When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go
Have you ever been driving alone, in the dark, and then realize that your teeth were floating and you needed to make a pit stop sooner than soon? (y’know – tinkle, urinate, pee, whiz, go potty, make water, take a leak, or see a man about a horse)? Obviously the best course of action would be to pull over to a public restroom and take care of business; just remember the public restroom safety tips I offered earlier.
How you handle this delicate situation when you are alone, in the dark vs. day time or when you are with someone plays an important role in your personal safety. For the purpose of this discussion I am referring to a being alone (generally a woman) in the dark with a full bladder, specifically driving on a freeway, with few options.
What do you do?
A well-lit, populated gas station or open fast food restaurant would be your best option. If that is not an option, what about a rest stop? That’s certainly another option. Yet go with your gut instinct. I am personally not comfortable with that option, as most are off the main freeway, slightly out of sight, and if not well populated, it could prove too secluded for my liking.
Sometimes your only option is to pull over on the road and do what you gotta do.
Yes I realize there is a law against public urination. Believe me, I am $75-poorer-thanks-to-a-citation-painfully aware (circa 1984). Public urination laws are primarily governed by state and local laws, which vary by jurisdiction. It is possible to be charged with littering, public nuisance, indecent exposure, disorderly conduct, or other law if the locality doesn’t have a law specifically addressing public urination. I’m certainly not advocating this practice; merely saying that when you gotta go, you gotta go.
If you feel your only option is to pull over on the road for some quick relief consider this:
While privacy is certainly a factor, you never want to be too secluded, especially alone, in the dark, while you’re dropping trou. It leaves you far too vulnerable. If it’s so private that no one would see you, then perhaps no one would hear you or find your body too!
For example, just this morning, I was driving down to Indiana for a Notre Dame football game (GO IRISH!). It is a 115 mile one way trek that I make frequently. I generally can make it from my castle to the Benton Harbor exit, where I regularly visit the Shell gas station to pay homage to the porcelain throne. This morning’s journey must have included an extra cup of coffee.
I knew I wasn’t going to make it to my regular pit stop. I saw that there was a Rest Stop coming up in one mile, along with the annotation “next rest stop, 80 miles.” What to do? What to do? I didn’t feel comfortable stopping at the secluded rest stop, but figured I’d make it to the next small town which I knew was well lit and had at least one gas station that was open.
Wrong. I wasn’t going to make that either. What to do? What to do? I decided that come hell or high water I was pulling off on the very next exit. And I did. There was absolutely nothing around; it was completely dark and desolate. Shortly after exiting there was a cross street. I started to go toward the right, and then opted to go left. Then just off the main drag I was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief. But wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I was assuming the position… headlights and a truck. How special for me. Yes, fellas, it is a full moon this morning, thank you very much.
Clearly I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of an audience, but when you gotta go, you gotta go. I was, however, ever so grateful that I had the wherewithal to stop just immediately off the main drag and not look for something more private and secluded. I also had the keys to my vehicle still in my hands (all the better to jab someone in the eyeballs, Adam’s Apple or elsewhere). While I was in a vulnerable position, I do not ever want to be caught completely off guard.
Not an idea situation, of course. But when you are alone, you really need to be proactive and make wise choices. You’re never off the clock when it comes to your personal safety.
A funny but gentle reminder that should you find yourself in a similar situation, perhaps pull over to a public location before it becomes an emergency!