Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


True Tales From My Childhood - "The Last Time I Wet The Bed"

I was once a bedwetter. I admit it. I'm proud to admit it. Okay, I'm not proud that I was a bedwetter, but I'm proud that I have the cajones to admit it. I am a member of the International Recovering Bedwetters' Association (IRBA). We meet once a month in a secret location in the Ruwenzori - you would not believe the protestors we used to get when we met in Milwaukee. I am not ashamed to say I often chair these meetings. And don't think I haven't seen some of you at the meetings. Yes, you - don't think that Bella Abzug mask fooled me. And you - you thought that Cincinnati Bengals helmet would hide you, but it didn't. But this isn't a tale about outing others. It's about how I defeated my demon.

I don't know when I started wetting the bed. It may have been the night they aired the last episode of Space 1999. Boy, I loved that show. I cried for an hour until Dad told me that spending 33 days in a upper New York state commune was real punishment, and that I should be quiet. Then, because the memory of that month was so raw to him, he had to go to his happy place in the woodshed with the hooks hanging from the ceiling for a while. I seem to recall wetting the bed that night, but ever since Uncle Mac took me on Space Mountain when I was four and paid the attendants 100000 rupees not to strap me in, I've had some gaps in my memory. It was around that time, I do know.

Those with strong bladders cannot imagine the horror when yours first erupts when it's not supposed to. It feels like death. I dared not tell my father or Uncle Mac, and my mother was still not home. (I did not know yet that around that time she was beginning her torrid affair with Giuseppe the seven-fingered clown, which would eventually end my parents' marriage. This did little, I assure you, to alleviate my bedwetting problems.) I kept quiet, changed my pajamas, stripped my bed, changed everything, and sat up all night talking to my invisible friend Claude. He advised me to keep it to myself, because children usually grow out of the problem. Ah, Claude. I was so sad when Noriega's security forces shot you. Of course, they never found the body ... but that's a story for another day.

This story, however, is not about the first time I wet the bed, but how I triumphed over my problem. I did everything I could to defeat the bedwetting monster. My father and Uncle Mac eventually discovered my secret, and they were surprisingly sympathetic. Dad only broke two of my toes, while Uncle Mac simply called me "Miranda" for the next decade. I got off easy, I reckon. I tried to remain a closet bedwetter - in one case, literally, as I spent the night in the closet, and wet it. My father had no choice, really - I spilled his Glenfiddich, after all. Some things are almost unforgivable. Of course, with Uncle Mac's frequent travels and his penchant for gossip once he got a Roy Rogers or two in him, I did not remain "in the closet" for long. Oh, the abuse from the village girls I endured!

How did I beat it? I made up my mind that I would simply wrestle with my monster, much like Jacob and the angel. Not that dramatic, of course - my "monster" was a little smaller, although I don't mean to be immodest, no less potent! However, nothing else worked. Electroshock, my father taking away my dog Wittgenstein, denying me water for three days - it didn't matter. Finally, he and Uncle Mac gave up. I, however, had been told that quitting was only for Boston Red Sox, so I decided to beat it myself.

First, I drank a lot of water. If I was going to beat it, I wanted the temptation to be greatest. So I chugged gallon after gallon. My father was in Vladivostok on business, but my Uncle Mac just shook his head as he watched me. "Miranda," he said to me at last, "don't you think you're doing yourself a disservice by drinking so much? You know, with the pee-pee geyser you have become." He thought that description was funnier than calling me "Miranda." It gained such currency around the region that when the Dalai Lama himself stopped by one day, an honor I will never forget, he called me a "pee-pee geyser." Still, he told we I would achieve total consciousness on my deathbed, so I've got that going for me.

"Uncle Mac," said I, "I'm going to beat this thing. Tonight. Just you see."

"Well, that's fine, Miranda. But remember - my bedroom is under yours. If anything soaks through you'll spend a month in the hole." The hole was actually the underground bunker Uncle Mac built for the inevitable day when a splinter group of the Baader-Meinhof gang, the Style Council, came after him for the unfortunate remarks he made on German television that one time. It was plushly furnished and had enough food and firearms to last a year. However, Uncle Mac made anyone who went in the hole watch reruns of What's Happening, and I wanted desperately to avoid that fate. I smiled at him, assured him that he would remain dry (or as dry as one could remain in the tropical heat), and went to bed.

The first hour was the worst. The gallons of water had made their way through everything and had settled in my bladder. My bladder was unhappy. It rumbled for release, but I remembered what my sensei always said: "Once you see the wall, then the wall is no longer there." Trying to figure out what the hell he meant by that always distracted me, and this time was no exception. I focused on the wall for a bit, but Bob Geldof with no eyebrows kept swimming into my field of vision. That was okay, because I could contemplate Bob Geldof with no eyebrows and ignore my bladder for a while. However, there's only so much Bob Geldof with no eyebrows one can take, and my bladder was beginning to rumble more. So I switched tactics.

I thought of my mother. I had never accepted the fact that a clown with seven fingers on each hand could make my mother happier than my father, and although that often made me wet the bed, tonight it had an opposite effect. I concentrated on my mother's last words to me: "Brussels sprouts are a Communist plot," and knew then that she was a soothsayer of epic proportions. There was a noble truth in those words, and truth that, if proclaimed to the world, would solve all the problems that we struggle with - poverty, lack of health care, wars and strife, why country music exists, why Julie Newmar never became a bigger star. I'm sorry, but look at her!

Julie Newmar

Where was I? Oh yes. Well thinking about Julie Newmar ...

More Julie Newmar

Yet More Julie Newmar

Phew. Sorry. Anyway, it made things happen down there, and as anyone can tell you, it's tough to do the bad thing when the good thing is happening! But I couldn't keep that up all night! I needed self-control, and the other thing was not conducive to that! So I thought of Uncle Mac and the things I once saw him do with razor wire, and that helped. But now I started to hallucinate. Oh, the things I saw! I was on a boat on a river, and on the banks were tangerine trees and overhead was a marmalade sky. Actually, I think someone else may have been intruding on my hallucination, so I left quickly. The hours passed slowly, as if you were playing mahjong with your grandmother. I wouldn't know about that, because my surviving grandmother (Mom's Mom) was serving time in a Turkish prison for selling knock-off Rockem Sockem Robots in Ankara (the Turks frown on that sort of thing). But that's how I imagine the time passed. The night crept toward its conclusion, and I knew I did not have much time to go. Suddenly I heard an unearthly scream that almost finished me. The scream came right up through the floorboards, and I knew instantly that it was Uncle Mac. I clenched my urethra tight and prayed that whatever had terrified him would not come and get me. The whimpering that followed allowed me to concentrate on his fear and pain, while distracting from my own. I passed over an hour listening to him toss and turn in bed, and although I never found out what had wrenched such a howl from the very depths of his soul (save the cryptic reference the next morning to "Kissinger's rim job"), it might have saved me, as my hallucinations were taking a decidedly waterfall/ocean/fountain turn.

When my eyelids started to flutter and my bladder felt like it was going to burst out of my gut and run happily around the room and I could no longer feel my toes and the Laffer Curve actually sounded like good economic policy, I looked out the window and saw the sun peaking over the jute fields on the eastern side of the plantation. I had done it! Granted, I hadn't actually slept, but I knew that would come the next night. I had mastered my bladder and my fears. No longer would I be "Miranda"! No longer would exiled spiritual leaders insult my lack of control! No longer would the village girls run up behind me and tug on my genitals until I screamed! No longer would I be the punchline of a joke in taverns from Mogadishu to Shanghai! Ah, the freedom! I threw open the shutters as the early morning sunlight bathed my naked body. I stepped onto the bed and pissed on it. It was a symbolic piss, indicating that I was leaving my former life behind and that I was born again. For 26 minutes 12 seconds I peed, feeling every ounce of water flow out of me and into the distant past. Then, desiccated, I staggered off the bed and flicked a lit match onto it. As it burned, I felt tears of joy on my cheeks. It was my sixteenth birthday.


Blogger Lisa said...

Um...I have no words...I mean, I just don't know what to say.



Congratulations on the milestone of your 16th birthday. A triumph to behold and something to burst with pride about. Granted, not what other 16 year olds are possibly celebrating, but hey, what do they know about overcoming such mattresses hurdles?

(lame I know, but it's the best I can do at this hour)

30/6/05 3:46 AM  

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