The ability to capture nearly every nuance of life's most memorable moments coupled with a steel trap long term memory leaves me with an endless web to weave. Most times I try to share the thousands of points of light that have dotted my personal geography, but every once in a while it's fun to share a story of a time that life has reared back and kicked you in the jewels.
There has been one such story that I've been holding back as it teeters delicately on the see saw of good taste. At the same time, presenting ones life while exposed and vulnerable tends to create character. As Friedrich Nietzsche said, "For a tree to become tall it must grow tough roots amongst rocks."
So here goes nothing.
My story begins when I was about eleven years old. Most of my friends made the Spencer Little League All-star team and even though I thought I deserved a spot on the team the voters didn't. I guess that an .083 batting average and a half dozen errors for the daisy picking right fielder doesn't score many All-star votes.
Our team opened up the All-Star schedule in Auburn, MA, a town about fifteen miles from Spencer. My Dad was away on business and my Mom didn't drive in those days, so my brother, Dyno, and I hitched a ride with Mrs. B and Mrs R. (names have been altered for obvious reasons), two of the All-Star Moms.
We rode in the back seat of their station wagon with the wood paneled sides with their two All-Stars, Anthony and Paul.
Mrs. B and Mrs. R. were those two typical Little League mothers that help to define the phrase "Little League mom". Both women wore loud red T-shirts emblazoned with their son's names on the back and red baseball caps adorned with the bold Spencer "S". Each of them feasts on a daily dose of umpire amongst their daily fare and snap their gum incessantly as they chew.
It was a scorcher of a summer day, but for some reason, I decided to wear a pair of long Wrangler jeans to the game. I wasn't much for shorts in those days. Probably because I used to suffer terribly with warts all over my legs. In fact, my sister, Melanie, used to call me Toad, though I was never quite sure if it was because of my name or because of my warts.
The hot July sun baked down as the Spencer All Stars took the field. Mrs. R. tapped me on the shoulder as Paul took the mound and Anthony took his spot behind home plate.
"You didn't make the team, huh Todd?" she said in a screeching voice that closely resembled finger nails on a chalk board.
"No, Mrs. R." I said thinking of my .083 average and the beautiful patch of daisies growing out in right field.
I remember feeling a little nauseous as the first couple of innings passed. I wasn't really sure though if it was from Mrs. R or from the 90 degree heat burning a hole in my Wranglers.
Around the third inning I remember getting up from the bleachers along the third base line because I felt my stomach feeling sort of unsettled. I walked away from the crowd of Spencer fans with hopes of "breaking a little wind" as Dad used to say.
Much like the pigeon who dampened my spirits by dropping in my ear on the first day of first grade, my colon let loose with a wrath of fury. If one can envision the folk tale of Hans Brinker with his finger in the dike, and then picture said little Dutch boy taking his phalange out, that's what it looked like.
With the speed of a flood engorged stream overflowing it's banks, my Wranglers filled with hot, wet excrement from my ankles to my collar. I immediately dropped to my knees looking a little like Bambi falling to the ice.
At that very instant, the unsuspecting group of Spencer fans cheered loudly as All-star catcher, Anthony came to bat. Anthony batted about .600 points higher than I did during the regular baseball season and therefore made the All-Star squad. In the event that you forgot, I didn't.
As the strapping catcher stepped to the plate, a warm cross wind blew from left to right. I was sure it was going to take the stench from my soiled undergarments and cause the evacuation of the bleachers. It didn't, but as I looked in that direction from my spot on the matted turf, I spotted Roberta, a hottie from my fifth grade class walking right towards me.
Roberta was the first girl in our class who had bumps in her shirt and was the talk of the entire fifth grade. I suspected it was toilet paper and found it sort of ironic that Roberta had what I wanted, in more ways than one.
I'd waited for the chance to talk to Roberta for most of the school year and now had my chance. Unfortunate for me, I was sitting on the ground with hot, wet, fecal matter baking to my backside.
She walked by and smiled. I nodded and played with the dirt that hadn't been contaminated around me.
After about ten minutes, my brother came over. "Wanna play catch?" he asked unaware that his big bro had pooped himself.
"I can't...I pooped myself", I whispered.
"You what?" Dyno blurted out, apparently unaware that any hope of a future prom date rested perilously in jeopardy.
I motioned him over and shared my quandary with him. I begged him with all my heart and soul to go ask where the bathroom was but he didn't want to ask.
"Dyno, please. I'm filled with poop and I feel another one coming."
After a little pleading Dyno, walked over to the snack bar to ask where the rest rooms were. I sat in my doo doo as Paul swatted a deep fly to right to put Spencer up 2-0. Unlike me, Paul had made the All-star team. Mrs' R looked over at me from the top seat in the bleachers and shouted in her excruciatingly high pitched voice.
"Hey, Taaaaahd. Did you see what Paul just did?"
"No, Mrs R." I thought. "Did you see what I just did?"
Dyno returned seconds later and I knew that my nightmare was coming to an end. As luck would have it though, the facilities for the Auburn Little League complex consisted of a one-holer about 500 yards beyond the left field fence.
I pulled myself to my feet as steaming poop dribbled out the elastic band of my Fruit of the Looms and traveled down the leg of my Wranglers. I remember waddling the length of the left field line, turning over my shoulder occasionally to see if the Spencer cheering section was any the wiser.
I opened the door to the dimly lit shack and proceeded to make like the Department of Environmental Protection and clean up after the spill. The small wooden outhouse had no lock on the door so Dyno had to stand guard, while I waged war.
The porto-potty had a plank of wood with a hole carved in the middle and a swarm of flies buzzed around the top. I remember some colorful graphity filled the unpainted walls of the throne, but really wasn't up for reading.
I peeled my Wranglers over my soiled bottom as the smell of raw sewage filled the stall.
I reached over to the rusted toilet paper dispenser and pulled at the end of the first sheet. To my dismay, I yanked a two inch by two inch square of something resembling wax paper to clean my steaming rump.
I pulled again and again and again wrapping the high gloss papyrus around my little hand until I made a little mitten of sorts. With the first wipe, the mitten instantly disintegrated spreading doo doo all over my hand and wrist. I've never experienced such a mess.
A good fifteen minutes passed, as Dyno waited patiently outside the door. I made the decision to toss my pooped filled undergarments down the hole and to fly commando for the last few innings of the game.
I exited the outhouse and felt a certain sense of relief as I entered the fresh summer air.
"You think anyone will notice?" I asked Dyno wishfully.
"Oh, I think they'll notice," Dyno replied while blocking his nose.
Well, the last two innings were completed as Spencer came out on top. Mrs. B and Mrs R and Anthony and Paul hustled quickly to the car with trophies in hand, while Dyno and I walked sheepishly to the wood side station wagon.
"What happened to you?" asked Mrs. B.
"You stink" added Mrs. R, in her familiar Edith Bunker-like shrill.
"I fell in the mud near that building over there" I explained as if falling in poop was better than unintentionally smearing it on yourself.
Mrs. B relocated Dyno and I into the way back of the wood paneled station wagon as Paul wrapped his stinky athletic sock around his face. We traveled the fifteen miles in record fashion even by passing the Dairy Queen which was orignally part of our plan.
Mrs. B stopped the wood paneled station wagon at the bottom of High Street and let Dyno and I walk the last quarter mile up the steep hill.
"Hey Taaaahd," shouted Mrs. R as Dyno and I made our way up the street. "The fliiiiiiies are following you."