Yesterday, when Sophia’s sister-in-law and mother both came down with some sort of violent bug, my wife graciously volunteered “our” services to host her niece and nephew for the evening. I could tell Gina and Maria must’ve been sick as dogs, since neither of them said “boo” at the idea of leaving the tykes in my questionable company.
Sophia decided we’d take the children (little Maria – age three, and her brother Franco – age four) to a restaurant for dinner. Naturally, the outing featured all-too-familiar scenes of whining, crying and screaming. But who could blame me?
After dinner, Sophia announced her intent to purchase a new outfit for little Maria. She left me at the shopping plaza’s mega bookstore with Franco, promising to return in ten minutes. She also whispered a parting instruction: “And honey. For the love of God, this time don’t screw things up!”
No sooner had the pair vanished from sight when my bowels made a sudden, insistent announcement of their need to evacuate. Given Sophia’s warning, and all too aware of my already-shaky status with her family, I knew I couldn’t dare take my eyes off the kid. So I dragged him along to the men’s room and into a stall with me.
Under the best of circumstances my sphincter is a tad shy. And a four-year-old standing two feet in front of me, staring down at my junk, hardly qualifies as the best of circumstances. I had to tell Franco to turn around and face the door before I could begin to concentrate on the task at hand. Even then, his new position worked more harm than good. The young jokester felt compelled to twist my nipples by repeatedly unlocking the stall’s door and swinging it open, all while laughing maniacally. Thankfully though, we seemed to be the bathroom’s sole occupants.
When I became momentarily distracted trying to free the next roll of toilet paper from the dispenser, the pint-sized malcontent suddenly sprinted from the stall. He left my line of sight, and I heard him turn the doorknob to exit the men’s room. Naturally, I panicked. I couldn’t chance the future member of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list getting lost while in my care. In a desperate effort to catch him before he vacated the premises, I stood and duck-walked out of the stall, pants and underwear draped around my ankles.
After I’d managed several steps, Franco jumped from behind a trash can yelling:“Surprise!” I grabbed him by his shirt collar and turned to escort him back to our stall. That’s when I briefly noted a bug-eyed teenager standing beside the bathroom door gawking at me … just before he fled the room shouting “Security!” at the top of his lungs.
In the immortal words of Ricky Ricardo, I anticipated having some “splainin” to do. Then I looked down, and comprehended the vast understatement of my assessment. In the moments when the mortified teen first entered the room, Franco apparently had reoriented himself: facing toward me, eye to eye with my pecker and less than a foot away. All I could do was ask myself: Who’s the best criminal lawyer I know?
A “splainin” situation