There’s nothing more blissful and aptly named than relieving one’s bladder. Until it’s not.

It was during a mid-summer’s road trip to Agra that the nine-year old Null Pointer got schooled on the art of holding her pee. While others marveled at the passion of an emperor and the skills of his craftsmen, she became Master of her Bladder. After all, nothing was more repulsive than public restrooms. Except the absence of any.

Several years and agonizing road trips later, she’s successfully held on to her pee resolve (Not counting that time at the Port Authority bus terminal 38 weeks pregnant. Or that unfortunate Bangalore-Madras overnight journey). Ever the professional, she never does coffee on the road no matter how divine it smells. It is also the only reason she’s not mad at the universe for denying her daughters.

It is with these mad skills that she bravely chaperoned her boys to a birthday party on a sunny afternoon. But somewhere between Chewy chasing her with a cup demanding “More Water! More Juice! Now!” and Nibbles frantically searching for the restroom, she felt it. The urge. Stories of Hans of Holland and the flood gates rudely popped into her head. Nobody belted out a more enthusiastic “Happy Birthday” when the cake made an entrance than she. Nobody saw her stuff both her kids’ cakes into her mouth so they could make a dash for it.

As they scootered their way back home, ominous thunder guffawed before the clouds relieved themselves. Pitter-patter, Splish-splosh, Steady bladder…Oh my gosh!

Home. Finally! There’s nothing more blissful and aptly named than relieving one’s bladder. Until it’s not. She cringed as her body spit out lava. And again. Every. 5. minutes.

When her own physician didn’t pick up, Dr. Google prescribed adding baking soda to water to neutralize the acidity. Given the prospect of gratuitous bloating added to the mix of symptoms, she held off on any organic chem experiments near her vagina. Try gallons of cranberry juice, said Dr. G. The idea of standing at the local supermarket lines without access to a restroom was unthinkable. The idea of standing was unthinkable.

In a moment of utter despair tinged with clarity, she succumbed to the tastelessness of irony: giant beer-mugfuls of water alternating between Big Byte’s weekly stash of coconut water. She waits for the summons into the ring of fire. Tick-tock, pitter-patter, splish-splosh.