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Monday, 23 May 2016

O Mein Gott I might just crap myself on the street!

Some years ago I learnt the German word for diarrhoea having had a horrible near miss on a pleasure cruiser going round a large lake in Berlin. The amazingly spot on descriptive word is Durchfall (through falling). In the Berlin incident - could be a good name for a spy novel there -  I fled to the thankfully unoccupied loo on the boat. When ashore I hot footed it to a chemist and had to mime someone about to shit themselves as I had very little German language. They gave me something white, chalky and liquid to ease my tum. That night I went to the Staatstheater and no further drama ensued other than Porgy and Bess.

Why do I mention this? Just to amuse? Probably. These things are always amusing after the event but certainly not at the time. Strong coffee upsets my delicate tummy and it seems that fizzy mineral water and Pils beer have the same dire effect.

Just last week I was in Karlsruhe in Germany on a theatre twinning event. I arrived on Friday 13th May. On Saturday I made my way to a tram stop called Tullastrasse to meet a large band of actors all arriving in their mini-busses from England.  Before the journey across town I drank a bottle of fizzy mineral water. By the time I got off the tram opposite Alter Schlachthof (old slaughterhouse) I realised from the volcanic gurgling within that all was not well. Fizzy water mixing with fibrous food are not happy companions and my gut did not feel at all Gut.

I stood on the tram stop platform with my beleaguered legs abjectly crossed and my worried bum decidedly in tightly clenched mode. Occasionally I would try to feign normality and asked passers by if there were any toilets in the vicinity. My eyes popping out of their sockets perhaps gave away a back story to my innocent questioning. Someone suggested a restaurant across the busy intersection. I hurried over and regrettably they were closed. Now my churning stomach was threatening to fill my pants. In case there is any doubt whatsoever in your minds I can assure you that this feeling is grim - worse than grim. If it were just a pee I wanted then perhaps I could have found a discrete wall out of view but a savage very loose bowl movement is not for doing on the street. Trust me on that one.

Three more sweaty bum clenching moments happened as I crossed the road in the direction of a small Casino. At one point I was waved across by a van driver alongside me but I daren't move. I got odd looks.

The Casino was open and I entered the grubby lobby to be smiled at by an older lady on the desk. I didn't have to act any pained expressions but I quickly explained that I had ein grosses Problem and desired the urgent use of their hopefully near facilities. God bless the lady on the desk. She told me to leave my rucksack with her and pointed the way to the loo. It seemed lady luck was with me that day and, how shall I put this? I was mightily relieved.

Robert, Markus and Trev at Multi Kulti.

The second incident was shortly after a nice meal of chicken fillets and spaetzle with a peppercorn sauce, a side salad and a couple of Pils at a café called Multi Kulti. Everything was fine until about ten minutes into a walk with Markus and Trev and Robert back to the theatre. Back came that awful feeling. I made my excuses and doubled my pace towards the theatre dodging oncoming pedestrians and swerving around road works as well as mentally urging gaps in the traffic through which I trotted before the trots manifested themselves in my trousers on Kaiser Allee. The Café Bleu loos were thankfully unoccupied and my dignity was once again saved through my record breaking tight arsed lope and part striptease en route. My fevered head went  'Keep going- for God's sake keep going - nearly there - undo belt- one less thing to worry about...'

Chicken fillets meal at Multi Kulti.

Incident nummer drei was after a lovely evening with Lena and Sascha at their apartment on Mathystrasse. Sascha cooked us a fabulous meal of pork tenderloin with a home made sauce and a bowl of yummy salad. The chat was wonderful, the beers flowed and we listened to music on the young couple's tablet as the evening meal was prepared. It was a perfectly convivial evening as we shared stories and got to know each other better. My tummy was beginning to gurgle so I disappeared to the toilet a few times. Never thought much of it. The hour was getting late so after a chocolate dessert I said my Auf Wiedersehens and, once out of the apartment block, started to walk towards Europa Platz for my tram home. Lo and behold my intestines started to warn me of potential explosive activity.

Phil, Lena and Sascha.

Once again I had to find a loo and pretty darn quick. The crossed leg and tight bum stance became almost choreographic. Two steps and stop. And clench. One more step and stop. And clench. Two steps and stop. And try to ignore the sensations. Breathe normally.

Across the road was a big bar that was still open on this Thursday night. I saw the lights and took a chance. A quick enquiry in German, aimed at some guys at a table near the main door, revealed the near proximity of the downstairs loo. Once in the cubicle my trousers dropped quicker than I could mutter 'Oh Scheiss!' Too much information?

Thankfully that was the last time in a week of Pils drinking and fibrous food eating! I seriously don't know what I would have done had those toilets not been there or indeed were occupied. Life could have taken a rather embarrassing and nasty turn. In each circumstance I was about five miles away from my temporary home with my lovely German hosts. "Hi! Excuse the stench. I have just crapped myself big time."

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