Embarrassing things happen to people.  Some people keep them to themselves, others blog about it.

Sunday was a bedside Baptist day for my family, what with Alyssa traipsing off for another week of camp that morning and Nate asking if he could accept a caddy assignment.  We don’t skip church often, perhaps since we both were raised with the fear that skipping church would send us to hell without passing Go.  Sometimes it just feels right and that is just how it was last Sunday.  The weekend had already been busy, so the extra rest was welcome, the sleep better than I would have gotten during my weekly church service nap (kidding, just kidding.. really.. I am).  I slept almost until nine, stumbled downstairs for a bowl of cereal and to catch up on my Words moves.  The morning was slow, so perfectly slow, the kind of slow with no guilt, no expectations to accomplish anything at all, including personal hygiene.  As Alyssa stirred upstairs and I heard the shower followed by the clump clump of our hot water heater, I began to wake up, aware that I would soon be needed to load up her suitcase and things for camp, a dad duty that I find myself relishing.  Like a good bedside Baptist Sunday morning, that duty seems so right. 

And so my day began.  Quiet.  Building up to activity with the urgency of a snail on downers.  I have learned to savor mornings like that, accept them as a rare treat, and expect the day to build up steam as it goes on.  It did.  While I loaded Alyssa’s things in our van to catch the church shuttle to camp (she was going to church camp), Nate called and wanted me to bring his golf clubs to the course, where his round of caddying was almost finished.  He likes to use the golf range when he is finished, taking advantage of the perks that go with being a caddy at a premium golf course. 

“Bring your clubs too, Dad.”  There was a reason why he asked me to come to pick him up.  He likes me go to the range with him, hit some balls with him, something his mother can not do.  Athletics are not her gift.  There is a certain amount of pride involved, a chance to show off for Dad, and I spend much of the time on the gold range watching him show me how his drives are improving or a trick shot he has learned.  We always finish the bucket of range balls off with a closest to the pin competition.  Sunday’s competition was to determine who got to choose where to go for lunch.

I won.  Portillos, best place in Chicagoland to get a hot dog.  Their jumbo chili cheese dogs with onions are to die for.  Nate scarfed two dogs to my one, but we both downed a ton of ice cold Coca Cola.  After hitting range balls in the hot sun, we were thirsty. 

First things first.  This needs to be shared before my story begins, a bit of knowledge I found on the internet that relates to the little tale I am about to share.

“Subject: Pepsi/Mt. Dew, Cramps, Diarrhea

George Beinhorn mentioned cramps, and Ed Furtaw mentioned diarrhea after using these drinks a lot in an ultra. There are three contributing factors in using soda as a sports drink.

  1. They usually contain either high fructose corn syrup or      sucrose as the sugar source. Sucrose is split into glucose and fructose in      the digestive tract. Many people get diarrhea from large      amounts of fructose. As Ed notes, it tends to pull water into      the intestines. That reverses the hydration process and causes diarrhea.
  2. If you take a lot of caffeinated soda, you may over      dose on caffeine, particularly if you don’t use it much away from the run.      Caffeine      and other xanthines ( tea, chocolate are sources ) cause relaxation of      smooth muscle. Net result: urgency along the way. Combine that with the      tendency for diarrhea caused by too much fructose, and you’re primed for      extra potty breaks….”

Interesting to those who have a fascination about diarrhea symptoms, especially if what is described above has actually happened to you.  An ice cold Coca Cola is down right refreshing after a long bicycle ride on a hot day.  I always have thought the throne visits that followed were from chugging too much of the acid beverage, irritating my innards.  Apparently that is not the case.  Fructose is the culprit.  Fructose and water.  I guess it makes sense.

Nate dropped a real nice bomb on me during lunch.  Golf.  18 holes free with a cart at Cantigny, the course where he caddies.  He had earned a free round for him and a guest.  So he invited me to play that afternoon.


We rushed home, changed into our golf clothes, and went back to the course.  Nate checked us in and got a cart while I put on my shoes at the car.  I stood up to take our clubs out of the back of my PT Cruiser, a bit humored by the gurgling my stomach emitted as I stood up.  I should have heeded the warning.  I really should have.  The liquid fart shot out like a water cannon.

Oh freaking no.

What to do?  I called Nate, asked him to come down and pick me up, telling him I had suffered a personal emergency.

He was disgusted.

“Dad you smell like shit.”

“I’ll be all right.”  No way was I passing up playing a premium golf course, with my son, for free.  Nate didn’t want to pass it up either.

“OK. Well let’s go then.”

And we played despite the stench, which wasn’t too bad once the cart got moving.  Like the guy on the internet said, it was mostly water.  Thank goodness for premium golf courses — the bathroom at the fourth hole was nicer than the one in our house, and with covered trash cans……