I have wanted to tell this story for a couple of years now, but Budge has vetoed it because she says it is terrible. I’m not sure how terrible it is. After all, it simply involves one of the most natural biological processes imaginable. I told her I was having a tough time coming up with something to write for this month’s post and that I’d like to finally tell this story. She huffed and puffed a little, but finally gave in and told me if I could do it justice, go for it. So here’s what happened.
A few years ago, Budge and I had supper at Sabroso’s, which is one of our favorite Mexican restaurants around. I ate some chips and salsa, and for a main meal had Arroz Con Pollo. That’s chicken with rice for the rest of us. I didn’t think I over ate, especially compared to some meals I’ve put down there before. Just some grilled chicken over yellow rice topped with queso blanco. Nothing to it. I also downed three glasses of their exceptional sweet tea, but I don’t think that made a difference either. I don’t know what caused all the excitement to tell you the truth.
Anyway, we ate, paid, and left for home. We got to the first red light coming from Woodruff Road when my stomach dropped. I’m sure you all know the feeling. One minute you are fine; the next minute, you are sweating bullets. I knew for certain we were not going to make it home with my clothes intact in my present condition. I told Budge we had to find a bathroom quickly.
Luckily, right before the highway lies a Spinx. They are all over these parts like mushrooms after a bad rain. They combine gas, car washing, and a lite grocery store. I knew for a fact they prided themselves on the cleanliness of their bathrooms, so I told Budge that was where we were going. She pulled in and I got out, gingerly. Then I stood by the car for a minute gathering myself and making sure everything was squeezed tightly for the fifteen yard walk to the bathroom. It was pretty bad. Well, in all my excitement and other-mindedness, I completely forgot my phone and left it in the console. That will become key later on.
As I was walking in, slowly, I breathed a quick prayer that the bathroom would be unoccupied. Some Spinx have multiple urinals and stalls available, which would be nice in a way in my present condition, but then again, it might scar some poor soul for life. This particular Spinx, however, was a one-holer. It was immaculately clean, but there was only one porcelain throne. Of course, one was all I needed so that didn’t bother me.
I’ve never been so happy to see a bathroom in my LIFE! I turned around to lock the door only to find the door lock was broken. In its place was one of those barrel locks where there’s a metal rod in a tube on the door and a metal ring on the jamb for the rod to slide into and secure the door. Okay, not ideal, but I had other things to think about at that particular moment. Still, like my phone, this will become key in a minute.
I made it to the toilet without a second to spare as my sphincter decided enough was enough and this was happening right now, ready or not. Gentle reader, without getting too graphic, let me just say in about five minutes of intense exercise of various little used muscles, I destroyed that poor toilet, which had done me no wrong at all. Still, I blew it up. It was a near run thing though. A couple more steps or an issue getting my pants down and the outcome could have been tragic. As it was, I sat there breathing heavily and waiting for the stomach spasms to stop. I felt completely human again, so I turned myself to the task of cleaning up after this industrial accident. That’s when things took a turn for the absurd.
As a general rule, the first thing I do when going to a public restroom is assure myself plenty of toilet paper is available. It may be one ply stuff you can read a book through, but if you use enough, it will suffice. As Napoleon is quoted as saying, “Quantity has a quality all its own.” This time though, I really hadn’t had time to make my pre-poop reconnaissance of the facility. As a result, it was with a deep sense of trepidation that my hand encountered only empty space when I reached for the necessary supplies. I looked and the two roll dispenser was empty. Both holders held only paper tubes. I cursed Spinx for not checking these things more often. I cursed myself for not doing my usual due diligence, not that it would have made much difference in this case. This train was coming through, available tp or not.
Well, I was dismayed, but not overly so. I flushed the putrescence down the sewer so I was at least sitting on clean water while I pondered my predicament. It was then I spied the paper towel dispenser. I was saved. Paper towels certainly were not optimal, but considering the situation, what is one to do, right? So I leaned over as far as I could lean to grab a few pieces of brown sandpaper and finish the job then be on my way. The paper towel dispenser was as empty as the toilet paper dispenser. I really cursed now. I was stuck for sure.
But wait, I thought. I’ll call Budge and she can come in and explain the situation to the nice teenager behind the counter, he’ll go to the store room and bust out some one ply, bring it to me, and — while somewhat embarrassed — I could be on my way. So I reached down to my shorts on the floor, stuck my hand in the left pocket where I keep my phone and instantly remembered my phone was sitting on the console of the Santa Fe. See, I told you that would be key. To make matters worse, I realized even if I could call, it would be impossible for an employee to get into the room with me stuck on the toilet and unable to unlock the door because of the barrel lock. I was well and truly in a bit of a pickle.
I cast about for any solution. I briefly hit upon the idea of using my underwear, but honestly, with what I had just done, I doubted it would be enough. What was I to do? Then, I saw my salvation — the overflowing trashcan! Apparently, everyone had been so busy at this store, no one had time to restock the bathroom or empty the trash. I was thankful for heavy traffic. I could just barely hang on to the toilet with one hand and lean as far as possible to just hook the trashcan with a finger of my other hand. It proved enough though, and I was able to slide the means of my salvation over to my side.
Now this is why Budge didn’t want me to tell this story, because she thought what I was going to do was gross to the point of dry heaves. I, too, wasn’t happy with the choices presented to me, but as the Bible says, “When the ox is in a ditch, one must get him out.” Also, in this case, beggars couldn’t be choosers. Now I didn’t just reach in and grab a paper towel all willy-nilly. I have standards, they just aren’t very high apparently. I daintily sorted through the cast off hand dryers and picked only those that were spotlessly clean, if a bit damp. I was right about my underwear being insufficient to the task. It took twelve trips to the used paper towel pile before I was clean enough to carry on with my business.
I got myself redressed, put the trashcan back where it went, washed my hands, and — another part of this story Budge hates — dried them on the tail of my shirt. Remember though, this was a desperate time. I then walked up to the front of the store and informed the teenager behind the counter that the men’s room was out of both toilet paper and paper towels. I then exited stage right and got back in the vehicle with Budge.
She wanted to know what had taken so long, so I told her in the same exquisite detail I have just relayed to you, gentle reader. She turned a bit green and I thought she might be about to lose her enchiladas she had so recently eaten. She berated me for being so unsanitary. I pointed out I had no bidet so my choices were quite limited. She didn’t say much as we rode home. She only told me I was not to write about this on Grocery Store Feet. Still, here we are! Nothing, not even time, can stand in the way of a good story.
Love y’all, and keep those feet clean!