The Pee-Pee Bag

Posted on Thursday, March 04, 2010 | 0 comments

  Gotta love the cartoon of the kids holding themselves and doing the pee-pee dance

  Who knew that they actually sold these things?? Or that I'd ever come so close to using one!
Here's the scenario, though. We were driving to Yokohama the week before last, planning on stopping there for the night before heading back to the US the following day. I was obviously already shell-shocked and out of it and was planning on sitting through the 2-hour-drive in a daze, instead of happily chatting with Yuki as usual.
Well, the 2-hour-drive turned into a 4-hour-wait-and-wait-and-drive when we got stuck in bumper-to-bumper gridlock, in a tunnel, about 10 minutes into our trip. We were almost out of the tunnel when the traffic jam started, so that made it even more torturous, if possible. Imagine seeing daylight about 15 meters ahead, past exhaust fumes floating in the gloom. And not being able to reach it. It made me keep thinking of that scene in The Stand, where Steven King's character has to go crawling through a pile of cars and bodies in one of the tunnels exiting New York City, after pretty much the whole world has died. Maybe that's a bit melodramatic, but I'm also more than a bit claustrophobic.
 ...We really didn't think that the traffic jam would last very long, seeing as neither of us had ever been in completely stopped traffic here before. Usually it's a lot of stop-and-go caused by congestion. This time, however, we found out from a traffic bulletin that 2 semis had somehow crashed, and one had jackknifed across both lanes of the highway. Lovely. I don't think there were any casualties, but after 40 minutes of waiting, every car and truck in the tunnel still had to maneuver to the sides in order for a bunch of firetrucks and an ambulance to get through. Why they couldn't have just driven the wrong way down the highway from the opposite direction is beyond me. It would've been a lot easier, seeing as that stretch had been cleared of any and all traffic thanks to the wreck.
  What this all leads up to, though, is....the pee-pee bag.  The whole time we were stuck there, we kept seeing various businessmen strolling down the length of the tunnel, ducking around a corner at the entrance, and then reappearing a few moments later, minus the look of urgency that'd just been on their faces. Now folks, you must know that if so many businessmen were in dire need, then probably most, if not all, of the women stuck in that tunnel were writhing in major discomfort for the good part of an hour or more.
 I myself started complaining after maybe 45 minutes and was even contemplating walking 3.7 kilos to the next rest stop. Which is when Yuki remembered that we had a couple of pee-pee bags in the trunk, leftover precautions from our Golden Week car trip last year. (Golden Week's traffic jams are infamous). He went and got one out for me, but I refused to even open the package for another half hour or so. At which point I finally gave in and looked at it....
  Basically, the pee-pee bag is a plastic bag with a sort of hard plastic funnel at the top, and inside is some sort of absorbent material. It didn't look particularly sturdy to me, but I guess it would've worked. Still, something about the thought of trying to pee in a bag while sitting in a car stuck in a tunnel---surrounded by other cars, mind you---was enough to make my bladder dry up for the duration of the traffic jam. So, no pee-pee bag utilization here, although examining it did provide a good diversion!
                                               Pee-pee Bag

             Taking their half out of the middle
 You can see a bashed-in part on the back of the truck if you look carefully, but the front end got the most damage: half the engine was gone