My name is Dillon Cheverere. By nearly every definition, I am an adult. On Friday, July 19, at approximately 1:30 p.m. CST, I shit my pants.
To squash any preemptive confusion, this wasn’t a metaphorical shit. I’m not using “shit my pants” in the same fashion one might use “drop the ball” or “let one get away,” as if to suggest I let a situation get the best of me. I mean that I very literally defecated in my pants.
There is really only one excusable time for adults to shit themselves, or shit outside. This one excusable time is when he or she is somewhere without access to a restroom — on a road trip, a ski lift, a nature hike, a ferris wheel, etc., when emergency strikes. When your stomach starts to rumble something serious, and you know you have just a couple minutes until it’s go time, you have GOT to be within 30 paces of a toilet. Because it hits swiftly, and it hits hard.
I’ve shit my pants twice since reaching the age when it is no longer socially acceptable. The first time was when I was 14 years old. My father and I joined a 5-day floating excursion down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The land inside the Grand Canyon is a preserved area. One regulation we had to obey was all solid waste, human or otherwise, could not be left behind. Yes, that included our shit. Each of our rafts was equipped with a 3 x 3 x 3 metal box with a toilet seat on top, and handles on either side. At each stop, we would carry this box to a private location nearby on land, and it became our makeshift restroom. We shit in the box, then we had to take it with us when we left. It was nasty. You’d look down inside this thing, and all you saw was a big pile of human shit.
After a stop on land one day for a quick bite to eat, we set off again down the river. Two minutes after departure, my stomach gave me a “Yo, I’m not crazy about what you just ate, so I’m about to get rid of it. Like right now. Holler atcha boy.” I warned our tour leader that I was about to evacuate. “I need the box,” I whined. He responded by telling me we were still hours from our next stop. I was seconds from shitting, though, a message that, at 14 years of age, I was apprehensive to relay to him in front of our entire group. I was mortified. Then, I shat. In my swim trunks. I freaked out, and fearing my raft compadres catching wind of my shit drawers, I rolled backwards off the side of the boat like a seasoned scuba diver atop the Great Barrier Reef. It was a beautiful maneuver. They just assumed I clumsily fell off. Crisis mostly averted.
That was the last time I had an emergency shit while stuck in an unfortunate, toilet-less situation. Then, it happened again on Friday.
The next rumble was my stomach’s Mortal Kombat “Finish Him” move. It was violent. It would end me.
I was on my way to Houston from Austin for an annual man trip — golf, Stros game, bar hopping, just typical guy stuff. We took Highway 71 to I-10. I was with three of my boys in my friend’s black Ford F-150. I sat in the back left seat. No chicks, which, after what was about to happen to me, turned out to be even more of a blessing than I originally anticipated. We stopped in the small town of Smithville at a place called Zimmerhanzel’s BBQ. None of us had tried it before, but since the place made Texas Monthly‘s Top 50 Barbecue Joints list, a list many of us Texans pay close attention to, we figured it was definitely worth the stop. I got the chopped beef sandwich with a side of potato salad. It tasted fine. We went on our way.
The first stomach cramp set in about 20 minutes down the road. It hit sharply, but briefly. I chalked it up as an aberration. The next one came about one minute later, this one just as sharp, but lasted a solid seven to ten seconds. It was alarming. “Is that barbecue not sitting well with anyone else?” I asked calmly. I was answered with laughter. It wasn’t funny. “Whenever you have a chance to stop at a gas station, please do so. I need to use the restroom,” I continued. More laughter followed. It still wasn’t fucking funny. “Dude, we’re 15 miles from the next stop. You’re gonna have to hold it,” my friend informed me while driving.
The next rumble was my stomach’s Mortal Kombat “Finish Him” move. It was violent. It would end me. I had 45 seconds, tops, until I was amidst full release. “Pull over right now! I’m literally about to shit on your seat,” I said sternly. Laughter erupted. They thought I was joking. I was not joking. I was literally about to shit on his seat. “Pull over right fucking now! It’s starting to come out!” I yelled while clinching my cheeks together with all the strength I could muster. It was starting to come out. I could feel it. There are very few feelings in this world worse than the sensation of shit leaving your body while you’re fully clothed. They then knew I was serious, which resulted in even more laughter. I tried this thing where I lifted my torso off the seat with my hands for maximum clinching ability, sort of like an inverted plank maneuver. It helped for about two seconds, but ultimately proved futile. I kept shitting. Then finally, the truck was pulled onto the shoulder.
If I had chosen option A, I would have brown eyed approximately 5,000 eastbound onlookers.
While overcome by sheer panic, I scrambled for the door handle, exited the truck, then ran around to the passenger side while simultaneously undoing my pants, all the while shit is sputtering out of me like water through a kinked-up water hose. This is when I had a huge decision to make regarding where I would complete the task at hand. I could either: A) drop trou right next to the truck and use it for coverage, or B) I could run across the adjacent access road and try to find some cover along the fence line, which was a good 100 feet from the shoulder of the highway. Quick side note here: I-10 is a really goddamn busy highway. I first thought the truck would provide me sufficient cover from the passersby. It was not so. If I had chosen option A, I would have brown eyed approximately 5,000 eastbound onlookers. That’s not a good look. Option B was the least shitty of the two shitty options.
Like a penguin taking its first baby steps, I waddled across the grass, the access road, then more grass until I was at the barbed wire fence line — with clinched butt cheeks and a messy asshole. If the fence wasn’t seven feet tall (or if shit wasn’t erupting from an orifice in body) I would have attempted to climb it in search of adequate cover. Fuck it, I thought. This’ll have to do. I dropped my shorts, squatted, then I released what was left in me. A brief moment of unbridled elation was interrupted with the sudden realization that I had nothing in the way of cleanup supplies. I had no toilet paper, no napkins, not even a Zimmerhanzel’s receipt to wipe with. I remembered my back seat mate had picked up a newspaper at Zimmerhanzel’s and brought it with him. While squatting over my liquid pile of shit, I motioned for someone in the truck to take a break from their hysterics to help a brother out and bring me the newspaper. It was at this moment that I noticed the truck very literally shaking from the physical laughter occurring inside it.
Then, like a knight in shining armor, my buddy came through.
The newspaper was a bout five pages thick. I would need all of it. It was still insufficient. I cleaned up as best I could, which was not good enough, or even close to good enough. Imagine cleaning a shoe caked in mud with a single cotton ball. I was ill-equipped to say the least.
I was in full Pooh Bear at this time…
I then had to ditch my underwear: blue Hanes boxer briefs. I liked those briefs, but considering that the inside of them looked like the result of a school-wide food fight on chocolate pudding day, I had to leave them at the scene of the crime. I took them off and left them on the ground after slipping them over my shoes. I was in full Pooh Bear at this time (“Pooh Bear” is a term used to describe someone who is wearing only a shirt, ie. naked from the waist down) while hundreds of cars were screaming by. Did a few of them catch a quick glimpse of my meat n’ potatoes? You fucking bet they did. Did I care? You fucking bet I didn’t.
I quickly threw my shorts back on and crept back across the access road and to the truck. “Worst day of my life,” I said, muffled by the continued laughter of my three friends. “Get me to a restroom. Shit is everywhere.”
We found a Shell station 15 miles down the road. I went inside to assess the damage. It was uglier than I thought. My buddy had joined me, as he needed to take a piss. “Listen man, you’ve got to bring me a fresh pair of drawers. They’re in my bag. Be a pal,” I pleaded. I thought my boxers contained all the shit, but I’d never been more wrong in my life. It looked like Woodstock ’99 in there.
Zimmerhanzel’s BBQ, guys. Remember the name.