Roads go ever ever on…
—The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
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Because of the ick factor, I’ll keep this short. Think of it as a Public Service Announcement.
Last week I recommended comfy shoes for the road of life. After all, it’s a rough road. Keep your feet happy, I said. Wear comfy shoes.
Many readers agreed.
One reader, however, pointed out that the road is not only rough, it’s long—sometimes very, very long—and sometimes rest stops are sparse. And sometimes you’re stuck in gridlock for hours with no relief in site. Keep your bladder happy, he said. Keep a urinal bottle handy in your car.
(I guess an empty water bottle would do in a pinch, but at a certain age hands can be a little shaky. And for those with less clumsy plumbing, some bottles come with a funnel, my friend told me.)
(Are you done yet?!!)
Years ago I got a first aid kit for my car and put it, along with a flashlight, blanket, and bottled water, in a plastic container behind the back seat. I didn’t include a urinal bottle. I didn’t know there was such thing.
Of course, I might have figured there was such a thing if I’d even once thought about it. But I hadn’t, even though I’ve often wished and prayed that I had a “relief map” when the road goes “ever ever on,” as Tolkien’s poem puts it.
Hobbits, of course, take a long road in stride. We can’t. Hobbits never face the problem of which I speak.
(1) They never go on long road trips in a car. They walk. And wherever they fare they fare well because trees, rock breaks, and caves are plentiful in Middle Earth—if perchance they ever have to go. But do they?
(2) I’ve read The Hobbit and all three Lord of the Rings books, and I don’t recall a single instance when a hobbit stops to urinate or squats to evacuate. So there’s that. Hobbit physiology is not human physiology. On the road that goes ever ever on, hobbits never gotta go.
Humans gotta go.
So do yourself a favor. Pack a urinal bottle for your next road trip. Fortunately, there’s quite a variety on Amazon, including one with a cap that glows in the dark.
(I don’t want to know why!)