Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Vader let me pee. He's a good guy.

Here’s an idea. When enjoying an evening with your friends the night before a big Imperial meeting, DON’T go to a dancing Twi’Lek bar and consume so many beverages that you can’t recall the difference between the number of glasses poured and the number of Twi’Lek tails that passed by the stage. Oh, my head.

Here’s another idea. Set your alarm. Otherwise, you’ll wake up groggy, disoriented, and dehydrated 10 minutes before the Emperor goes on stage in the Senate building to talk about your new assignment on the “Death Star.”

Yes friends, I was stupid enough to do this. In a hurry, I threw my standard Imperial uniform on, straightened the officer’s cap over my disheveled (and not in a stylish way) hair, grabbed as many water bottles as I could find out of the hotel fridge (hoping the Empire wouldn’t bill me later), and ran out of my hotel room. The good news was that the Senate building was just across the street. The better news was that there seats still available on the end of some of the back rows. I slid in, downed the first bottle of water, and sat back as the Emperor took stage.

“Welcome, my friends. You are the best of the best, the defenders of the Imperial way of life, and the standard for all officers. You are the crew of the Death Star, the greatest peace-spreading space station in the galaxy!”

The thousands of pairs of leather-gloved hands started clapping, the dense applause filling the room and making my head feel like twenty starving wookiees were trying to escape from it. On to water bottle #2. Go away, damn dehydration, and take the headache away with you.

Why does the Emperor only wear a black robe? Is it cause it hides stains? I bet he’s wearing sandles and his pajamas under there. Running the galaxy has its priviliges, you know.

“The Death Star will provide peace, security, and order for our galaxy. No more will the threats
of Rebel terrorists cause our citizens to cower in fear. No, the Rebels will be the ones trembling. With the power to destroy an entire planet, the Rebels will never again destroy a school or murder the children of the Empire. We shall have lasting peace!” the Emperor proclaimed.

Damn, when did the Rebels start killing children? My memories raced through all of the holonet transmissions I had seen recently, but I couldn’t pull up anything like that. Probably cause I preferred to watch the loveably obnoxious family on Hutt in a Rutt or my Galactic Pazaak Championships instead of the news.

I suddenly remembered Grumpy B’s request from the previous evening’s drinking session - if we blow up any planets, scout for hot Twi’Leks first.

The Emperor repeated himself in several creative (but obviously uninspired) ways before handing things over to Grand Moff Tarkin. Tarkin, with cheeks as deep as Utapau sinkholes, is never a fun guy to be around. Always talking about missions and control and fear and technical mumbo jumbo. Tarkin droned on for what seeemed to be 3 days, though in reality, it was only 5 minutes. It’s really sad when taking random sips from a water bottle is your best form of entertainment in the room.

The lights dimmed and a large holo schematic of the “Death Star” projected in front of Tarkin. Tarkin magically produced laser pointer shooting out a thick beam (I think he removed it from his butt - something’s gotta be jammed up there) to go over sections and specs in detail.

At this time, I realized a new pain was creeping into my body. It wasn’t the headache, it wasn’t the stiff chairs of the auditorium, and it wasn’t the mental anguish from sitting in a boring Tarkin presentation. All of the water I was trying to generously restore into my body was taking its toll. Hangover dehydration be damned, I had to pee. Pretty bad too. And my body was still cursing me for the hours of holding it back in my last day at the office on the Devastator - I wasn’t going to make that mistake again.

With all eyes focused on the holo of the “Death Star,” I snuck out of my end-of-the-row seat and walked quietly towards the back exit. Once I cleared the corridor, I raced down the hallway and made an abrupt left turn into the black armor of a walking respirator.

“Oh. Um. Hello, Lord’s it going?” I meekly asked.

Vader stood in dignified silence as his respirator churned. HOOOO-PHAAAW. HOOO-PHAAAW.
Damn, that’s creepy. Has anyone ever told him that? I’m sure they could put a silencing mechanism on it.

“What are you doing out here? This is a mandatory meeting,” Vader intoned.

“Oh, I know. It’s just that last night I drank too much and I...”

“You knew of your day’s duties and you chose to act irresponsibly last night? The Emperor will be displeased to learn of your desire to leave the meeting,” Vader said.

“Um, I’m not actually trying to LEAVE the meeting per se, I just need to...”

“Do not try to fool me. The Death Star only uses the best officers. If you feel you cannot handle the responsibility (at this point, my bladder has started giving me the red flag - I really gotta go), then perhaps the Empire can suitably replace you with someone who is up for the challenge,” Vader said.

“Oh, I want to be here. I really do. It’s just that I...”

“Then why are you trying to leave? Perhaps the Emperor made a mistake by choosing you for the Death Star,” Vader replied.

At this point, I really was feeling the itch to relieve myself. I tried desperately to avoid thinking about water. My mind searched for anything else. Garbage. Twi’Leks. Spaceships. Trees.

“The Death Star is the ultimate power in the galaxy. It will protect the Empire and destroy the Rebel Alliance! It cannot be operated by fools!”

Garbage. Twi’Leks. Spaceships. Trees. Not water. Not rushing water. Not Twi’leks surfing on garbage to get to their ocean spaceship. Aw, damn.

“If you feel you are above this duty, then you shall be punished!”

HOOO-PHAAAW. HOOOO-PHAAW. Dear lord, even Vader’s breathing is starting to sound like flushing toilets. HOOO-PHAAW. HOOOO-PHAAW.

“How do you explain your behavior?”

Not Twi’leks surfing on garbage to get to ocean spaceships. Not water. Not toilets. Nothing rushing or pouring or splashing. HOOO-PHAAW. HOOOO-PHAAW.


“Lord Vader, if you don’t move RIGHT NOW, my bladder will explode and I will pee all over the floor. Now please, WHERE IS THE TOILET?” The words came out in a desperate, half-crazed run-on sentence. I’m not even sure if it was coherent, but that’s what I intended to say.

HOOOO-PHAAAW. HOOO-PHAAW. Vader looked at me, then to the floor, then back at me.
“The Emperor will be most displeased if the Senate carpeting is soiled. Go down the hallway and make your first right,” Vader said.

“Thank you, Lord Vader!” I yelled as I ran down the hallway.

“Don’t let me catch you in this predi...” Vader started to say. I’m sure he wanted to tell me not to do this again, but his voice had already trailed off as I sprinted to the toilet door. After I finished, Vader was waiting for me outside. I didn’t say a word, just walked back to my seat and sat through the rest of Tarkin’s presentation like a good Grumpy Moff. All 8 hours of it.


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