Thursday, May 28, 2009

Work Travel in Leopard Panties

Now that title is what you call an "attention grabber," don't ya think?

Yes, I'm cheating. I've put a few reruns together from the old blogs (politits and unglued). Long time readers will remember some of these goofy stories. New readers may be surprised to know that I really do float through this life with the grace of a hippo in a tutu....

Here's one from April 2007. It's inspired by this post by La Belette Rouge. Thanks, LBR, for the inspiration!

P.S. The process of going through my old work is part of trying to pull together something to submit to possible agents, so shut up with that ha ha, you can't stop blogging pointing and laughing stuff. I mean it. Don't make me hold you down and dangle drool over your face........

I was digging through old employment information last night and came across some papers that reminded of my job with AARP. I worked for them for five years in the Midwest Regional Office and later, when they decentralized, in the Illinois State Office.

One of my projects was to help volunteers build local coalitions so that they could do community development in several targeted areas of Illinois. It required a lot of travel around the state. During a trip to Springfield, the key volunteer in charge of community development went along with me. I'll call him Mr. Lipschultz. Mr. Lipschultz and I got along really well and enjoyed working together. Before retirement, which was anything but the put your feet up and hang around style of retirement, he was the regional administrator for a federal agency in Minnesota. He was incredibly interesting and knowledgeable about so many things. He actively volunteered for one or two other organizations and served on the Boards of a couple more. He swam everyday. This guy was impressive.

When we started working together, my boss pulled me into her office to wish me well on the new project and to warn me that this was not a man with which to trifle. He was very well respected and had the ear of influential people in Chicago. She would appreciate it if I hid my off-beat light under a bushel a bit, if I got her meaning.

Since I've had children, I've battled my weight. The summer I worked closely with Mr. Lipschultz was a skinny summer. After I really ballooned up after The Boy was born, my doctor kindly prescribed phentermine and I lost fifty pounds. I was wearing a size eight (not to be believed in many years!). I was feeling pretty good about the way I looked and I noticed the Mr. Lipschultz didn't mind hanging around with a reasonably attractive younger woman. He liked to joke about what people would think when they saw us traveling or dining out together. Shameless flirt that I am, I encouraged him.

The Springfield trip started off well enough. We had our meeting with a working lunch then headed back to Chicago. I was driving. Shortly after we got onto the interstate I started to feel ill. The feeling built up quickly. I told Mr. Lipschultz that I was feeling a little off. He suggested that we get off at the next exit. He told me that I was looking pale. I took the next exit and drove to the nearest gas station.

I was really feeling sick now and pulled into the parking lot as fast as I could. I brought the car to a stop, flung open my car door and vomited out the driver's side. All I could think was "poor Mr. Lipschultz! What must he think?"

When I was finally through unloading my lunch onto the pavement, I sat back up and gripped the wheel. I couldn't look at Mr. Lipschultz.

"Are you okay now?" he asked sweetly.

I paused. "Well, yes. But I just shit my pants, too" I said and looked at him. We both burst out laughing.

After we were done with that bit of hilarity, I had to get inside and get cleaned up. Naturally, I'd selected a lovely pair of light khaki Liz Claiborne trousers and green sweater as my business casual attire that morning. Not knowing how my backside looked, I moved as fast as I could to get inside the station and to the bathroom.

Once inside, I did the best I could to clean myself up and put myself back together. My khaki pants were horribly stained. Once I got my panties clean, I dried them as best I could with paper towels. I had to hide in a stall while I did it. I put the very damp leopard spotted panties back on and peeked outside. No one was there so I took my trousers to the sink and started rinsing them out. The sound of the water must have been very loud because I didn't hear when the door opened.

There I stood wearing nothing but my bright green sweater and leopard panties, furiously scrubbing my khakis in the sink. I looked up and saw two young girls staring open-mouthed at me. I did the only thing I could think of. I smiled at them. They turned and ran out the door.

I finished with the khakis and attempted to dry them under the air dryer. I stood there mashing the big, silver button hoping that no one else would walk in. Afraid to wait too long, I gave up and slipped the wet khaki trousers on over my damp panties. I slunk out the bathroom door and scurried as fast as I could out the door and toward the car.

Mr. Lipschultz was waiting patiently for me. I could tell that he'd cleaned the front seat of the car. Of course it was fabric, not leather. I wanted to sink into the ground. Instead I got back into the car and thanked him for being so wonderful.

Don't you worry about it," he said. "I just want to know that you're okay. I'm sorry I can't drive for you because I don't know how to drive a stick shift. Are you going to be able to drive?"

"Yes. I think I 'm okay now. It must have been something I ate."

"Well, just go nice and slow and we'll take lots of breaks on the way," he said in his darling, commanding way. He was used to being in charge.

Damp, cold, still queasy and I'd just hurled and crapped myself in front of a very impressive man. It was the longest three hour drive of my life.


  1. Poor Lisa. Oh dear. Hey, he was nice about it at least and after all we are all human beings--you know, bodies--and it could have happened to anyone. Peace!

  2. Oh, wow. That's a VERY impressive man.

    Usually, only "moms" would do that sort of stuff.

  3. Christ, what did you eat? And I agree with rennratt...he was impressive.

  4. Leopard Panties-- That'll going the crazies out from Google searches :-) And what a story! I wonder what his version is! Thanks for a good laugh today.

    And I left you a little surprise over on my blog post today. Enjoy!

  5. I swear to god that's one of the funniest stories I've ever heard. You poor thing :-)

  6. If only his name had been Mr. Lipshitz.;-) Your humiliating moment totally kicks mine in the maxi pad. That you did not literally die of embarrassment speaks to your enormous strength.

    I am almost glad my shameful moment happened as they have inspired some pretty amazing posts.

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  8. When I used to drink I once was so bombed I took a cab to my boyfriends. I remembered very little the next morning and asked him if I had made an ass of myself. He replied, "No, after you threw up you were fine."

  9. Hey Praveen, do you have any special puke n' crap travel packages? I may have a client in mind for you.

  10. Luckily, I've only performed that trick in the privacy of my own far....

    The guy was a GEM!!

  11. Oh Lisa, I would have wanted to die in that bathroom, knowing I had to clean up and get back in that car. You are amazing, and well what a nice man.

  12. OK, so you may have held me down and drooled on my face, but I do want to thank you for never hurling and crapping while we worked together;)

  13. This is why one always wears black. Never know when it'll be open orifice day.

  14. omg you poor dear! I love how you write this one up make it funny when it really wasn't funny.

    Bless you for making me laugh Lisa..I adore you! ;)

  15. I'm utterly speechless...You should have James tell you about the time HE shit himself. INTENTIONALLY.

  16. I was laughing so hard reading this I almost crapped in my pants. I had a similar experience in none other than Costco but luckily only Mr. Peach Tart was around and that was mortifying enough. That boss was a gentleman. His Mama must have trained him well.

  17. Oh my. I wonder if impressive man blogged about the event.

  18. Somehow, I thought that your story was going to go in a different direction . . . (oh, you poor thing).

    You are right about the title, though.

  19. This was such a vivid awful/charming/funny story. You really do have a gift for telling these. Good luck with the agent thing - I think you have a great chance. Based on a book deal a partner of mine has been working for almost two years (rejection after rejection - my part is the illustrations, she handles the rejections - great arrangement on my side, tough on hers) it can take a very long time and lots of persistence to get into the book business. So I hope you take a mechanical position on this, expecting about twenty "No"s before you get a maybe, and possibly another twenty "No"s before you get a "Yes." The forty "No"s were all just busy or not your style or only interested in authors they already know, or... It doesn't necessarily reflect on your abilities. A good portion of this is a numbers game. Gotta lay all those stones on the bottom, cold calling and letters layer before you can move up to the agent working your manuscript around publishing houses layer, before you get to put that capstone of a published book on top... And most people don't get to shortcut the laying of even one of those dozens or hundreds of stones. So please hang in there.

    And you might want to try other publishing possibilities - like magazines or newspapers, to have more resume to top your letters... I think your writing would work extremely well that way, too.

  20. I thought Lipshitz would have been gone like the wind.... urgent business matter.....

    Well, at least he knew this girl has it going on.... from every direction.

    Plus your boss did want you to make an impression.

  21. I was laughing out loud reading this. Hun, I was not laughing at you as much as I was laughing with you. Your ability to share such a story is to be commended.

    While I have never simultaniously thrown up and shit myself. I did once shart myself on the way to work. I managed to finish my commute with my ass never touching the seat for fear that my pants would be stained.

    I managed to make it to the bathroom, toss the underwear balled up in paper towels and get myself cleaned up and no one was ever the wiser.

    Your story is much better than mine!

  22. Oh my God, that is too too funny! LOL! You poor thing!! :) I only got sick like that (out of both ends) once--and I was LUCKILY at home at the time. I don't think I could have handled it even nearly as well as you did. *smiles*


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