The Ballad Of a Walnut Bladder

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I was born with a troubling affliction*. It’s been so difficult to manage my whole life, and it’s so difficult to discuss. Today I feel is the time to make public my ailment.

I am affected by a disorder known colloquially as walnut bladder. Yes, it’s true. I so much as look at a glass of water and I feel the need to pee.

In such times as walnut bladder-itis affects the life of The Good Man, he calls me his little tree frog. “You know, you pick up the frog and it tinkles in your hand?”

That’s me.

As a child I presented quite a challenge to my folks who liked to take road trips. The average child has to pee frequently but I was even more prone than normal. I always had to pee and I had the kind of dad who refused to stop. It was always a problem.

We used to spend summers at our place at Ute Lake. The drive from Albuquerque to Logan, New Mexico is about three hours, plus or minus. Even as an adult, three hours is just too long for me to go without a trip to the potty.

I vexed my mother terribly with my affliction. Once she threatened to use a clothespin to clamp off my leaky plumbing.

Well that got my attention.

From then on I planned well ahead for an upcoming road trip. I would cease intake of liquids at least a day in advance of the trip and would steadfastly refuse to drink any liquid until we arrived.

In hindsight, not having much liquid while living in the high desert wasn’t probably the best idea, but it worked and it avoided clothespins in delicate places.

In daily life I manage my ailment by working a path between my desk at work and the restroom. At home I get up at least twice a night to pee. The Good Man and The Feline have learned to adapt.

But I had occasion last week to really realize again the utter torture of a completely full bladder and no good plan to empty it out.

It was a typical afternoon at work and I was, as usual, drinking lots of good fresh water. Staying hydrated is still important. And that means ol’ Walnutta here has to go at a minimum once an hour. Sometimes more.

Usually before heading into a meeting, I will go right before so I can get through the hour stretch.

On this day, I was so busy with work and in other meetings and I bumped right up to the top of the hour when my next meeting was due to start. I did an internal gut check and then a clock check and thought, “Yeah, I’m ok.”

Silly, silly me.

At about twenty minutes into the hour and a half long meeting, a job interview with a prospective candidate no less, I had that first twinge of “oh…hmm, I’m going to need to pee here pretty soon.”

As the seconds on the clock ticked by with molasses speed, and the candidate droned on and on and on, things started to get bad.

One goes through most of the stages of grief when it comes to an overfull bladder.

First, denial: “Pfft! I’m fine. No big deal. I can make it.”

Then bargaining: “Ok, well, if I can make it just ten more minutes, maybe I can excuse myself and take care of this. Please please bladder don’t let me pee my pants.”

Anger: “Dangblamit why did I drink so much water today! And why is my bladder so tiny? And why can’t I just distract myself and make this feeling go away!?!”

Depression: “Dude, you are such a loser. Look at everyone else at the table, they can hold their liquids. What is *wrong* with you?”

Acceptance: “It’s going to be ok. I’m going to make it. I’m not going to pee my pants. And if I do, it will be fine, right?”

Over the course of an hour and a half I moved up and down and back and forth through all of those stages and I squirmed mightily in my chair.

Look, my attention span isn’t that long to begin with. Add in a full to bursting bladder and I don’t hear what anybody has to say about any topic.

It was horrible. At one point I thought I might even cry, I had to pee so badly.

And finally! Finally at the hour and forty five minute mark that damn candidate stopped talking and I was free to go use the restroom all the way over on the other side of the building.

Then it becomes like that question of walking or running in the rain. As in: In which method do you get wetter? (I think Mythbusters proved it’s a toss up)

The question became: do I walk to the bathroom thus taking longer and upping my odds for peeing my pants? Or do I run thus jangling my stuff and making it more likely I’ll pee my pants?

I chose a sort of tight-legged shuffle and finally made it safely into the bathroom stall.

And once I made it to the safe zone and did my business, my whole world looked a little brighter. A little happier. A little more at peace.

I know everyone has gone through the ballad of the full bladder at one point or another. When you have a walnut bladder it happens a little more often than I’d like.

You better betcher sweet life I’m doing a much better job of meeting and bladder management. No one likes the full bladder squirms.








Ok, not *really* an affliction. The word just sounded good to add the right amount of drama.


Image found here.




A Tribute

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In honor of my beautiful, tolerant, and kind mother who was born on this very day, I present an entry that really, truly highlights just what a kind and tolerant woman she is.

And also the kind of crap my mom had to put up with in my formative years.

She deserves a better child than me, but I’m what she got. Hi Mom!

By the way, my dear mom has had to endure a lot this past week. Her oldest child (my brother) turned 50 and he also became a grandfather.

Hellova a birthday present to my dear Mom to suddenly become a great-grandparent.

And so Happy Birthday to my wonderful Mum! May it be filled with cake and fun!

And perhaps a Margarita or two.


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Originally published May 11, 2011

And Then There Was The Time…


So after having a confession yesterday about my snake flinging incident, commenter Andy D mentioned that if I’d slung the snake directly onto instead of simply near my mom, that likely I’d remember the conclusion of that story a lot differently.

Which reminded me of yet another story that took place at that family vacation house near Ute Lake.

My dad was an avid hunter and we always had guns in the house. Since my dad didn’t want us to be either scared or a little too curious about the guns, he made sure we all knew how to shoot each and every one.

On the small bit of property we owned in Cuba, New Mexico, there was a tree that had been felled by lightening. It was a huge tree, and it made a really good location for target practice. Whenever we’d go camping, my dad would bring along guns and each kid (and mom too) all had to take a turn. Dad supervised while we learned to load and shoot the gun.

I was shooting my dad’s deer rifles from a young age. All this is by way of saying that I grew up fairly comfortable around guns.

So ok.

My brother had himself a BB gun when he was a teenager, and when he went off to college, that BB gun was left at the Ute Lake house. For a while, around age 12 or so, I adopted that BB gun as my own. It had seen better days, but it worked fine and there was a big box of BBs available for my “ping!” pleasure.

I liked to shoot the gun mainly for the sound of the BBs pinging off the side of something like the old metal sided chicken coop.

Not the most ambitious of kids, was I.

On the property was a telephone pole. For reasons I still don’t fully understand, that telephone pole was covered in a very thick layer of tar. When the baking heat of a New Mexico summer day would get going, that tar would soften into a gooey mess.

So in my eleven year old mind, I had the brilliant idea that if I shot BBs at the tar covered pole, they’d stick. Wouldn’t that be so cool?

I filled the BB gun full to the brim and got to work out back shooting at that pole from a fair distance. I wanted to make it sporting. Now, hitting a decently narrow pole from a good distance is tougher than you may think. Or at least it was for me. What I lacked in aim, I made up for with single minded focus.

Well, so there I was, pumping BB’s in the general direction of the telephone pole, and my mom, wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt, was working out in the back yard pulling weeds.

You can see where this is headed, right?

Sure enough, it was only a matter of time before I pulled the trigger, my aim was a bit off the mark and I…

Yes, I did.

I shot my mom.

In the arm.

She was, as the saying goes, mad as a wet hen. Quickly enough, a big red welt began rising on her right arm.

Let me just tell you this: I was no longer allowed the use of that BB gun. I was done. For good.

Flinging a snake? I got off easy. Shooting my mom? My oh my. I was in quite a bit of trouble which included a “talking to” from my dad.

That’s never good.

And so in the course of two blog posts, I’ve created quite the Mother’s Day meme.


(I did not, in fact, shoot my eye out. I shot my mom. Whoops.)



Photo is a still from the movie, “A Christmas Story.”