My most embarrassing story (revealed)

Here’s the thing: the most embarrassing story I can tell about myself has never been told. No one knows about this. And while it might seem that embarrassment has to be public, in this case, it was simply the fear of getting caught in this, ahem, mess that makes it embarrassing.

If graphic grossness isn’t your thing, you might want to skip this one. If you’re too curious at this point, though, read on.

A friend invited my brothers and me to go ride his wave runner with him and his mom and his step-dad. I’d spent some time on boats, but I’d never ridden a wave runner before. I didn’t have a license, so my friend had to drive the whole time. I just rode on the back. Other than that I had to hold on to my seat for dear life, I enjoyed the ride. We spun around. We jumped wakes made by passing boats. We had fun.

But then after that first outing, my friend took one of my brothers out, leaving me and my other brother and my friend’s mom to wait for them to get back.

Right after they rode off on the water, I realized that my stomach didn’t feel too great (can you guess where this is going?). The motion from bouncing up and down on the water had loosened up my insides. I started to cramp up too.

I probably should I have told someone I needed to get to a toilet, but the nearest building looked nearly a quarter mile walk from where we stood by the dock. The feelings in my gut came so fast. I didn’t have time to get all the way to that building, even if they did have a restroom inside.

If only the urge had been for everything to come up, I could have just hurled into the grass somewhere. That’s not what I felt, though. The urges I felt meant things were going down, and fast.

So, brilliant me, thought I’d jump into the lake. I don’t know what I was thinking. I probably wasn’t, and that was the problem. I was just reacting as quickly as I could. I guess I figured if I completely messed my pants, I could somehow wash some of it off in the lake without anyone realizing what had happened.

Man, just writing that sounds stupid.

But that’s what I did. I didn’t actually jump in. I didn’t even hop. I wanted to leave everything inside me as undisturbed as possible. So I walked in slowly, wading out until the water just covered my shoulders.

When I turned around, I realized the first problem with my plan, if you could even call it that: my brother was wading out after me, wanting to swim with me of course. Somehow, I managed to keep my distance from him, but it wasn’t easy. On top of this stress, I was less than 30 feet from the dock where my friend’s mom still stood.

But that’s as far as I could get. I couldn’t hold it any longer. Out it came, and bubbles sparkled to the surface around me.

And it surprised me how it came out. It didn’t spray into the water and get diluted the way I expected. It didn’t come out as diarrhea at all. It came out in clumps, the kind that clog toilets – I couldn’t believe it – and piled up in my shorts.

At least I felt relieved, though, at least for a few moments.

My stomach less cramped, I started jiggling my shorts around to release the mess in my pants and let it settle to the bottom of the lake. And that’s when I realized the second problem in my so-called plan: poop floats.

Just as multiple clumps began rising to the surface around me, to my horror, my friend’s mom asked a question from the shore. I still have no idea what she asked or what I said, but I did respond with something. And so, while talking to my friend’s mom with a smile on my face about fishing or bait or how I enjoyed her wave runner, I simultaneously played Whack-A-Mole with clumps of poop that bobbed to the surface of the water around me, desperate to sink them out of sight from the shore.

Of course, I tried to be as discrete as I could, but that feeling of utter failure felt about as low as possible. I prayed to God my friend’s mom wouldn’t catch what was happening just beneath the surface.

And she didn’t. As far as I know, she (and my brother) still have no idea about that to this day. But the story doesn’t end in the lake.

Feeling slightly better and realizing that the disgrace of the clumpiness had actually saved my shorts from splatter marks, I finally made a move for that building in the distance.

“Do you think they have a restroom there?” I asked.

“You can check,” my friend’s mom said.

And check I did. I power-walked my way all the way there, in the door, straight through the sign that said restrooms. Thankfully, the men’s room sported a single restroom with a lock on the door, not a bunch of stalls or whatever. Thankfully, I’d made it all the way there. But that’s as far as I got.

Before I could get onto the toilet, I – or rather my stomach – lost it. And it wasn’t all floaty solids like in the lake. No, by the time I made it into the restroom there, it had turned to diarrhea. And by the time I didn’t make it to the toilet there, it had burst all down both my legs, to say nothing of my shorts.

I spent the next half hour in that restroom, scrubbing my shorts in the sink with my hands and trying to wash everything below my waist in that sink too.

“You okay?” they asked when I got back. “You were gone a while.”

I just shook my head, thinking but not saying, You have no idea.

And it’s stayed that way, all the way until now.