This morning, I flagged down a cab. When I got into the taxi, I noticed the driver had a one liter bottle of water wedged between the protective glass and the top half of his passenger-side seat. It got me thinking.

Bottles of all kinds double as bathrooms when Nature calls and taxi drivers are on the road--it’s one of those well-known but undocumented “facts” about life in NYC or usually any heavily populated urban town where people without cars need someone to drive them from point A to B.

Anyway, that got me to thinking some more. Suppose you’re out somewhere and you have to go to the do...whatever. Unless you’re near a place where there’s a public restroom, you’re in big trouble. And don’t go to a restaurant and ask to use their toilet. I’d say that nine times out of 10, you’d be told the restrooms are for customers only or you’d be told some lie to get you the hell outta there.

I mean, do these folks know how painful it is having to go to the bathroom and not being able to relieve yourself? That’s one of the most uncomfortable (and painful) feelings in the world. (Right up there with being awakened with a throbbing toothache at 3 a.m. that just won’t go away!)

And then I thought about it some more. What happens when we hold our waste? Does this affect our health in any way? Sooo, I did some research. Here’s what I found:

If you hold your pee (urine if you want to be PC about using the medically correct word), what happens is that the bladder enlarges and its walls become weaker. If you do this repeatedly, this leads to difficulty completely emptying the bladder and may cause you to retain pee inside this organ.

This is an unhealthy situation because stagnant pee can collect bacteria, which leads to the development of urinary tract infections.

Now, on to number two. (Pun intended.) If you make a habit of ignoring your body’s signals that it’s time to pass your waste (ughh, that pains me just thinking about it), that might make it harder to go later on.

By the way, some of the stuff I found online about this topic is crazy. If you don’t mind delving into bathroom doings, put the question into your search engine to get both grossed out and entertained.

And if you think this stuff is too trivial for you to think about, give this some thought. Some people routinely hold in their waste because they are ashamed to go to the bathroom. Besides being a physical matter, it’s also sometimes a mental health issue. I personally know folks who do all kinds of things to avoid going to the restroom (at work, in a theater, restaurant or at someone’s home) to ensure that their bathroom visits won’t “disturb” others’ sensibilities and possibly make them a topic of discussion.

And yes, that includes holding it in.

For them, I have one piece of advice: Don’t do it--just do it!

And last but not least, there should be a law against denying people the use of restroom facilities when Nature calls. That’s a real pain--literally!