You hear the familiar DING when you stumble into the gas station holding your bladder for dear life.
Feeling like a balloon ready to burst, you wade through the carb-loaded candy aisles, hunting for the restroom, aka your holy grail, in this epic quest to save your bladder.
Spotting the faded restroom sign, you wobble over, crossing your legs more times than a French pretzel but when you yank the handle, it’s stone solid.
Then you spot it. The sign that changes everything. The sign that says, “Grovel for key.” You silently curse your bladder, the gas station, and every decision that led you to this moment.
Girding your loins and steeling your nerves, you approach the counter. It feels like you’re walking into a medieval court.
To your left, there’s Sir Tractor-Cap, his hat plastered with faded John Deere logos, his mouth all Tabacco, his mind all destruction. To your right, there’s Lady Zebra-Legs. Her fishnet stockings aren’t meant to catch fish but something more deadly. Then you see him, King Bob of Can-I-Help-You, nestled behind the counter, yellow teeth and all.
You curtsey, the need for relief hangs in your voice, “Excuse me sir, can I have the restroom key?” King Bob of Can-I-Help-You sizes you up like the piece of shit you are. He glances down at the dirt living just beneath his nails and frowns.
But then, something unexpected happens. He reaches under the counter as a mischievous smile spreads across his face. What he produces isn’t a key but rather a jester’s cap. “If you want the key, my lad,” he says, twirling the key in his other hand, “do a jig. Dance your way to the Twinkies and back. Then, we shall see.”
Your bladder trembles, one step closer to its breaking point. In that moment, you decide to sacrifice your dignity. You don the jester’s cap and jig your way down to the Twinkies. Lady Zebra-Legs eyes you with curiosity, but King Bob remains unimpressed. He’s more interested in the gas station burrito than your boogie as he takes another bite. Beans spill all over his face and onto his badge.
Your bladder twitches once more. You need to up the ante. Then you see it. Three bags of gold, ripe for the taking.
You snatch up three bags of Fritos and juggle them as a finale. It’s more “circus reject” than Cirque du Soleil, but King Bob cracks a reluctant smile.
“Are you not entertained?” you wheeze, desperately gasping for breath and a what’s left of your dignity.
He nods and flicks you the restroom key. You scramble like fish eating flakes, abandoning the Fritos, and do the fastest penguin waddle over to the bathroom door.
Then with a turn, the door creaks open, and just as you’re about to sigh in relief, you spot the three words that change everything hanging above the throne. “Out of Order.”
Your heart sinks. Your bladder bursts. Your hope for humanity? Flushed.
King Bob of Can-I-Help-You’s laughter chases you out of the store and into a wet pair of pants.
Sir Tractor-Cap shakes his head. Lady Zebra-Legs reapplies her lipstick. And King Bob calls out, “Use my bathroom and drive away will ye? I think not! Off with his head!”
The King wins again. The King always wins.