
Then I spotted them: baby wipes. Diving across to the windowsill, sweating face glowing orange in the cul-de-sac street light, I created a glove out of the wipes, smothering my hand with them, holding the ends in place between my fingers.
After double checking for leakage holes, I plunged my hand into the loo and retrieved my poo. But this nightmare was far from over – how was I going to smuggle it out past the waiting crowd?
Obviously, I had to wrap it. With one baby wipe gloved hand cradling Rocky and the other wedged inside a roll of toilet paper, I whipped my hand round in circles until it was mummified. Then stuffed it inside my rucksack and fled the bathroom.
I darted into the Spongebob bedroom, shut the door and lent against it for a while to catch my breath. Was I done? Could I go back to my old life now? I thought I could. In the ultimate ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ moment, I put the rucksack containing my poo corpse in the corner of the room, slid back into bed and tried to nod off.
Obviously, it was no use. No one can sleep soundly with a giant poo in the room, it’s haunting. I opened my eyes a crack and the rucksack was staring right at me.
Fast forward 10 minutes and my best mate caught me trying to dig it a grave in the front garden. She then pointed to the wheelie bin right next to me, where we threw it in and pinky-promised to never speak of it again. She laughed, I died a little, and we retell the story every Christmas.