Amy Wallen Will Give You Crickets

Wow, Josh. With compliments like that, I'll even reenact it for you. (Not really.) The Best Laid Plans of a Professional Meeting Planner The toughest part of putting on a convention for 5,000 is not the 15-hour days that start before 5 a.m. or the angry exhibitors, lost packages or empty coffee urns during the morning rush. No… the toughest problem I encounter during a 5-day conference is finding a private place for a bowel movement. At the last event, I scout out the perfect remote bathroom. As soon as the keynote speaker starts, I slip away. Soon I am dedicated to my important task. And then the door opens. “Beth, are you in here?” KATE! Kate is my arch enemy. She revels in causing me pain at work. And she has found me at a most vulnerable moment. “Hey, Kate. I’ll be with you in a minute.” Kate enters a stall. “Can we meet about my speaker luncheon?” she asks as she unzips. I’m at critical juncture. I shift on the seat, hoping for a sneaky hiss instead of a humiliating blurt. No luck. “Um, sure. Half an hour? In the staff office?” She answers, “I have time now. I’ll walk back with you.” What? She is waiting for me here in the bathroom? Part of the women’s code is that we quietly excuse ourselves when one needs privacy, just like we “spare a square” under the stall when we run out of paper. I struggle to find some inner fortitude that will stop this bowel movement. I clench. I grimace. I pucker. Kate, of course, is taking a polite, professional pee, releasing an efficient, melodic stream and tearing off an eco-friendly, modest toilet paper ration. I’m making noises and emitting smells that would keep the audience in a Will Farrell movie in stitches. My bowels are unstoppable, the culmination of unrelenting stress, late nights and 3 bags of Flaming Hot Cheetos. There is plopping and splashback. And oh yes, there is odor. I can’t stop it, so I try to disguise it. I shuffle. I cough. I rattle the toilet paper roll. “Why don’t you head over to the staff office and grab the menu from my desk?” I plead. Kate is finished, washing her hands. “I’ll wait for you – no problem.” Kate’s enjoying the fact that she’s breaking the code. I picture her leaning against the vanity, practicing the perfect knowing smile. Bitch. ...Continued....
— December 2, 2009 3:43 p.m.

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