Guest Writers

The Devil Made Me Do It: A #SoWrong Moment by Jess Witkins

Jess Witkins is a fantastic blogging-buddy. Funny and friendly, she is honest and tells it straight. Jess is an adventurer who will do anything for a good story, as you will see today.  A glutton for all things pop culture, Jess is on a quest to listen better, learn better, write better, love better, and sleep better. Check her out at The Happiness Project. Follow her on Twitter at @JessWitkins.  Thank you for being here today, Jess. xo

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The Devil Made Me Do It by Jess Witkins

What you need to know is that I came crashing into the party on a Friday night fish fry just before my parents’ 40th birthdays.

They already had a family.

They weren’t planning on doing the diaper thing again.

Because I grew up surrounded by people much older than me, I’m mature for my age. I got A’s in school, graduated college, found a well-paying job, and I pay my own bills!

I am a picture-perfect citizen.

One would assume I have control over my bowels.

Let me explain. My boyfriend and I take a vacation together each summer. We’ve traveled to Portland, Oregon and eaten Voodoo Donuts; we’ve visited Toronto, Ontario and viewed the skyline from the CN Tower. Last summer, we decided to take a road trip out west. Starting in the Badlands, we made our way to Yellowstone National Park. It was a fabulous trip.

Except for the day we toured Devil’s Tower.

That August day, the temperatures climbed into the 90’s. Being a mature adult, I was prepared! I packed and wore sunscreen. I drank water all morning. I used the bathroom before we left.

It didn’t matter.

This is Devil’s Tower.

We started our hike around the base of the tower. We weren’t too far in when I felt something rumbling in my gut. We sat on a bench for a minute, enjoying the view.  I considered telling my boyfriend to go on ahead so I could quick run back to the bathroom.

That’s what I should’ve done.

But nah, the pain went away, and I figured I could hold it.

Jess wearing sunscreen & sporting water like a responsible adult.

It became crystal clear, halfway around the tower, that my mind and body were not at peace. In fact, they were in deep negotiation. And things were getting heated.

When the cramping got so bad that I had to sit down again, I started weighing my options.

You see, I couldn’t skulk off somewhere: there were other hikers. One poor unsuspecting family was giving their children piggy back rides nearby. I couldn’t take a crap behind a tree, they’d see me! It was either stay on the bench and breathe or walk right over the cliff behind us.

I wish I’d chosen the cliff.

Because that’s when I pooped my pants.

The worst part was telling my boyfriend what had happened. How would he ever look at me with any sense of romance or mystery again? I consider myself a dignified person. But I’d just crapped my pants. In public. And we still needed to hike halfway around Devil’s Tower.

Nothing will ever compare to the cold, wet, mall-walker sprint that I made during my descent from Devil’s Tower. And my boyfriend, wonderful man that he is, tried to cheer me up on our journey.

“You’re almost there! You’re doing good! On the bright side, I don’t smell anything!” he shouted.

Making my way to the crowded public bathroom, I took note of the collateral damage. Well, the underwear was a goner. It didn’t stand a chance, really. I was just lucky I wore full coverage cotton panties that day and not a thong.

I shimmied out of my undies, wrapped my soiled mess in TP, and dumped everything in the plastic bin where women leave their unmentionables. Then I said a little prayer for the park custodian, cleaned myself up, and walked back to the car.

So the moral of the story, kids, is sometimes even the best of adults crap their pants. Oh, and always bring an extra pair of clean underwear when traveling.

Or, you know, a diaper.

Has this ever happened to you? Of course I don’t mean YOU, but someone you know right? Besides me and Al Roker? Huh?

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130 thoughts on “The Devil Made Me Do It: A #SoWrong Moment by Jess Witkins

  1. Life and Mother Nature tend to humble the “confident” every once in awhile, reminding me/us of just how small(?) or fragile my/our ego can be. In my ONE case 😉 I was with my girlfriend’s entire family for Thanksgiving, her extended family in attendance too, and they ALL were very eager to meet me because of the tons of incredible things she shared with them about my awesomeness! If there is one (undetectable) ingredient in the dressing, my entire intestinal system becomes Mt. Krakatoa! Well, that one damn ingredient was in there…and what’s worse is that the nearest bathroom (when Krakatoa needed to blow) was a half-bathroom whose door faced the kitchen & living room; easily within ear-shot of EVERYTHING detail going on behind that closed THIN door! It might as well have been see-through glass with amplifiers booming into the entire family room. Hello Tchaikovsky!

    My girlfriend immediately approached me when I came out (seemed like she was right there at the door as soon as I opened it — but she knew better without goggles & a face-mask — and I couldn’t tell who was embarrassed more. The rest of the family Thanksgiving was….
    …awkward? 🙁

    1. Oh man I feel for you. There’s a Laurie Notaro book called The Idiot Girl’s Action Adventure Club where she has a chapter describing the various kinds of poopers in public restrooms and I’m the one that politely tries to time everything with other flushing toilets and running water. But the Devil’s Tower day, I didn’t stand a chance.

  2. Ah, you pulled an Al Roker! I’d be willing to bet lots of people have. I did when I was around 8 and on a long, grueling hike across an Orlando, Florida neighborhood with my older brother in the horrible heat.

    I remember being mortified because I had to keep walking several blocks after I pooped myself. However, my brother wasn’t as nice as your boyfriend. He kept yelling “OH GOD! YOU POOPED! YOU POOPED! GOD, THE SMELL!” and made me stay downwind of him several feet.

    1. I’m with Darla. I’m willing to bet most people have had an “Ooops, I crapped my pants” moment. I know I have. Recently. But I digress. It takes a special kind of brave to put it out there for EVERYONE on cyberspace to enjoy. Jess is a trooper.

    2. I told Renee ONLY FOR HER would I share my “terrible awful.”

      And it is way more common than I thought. We were out one night with my honey’s sister and her husband and the subject came up. I finally confessed after forcing them all to secrecy. So I told them, expecting shocked and horrified faces and instead, they jusy stared at me and were like “oh that? We’ve done that lots of times!”

  3. Yes. I am going to forego the first thing that pops to mind as words of comfort, Jess. But, it does happen.

    The worst that happened to me? In my defense, I did take time to scope the scene of the soon-to-be crime when I was in a remote corner in Walmart. No witnesses. No potential sensory assault charges. I felt the urge to far… poot.

    And, so I did. What harm could one tiny poot do in the massive odor absorption zone of Walmart, right?

    The problem? More than noxious gas passed from my nether regions. And, I had to walk all the way to the restroom at the front, doing Olympic level sphincter puckers in order to ditch my undies in the feminine hygiene bin. I was feeling neither feminine nor hygienic at that point.

    Need I add the adventure when my sister and I drove home from Pennsylvania? My love of copious amounts of Tazo Zen Green Tea? The fact that it is impossible to suffer from water retention when drinking copious amounts of Green Tea? The miles-and-miles-and-miles of nothingness — not even a tree to hide behind — in Oklahoma? Suffice to say that when someone *whistling* has been clamping Kegels and crossing ones legs for what seemed to be eternity, stepping out of the car causes release combined with relief. Thank goodness I’d packed HandiWipes for cleaning our hands after snacking. Thank goodness my sister was there to create a tent with the blanket we had in the back. Thank goodness that Oklahoma rest-stop was nearly deserted. Thank goodness my car has leather seats, and I had a fresh undies and shorts out of the watering zone.

    Your boyfriend sounds amazing! Mine would have gagged and pretended he didn’t know me. Then, he would have played the why-didn’t-you twenty-question game with my bruised ego.

    1. Gloria: Once I got *sick* on the way back after a ski trip in Vermont. We were in the middle of nowhere, so big deal, right? But after stopping 6-8 more times, we were no longer “miles and miles in the middle of nothingness.” And I had to cop a squat in someone’s yard! Yup, that was me behind that big green shrub. All I could do was pray that the homeowners kids never played Hide & Seek back there. Ever.

      But Hubby had already slipped the ring on my finger. He was stuck with me. Anyone else? Probably would have driven off.

    2. “I no longer felt feminine or hygenic.” ROTFL

      That about sums it up, Gloria. I’m so glad you and I have a bond now over discarding our panties in public restrooms. I feel even closer to you.

      And Renee? Someone’s yard?! EWwww! Just kidding. I like you more now too. 😀

          1. Good. Maybe you guys won’t notice when I have to excuse myself two or three times each hour. *Sigh* Wait until your sphincter ages a couple more decades.

  4. Oh Jess. I could not love you more. To share this moment with the cyberworld. You are rad.

    That boyfriend is for sure a keeper. Anyone who is that supportive of a girlfriend who is walking around with poop in their pants deserves a great big hug. Well, maybe AFTER a change of underwear.

    By the way, THIS is my greatest fear. It hasn’t happened . . . yet. But the fates are not that kind to me. I’m sure I’m on their radar. Jut hope the hubs doesn’t divorce me if it happens!! 🙂

    1. Misty, there comes a point in my friendships with people where I like to share one of my favorite stand up comedy moments with them. And I’d like to do that with you now. Trust me, the whole clip is worth watching. And I laughed at this before I’d experienced it first hand. Enjoy my friend!

      1. Holy cow, she was young and thin! I think I need the persimmon diet. Oh, wait . . .

        Thank you for sharing that with me, my friend. I feel our friendship has moved to a whole other level now. And for some reason, I’m a little frightened. 😉

          1. Oh. My. Gawd!! Jess and I were JUST talking about her taking fish oil supplements the other day!! That is spooky.

            And Jess . . . methinks I may have discovered the source of your problem. Who knew? I blame Raul.

      2. I LOVE Margaret Cho…and I’d never seen this one. I love that her comedy is both verbal and action. Oddly enough, that story reminded me of a manager I used to work with who brought spare pants to work because sometimes her diet pills would create that problem for her.

        1. Yes. It’s my favorite. I first saw it in a women and pop culture class in college. The whole class was silent during this skit and I was in the back CRACKING UP!

  5. Awww! I have been there, done that! Yay for the boyfriend who tried to help you feel better about it. That’s a good man, right there. I have one of those, and when it happened to me I was in the middle of Dunn’s River Falls (Google it). Yes, halfway up the mountain, IN the water. Those poor people below me….I’ll never forget that moment. Ever. Nor will the poor bathroom attendant (when I finally got to the restrooms…my body wasn’t nearly done with me, or the walls, or the ceiling). My man actually hosed me off after, all the while trying to comfort me. Good thing I had the ring already!

    You have my undying sympathy!

    Hey I bet we could form a club! The sisterhood of the crapped pants? No? lol

  6. I’m afraid to say here that this has not happened to me because I’m nervous maybe I’ll be next. But so far I guess I’ve been lucky. At least in public. Its certainly happened at home when I’ve had the flu before. You hear about this happening to runners all the time. And several people here have mentioned hiking. Must be something about all the jarring motion. Great post! Some of the best posts are the ones where people lay it all out there!

  7. That family thanks you for not going behind the tree. That moment would have consumed their conversation for the rest of family vacation. (“Why was that crazy lady doing that?” “I thought adults didn’t poop in their pants.”)

    I haven’t had that issue, but there was the time that I stumbled off the treadmill at the gym and my bladder didn’t like that. And I was wearing light gray cotton yoga pants. And there was someone behind me. Yeah, that workout was immediately over.

  8. Jess! If only everyone realized might only be one wrong decision away from crapping their pants…

    I was maybe 10 years old, should have used the girls’ room before boarding the bus home, all I remember is not being able to hold it in ANY longer, luckily (?) it was solid and not a “pool of shit” I think I stood up before it happened and then wouldn’t sit. Of course I went to a Catholic school with dresses as uniforms–thank God for tight granny underwear!

    I don,t think anyone found out, I carefully got off the bus at my stop, walked home dropped off my package in the toilet and, um, went on with my day.

  9. Jess, the fact that you’d share such a personal story is only one of the things that makes you so awesome! I can only imagine how you must be feeling. Your boyfriend sounds like a wonderful, supportive guy. (Although if my husband started trying to cheer me on like that, he’d be doing it at his own risk. When I’m embarrassed, I hate any added attention.)

    Thankfully I’ve never had this happen to me, but it’s been a near thing sometimes… Stomach queasy and aching while at the grocery store…and then the dreaded sneeze. So far, so good.

    I also fear delivery room time if I wind up having a baby because I’ve heard that you can lose control of your bodily functions while pushing.

  10. I love Jess and have followed her blog for years! (Well, love in the blogging sense, anyway). And yet, this is news to me…and made me both laugh out loud and cringe uncomfortably.

    If your life were a movie, “On the bright side, I don’t smell anything!” would have to be the tagline. 🙂

  11. You are not alone. It happened to me. I was on a visit to Saudi Arabia in January. My daughter and family were sightseeing all the mosques around Madinah. My stomach had been queasy and I opted to be left behind. My daughter did’nt feel like leaving me behind. Any way the unmentionable happened. Fortunately we were near a mosque. As the others rushed to say their prayers, I made a headlong dash to the restroom. I do carry a spare underwear in my purse.

  12. The PPF is one of my best stories. The Poorly Planned Fart. I will have to share it on the blogosphere someday. All of my friends in real life already know it by heart — why not share with the cyberworld? 🙂 So, Jess, you are not alone. Everybody poops. (In.Their.Pants.Occasionally.)

    1. It’s strange. My hiking experiences always end up being rather traumatic, and yet I keep agreeing to go…

      P.S. My honey informed me it’s 1 mile around Devil’s Tower. So that’s 1/2 mile that I had to speed walk with poop in my pants. Just thought you might like to know.

  13. I have been enjoying Jess’s (?) blog very much! This post is the ‘bomb’. 🙂 First of all, what an incredible boyfriend you have – he is definitely a keeper! My body and mind are also often at odds and it usually involves Fish Tacos. When I was younger and moved to the States from PR, that winter was my first ever. There had been a storm and we had about 3 feet on the ground. I was very excited to use my new purple parka with the furry hood my mom had gotten me with the matching snow pants. What I didn’t realize was that as a consequence of such a storm, one has no choice but to walk slowly when having to trek through 3 feet of crusty snow. When it was time to walk back home, I could hold it no longer and peed in my brand new shiny purple snow pants and froze all the way home. 🙂 Thanks Renee for posting this. 🙂

    1. I once got hypothermia after trudging through some snow, but that’s another story. Sorry about your snowpants. 🙁

      Fish Tacos never sounded like a good idea to me.

  14. No. That has never, ever, ever happened to me. And for that fact, I am now planning to thank the good Lord every day of my life.

    You are incredibly brave for posting this (not to mention incredibly funny!)

  15. I am a bit prone to diarrhea so I have had this happen a couple times, but always at home, thank heavens. You were right not to try to salvage the undies. The stain would just remind you of your mortification.

    As for childbirth, when you are trying to push 7-8 pounds of squirming brat into the world the fact that you have lost control of other bodily functions just barely registers on your radar!

  16. Welcome to the animal kingdom of human beings. We all do it and become red and embarrassed. But wonderful relief is fullfilled. Amen.

  17. It’s not funny, but I laughed out loud when I read your boyfriend’s “encouragement.” I’d have taken off my nasty underwear right then and there (not caring who saw a flash of Catie butt) and rubbed them right in Mr. Catie’s face.

    You are a brave woman, exactly the kind I am proud to call friend. Not everybody can pull off a story about doodooing your pants with that kind of self-effacing grace.

  18. This doesn’t quite fall under the banner “Delights”, but we’ve ALL been there. And after this winter of antibiotics… Yep, been there, done that.

      1. No, Jess, you’re not alone. We’ve all been there, I suspect. I’d like to say it’s when my body betrayed me, but really… it seems like we treat our bodies as if they will last forever–can we blame them for the occasional “wake up call”?

        And your boyfriend sounds like a great guy. I’m happy you have someone like that.

          1. :-)) Yep, we moms can tell you that, embarassing as that must’ve been, pushing out a baby in front of “God and everybody” tops it.

  19. Died laughing at this one– and, yes, it’s happened to me before, too — at a shopping mall after I ate a lukewarm McDonald’s ice cream cone. (Their ice-cream machine wasn’t working too well but I was craving ice cream too much to care.) Good advice about carrying clean underwear. ;-))

  20. Um, as a cyclist it’s just accidentally um peeing when exerting a lot of effort over hills and distances. And forgetting or can’t (!) do it discreetly because there’s no bushes/trees around..

    Joy of being in the prairies.

    1. I think peeing in one’s pants is MUCH more common. My friends tell me pee stories all the time. Especially during college years. I peed in a parking ramp once. ???

      At least you can brag about pushing your body to its utmost athletic abilities. Mine just crapped out from the heat…literally.

  21. Aw… LOL Go you for sharing, Jess! An ex-boyfriend of mine once soiled his pants on his way to teach a seminar. He hid a public restroom while I went to his place to retrieve fresh ones. Funny how I feel sympathy for you and giggle a bit about his experience. 😉

      1. Fortunately I was walking down the hall when it happened (on way to bathroom). Went to bathroom, cleaned up as best I could (fortunately was small mess) then promptly said I had to run home and walked out. Sitting and driving was a little gross, fortunately had a towel. I was on a no carb diet my bowels didn’t like.

  22. Holy crap that’s hilarious! Honestly, never did the 2 in my pants. But that’s only because I would have gone with the other option you had, scaring that poor family. I was a serious trail runner for many years, so I was never without TP and got pretty used to just hopping off trail to use nature’s washroom whenever I needed to.

    1. If I had it to do over, maybe I would’ve checked my shame at the trail sign and just put on a live show, Parental Guidance recommended, who knows…maybe it would’ve been just the thing for that family to initiate a conversation about public health safety. Maybe they would’ve dropped a dollar at my feet and thanked me for the show. I could’ve just faked a mental illness and gotten away with it, pretending to pop bubbles that weren’t there. Of course I think of these solutions NOW…

  23. Renee, thanks for having me on your blog! Just remember, someday when I’m rich and famous, you can be the girl who says, “She talked about poop on my blog!” It’ll be a great topic of conversation for cocktail parties and holidays. You’re welcome. 🙂

  24. OMG i can’t believe this is a topic that got over 100 comments!! it shows Jess that she does not wear the only pooped-in pants at the party here Let me just say… okay… that I cannot leave my house ,,,, or need to be near a bathroom around 8:45. This story would have made a great addition to the plot line of Close Encounters. What if that little boy’s mom had to poop halfway up Devil’s Tower??

  25. Oh, Jess! I love you right now! I have a similar story (peeing my pants) that I was debating sharing here at Renee’s place when my turn comes in December. I’m not sure I have your courage! You rock my world.

    1. Thanks for the love! It feels all the more spectacular knowing you and I are wearing clean underwear right now! You are, aren’t you? …..

      Please share your story!

    1. Just remember, I did everything RIGHT! Sometimes adults just crap their pants at Devil’s Tower and there’s nothing you can do about it, except like Renee said, bring a change of undies just in case.

  26. Oh, Jess. Kindred spirit. This is one of my worst nightmares. It JUST almost happened to me on that recent epic hike. I got about a quarter mile in, and realized I wasn’t going to make it. I went all the way back to the parking lot porta-potty, and thank GOODNESS had the presence of mind to bring napkins from my car because there was NO TP!

    You should earn some sort of special Girl Scout badge for this.

    1. I am choosing to respond to the part of your comment that called me a kindred spirit. I grew up watching Anne of Green Gables multiple times a year and you have now endeared me to you for eternity. We are bosom friends, Jules with an ‘E’. Deal with it.

      1. I want in on this love=fest. I read those Anne of Green Gables books over and over and knew I was meant to BE Anne Shirley. And I always wanted to be a red-head, but don’t have the complexion for it. Sigh.

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