As I finished my pitch to the catcher, my pelvic muscles squeezing for more power, I felt something fall out of the leg of my shorts. I remember thinking, “What the bloody hell?”
It was, in fact, hell – a bloody form of hell here on earth, anyway. There, with a soft “thunk” on the soft brown dirt, right in the dead center of the pitcher’s mound, lay my bloody tampon, visible for all to see.
It was my first day as the assistant coach of a high school girl’s fast pitch softball team. I was excited, having played ball for most of my life. As a teacher, I was qualified to be a coach for a high school team, and having time on my hands and in need of extra cash, I happily accepted the position. I had been a pitcher of reasonable skill and so the head coach asked me to take our two pitchers to the mound to work on some new pitches.
Pitching a fast pitch softball requires a lot of power, especially from the hips and legs. With each turn of my hips as I finished each pitch, my pelvic muscles would squeeze and contract with the effort of pushing and turning my body.
I never really thought about it before – it was just a natural motion for me, using every muscle I could command to gather the power necessary for a pitch to be fast. Never in my life did I imagine it would also serve to launch a bloody missile made of cotton from my vagina.
As the three of us stared down at the dirt on the mound, my tampon cradled within the soft and shifting sand, it was one of those moments that was completely surreal. As I tried to think of what to say or do – I mean, my God, WHAT do you do in THAT kind of situation – the catcher headed to the mound to see what the problem was.
So now the four of us stood there, staring down at my tampon, and all I could think to do was to acknowledge the situation. I mean, what else can you do? So I looked at the girls, now staring at me with a mixture of stunned awe on their faces, gasps and giggles escaping from their lips.
I sheepishly replied,“Well, sometimes shit happens, and this is one of those moments. The shit has definitely happened.”
As I finished my response, all the four of us could do was laugh hysterically, overwhelmed by the unbelievably dark humor of the situation. Bent over, hands upon our knees as we shook with laughter, our giggles caught the attention of the other players, the head coach, and the curious parents sitting in the stands, observing the practice.
Oh great, now EVERYONE is going to know about THIS, was my immediate thought. As the rest of the girls approached the mound, they spotted my bloody tampon on the ground, their eyes taking a moment to register recognition, total surprise and shock.
“Oh my God, is THAT what I think it is?!” shouted one player, the mouthy short stop who rarely missed fielding a ball hit her way, no matter how fast or hard.
I looked up and around, inhaling deeply and then answering with a large sigh, “Yes, ladies, yes it is.” Now the entire team was broken into fits of giggles and jokes and the head coach’s patience had definitely run out.
As he stomped across the field to see what was happening with his team, I hurriedly took my foot and began to cover the tampon with the loose sand of the field, until it was buried out of sight.
“What the heck is going on here?” bellowed the coach.
With as much energy as I could muster, I managed to say, "It’s alright coach. We’ve got it now. Just a female thing that sometimes happens," – although I couldn't imagine who else this would ever happen to – "We’re getting back to work now. Back to your places, ladies!”
As the players returned to their normal places for practice, we began to pick up again, me working with the pitchers while I secretly prayed that my underwear would be able to handle my period until I could make it to a nearby restroom. Fortunately for me, I was near the end of my cycle or this story might have had a much more tragic ending. At ballfields, restrooms are hard to come by and even if you do find one, they usually are lacking, hygienically speaking.
Still straining to see what had happened on the field, the parents were resuming their places when one parent who had been standing at the fence and had apparently witnessed the entire incident returned to the stands to report to the parents that my tampon had, indeed, fallen out onto the pitcher’s mound.
So there it was – pretty much everyone knew about what had happened and, not understanding the mechanics that had propelled my tampon out, I felt sure they were all discussing what a large vagina I must have. I actually have no idea if they did discuss that specifically, but that is where my mind would have gone if I had witnessed this happen to someone else.
It was at that point that I realized I was going to have to let this one go or I was going to suffer mightily, probably for the rest of the season. I embraced the embarrassing situation, laughing at myself the entire time.
After practice was over, I told the players I was really glad to meet them and looked forward to an exciting and "bloody successful season,” trying not to break out into a serious case of what I like to call “church giggles” while the players looked around, locking each other with that “knowing” look, secret smiles turning up the corners of their mouths.
Once everyone had left the field, I stealthily returned to the mound, tissues in hand. With the precision of a skilled archaeologist, I gently excavated the mound of dirt and scooped up my bloody cotton missile. I gratefully tossed it into the nearest trash, just as the sun was going down.
To their credit, the players, parents and coach never mentioned this incident again, although in fitting with the trend of giving nicknames to players and coaches, the players decided my name would be “Sin Missile” for the rest of the season. I embraced it. Wholly.