I kept this a secret for a few days, because it felt like a betrayal to write it down. Surprisingly, the party involved unlocked the figurative lockbox and all can be revealed.
There is a lot of cursing in this one. And seriously, enough TMI that I kept it under wraps. So think about that. If you have any human pity, stop now.
Last Saturday I said to Gary, "The only thing I want to do today is go see Mom's house." The carpet, the paint, I wanted to see it.
"Let's get breakfast first," he said. "Cracker Barrel is on the way."
I am an unprincipled whore for Cracker Barrel. There was some lawsuit filed against them and I should hate them on principle, but: grits. Plus you can essentially create a buffet on your table for less than ten bucks. I ordered eggs, pork chops, biscuits, gravy, and grits. Gary had a bacon cheese omelet. And grits.
We left, and about three blocks before Mom's house, Gary said, "Ow. I need to find a bathroom."
He usually hangs out at restaurants for twenty minutes after a meal, "digesting." That's what he calls it, "digesting." Not doing anything, waiting to see if everything stays put. He'd skipped that step.
I said, "There's a bathroom at that supermarket. Or we can use the one at Mom's. There's even toilet paper there, and if you need more I'll go and get it."
So we chose to white-knuckle it to Mom's, where we unbuckled and I hit the garage door opener.
I went up to the garage and turned the door key. Usually one turn activates the door. Nothing. And I have no other key.
Commence the screaming from Gary. "What is WRONG with you WHY the FUCK would you bring me here YOU KNOW I HAVE TO" (whispered) "poop." (Again, screaming) "WHAT is WRONG with your BRAIN! SHIT! Why do you only HAVE ONE KEY! WHAT ARE YOU THINKING DO YOU HEAR ME I HAVE TO poop YOU FUCKER SHIT! SHIT! Ah ... damnit. FUCK FUCK FUCK."
During this I was "searching for another key," and then jogging to the back door where I knew the realtor had put a lockbox. Not that I had a combinaton, I just didn't want to be screamed at in the front yard, even though he was genteel enough to whisper "poop." But, by the time he got to "damnit," well, you know there was no hope. The deed was done.
So, we piled into the car - well, I piled, Gary positioned himself daintily, all the time continuing with the screaming, screaming all the way up the street and blaming ME for doing this to him. (Because that was my plan all along.) He decided to clean himself up at the bowling alley one block from Mom's, while I waited in the car.
I waited patiently, because who among us has not been in a similar situation? Granted, usually one is alone and not screaming into a sympathetic ear. One is on the express lanes on Highway 70 and unable to make an exit, and one has to pull over, remain in the car and employ the four quart red tupperware bowl one has in the back seat because one never cleans out ones tiny Honda CRX. Then one must choose between storing a red tupperware bowl of crap in ones car during the workday or accessorizing the red bowl of crap with ones red scarf and leaving it on the side of the highway. Where it stayed for five days. Who among us, I ask you, who among us.
So, I spent my time in the car calling the realtor for the lockbox combination. Unbeknownst to me, Gary was in the bowling alley bathroom and his luck had not changed. First of all, there were no doors on any of the stalls. Happily, he was alone. Sadly, all this happened after a three-day bowel backlog, so when he pulled off his pants some poo escaped and fled across the floor. He had to throw away his underwear entirely. And, by the way, there was no toilet paper. In that stall, Or the next. OR THE NEXT and then my husband, FACED with leaving a mess for the janitor, walked half naked around the bathroom scooping up poop in his bare hands. It was at that moment I decided to call.
He answered with: "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME I AM IN HERE COVERED IN (poop)." Click. He hung up.
Fuck you, I thought, I have the combination to the lockbox, I'm going back to Mom's, and you can just look for me when when you come out. I'm not taking this abuse all day.
I walked back to Mom's, where I entered the combination, and while some little thumb latch clicked in response, I was unable to pull the lockbox off the door handle. I tried and tried. I really did. If you haven't had occasion to use a lockbox ever in nearly 49 years, it looks more like a combination lock than a "box." With a key inside. Whatever. I know now. So I stayed outside.
Gary got out of Bowling Bathroom Hell and called. I said "Hello."
'WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU WHAT ARE YOU THINKING I AM COVERED IN poop AND I HAVE TO GO TAKE A SHOWER AND THEN I COME OUT AND YOU AREN'T HERE WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU -" I hung up on him this time. Because really, is the yelling necessary?
He called back and said it would take him an hour to get home (no), then an hour to shower (maybe), then an hour to get back (no), and I would just have to wait wherever I was for four hours (rounding up). I said fine, I'd take the forty-five minutes I knew he'd actually be gone and walk to his parents. Bye. Then I sat on my butt on Mom's front porch for five minutes.
Until my stomach hurt.
Gary must have felt my intensines cramp from miles away because he called to say he was relenting and would be back to pick me up. And because I KNOW how peristalsis works, I set off immediately for the bowling alley.
Of course, I know you can't let your guard down a second, so I lied to my bowels and said the bowling alley was ten blocks away, and there would be a line, and I might need to get a key. I was nice enough to call Gary and say I was heading for the bowling alley (or bowel-ing alley) and I didn't want him to get to Mom's and find me not there.
Though Gary warned me off the bowling alley, may I say the women's bathroom had many doors and a great amount of paper, and I was there and was seated well before my spinchter found out I'd lied.
I was still pissed about the yelling, so after I walked halfway across the parking lot toward Gary's car, I decided to stay put and let him drive to me, which he did. Surprisingly, he was done screaming and surprisingly, the car did not smell, and except for the terra cotta splotches on his hands I might never have known anything was amiss. He had washed the palms of his hands, but given the bathroom was not exactly spotless (no toilet paper, you recall) he wanted to leave. Plus, he had a rash on the palms of his hands now from the nasty bowling alley soap, my delicate flower.
So, he told me the whole sad tale, and we drove the e-Coli mobile back home, where the sight of his jeans made me back away in fear. Poor guy. I sympathized and said if he took a shower it would be like it never happened and we could forget about it and NEVER SPEAK OF IT AGAIN.
After he showered he came out and apologized for yelling. We washed the jeans twice and lysoled the car seat. As for never speaking of it again, he has not stopped talking about it. ("Which jeans are these? Are these my POOP jeans?") Last night he asked why this had not been up on the blog.
I was shocked. "I would never betray you that way." (Pause) "I felt guilty just telling Caroline and Marcia."
"Nah, it's okay. It's good blogfodder." So here you are.