“Help? Anybody!”

Posted on April 29, 2012 by Slim

Before I begin, I must admit that grammar and spelling are not my strongest assets, however judging by my Facebook and Twitter timelines, I’m not alone. With that in mind, these writings, these “Sunday Confessions” are certainly not meant to be a display of my writing or editing capabilities (or lack thereof), but simply just one man’s recounting of actual funny, weird, and interesting life events.

With that, I bring you: “Sunday Confessions.”

“Help? Anybody!”
By Slim Gillian

I remember it like it was yesterday: It was a hot and humid, but breezy day during the summer between my 5th and 6th grade years; that awkward transition from being “big man on campus” to being at the bottom of the totem pole once again.

For most of my childhood, I was relatively well-liked. I had few “enemies,” and got along well with nearly everyone I came in contact with. (With the exception of Mark Taylor. He was a soccer player who bullied me relentlessly, until I got fed up and kicked him in the chest. This will forever go down as the single most awesome thing I’ve ever done, but I digress…)

But back to my story…

It was on that hot, humid, breezy, summer day that I found myself in the church that my mother worked at. This was a pretty usual occurrence. I’ve never been much of a religious person, certainly not as much as I would like to be or should be, but nevertheless I’m no stranger to the “church life.” I grew up in the church. I was there every time the door was open and as an adult, I’ve been employed in churches for nearly a decade. But it was on this day, in this very church, that a confession-worthy event took place.

While up to no good and into all sorts of shenanigans with any number of my church friends, I felt a calling.

This was not a calling from God, no; in fact it was Mother Nature herself calling me. I’ve learned in my day that when nature calls, it’s wisest to answer – lest you find yourself pooping your pants in a church parking lot… but that’s a different confession altogether.

You know the feeling you get when you have to pee REALLY bad? Like, so bad that you get tunnel vision while trying to make it to the bathroom? Like, so bad that once you relieve yourself, you actually shed a single tear over the glorious moment? Well, this was one of those times.

As I made my way down the dark, odd-smelling hallway from my mother’s office to the bathroom, I struggled to pay attention to my familiar surroundings. To my right, the pastors’ offices, the double doors leading to the youth room, and the “fellowship hall.” To my left, the side sanctuary door, the hallways leading to the main office, and the sweet, glorious bathrooms.

I made my way past the rusty, code-enforcement-dodging water fountains, to push open the door marked, “Men’s.”

It was a bathroom of suitable size, five or so urinals and a handful of stalls.

I made my way to the corner urinal, (y’know, the one where a dude goes when he’s worried about people looking at his junk) and began to sprinkle the bowl with the glorious golden nectar that so desired to be expelled from within me.

As I handled my business (no pun intended), I heard the door open behind me and nonchalantly looked out of the corner of my eye to see who had entered my domain. Because of my shy state and a certain “stage fright,” I had to cut my duty short.

Now, I don’t know what that’s like for women, because I’ve never been a woman, but for dudes: it’s excruciating.

While I don’t recall his name, I certainly recall the gentleman. He was an older fellow that sang in my mom’s choir. A white-haired, balding man, he often wore a banded-bottom collared shirt with his “old man” short pants and his long dark socks that traveled from his discolored knees to find themselves nestled into his off-white orthopedic shoes.

At a typical slow pace, he sauntered across the bathroom to make his way to the closest stall, without ever even noticing that I was there, tucked away in my little corner.

He made “old man noises.” Lots of throat clearing and murmuring as his belt buckle smacked against the cold, tile floor.

Now, many folks go to great lengths to hide what they’re doing in their bathroom stall; but not this man.

I imagine he lived a long, full life. He was most likely a war vet who served his country with pride an honor. He was married, had children and many grandchildren. He was certainly a contributor to the greatest generation. As such, he deserved and had certainly earned the right to drop a massive duker as loud and as proud as he wanted to.

He took advantage of that.

You may be asking yourself, “Did Slim really stay in the bathroom that long? Long enough for a man to come in, drop trou, and back the big, brown Caddy out of the garage in such a way that it was worthy of being named?”

Yes.

Yes I did.

Not by choice, mind you. If you recall, I had massive “stage fright” in the bathroom as a child. I would later break those chains and can now be found asking people if they want to go watch me poop. That again, is another confession for another time.

The man’s bum nugget, by the way, would end up being named “General George S. Patton” on account of his famous nickname, “Old Blood and Guts.”

It may seem like I’ve said a lot, but you truly needed to know the back story so that I could get to the confession:

As I was frightened by the sheer volume coming from the man’s stall, I was quick to leave the room for fear being touched by the old man’s wolf bait. In my haste to leave, despite knowing the man was in there, I flicked off the lights out of habit. (Kids, always make it a point to turn off the lights when leaving the room… save our planet!)

As I opened the door the man softly uttered “There’s somebody in here!”

I was shy. What was I to do?

One would think that I simply turned the light back on, but that wouldn’t be worthy of this much writing, and certainly not much of a confession.

It was at this moment that I proceeded to walk out the door.

As I took my first step, the old man once again proclaimed, “There’s somebody in here!’

It was too late. I had already committed to leaving the bathroom.

As the door began to close behind me, the old man became increasingly desperate. “Help!” he cried.

“Help! There’s somebody in here!” he continued.

As I timidly walked away I heard once last battle cry from within General George S. Patton’s dwelling “Help! Anybody!”

I continued to walk away as if I were the hero in an action flick walking away from the climactic explosion.

I, Slim Gillian, left a poor old man in the dark to shake his grates.

While I assume this man has since passed, he left this earth without knowing who turned off the lights as he let loose his spendings. He’ll never know of the boy that changed his life forever on that hot, humid, breezy, summer day.

And that boy was I.

Until this day, that story has never been told. This is my confession.