Peeing is a pretty necessary part of existence. It is one of those disgusting but commonly acceptable things, such as pooping or the fact your mum calls you for dinner ten minutes before it's ready. Yet, whilst peeing is unavoidable and acceptable, peeing your pants is not.
Luckily, most of us muster the ability not to pee our pants by about age 3. Sure, you can get away with it at 5, maybe even 6 if you had a particularly scary nightmare about a cartoon cat chasing you across a tightrope. Some people (though I might hesitate to call them 'people') can even get away with it aged 18, as of course it was 'hilar' 'banter' that demonstrated how WASSSTED they were. I did not (as disappointing as it might be to read) pee myself recently, but at the ripe old age of 10. 10 however is an awkward age where you are neither young enough, nor drunk enough, to pee yourself acceptably.
The story begins in a grey drizzly playground, and ends with grey drizzly pants. After consuming my lunch of cheese sandwiches, crisps and chocolate, my friends and I ventured into the playground to play a wholesome game of tig or stuck in the mud. BUT ALAS. Wholesome was no longer ideal for us pre-teen rebels and we turned instead to the much more dramatic, dangerous and bladder-affecting, Truth or Dare.
I chose Dare. You must always choose Dare, lest Benedict Upton* discover you have a 6 month long crush on him that prompted you to make a love potion out of Head and Shoulders, leaves and dog hairs.
Perhaps, I ponder now, I should not have chosen Dare.
In order to continue with the story, I must temporarily move away from my fateful decision to choose Dare, to describe to you instead the culprit of this I-peed-myself-age-ten story. Rod was his name. Rods were his weapon. Rod was a Dinnerman. Calm yourselves, do not gasp, for in the late 90s diversity had reached its highest levels at St Mary's RC Primary School, as Mr Brooke had made the (insane) decision to employ a male Dinnerlady. Having a male Dinnerlady was confusing enough, but more distressing was Rod's decision to have a chain attached to his trousers, which it was rumoured (and is almost certainly definitely true) he used to whip children with.
Rod, as you can imagine, was Evil incarnate in a six foot skinhead body. He was terrifying.
When not whipping children with chains or taunting us with his incorrect gender role, Rod's preferred form of punishment was to tell unruly children to 'face The Wall'. The Wall, in fact, was not that scary, and much more preferable to face than Rod.
Now, back to The Dare.
'I dare you' uttered Lucille Pilkington* darkly, 'to...to...' anticipation and the sound of slapping skipping ropes filled the air 'to...tell Rod to face The Wall'. I gasped. Never, in my ten years of existence, had my outright rebellion reached such heights. But I had chosen Dare. It was too late. It was my task, mine, my own.
Rod was patrolling the still half-full dinner hall, so I made my way back inside, my face stern, my footsteps heavy, my bladder full. I reached the dinner hall door and was pleased to see Rod at the opposite end of the hall, so I uttered in a deliberately minuscule voice: 'facethewall'. Then I ran.
There was no way he heard me, and yet I had not chickened out on my Dare, I WAS QUEEN OF THE WORLD....BUT ALAS.
Moments later Rod burst through the red doors to the playground and ripped off his apron to reveal a hairy chest, which he beat with his fists, roaring with rage. (Possible exaggeration). At the time, I had no idea how he knew, but it was later revealed I was snitched on by a poo-headed year four. Rod said 'Who?', I coolly replied 'It was me'. The cool later exited my body along with the urine.
Rod told me to follow him to the headmaster's office. 'Can I pee first?' I asked, suddenly aware that my Flinstones Juice Box had filled my bladder uncomfortably. 'No, No' grunted Rod 'I know your game. I can't follow you into the girl's toilets to get you to go to the head' (this was because he was a man, did I mention he was a man? A Dinnerman? A DinnerMAN?). 'But I need to peeeeee' I whined. Rod refused. 'I promise I will come straight out to see the head' I bargained. 'No' said Rod, his chain and bald head glinting in the sunlight. 'I HAVE TO PEE' I cried. So then I did.
There was a wet patch in the playground for the rest of the day, and wet patches down my face for the next week. The morals of this story could be many, be they correct gender roles, the perils of Truth or Dare, or always remembering to empty your bladder before you become an anarchist.
The story ultimately ends well however, as after I urinated all over the hopscotch squares, Rod backed away and backed down- declaring I no longer needed to go to see the head. So the true moral is this, if you get into trouble, with the teachers, with your mum, with the police, with the CIA:
piss yourself and everything will be fine.
(I also once farted in front of the Priest during a school assembly).