A Perfect Storm of Bladder Discomfort and An Embarrassing Request for a Mop and Bucket: Saturday 18th February

Today saw an unfortunate series of events come together to create a perfect storm of bladder discomfort. It began with my morning run, which owing to the fact that the Tokyo Marathon is next Sunday was of a medium, but not insignificant distance (14 miles). Now owing to the fact that I had just run a half marathon my body obviously needed water, however as a rule I never drink before going to work at the theatre because we are not really supposed to take impromptu toilet breaks during the rehearsals, especially this close to he performance where we are doing full run-throughs. Unfortunately though, shortly before we started rehearsing my body decided that it was severely dehydrated, and so I had no choice but to drink half a litre of an isotonic beverage, figuring a full bladder to be less of an inconvenience than a lack of consciousness. I was confident that I would be able to hold out for the two hours until the intermission (half through Act 3 of the play), but by Act 1 Scene 2 this confidence was revealed for the folly that it was. To complicate things further, someone was again sitting in my chair (chosen because it allowed for a relatively easy escape in emergencies such as this), meaning thy I would have to traverse at least one person as I attempted to beat a hasty retreat, which obviously had to be done under the cover of darkness so as to avoid the ire of the director. One of the stage hands also happened to be sitting in the aisle, and so I spent the remainder of the first Act plotting a trajectory that involved the least risk of serious injury, whilst racking my brains for the next available scene change that involved a total blackout. My chance came at the end of Act 2 Scene 1, and as the music faded out and the theatre was plunged into total darkness I made my move. I almost certainly touched the girl next to me inappropriately on the thigh, but apart from that future case of harassment I managed to make good my escape, dash to the nearest toilets, where I planned to hide until the interval, whilst cursing my bodies hyper-osmosis.

The culprit.

After 15 minutes or so I decided that I had probably spent enough time in the toilets to warrant any explainable excuse, and so stealthily made my way backstage, where I planned to watch the action on one of the monitors. I was somewhat surprised therefore to see that all the lights had gone on, and that people were rushing around the stage in a haphazard fashion. My first thought, naturally, was that everyone was looking for me, and that I had somehow managed to incite mild panic with my sudden disappearance; my excessive narcissism and neuroticism combining to their usual deadly effect. Thankfully it seemed that the actors were simply rehearsing the curtain call, which meant that they must have finished rehearsing half way through Act 2. Sadly my bladder had no way of knowing this, and a lack of foresight was certainly preferable to an embarrassing request for a mop and bucket.


About truehamlet

Sam is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, who researches the different ways in which media such as poetry and film can be used to communicate science to new audiences.
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