In Which I Get Busy And Post A Re-Run  

Posted by Heidi in

Look what I discovered today. Now all the millions of readers I have in Taiwan can read me in their native language (except, I believe there are two native languages of Taiwan so that could make it tough for those who only read the one not used, but, well--not my problem?) Have any of you discovered your blog translated into other languages? I would love to hear about it.

I am kind of busy this week what with my being the gal behind the scenes at Blogger's Annex this week. I am having tons of fun reading posts to decide what will go up for tomorrow (and the next day and the next day, and Oh, then it's turkey day but we still must have a post, and so on and so forth). So, for today, I am hauling out an oldie that my new readers haven't yet had the chance to enjoy (a relative term, at best). I apologize to all you true blue loyal readers who have already seen it. Holy cow, it's a long one! Lisa (who has 92 posts to catch up on from her weekend away from her computer) is excused.

Our Favorite Restaurants & Restaurants Where We Are No Longer Welcome: No Difference Whatsoever.

Going anywhere with the Big Guy is a challenge. When we take him out, there is very often a ruckus of some kind, an Event, if you will, a Reason To Skulk Home with our knuckles scraping the pavement. An example of such induced knuckle-dragging follows.

However, before I whine, I want to throw in this disclaimer: We love the Big Guy. Even the Big Guy’s least biggest fan who has made it clear her entire life has been marred beyond recovery and she is the unluckiest girl who ever lived to be saddled with such a family of misfits and odd-balls, if given the choice between the Big Guy living here at home or going to live at some special Big Guy Facility who takes guys like the Big Guy into their bosom, she would choose keeping him here with us. I know this because I have discussed with her the remote possibility that such a facility exists and have asked her what she thought. She thought it would be too sad to contemplate and I know she was telling the truth because she was contemplating it and crying right before my eyes.

So, having said this, I hope you can see that the Big Guy is greatly loved (though it would be hard to love him otherwise, being as he is large in girth and larger than life--a small amount of love just won’t cover it no matter how you look at it) even whilst his faults are being trumpeted for all the world to see.

It was back in what I like to call the Dark Ages, back when things were very stressful and money was super tight. The Spouse was in school getting his teaching credential and going out to dinner was a huge treat. The Little Guy had just turned three and was an unpredictable quantity at this point so we decided we would celebrate the first day of Christmas vacation by going to IHOP, a nice family-friendly restaurant where the worst the boys could do was spill syrup on the plastic seats.

Dinner went just fine which is usually the case. If the Big Guy is preoccupied with his food and the Middle Child is preoccupied with the novelty of eating out, all we really had to worry about was keeping the Little Guy from hitting his head whilst crawling back and forth under the table. This was something we could live with.

Generally the problems start once the food is consumed. As soon as The Spouse and I as much as make eye contact, the kind that says, “It’s time to ask for the bill”, it's the Big Guy’s cue to say something along the lines of “I have to use the bathroom.”

Now, the Big Guy has some kind of problem with restaurant bathrooms. He has to use them. Every single one. He is like an alpha dog that must make its mark. It doesn’t matter the time of day, the circumstances, or the alignment of the moon, the Big Guy MUST use the facilities as soon as we decide it is time to pay the bill and flee before our waiter catches on to the fact that the usual tip is woefully insufficient to cover the mess the Big Guy leaves behind him at every meal. And there we will be, twiddling our thumbs whilst the Big Guy divests himself of a full day’s worth of chow.

We have attempted to remonstrate with the Big Guy. “Honey, can’t it wait? We are ten minutes from home!”

He, never the slack-wit, quickly learned to get around this by saying, “I just have to go number one. It’ll be quick! I promise!”

There were times, back in the day, when we fell for this bit of subterfuge. Sadly, this was one of those times.

Off he went while the rest of us sat and waited at the table. We paid the bill, did the obligatory thumb twiddling, even tidied up some of the frayed napkins scattered along the table, down onto the seat and onto the floor. We did some more thumb twiddling. The Little Guy started getting restless and it soon became apparent that our neighbors on the other side of the high padded seat were quickly tiring of us. Our waitress was giving us sidelong glances, the kind that say, “Why aren’t you gone already?!”

When my nerves were stretched beyond bearing, I decided to take the Little Guy out to the front where I could pretend non-association with both the Big Guy and the rest of my family waiting at the table. This proved to be a tactical error since the restrooms were right off the lobby and the Big Guy has a tendency to be rather noisy when, you know . . . and in a scary kind of way.

Once, when I was having my ultrasound when expecting the Little Guy, the Big Guy got hungry so The Spouse took him to the cafeteria to get something to eat. Just as night follows day, the Big Guy had to use the facilities. After a few minutes in there, nurses and doctors were giving The Spouse looks of growing concern. One actually approached The Spouse to ask if perhaps the Big Guy needed help. (He didn’t and all was well except that The Spouse and the Big Guy missed seeing the Little Guy on ultrasound and the sight of the Middle Child bursting into tears when informed we were expecting a he, not the she for which we had been hoping. Pretty desperately. After all, we had the Big Guy as the one male example of what our joint genes could produce and we felt perhaps one of him in the world was quite enough.)

Back in the lobby of IHOP, things were getting pretty tense. The Spouse and the Middle Child had finally gotten tired of waiting at the table and joined me in the lobby long enough to hear the grunting and groaning from the bathroom, whereupon they beat a hasty retreat to the car. At least they took the Little Guy, who was loudly registering his frustration at not being allowed to get all the shiny Christmas ornaments in his hands, with them. I heaved a huge sigh of relief until the males leaving the men’s room started coming out looking a bit wild eyed. The employee running the cash register was giving me some pretty speaking looks, as well. Figuring the Big Guy was able to fend for himself (he was, after all, 15 at the time), I chickened out and fled outdoors to safety.

By the time the Big Guy shuffled slowly out of the restaurant, our meal had long been consumed. It was December, it was cold and we were more than ready to go home. Still, he walked his usual slow, ambling, Forrest Gump-like gait. Finally! He was in the car.

“Mom, I flooded the toilet.”

My millisecond of relief was over.

“What?! Did you clean it up?”

“No,” he said, sighing as if describing a day at the park, “The guy said he would take care of it.”

“What guy?” I asked, hoping it was at least an employee and not another unsuspecting patron caught like a deer in the headlights.

“That guy who works there. He said he would clean it up.”

As The Spouse, who was doggedly ignoring our conversation, turned on the ignition and slowly started to back up, I wished I had the courage to find that guy and enough gold and jewels to reward him for his good deed. What I did have was the nerve to ask, “Well, was it a bad flood? I mean, did the water come all the way to the top?”

“Oh, yes, and over the side and onto the ground and there was a big, long, green poo that floated up and over the side, and then . . . ”

“Stop. Stop! STOP!” I shouted while The Spouse and I and the Middle Child threw startled looks at one another, the kind that say “What do we do now?”

There was a moment of hushed, horrified silence, then the Middle Child shouted, “Hit the gas!” The Spouse did just that and we careened out of the parking lot, the sound of tires screeching drowned out by our hysterical laughter, all the way home. It was one of the few times we had all laughed together at the same thing. A very special bonding moment it was, indeed, one we will never forget, no matter how hard we try.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 24, 2008 at Monday, November 24, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

15 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Oh my. I can only imagine that happening to me (well, not me directly, but my family), and how I would freak out. I NEVER use public bathrooms. I will hold it for 10 hours if I have to.

Great story.

November 24, 2008 at 12:19 PM


That's all I've got for you.

I was laughing when you careened out of the parking lot though, yup definitely laughing.

And being very grateful I didn't offer to take care of it....

November 24, 2008 at 1:45 PM

Erin, I certainly wish I could convince the Big Guy to see things the way you do, Abra, if you ever come to visit us, be afraid. Be very afraid.

November 24, 2008 at 1:59 PM

Why don't you have an e-mail address attached to your profile? I just wanted to e-mail you a response from the comment you left on my blog, but I can't because you don't have an e-mail! Waaa!

So I guess I'll just say in the comments that I like you. And leave it at that.

November 24, 2008 at 2:36 PM


and take a break, I will be on the road and dont want to miss your daily post... so do me a favor will ya? LOL!

happy turkey day

November 24, 2008 at 5:31 PM

Erin--Lisa told me how to do it but I forgot but I will try to do it--I can't make any promises that I will succeed but I will do my best. :) Stacey--I'm seriously so addicted. I don't know what I can do about it. sigh . . .

November 24, 2008 at 6:49 PM

Okay, I was laughing so har d that my girls wanted me to tell them the joke....which of course I do not want to share with my 10 and 13 yr old,lol. I do have to ask though.....have y'all ever gone back there to eat again?

November 24, 2008 at 7:06 PM

Nope. Never. No way, no how. Kind of sad, actually, . ..

November 24, 2008 at 7:51 PM

Wow, this is one great example of the unforeseen experiences that await us when we decide to have children. Doesn't it totally change your perspective on the world in general? The other day as I was getting things out of my shopping cart, with my 3 year old potty trained daughter sitting in the child seat, I noticed that everything was wet. I had already handed the cashier a few wet things and he had already wrung them up and was drying off his hands on his apron with an innocent smile on his face when I said "Why is everything wet?" Then it hit me, and my three year old had a guilty look. I didn't know what to do, so I just finished the transaction like everything was fine and headed to the car as fast as I could. Urine is sterile right? I keep telling myself that. Sorry to leave such a long comment but I really felt like sharing. :)

November 24, 2008 at 8:50 PM

Heath--ack! But hysterical. Glad you shared.

November 24, 2008 at 9:25 PM

Awww...bonding over poo. (Whatever it takes, right?!)

November 25, 2008 at 7:54 PM

I usually am not into bathroom humor but Oh My Lanta!

November 26, 2008 at 2:53 AM

That is hilariously horrible!

November 26, 2008 at 8:04 PM

Yep, we have to have a sense of humor about these things at our house, including poo. My motto is cry and die, laugh and live. Oh My Lanta! bwaahhaaahhhaaa!!!

November 26, 2008 at 9:52 PM

Love the hitting the gas!

~snort snicker~

November 29, 2008 at 7:06 AM

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