About two years ago when I was 18, I went to live with my grandmother (she is not quite as old as that sounds) in a town outside London. I went to college (I’m still there) and also got a part time job at a supermarket, I won’t say which one, asda rules do not allow advertising. I was surprised how many people I got to know, as I not only made friends at college and at the supermarket, some of my grandma’s neighbours were also quite friendly and there were three or four parties and barbecues in our road where there were people of around my age or a little older as well as the older people.
One Friday evening I went out with some college friends and we ended up in a Wetherspoon pub in town, which I had not realised was open until one in the morning. Because of this I drank a bit more than I had planned and I knew my grandma would not like that. I wet the bed sometimes, and we have a deal that I won’t get into any trouble over it as long as I ‘try’ and don’t drink too much. When you’re out with your friends though, you don’t worry about grandmas especially as the drink gives you more courage.
It was quite a long walk home to my grandma’s house as she lived in the semi-detached section away from the centre. I walked a bit of the way with a couple of people but they branched off fairly soon, so I then had about a mile and a half to walk on my own. After a while there was a little open section with a couple of benches and a few trees, so I decided to sit down on a bench for a few minutes and then go for a pee behind a tree before setting off again. I was quite tired because I’d worked until about eleven at the supermarket the night before and had been at college all day, and now had another late night. I leaned sideways and must have fallen asleep almost at once.
I found myself being shaken awake. It was beginning to get light and two coppers were standing over me, their car a few feet away.
‘Is your name Bernie?’ one of them asked. This suprised me but I had other things to worry about, as I realised my clothes felt funny, and I looked down to see I had heavily pissed myself, not only my jeans but half way up my shirt, my socks and shoes, with a puddle underneath the bench.
‘You’re Grandma’s worried about you. You’ve got yourself into a right state haven’t you?’
I got up, too stunned to think of much. I didn’t know if I was under arrest or they would just let me walk home, though that was a fairly scary thought looking the way I must do.They seemed quite amused, and the younger one had gone towards the car and was making a call to say I’d been found. I realised I’d seen that one before, but could not place him, probably because he hadn’t been in uniform before.
‘Come on Bernie, we’d better get you home,’ this one said, really quite kindly, and then I remembered he was Darren, one of my grandma’s neighbours who I’d met and chatted with at a couple of times.
They took out some plastic sheeting from the boot (I suppose they must be prepared for these eventualities) and put it on the back seat for me to sit on. It was only about a five minute drive and I pieced things together. My grandma must have phoned the police when I hadn’t come home by about three, a bit over the top for an eighteen year old but the police had probably said they would keep an eye out. I was horribly sober by now and for the first time it really hit home about my soaking wet trousers and about one of the cops knowing me and knowing some of my other friends (Oh God!). I was in the middle of what I hoped would be the most cringeworthy moment of my life. My grandma opened the door as the car pulled up and as I approached I started blubbing, as though I hadn’t humiliated myself enough.
The policemen came in with me and while I was sent upstairs to have a shower and change of clothes my grandma invited them in for a cup of tea. After I’d had my shower I could hear them cackling about something, I can’t think what. I also suspect my grandma had told them, in confidence of course, that I wet the bed by way of explanation for my wet trousers.
I met Darren again at an afternoon party only a couple of days later on the Sunday. I could feel myself turning red the moment I saw him and he must have noticed how embarrassed I felt but didn’t say anything although I could see he was still silently amused.
We’re good friends now and at first I hoped he kept the incident to himself and did not tell anyone else. Perhaps, I thought, policemen are like doctors and take confidentiality seriously. Then I though about it some more. Who was I kidding?