Saturday, December 6, 2008

Peeing in the Tractor Shed



Today I almost got caught peeing in the wood guy’s tractor shed. I think he thought I was casing the joint. Kelly and I were there right on time to pick up some wood but Henry was not around. I knocked on the door to the brick house up on the hill. Someone said he’d be back in a spell and slammed the door before I had a chance to ask what “a spell” actually meant. Was a spell a few minutes? Was it an hour? Was it as long as it takes to read the newspaper front to back including all the ads and in the case of the local paper, Odessa Link’s Christian column that comes out on Wednesdays and includes recipes direct from Jesus like Out of this World Meatloaf and Scripture Cake, plus her home telephone number in case you run into trouble.

This was not good. I already had to go to the bathroom. I jigged from leg to leg. I decided to start loading. This way, the minute Henry got back, I could hightail it out of there and if he wasn’t back by the time I was done, well then, I’d leave anyway and leave the check with the people up in the house or else mail it to him because they seemed kind of mean. There was no time to waste when you had irritable bladder. You know the commercial with the traffic cop?—Gotta go! Gotta go! Gotta go! That’s me.

The field was filled with mounds of wood in various stages of fading and drying. I chose a pile with pieces that looked small and easy to handle, and backed up to it as close as I could get. Kelly and I weren’t too happy about having to load the wood ourselves. We weren’t prepared. We were clean and she had on her new boots. They weren’t working boots. They weren’t cowboy boots, rubber boots or even snow boots. They were boots for good looks only, black vinyl cockroach stompers, as my father would say, with a clunky heel and a pointy toe. They did not function well but elicited oohs and aahs from the girly girls at school, which was the whole point; certainly not comfort or protection. I had on my new white sneakers. Brand spanking white. Plus, we didn’t have any work gloves. Kelly was wearing pink chenille mittens interwoven with silver threads and I had on soft leather gloves, the kind a person wears with a dress coat. I want to call them kid gloves. But I don’t really know what kid gloves are. Are they gloves small children wear? Point being, what we were wearing was not conducive to the grasping of the rugged bark of a hunk of oak or the heaving of a locust log sharp and jagged with splinters.

One of the things I like about getting wood from Henry’s is that he and his helper, Langley, a one hundred-and-thirty-seven-year-old black man who appears out of nowhere in a 1976 Ford truck, the color of grey primer because all the paint has worn off, and who I can’t understand a word of what he’s saying, do all the loading. (For those of you who haven’t had your coffee yet, I really have no idea how old Langley is—he’s old. As a matter of fact, I don’t really know the age of his truck either—it’s also old.) Anyway, you don’t even have to get out of your vehicle—just hand the check out the window when you stop hearing wood clunking in the back. That’s why we weren’t prepared with the proper foot gear or gloves. But I had to pee so there was no choice. We had to hurry.

We got out of the truck and stepped gingerly around the wet, rotted wood sticking up out of the mud. We climbed onto the wood pile, wobbled, and picked out the nice pieces. I tried to toss the logs to the truck but I was afraid I’d hit the outside of it and mess up the crappy Dodge paint job that scratches and chips if you give it a dirty look, or torpedo it through the back window, which would have been even worse. We climbed down from the wood pile cradling three or four logs in our arms, bonking our chins, scuffing our sleeves, and skirted around the wet wood to the side of the truck where we tossed the logs into the bed. They landed with a thud. It was slow going. Thud. Thud. Thud.

Finally, I couldn’t hold it anymore. There was a tractor shed right over yonder as Pearl would say and it was facing away from the house up on the hill. There was old, rusty machinery inside and a scattering of feed sacks, some overflowing with baling strings and trash. I looked around. Not a soul in sight. The only thing I could see were dozens of piles of wood, straw-colored grass sticking up out of the crusty snow in between the piles, and the woods on the edge of the field, covered with frost like rock candy on sticks at the boardwalk. I told Kelly, “Keep loading. I’m going to pee.” Before she had a chance to protest, I hurried over to the tractor shed, ducked inside and squatted lickity-split. I was standing up and zipping in under 30 seconds flat when Kelly cried, “Someone’s coming!” and bugged her eyes wide open in the direction of the old black guy’s truck which had appeared soundlessly from around the curve. I exited the shed, patting down my hair like I just came out of a public restroom and yawned like this was completely normal.

For a split second I wondered if I should admit I was in there peeing. Did he actually see me come out? What if he didn’t? Would I be embarrassing myself unnecessarily? Langley’s hearing wasn’t very good. If I turned myself in, I might have to yell a number of times, “I was in the tractor shed peeing! I have irritable bladder!” And he’d say, “What was that you say? Your bull’s fatter?!”

But even though he was a hundred-and-thirty-seven-years-old, he was still a guy and there are some things a woman and her little girl shouldn’t call attention to out in the middle of a snow-covered field with no one in sight while they are getting wood. I made small talk instead. Langley said something but I didn’t understand what it was so I took a chance it was something entertaining and laughed. I felt like telling him if you guys were here like you were supposed to be I wouldn’t have had to pee inside the tractor shed and look like I was up to no good. But I just kept nodding and smiling in case he was telling me something funny.

I could understand if they thought I was out to steal something. They know I’m a Yankee. We’ve discussed that before. It usually comes up as soon as I open my mouth. They ask right away where I am from. They say, “You’re not from around these parts, are you?” like they’re on to me. And I admit it because I sound just like the Sopranos. What am I going to do? But it’s usually not a problem because as soon as they get to know me, they see I’m okay. I’m like no Yankee they’ve ever heard about. I’m not like the ones up in the Wal-Mart in New York who trampled a guy to death because there was a big sale going on. Or like the neighbors who lived right next door to each other for twenty years and didn’t even know each other’s name. Me, I smile and talk to everyone. I’ve even made friends down at the Dumpsters. Anywhere is over the picket fence to me. Plus, I don’t like to shop, never mind trample people. No, I’m not your average Yankee.

But maybe they were wrong about me if I was sniffing around in their tractor shed while they were away. Who knows what I was doing in there? About halfway through the wood loading, Langley couldn’t stand it anymore and he walked over to the tractor shed and went inside. Either he had to pee himself or he was looking around to see what I stole. I kept loading like I didn’t notice. I decided not to say nothing. I was just so happy that I didn’t have to pee anymore I didn’t care what they thought about me.

19 comments:

Tanya said...

Haha, that is too funny. I've had to pee like that before. I wonder why he went to the tractor shed?
And so funny about not understanding him and just nodding and smiling, I do alot of that and hope my smiles and nods are at appropriate times of the story,lol.

Sloan said...

I almost peed my pants reading that!!

jenise said...

This story had me laughing because I don't hear well and I often pretend I'm understanding what a person is saying when I don't. And like you said, taking a chance that it's something funny and I'll just chuckle, smiling and nodding my head. But I do it because otherwise I'm asking people to repeat themselves too often. I don't know what they must think.
Anyway, I think I would have gone behind the tractor shed, not in it! Funny story!

gingerhillery@mac.com said...

I have always believed that if you want someone to hurry up and come, just try to pee behind the barn and as soon the pants are down they'll drive right up! Or hike right up. Whatever. Sometime be sure and ask about the time one of our children pee'd outside the window of Olive Garden after spending a week on the farm with grandpa...

Doesn't an empty bladder feel like heaven!

hellosweetworld said...

That's funny! I would've found a spot too if i had to pee that bad!

CountryDew said...

That was great. Wonderful story! I appreciated the honesty of it.

Love My Dog said...

Great story! And what woman cannot relate to THAT feeling. I was once caught in a rather primitive 'bathroom' in the mountains - a tarp dropped from a tree, wrapped around a hole in the ground while on a horse drive. As I was going and going I heard footsteps so I called out that I was 'in here' - footsteps continued - I yelled out twice. Tarp suddenly opens wide (inward). And (happily) - it was one of the horses we were with. although he continued toward me and i fully expected the tarp to come down. Funnily, I would have simply flashed 60 horses and 8 people...

Cynda said...

Isn't that what tractor sheds are for?

Amy Hanek said...

Since I began waitressing at Applebee's, I've found a few moments when I didn't hear what someone said.

One day I thought I heard someone ask which beer is deeper. I shrugged my shoulders and asked the bartender, who looked at me like I was crazy. She walked over to the guy and asked him what he said. She returned to correct me that he wanted to know which beer is "cheaper." I just can't decipher through the very big southern drawls sometimes. My Yankee self shows through all the time there.

And you're braver than me. I would've knocked on that door again and pleaded to use the bathroom.

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

No Amy, you're braver! Those people up in the brick house were mean! lol

Amy Hanek said...

Since my father taught me to pee in the woods (I was six years old) I've never been able to do it without getting a sock filled with pee. Ick.

Mean or not, I can sweet talk my way into any bathroom this side of the mississippi. And when ya gotta go...

Love My Dog said...

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_11195788?source=most_viewed

Is this you???

Debi Kelly Van Cleave said...

She's tall, white, thin and blonde but she shops at Abercrombie & Fitch. I shop at Wal-Mart so that can't be me.

colleen said...

I read this in a New Jersey accent. It's funny and very well done. I see a collection forming.

I once got caught peeing while picking apples. Usually we see NO ONE but the orchard does bump up against a trail. I had no idea anywhere was near by. The worse part was trying to pull my pants back up when they were 10 yards away. You can't do that without mooning.

When I first came to Floyd I remember not understanding some people's accents and just going along like I did because it didn't help to ask. They would just say the same thing I didn't understand the first time over again.

Marion said...

When I moved to northern Maine from California, one of the things I dreaded was the 3-hour drive to or from Bangor. Very few gas stations along the way meant you had to pull over, trek through knee-high snow until you were behind some trees. I'm finally pulling up my pants when I see that a state cop has pulled up behind my car, worried that I'm in trouble.
I hike out, red-faced, to find this young trooper not at all understanding my...uh, 'explanation.' Finally, HIS face reddened. Too funny. He did follow me for several miles. And I later learned just exactly where the gas stations with bathrooms were located on that route.

Amy Tate said...

You are H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S!!!!! No, you shouldn't tell him, you should make up some wild story about it just for fun. By the way, I left you a surprise at Becky's house. We missed you at the meeting!

imayankee said...

I read this story out loud to my family. We all laughed. You really have a knack for painting a (funny) picture. I laughed at the image of Langley! I can identify will the urgency to pee. When I'm out and about I feel like a dog who has to make his mark everywhere.

Motley said...

I'm glad I'm a man. I'm pretty sure I don't have to elaborate!

Jamie Ferraioli said...

Way to make me pee my pants with laughter!

Ah..the days of rushing home with you from running errands because you have to pee really bad..hehe