Most of what follows, unfortunately, happened.
Date: The day of 2 gigs
All my good stories begin and end with my bladder. This is a stone cold fact. What’s also factually indisputable is that my infinitesimal bladder is like the dancing guy from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones; bereft of any actual function, but if it weren’t there I’d know something was up.
For those more partial to a sports metaphor, my bladder has lost every fight it has ever been in. If it’d been a boxer, it would have gone 0-20, retired with irreparable hearing loss and written a memoir entitled “Flow Like a Water Supply, Sting When I Pee”.
To whit: I piss a lot.
In the not too distant past, we played two gigs in one day. You can read about Ritchie’s account of the day on his most recent blog. However, what he left out was the journey between the gigs…
Following the first gig, and enough drinking for a small tour, I am in the back seat of Jake’s car. Ritchie is navigating and perennial napper Nicky is next to me, drooling on the upholstery. It occurs to me that in our years travelling to gigs Nicky is either sleeping, or singing at people out the window. Nicky has two settings; silence and conspicuous.
The venues are about two hours apart. Three if you drive like Ritchie, half that if Jake’s behind the wheel. The speed with which we are going, however, doesn’t comfort Rocky “The Bladder” Peeciano when he decides he is full and needs voiding. From experience, I know Rocky is about 10 minutes from emptying.
I ask Jake to pull over somewhere, but I’m afraid at this speed the stopping distance is about 3 months. In any case, he declines, citing 2 very important facts. 1) We are deep in suburbia, so unless I want to pee in someone’s garden, or up against a stranger’s car, I’m out of luck. 2) He doesn’t want to.
Heroes are only as brave as their villains force them to be. John McClane killed a helicopter with a car. James Bond fought Boromir on a giant satellite dish. Katniss Everdeen killed a franchise with a sequel. Rocky, when confronted with unassailable forces of antagonism, instructs my body to utilize the only lifeline it can. A 500ml lucozade bottle.
I specify the size because I want the reader to fully appreciate the challenge involved in peeing into an undersized container whist in the back seat of a moving vehicle.
“What you doing? You better not be pissing in my car!” Jake snipes.
“Technically I’m pissing in the bottle, but objection noted.” Is what I would’ve said if I wasn’t expelling all available concentration on directing a wobbly stream of urine into a target no wider than a bass plectrum.
“Seriously, don’t piss on my fucking car!” Jake bellows as my aim falters and I piss on his fucking car.
Jake turns a shade of red reserved for really great album covers and begins yelling obscenities found on even greater punk albums. But by this point Rocky is done and the fight is over. I screw the cap on the bottle and hide it in Nicky’s footwell, content that I’ve probably got another 33 minutes before Rocky starts another fight, by which point we’ll either be at the venue or Jake will have killed us with his poor knowledge of the Highway Code.
“PULLOVERIGOTTAPISS!” Nicky is suddenly bolt upright and wearing the look of a man who needs a 2 litre Lucozade bottle. “FUCKINGPULLOVERI’MGONNAPISSMYSELF!”
Jake, knowing better than to argue with a drummer on a mission, pulls over at the first opportunity. Which, it will not surprise you to hear, is a beautiful cul-de-sac with mown lawns, washed cars and swept streets.
Nicky exits the car faster than he drums and within moments, we can hear the steady stream of drummer pee. Against the car.
Jake explodes. “WHAT IN COCKING FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!” Which to put it mildly, is paraphrasing.
But Nicky, ever the pragmatist, maintains composure, looks Jake in the eye and says “What?! I’m not gonna piss on the street. It’s too nice here.”
There goes the neighbourhood, Underdog style.
Photo by Arid Finne Nybo via Flickr