When I was 14 years old, my mother, sister and I went to spend a couple of weeks in Denver, Colorado with my aunt, uncle and two cousins. We absolutely loved the sights and sounds of the Great Rocky Mountains and enjoyed eating at many of the restaurants the locale had to offer. Eating out probably doesn't seem like a big deal but when you are being raised by a mother and step-father who prided themselves on the spices they used, salt AND pepper, getting to eat in places that served food that had FLAVOR was a huge deal.
The Yum Yum Tree had a name that appealed to mine and my sister's 14 and 13 year-old selves. Plus, we'd seen the commercials about how "every type of cuisine could be found under one roof for the low, low price of..." I don't remember the cost but according the adults, it was expensive. At least by 1980 standards. Still, we wanted to go.
Persistence is something both my sister and I pride ourselves on and we eventually wore down the adults. We were headed to the Yum Yum Tree! When we got there, it was like an amusement park of food. Italian food. Mexican food. Chinese food. Japanese food (which my mother quickly forbade us to go to once she saw the sushi). German food. British food. Basically, you think of the type of food and it was there. I was in gastrointestinal heaven!
As I perused each of the nationalities and their offerings I heard my mother warning me to not do to much. "All that funny stuff will hurt your stomach," she promised.
I ate and I ate and I ate - savoring each morsel of food with flavor. There were delicacies I had never dreamed of and it all went down filling me to the point of uncomfortable. My mother, being ever so cautious, stuck with tried and true offerings proclaiming some of them as not good. "Ew. This spaghetti sauce is so garlicky," she would say as she pushed her plate away.
After we'd eaten more than our fill, we all went into the connecting mall (yeah, it was one of those types of restaurants attracting mall rats) so that we could walk around with our extended guts. It was in the middle of one of those big department stores that my mother loves so much when she suddenly grabbed her stomach and grimaced. Truthfully, I didn't think much of it at the time as my sweet mother was and is rather delicate and was and is often complaining of some ache or pain.
All of a sudden, my mother's face went pale and she mummered with clenched teeth, "We need to find a bathroom now!"
We quickly dashed about the department store finally locating a bathroom in the back corner, near the men's department. But it was too late. She'd already shit her pants.
My mother had shit her pants!
My sister and I, being the good girls we were, fell apart laughing. I realize that a bit of sympathy might have gone a long way but really... my mother shit her pants! It was hilarious!
After we finally were able to calm down and wipe our tears away, my mother handed us her credit card from under the bathroom stall.
"Go buy me some new underwear! Right now!" It was obvious that mom was not amused.
My sister and I walked around the big department store finally locating the women's unmentionable section. After browsing through the choices, we found a pair of panties with meatballs on them. Seriously. Meatballs. And. We. Had. To. Get. Them.
We took the underwear to the clerk who gave us funny looks as we paid for the goods with our mother's credit card. We were falling all over ourselves laughing as we made our way back to the bathroom where my mother was still under lockdown with her shitty britches. When she saw the underwear we chose, she started to laugh.
Funny how playing it safe was the crappy way to go that night.