17 March 2007

Writing Conferences and Emergency Poops

God bless him, that Flint Steel. This very day he committed two selfless acts--acts of kindness, compassion, and speed. First, he accompanied me to the 4th Annual Getting Published Conference at my future alma mater. It was the kind of conference where you pay some money to hear some people talk about some stuff that you probably could've found on the internet. It's the kind of conference for people like me, (suckers) who dream of one day being published, because let's face it--writing a trite blog and pushing the "publish" button does not a "published author" make. And Flint volunteered (through gentle persuasion, I'll admit) to be my companion at the event. It was a wonderful gesture on his part. Anyway. What began with an unenlightening lecture by a self-important, mediocre author transitioned into an informative, useful discussion of relevant topics by an interesting author. That made two. Three and four, unfortunately, I could not attend. Why? well, that's where emergency pooping comes in.

We were allotted a generous hour off. Flint and I went for lunch at a local crappy Mexican restaurant. And I mean crappy. Pun intended. While we were positioned ideally for people watching, and that positioning gave us the opportunity to sit on the patio looking especially cool--eating with our sunglasses and all--this very crappy restaurant provoked an early end to our conference attendance. You see, not long after we finished and paid for our what-we-thought-to-be-forgettable meal (not enough salt, flavor, or competent service), I felt my blood run cold. It's time, I told Flint.

He is to be commended. He is to be admired. He drove as though his new car depended on it (which it did). He delivered me to the bi-level, 20 minutes away, in the nick of time. Flint lingered on the front porch, casually smoking a cigarette, while I ran in, and outside he stayed, patiently waiting until I had detonated the explosives.

After that experience, all I could do was consider the wonders of the universe, and how the stars had somehow aligned to assist me in avoiding certain humiliation: I met and married the completely wrong man, but by marrying him, I met and married a man who would drive me home for an emergency poo instead of sending me into a public toilet. Maybe there is justice in the world. I had to take a nap afterward. It was well-earned, I assure you.


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