Several things happened to me over the last few weeks that truly reminded me that this scribe is no longer a young buck but a fifty- one year old man and the clock is ticking. I went to the optometrist to get my usual eye exam. The glaucoma routine involves a quick blast of air into your peepers as you stare at an animation display of a farmhouse upon a hill with lovely flowing, verdant fields. I always have a slight nervous anticipation with this test because one has a tendency to blink too much. Suffice (it) to say when that little bolt of O2 hit my eye another part of my body squeaked. My face reddened and I heard the attractive young girl giggle behind her machinery. I had always heard there was a certain loss of booty control as the years fade by but I figured such a loss of control and the inevitable drooling would be a natural part of my future retirement home… at roughly one hundred years old. I’m half a century too soon! I wear reading glasses and the optometrist informed me I needed to increase the strength.

You know you need a stronger pair of reading glasses when you read the newspaper held as far away as you can. Remember folks, if your arms are getting stiff and a little longer it’s time for a visit to the lamp doctor. If all of that isn’t depressing enough I recently saw a television commercial promoting men’s underwear for incontinence problems. Thankfully, I do not suffer that particular vexation. However, I believe men’s incontinence has little to do with weak bladders. I firmly believe the crisis is rooted in machismo. If a man walks into the men’s room and there are three urinals with the middle one free there is a reason for this. No male will perform his natural duty beside another man if there can be a space between them. The man that sees that middle space will automatically look to the stall and if that is occupied, a slight tinge of fear rifles through his body as he silently urges one of the two men or the one in the stall to hurry. If time is running out we will begrudgingly take the middle space and avoid eye contact with our brethren. The only time men will strike up a conversation as they stand staring at the wall with laser-like focus is if we’re hammered or so well-endowed we don’t care. The point I am trying to make here is that men probably hold it in too long thereby damaging their bladders and therefore forced to use big boy diapers. In case you haven’t noticed I am stalling. Here’s the deal. I went out for dinner the other night and knew I should have used the bathroom but it wasn’t urgent and I was late.

I’ve always had iron-clad bladder control unless of course I drink too many American beers and then I morph into an angel peeing in some fountain garden scene in a campy backyard. Anyway, I went to dinner and eyed the men’s room. The place was busy and I knew I could hold it plus I didn’t feel like using the middle stall should there only be three. It was a calculated risk. Dinner was great and as I went to leave I wondered if I should use the men’s room. No. I could hang on as I live nearby. And then it happened… For some inexplicable reason my bladder finally revolted and demanded freedom. I slammed the gas pedal and raced down the streets as I took sharp turns with tires squealing. I prayed there wouldn’t be any trains and there wasn’t as I rocketed over the tracks. The bumps warned me that I was dangerously close to a total meltdown-my-leg. I parked underground in record time.

Like an old-time movie I ran to the elevator. It came quickly but a man stopped to chat. I smiled through gritted teeth, bid him farewell and rocked on my toes as the lift seemed slower than ever. Finally, the doors pinged open. This was going to be a photo-finish. I tiptoed down the lengthy corridor like I had cardboard tubes over my legs. I fumbled for my keys and scratched the hell out of the plate as a rainbow began to form over my head. I mercifully entered my unit, kicked off my deck shoes because I didn’t want them to pool and scrambled to the washroom. Too late. There was no more Nature’s-call-waiting and I smartly moved to the tub where I did what I haven’t done since I was a little boy. Say, does anyone know what sizes those bladder control undies come in?

By: Ben Guyatt

Providing a Fresh Perspective for Burlington and Hamilton.

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