If you are easily grossed out please stop reading NOW!
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I remember reading something Stef Schrader posted on Jalopnik that required the use of the Poop Emoji… and that was the first thing that came to mind during the Sahlen’s Six Hour at the Glen last weekend when, with an hour left to go, I was in what could only be described as the most severe pain at the most inconvenient time I have ever experienced. And I totally handled the situation wrong. But it makes for a hell of a story since this could happen to anybody. As embarrassing as the act of pooping is, we all do it… and as a marshal what do you do when you must poop during the race?
This is practically a public service announcement… Remember folks: call your flag chief if nature calls! It’s a lesson that I forgot to remember.
To paint the scene without giving away too many details, myself and Robbie from Canada were working Station 12 at Watkins Glen. It is in the toe of the boot, downhill from a big spectator area, which had one portable john shared among the spectators and the marshals. The weather was shit. It wasn’t pouring rain, but it rained constantly for two days. The ground was saturated. The race was red flagged when turn 1 lost visibility of the start stand and couldn’t do their job properly because between the fog setting in and the mist from the rooster tails, it was pretty awful. The race resumed after the red flag… the leaders crashed, and we were back to full course yellows. And my stomach was feeling like someone was sticking a dull knife in there and trying to move it side to side, up and down… it wasn’t good at all.
Robbie was farting up a storm. He was especially amused with himself because the TV people attached a microphone right at the “ass” level directly next to the spot we were flagging from. Every opportunity he got he ripped a big one and that brought many smiles to his face, and I increased the distance between us going back a step or two. He was happy like a pig in mud, but I was ready to cry. And instead of calling the flag chief to relieve me, so to speak… so I can drive up to one of the proper bathrooms on the infield, I puckered up. Instead of leaving Robbie to his own devices… I puckered up. And the damn pain got stronger. I was contemplating walking up to the portable john on top of the hill from the station by the spectators, but there was a big lake of mud right at the entrance, and much of that mud made it’s way in with the heavy traffic that porta-pod was seeing. Pooping there was not an option, at least not without transferring some of that brown mud on my white gear. So I puckered up.
I was too embarrassed to broadcast my call of nature to race control and all the other marshals on our net, as discreetly as it could have been done, I figured everyone would know. So I didn’t, instead I’m making this very public post to remind myself in the future and anyone else for that matter. What do you do when you must poop and the track is hot, there’s a race going on? Call for help! I don’t care if you’re working on station alone, or have a happy Canadian to keep you company, call for help. And go poop!
You’ll feel like a new person when it’s all done. I know I did.