“Don’t drink all of that, you’ll have to go during the movie.”
Brian didn’t listen to his mother, but continued to gulp down his soda with vigor. And out of spite, he went and filled his cup again.
His mother just sighed and prepared for the worst. Brian was in one of his moods.
On the way to the theater, Brian’s mom watched him pull faces at her through the rear-view mirror. Brian should have known she could see him. “Brian, don’t do that or your face will get stuck like that.”
The comment caught Brian off guard, but he continued sticking out his tongue, rolled his eyes, and puffing up his chubby cheeks.
They reached the theater and Brian ran around outside as his mother bought the tickets to Super Ninja Giraffes. “Slow down, Brian.” She called before he bounced off of a man’s leg. “Sorry about that.” She apologized.
Brian’s mom took his hand, pulled him through the doors, and into the freezing theater.
Brian ran to the concessions counter and ordered a large tub of double butter popcorn. His mouth watered as he watched the tall man pump butter into the big carton. When the man put it on the counter, Brian’s mom apologized and took Brian down a long dark hallway without the popcorn.
“Mom. . .”
She pulled him inside a door and Brian could see the large screen with commercials printed in many different colors; he ran to the front row and sat down. His mother followed, but instead of sitting down, she stood next to him with her hands on her hips. “If you sit on the front row, you’ll hurt your eyes and need glasses.” But Brian wouldn’t budge so his mom went to sit in the back without him.
Soon Super Ninja Giraffes were running across the screen and fighting evil villains like the Red Eyed Robin and the Horrid Horned Hippo. And just when one of the mighty giraffes got caught and tied up, Brian’s bladder pounded.
He sat still when the Terry the giraffe cut his ropes and escaped into the dark night.
He squirmed in his seat when Sherry the giraffe jump-kicked the hippo.
And he had to leave when Perry the giraffe jumped from one roof to another without getting his neck caught on a power line.
Brian ran through the dark hall of the movie theater, realizing that his mother had been right about one thing. He did have to leave the theater. It seemed like one of those situations people call ironic.
But when Brian reached the movie theater bathroom, there was a line of ten men and even though Brian usually didn’t have much foresight, he could tell there wasn’t going to be enough time to wait.
He rushed down another hall to another bathroom, but when he reached it, he realized why the other one was packed: this one was closed. Why would anyone close a bathroom? He wondered.
He had no choice. He had to venture outside.
He looked frantic as he rushed through the crowds of people buying their tickets and he almost fell down on the concrete as he hurried to the computer store next door.
He burst through the door and looked around for the bathroom.
“Can I help you?” said a confused man by the door. He had on a bright blue shirt and his face was covered in pimples. “Bathroom?” “I’m afraid we don’t have one.” The man said. Brian stomped his foot and left the store.
Next door was a fabric store. He knew it was a store that only women went into; he had been there with his mother countless times but never his father. Did they even have a men’s restroom? He had to chance it. He opened the door quickly and slid past it. An old woman with blue hair welcomed him. “Where is your mother, young man?” She asked. Brian shook his head. “Bathroom?” He was too pained to say much else. He was afraid his bladder couldn’t hold it much longer. He danced in place waiting for the old woman to respond.
“I can’t help you unless you have your mother, young man. You’re not old enough to be walking around stores alone.” The old woman put her hands on her wide hips. Brian furrowed his eyes in frustration and as he left he poked his tongue out at her.
Outside again and Brian couldn’t find any other places to go to the bathroom. There was an empty field with two or three trees and cars stretching as far as the eye could see in the other direction. What was he going to do? And then he remembered his friend, Kyle, saying that on a camping trip, he had to go behind a tree. Could this be the solution to Brian’s problem?
Brian walked slowly toward the field. What if someone saw him? He would have to do it quickly. He nearly ran to the first tree in the field and looked around carefully. If someone saw him, who knew what would happen? He didn’t see anyone. This was it. He had to go behind a tree across from the movie theater. There was nothing he could do about it.
He unzipped his pants and instantly felt better. The pressure was gone and the world was a peace. He closed his eyes and savored the feeling. Then he felt an arm on his shoulder. “Just what are you doing young man?”
Brian zipped up his pants and turned around, shaking. By the dark suit, the badge, and the thick dark mustache, Brian could tell it was a police officer. What had he done? What if he had broken the law? Was he going to get sent to jail, stuck behind bars? Was he going to have to sit in a cell for the rest of his life? No more video games, no more movies, no more T-ball?
Brian whimpered, but couldn’t say a word.
“You know there are plenty of establishments that would let you use their restroom.” The police officer said. Brian shook his head violently. “Did you try the one in the theater?” Now Brian got mad. “It was closed! And the other one had too long a line.”
The officer was taken aback. He stood back and rubbed his mustache. And then he smiled. “I could take you to jail, you know.” “Please don’t, sir! I promise I’ll never go to the bathroom again!” The officer chuckled.
“You don’t have to do that, just not in public, okay?”
Brian nodded, a tear slowly dropping down his pudgy cheek. The police officer walked to his bike and drove away.
Brian walked back to the theater and stood outside the door where Super Ninja Giraffes was still playing.
I can’t believe Mom was right. What other things is she right about? He thought as he began opening the door.
He heard clapping and then looked up as the credits began to flow down the big screen. He had missed the rest of the movie! He wondered what had happened to the ninja giraffes and if they ever found out where their sensei, the Diaphanous Elephant, was hidden. But instead of getting upset, he waited outside the door for his mother to come out.
“How did you like the movie?” She asked. “It was good.” Brian said. He decided not to tell her about his little adventure. It was too embarrassing. Instead, he ran to the door of the theater.
“Brian, come back!” His mother called.
But instead of coming back, he opened the door and politely stood in front of it for her.
©2007 Shelly Jasperson