To Stop Or Not To Stop.
I'm sure most of the SANPark forumites' legal transgressions in Kruger stem from the excretion processes. Coffee, tea, Coke, hot chocolate, and any alcoholic drinks take their toll on the storage capacity of the human body. Unlike animals, we are bound by rules, and indeed consciences.
I remember - and very clearly too - one day driving the Mphongolo loop north of Shingwedzi. I had had a curry and rice from the take-away section in camp for lunch before doing the beautiful drive, seeking leopard, elephant, or whatever might leap out from the bushes.
About seven kilometres into the loop, I suddenly realised that the meat-quality of the meal was dubious and, being the efficient eliminator of foreign bodies my own body is, it began to speak urgently to me in guttural tones reminiscent of our caveman days.
I was alone and had not seen another car on the loop, so considered stopping for a quickie. However, the Mphongolo loop is dense in summer and there could be anything lurking unseen. I decided to rather be safe and hold out until Babalala picnic spot, but that was still a daunting distance ahead. Also, the Mphongolo loop cannot be rushed because it is sinuous and thick with overgrowth.
Another two kilometres on and my mind had switched from game viewing to serious consideration of elimination possibilities. As I've heard about babies about to be birthed, when they choose to come, they come! This feeling seemed equally intense. I considered rushing back to camp, but that was also too far. Babalala was too far. The next turnoff was too far, and that wouldn't have helped in any case. What to do?
The grumbling became louder and the peristalsis approximated heaving waves at Jeffrey's Bay on a dreary, gale-force day.
The choices were limited to two: outside or inside. I do not carry a portable potty, so the latter option was not an option. I looked for a more open area to stop, but none proffered its assistance. The grumbling had become a cacophony of wheezing, whining, and whistling, and the urgency had reached a critical point. The curry had had enough of colonic constrictions and wanted out.
I jammed the brakes and halted in a cloud of dust. The bush was particularly thick at this point and, for a brief moment, I paused to listen. Nothing but the usual symphony of birds and insects - besides the other, far-less melodious sounds. I rushed to the rear and opened the boot, where I always carried a spare toilet roll for emergencies, which I had never had the need for until now. But "always" and "never" seldom appliy to humans.
It hit me - both ways: I had forgotten to pack the essential roll of paper, and the peristaltic processes showed no sympathy for my plight.
As per Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, when the most basic declare their intentions, the higher functions fail. Thoughts of embarrassment, conscience, or legalities no longer played a role.
I rushed into the middle of the nearest clump of shoulder-high grass. It didn't take long, but the Universal Joker - that entertaining arranger of embarrassing and inopportune situations - chose this very moment to complicate the matter even more. I heard a car winding its way towards me; and it was closer than I had hoped. Suddenly I was embarrassed; even more so because I had been (I'm far more mellow about emergency stops NOW) a forumite who judged others for getting out of their cars. Hypocritically, I felt the need to hide.
The car was almost upon me. All I could do was drop down below the grass level, like a skulking rabbit. The car slowed - please don't stop, I pleaded - and almost came to a halt, but then thankfully chose to drive onwards. My empty car must have seemed baffling to those people (I never saw their faces as my own was almost at grass-roots level), but they were not in the mood for answers that day.
As the other vehicle moved onwards, I realised I needed something to complete the process so that I could continue the Mphongolo loop in more comfort. Desperately I looked around - there might only have been thorn trees or the sharp-edged grass around me - and I shudder to think what then I might have had to do - but my saviour was there, close at hand: a large, smooth, dark-green, elephant-ear plant. I apologised aloud to a leaf as I tore it from its base, wondering at how effective it was at a use it had not even contemplated when it was created.
A few minutes later I was on my way again, loudly singing melodies of joy and relief (the writers of those songs undoubtedly having no idea of the nuances they created when they composed the words), caring not that my singing voice needs a huge amount of training before sounding anything harmonious.
An experience, though hilarious in hindsight, I would never choose to relive!
EVERYBODY'S TR!TR: A NEW DAY IS S-OWNTR: NECTAREAN NICETIES OF THE NORTHTR: PRIMEVAL PLEASURE"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." (Groucho Marx)