the unfortunate event and how i found out i was lactose intolerant

A brisk breeze eases through the open window of my dorm room. I rise from a peaceful slumber, pour a glass of milk and make some oatmeal. I do the dishes from last night, scrubbing the dried mac n cheese from the bottom of the pot. Lacing up my running shoes my phone beeps to life. The texts reads… 

“we are downstairs.”

With my sweat pants on and water bottle in hand I race to meet my friends for our weekly Thursday morning hike at Runyon Canyon. Amidst the hustle I forgot to make my morning pit stop on the porcelain throne so my stomach was feeling a little rumbly, but not to worry, we would only be gone for a short while. 

We arrive as the sun is just starting to warm. The hike is an easy one for sure, nothing too strenuous. And my stomach is not bothering me too much. We are having a good time when things start to go south. About halfway through the trek my bowels begin to talk to me… 

“hey Darrin!”

“yes bowels?”

“it is time.”

“no no no, I can’t be doing that now!”

“but Darrin, its time.”

“Bowels! There is no bathroom around!”

“well you better fuckin get to one now!”


Mumbling to my partners in hike I tell them of my plight. They tell me to go in the woods but based on the inferno kindling in my belly I decide to run back down to my car and drive to a gas station to have the ‘pit stop’ I missed this morning. Awkwardly parting with my friends I jog back down the hill. It is rough riding. Bumper cars in my belly. River Styx delivering death. My bowels say…


I pick up my pace and things begin to slip. I clench. My pace slows. I begin to waddle run (picture a penguin running down a hill). My pace quickens slightly. I’m 100 yards from my car. I breathe a sigh of relief… and so do my bowels.


I’ll spare you the gruesome details. 

I dive into the woods and into a concrete culvert. Half laughing half crying I look to sky and ask…


I… well… clean up. And give my friends a call.

“Hey. I didn’t make it.”


“I won’t beat around the bush… I shit myself”


“I shit myself.”

(long pause)

“I’m just going to go home and… shower. I’ll be back to pick you guys up in thirty minutes.”

Gathering my dignity I trudge to my car. Drive to my dorm. Scamper through the lobby. Shower. Drive back to get my friends. I pull up to Runyon and my friends are standing with a bouquet of wildflowers. They get in the car. 


And we never talked about it again.


I’m sitting in a doctors office. And I retell the harrowing tale. He looks at me and says…

“you ate mac and cheese the night before?”


“and drank a glass of milk when you woke up?”


“and did you make your oatmeal with milk?”

“ummmm yeah”

“well… you’re probably lactose intolerant.”


And that is how I found out I was lactose intolerant.



Darrin Bush