Lucky for me, we hit bumper-to-bumper traffic at exactly the same moment as the baby started jumping on my bladder. By the time we got to the nearest facilities--a seedy McDonald's in the middle of no where--I was starting to perspire. While the parking lot was overflowing with cars and mobile homes, the restaurant itself was virtually empty.
"That's strange," I thought.
I didn't have to wonder where all of the cars' occupants were for very long: I found half of the state of South Carolina in line for the women's restroom. As I took my place at the end of the seventeen-person line, I tried very hard to block out the faint sound of the soda fountain dispensing liquid. By the time that I spotted the bathroom door, I was feeling very grateful that I had read a book on Lamaze breathing techniques.
I tried to be discreet in my suffering, but the woman in line in front of me--who was wearing purple gauchos and a green t-shirt with lizards on it--noticed that I was uncomfortable. After unabashedly staring at me for several minutes, the woman stepped up to offer her support and encouragement. Turning to me she said, "I'm so glad that I wasn't desperate to use the bathroom when we stopped." At that moment, the lone bathroom stall swung open and the woman pranced into it.
While the woman (by her own admission) wasn't desperate to use the bathroom, she was in no hurry to get out of it once inside. She stayed inside the stall for at least five minutes, plenty of time for the lady behind me (who had heard what the woman said) to tell the ladies behind her, who, in turn, told the ladies behind them. By the look on the ladies' faces, it was clear that by the time that the story reached the end of the line, the woman holed up in the bathroom stall had not only called me a "fat lardo," but vowed to stay glued to the toilet seat until I peed my pants.
I didn't see what happened to the bathroom hogger, as I practically dove into the stall the instant that the woman emerged, but I did hear "reports" from several ladies still in line when I was on my way out.
"I'm so sorry about what that woman said to you," said Number 8. Her eyes were basically welling up with tears.
"We all made ugly faces when she passed by us," said Number 13. I felt strangely touched.
I also felt bad for the bathroom hogger. I hope that she had enough sense to stave off the lizards for a few miles before feeding them some french fries. If I was her, I would have been desperate to get back on the road.