What some readers may not be aware of, and may only find this out when they have a small child in tow, is that Metrorail station do not have bathrooms. Even if you beg. Yes, I am sure there are bathrooms for station kiosk people, but they don't let you use them. Ever. Something about liability, but we all know why they won't let you use them: they are afraid you'd mess them up. And my experience with public restrooms pretty much can't offer much in the way of rebuttal.
I was in massive, mortal pain and fear of what might happen should I pass out from the experience. Of course, the Red Line stopped a lot between stations for unknown reasons (it always does, but today was really bad). I swear, I considered leaving one of the stations and using a restroom of a restaurant just outside the station, but most of the eastern side of the Red Line goes through some baaaaad neighborhoods. And the time it would take me to find a place, I would have already been at work. So I held, and cringed, and tried every mental trick in the book to try and keep those muscles strong.
It was a photo finish, let me tell you. Nothing escaped where it wasn't supposed to, but as I sat on my ceramic savior, I recalled how Tycho Brahe was rumored to have died, and prayed I didn't rupture anything down below. Hours later, I still feel the pain...
Personal moments such as these come to mind when another event happens. Earlier in the weekend, I had a reverse fanboy moment. Completely. Someone, notably a teen girl, found out I was the Emcee at Katsucon and nearly dropped the pitcher of water she was holding, palmed her chest, and was flustered like she won the lottery. Jennifer is in my son's school, and her other claim to fame for us is that her family owns the best damn Chinese restaurant in town, which we happened to be in at the time.
In this moment, she also asked for my autograph, which I handled badly with a "no." I meant "no" as in "good lord, girl, get ahold of yourself, I am not THAT important!" But I fear she might have taken it as a "no, go away, you crude restaurant employee" instead. She also apologized she chose to go to Otakon this year, and I wasn't slighted in the least. I mean, her money, her choice, and besides, Otakon IS bigger, I admit. I am not a con snob. So she ran and hid in the back room, giggling, and telling her brothers/sisters/cousins who I was, peeking out to see if I was looking. We offered her a free badge (we have a spare) but she would have to ask her mom.
I always wish I could convey to these people that being an Emcee or Cosplay judge or whatever is usually one hand in the air away from a normal person. Why am I Emcee at Katsucon? Because one year, Opening ceremonies was 2 hours late, no one knew what to do, so I became a ringmaster because I felt it gave the con a more professional look, and that way, department heads knew when to be onstage. Then they wanted me onstage because somebody thought I was funny, and besides, I don't get stage fright (nervousness, yes, but not fright - I dread it no more than one might preparing a nice meal). Someday, Katsucon will ask me to step down because they'll have some suave and sophisticated dude like karmaidolman do it, and I won't be hurt or feel slighted: it's just a job, and I enjoy doing it, and when it's done, I don't want to hang onto it like it's an ego thing. I expected the same for FanTek, but they never got around to getting someone talented, so I did it from like 1992 until the ended the cons.
I really don't think I am that good. I wish I had the organizational skills to pull off a huge number, like with dancing cheerleaders, video, music cues... but all I can see is one more thing to go wrong. In the past, I have asked some Cosplay people to help me out, but they both flaked. The key element I have to have is flexibility, because I make a poor asshole director. I can't pull off the, "NO NO NO NO!!!! You are RUINING my vision!!! Gah, this isn't Opening Ceremonies, it's a sack of burning excrement! Focus, people, FO-CUS!!!" Not with volunteers, anyway... and that would require me interfering with the Tech Crew who have enough BS to deal with on their hands. I have seen what they do for Cosplay, and it's not something a slacker like me could pull off.
So, Jennifer, if you ever read this, I am sorry I am not a celebrity, but thanks for the moment of shock and clarity that if I ever make it to slightly-famous author status, I may have to keep in mind how I react. But, like you, I have embarrassing human moments like waddling in pain uphill two blocks to work, praying to various deities would make it to the company restroom without doing something I haven't done since I was four.
Time to carry some "emergency pants."