A short story
by Chris Hibbard
“I’d give my left arm to be ambidextrous,” someone had etched into the stall door.
Whoever wrote that was one clever shitter. Aside from the fact that ambidextrous is one of the better words in the English language, the irony of the statement makes it even better. Here I am, sitting in what must be the nastiest toilet in all of Lethbridge, my stomach tied in knots after eating some bad fish, yet some smart-ass still manages to make me smile.
If I had a pen, or even a knife, I’d be tempted to try and etch in some witty retort – but I don’t. All I’ve got is a bad case of the runs, a young lady out in the restaurant waiting for me to return, and some hope that I’ll be feeling better by the time I get back out there to her.
Her name is Wendy, and like the oldest child in Peter Pan, she makes me feel like I can fly. That’s what makes this experience so humbling. How do I explain to my dream girl that I think we should cut our date short because my bowels are angry? Is there any nice way to reschedule a date because of diarrhea? Do I lie and tell her that something’s come up, a family emergency or some such excuse? Do I pretend that I’m not in abdominal agony, smile and try to concentrate on her and her words, knowing full well that I won’t be able to pull it off?
If it was our second or third date maybe I wouldn’t be so worried about it. The problem is that that second date is riding on this one, and I’ve already been locked in this stall for ten minutes. God, the luck that I have. The timing of this could not have been any worse.
Maybe she’s in the ladies room next door. No, she had the prime rib. I should’ve had the prime rib, what was I thinking. I know that fish are full of bacteria, but it’s not like I ordered sushi – how could they have screwed up while cooking my salmon?
Shit, I’ve gotta get up, I’ve gotta get out there before she thinks I crawled out the window and ditched her with the bill. Oooohh, man, I’d give my right arm to be healthy, I could sit here for hours.. But I can’t.. so here goes nothing.
(Rattle rattle rattle, flush….zip…)