The Urgent Call of Nature

I waited too long this time, and now the call of nature was ringing loudly.

Pulling into a grocery store, I entered and quickly located the restrooms near the front and off to the side.

There were three bathrooms: one for either sex, one for women and one for men. I tried the nearest, the one for everybody: Pushed the handle down – locked. I tried the one marked for men and pushed the handle down – locked.

A woman stood outside the women’s bathroom. I couldn’t ask for cutsies in case someone came out.

A sign on each door said in English and Spanish: If this door is locked, someone is inside. Please wait.

I stood outside the men’s room to block any line cutters.

Every 30 seconds or so, I rattled the door handle in it’s locked position, as if a new person was trying to get in. I wanted this dawdler to picture a line 30 people deep forming outside.

The call grew louder. I shifted weight from side to side.

Leaning in to the door, I knocked loudly. “Come on, dude!”

Two more minutes.

“Come on, man. It’s not a reading room!

“And you can’t be playing Call of Duty in there!

“Hello?” I said, pounding on the door. “You better not be watching the last three seasons you missed of “The Walking Dead.” Let me tell you what happens: Some people walk around and kill zombies while trying to stay safe as the zombies relentlessly pursue and try to infect them. Then a guy with a baseball bat with barbed wire wrapped around it loses his mind and more people die.”

No response.

Finally, I yelled to a manager, “Sir, I don’t think anyone is in there.”

He said, “If it is locked, someone is in there.”

“I understand, but I think somebody locked it behind them when they left. Maybe a prank.”

He walked over and said, “Well, the women’s bathroom opens normally by pushing down. The men’s bathroom handle is a little tricky. If it doesn’t open by pushing down, just pull up on it.”

He pulled up  on the handle and it opened like a broken beaver’s dam after a heavy storm.

No one was inside.


About Joe Ditzel

Joe Ditzel is a keynote speaker, humor writer, and really bad golfer. You can reach him via email at [email protected] as well as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.