The Cruelest Joke

You know that feeling? The one where you wake up at 3AM and just know that you’re about to be in some sort of intestinal distress? Just me? Okay… well, it’s not a comfortable feeling.

It’s the kind of thing where it feels like things inside your gut are doing flips, even though you know you can’t be pregnant. There are noises coming from your abdomen that just seem unnatural. There’s no real pain. There’s no real feeling of illness. You just know… You’ve gotta go.

I headed down to the bathroom and I was glad I was awake enough to check and see how much toilet paper we had left. Kids, it wasn’t much. “This ain’t gonna cut it,” I said to myself. So I considered holding it. But then that familiar internal prodding started back up. Holding it was not an option.

It’s been unseasonably warm in the last couple days, so I didn’t think it necessary to get completely dressed. I threw on some flip flops and headed out to the car in the shorts and t-shirt I was sleeping in. I knew that, just a few miles down the road, there’s a grocery store that’s open 24/7.

As I drove, clinching the entire way, I prayed that all the lights between home and the store would stay green. It was a legit prayer, because the lights in Blacksburg seem to change color at random, even when not triggered by cars at the intersection. The Lord seemed to be looking upon me with favor as I made the drive.

My plan was to get to the store, utilize their facilities, then make a purchase, so that I could take a package of toilet paper home with me. If you ever want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans, am I right?

Once I was parked, I speed-walked into the store and made a beeline for the restroom. I breathed a sigh of relief when it looked immaculately clean. I mean, you never know what you’re going to expect from a grocery store bathroom in the wee hours of the morning. Then I noticed that there was no toilet paper in the stall.

Seriously? It was like a cruel, sick joke.

I could grab some paper towels from the dispenser next to the sink. But, no… that’s a good way to clog up the plumbing and I just don’t want to stick around for the questions that I’m sure would come from that. And as that was the only paper option in the bathroom, I began to rethink my options.

I thought about rushing to the TP aisle and, knowing I’d be paying for it, taking it to the bathroom with me. Screw the sign that said “No Merchandise Beyond This Point.” This was an emergency.

I figured I could also make the purchase, then go back to the bathroom with the properly paid for paper.

Or I could just buy my toilet paper and go back home. I picked this third option.

Now that I think about it, though, I suppose I could have used the ladies’ room. I doubt anyone would have been in there at that time of the night. But it never crossed my mind as an option. Probably for the best.

I knew I was taking a risk, making the drive back home having now spent the better part of 20 minutes being unable to relieve the intestinal distress that I was feeling. But I made it.

What’s the moral of this story? No, really, I’m asking. I can’t seem to come up with anything. Other than, possibly, always have more toilet paper at home than you think you’ll ever need.


One thought on “The Cruelest Joke

  1. So, not flattering at all, but as I was reading this I was also having intestinal distress. Luckily, I had toilet paper & it didn’t hit at 3AM. I was fortunate in that sense. A little unsure about eating the foods again today, but we’ll see. Happy New Year, HA! Glad I read this when I did. Relatable, 10/10. Miss ya! .xo.

    Liked by 1 person

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