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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The incredible true story of how I became superhero Elasta Bladder (from '13)

Alfred Hitchcock said the length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder. Interesting perspective from a filmmaker whose last name concludes with a vulgarity involving an essential component of male urination. 

Of course, he made the statement about 30 years prior to the introduction of the pause button that rendered his point mostly moot.

Besides, I disagree that movies are too long.

Bad movies are too long.

Good movies aren’t long enough.

Therefore, the real problem is that bladders are too small.

Reliable internet medical sources -- and is there any other kind? -- say the average human bladder holds about 300 milliliters (10 ounces) of urine.

If that’s true then I’m exceptional because my bladder can hold about a six pack of Yuengling. 

So when I say anything outlandish enough to cause people to blurt I’m full of crap, I have a ready rebuttal. I’m full of something, true, but it is not crap.

But talking rebuttals in this case would be getting off subject, not to mention off track.

It’s taken me 50 years to learn my superhero identity.

I am Elasta Bladder!

It’s true. I can drink buckets of beer, lemonade, water -- you name it -- and hold it forever. The discovery had made me what can only be described as cocky.

Just yesterday, we enjoyed a splendid inner tube float down Stonycreek River in Johnstown with the friendly folks at Coal Tubin’. It was great.

The only problem was that one of our party started complaining about the need to use the bathroom the instant the rubber hit the river. Setting aside the fact that we were immersed in body of water in a town known for historic flooding, I knew the person had just been in a bathroom 30 minutes previous.

So I went off.

“You have the bladder of a 7-year-old little girl! For god’s sake, either hold it or just piss in the river and stop your whining!”

My pee pep talk infuriated my wife, I guess, because the person I was screaming at for behaving like she had the bladder of a 7 year old girl was our 7 year daughter, Lucy.

It was a first time in white water so I think a big part of it was nerves. Either way,  her inability to urinate left me pissed.

I have no idea from whence her unreasonable fears sprang.

Or do I?

See I wonder if my superhero bladder might stem from some childhood incidents not dissimilar to my daughter’s. Yes, I was once a small child in a situation where angry grown men were screaming at me to urinate.

It was in the cavernous men’s rooms at old Three Rivers Stadium back when the Pittsburgh Steelers were winning Super Bowls with unparalleled regularity.

I believe the architects who designed the stadium were aware that the average human bladder could hold just 10 ounces of urine and merely assumed Steeler fans would comply with that biological imperative.

But they did not. Everyone was drunk. And everyone had to pee. Right away.

So there I was. I’d consume my 12-ounce glass of warm, flat soda and maybe 15 minutes later need relief.

I vividly remember my nerves twitching standing in those steamy, stinking men’s rooms, my eyes about butt high on the guy in front of me. It got worse the second my zipper descended and I approached the porcelain.

“C’mon, kid! We don’t got all day. Do your business and get out!”

I don’t think they heckled Terry Bradshaw as relentlessly as they did 10-year-old boys stricken with shy bladder.

I couldn’t go. I remember zipping up, fleeing and not peeing until the game was over and we were home and I was behind a locked bathroom door.

It didn’t scare the piss out of me. Quite the contrary.

I guess what happened to me wasn’t unlike what happened in the Spider Man saga. But instead of Peter Parker being transformed, it became a matter of me being determined to forever more just park my peter.

Thus ends the story of Elasta Bladder in Flood City, a dandy name for a comic action flick, maybe one that would have interested old Hitchcock himself.

I’d pay to produce it but right now I don’t have a pot to piss in.

On the bright side, I don’t really need one.



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