News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists


Gotta go, gotta go right now

A television commercial says that when you've got to go, you gotta go right now!

But there is gotta go, and there is the low wail that reaches a crescendo that threatens to put the urge in past tense like "went right then."

The strident tone of the commercials, of course, is an adult thing, offering relief for embarrassing overactive bladders.

But there is also that low moan that reaches a crescendo. It may or may not be about a problem bladder, especially if it's coming from a 4-year-old riding in the back seat of his grandfather's car.

"O-o-o-o-o, Tom-Tom, I've got to go to the bathroom," my namesake, Wright, alerted me while we were stalled in Atlanta's rush hour traffic.

"We will be home in a few minutes, Buddy," I said, hoping he would act like an adult and thank me politely and say that he could wait that long.

"O-o-o-o-o-o, Tom-Tom, I've really got to go," he responded.

"Hold on, Buddy, hold on," I said, looking over to Regina for help.

"I can't help you here," she said, with just a bit of sick humor.

"I can't wait, Tom-Tom," he said.

"Aw, Wright, we're just about there," I said, fudging the time and distance while thinking of the resale value of an otherwise clean LeSabre, if he didn't wait.

His younger sister, Emma Grace, sitting beside him understood his predicament. She's been there.

"Hold on to my big toe," she said, as she jutted her leg toward him.

I didn't look in the rearview mirror to see if he did because this wasn't a time for laughing.

I credit the toe, only because we made it to the next-exit Burger King without Wright going, but still wailing that going was imminent.

"I've got to potty, too," Emma Grace said, as we unhitched them from their car seats.

"I don't remember having to deal with things like that when our girls were small," I said to Regina.

"That's because we had girls, and you were on another planet," she replied.


Tom Wright Tom Wright
DAILY Executive Editor

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