A fun tale of desperation and relief.
Bert always enjoyed family dinners at Bob’s Bistro. The food was out-of-this-world incredible, yum!
Bert loved the diner and the festive atmosphere.
Around the restaurant, from the ceiling, there hung looped multi-colored toilet paper. In several places, a piñata, made of bright pink toilet paper, having various shapes, curled down from large wooden rafters.
Bob’s Bistro brisket, their specialty dish, was seasoned with amazing spices just warm enough to make your tongue tingle and sizzle but not too hot. The meat was known for its tender and juicy flavor.
Mom, Dad, grandpa, grandma, and Bert all gathered every Sunday evening to feast at Bob’s Bistro and talk about the past week as well as plans for the week ahead.
A 9-year-old values these kinds of family get-togethers, especially because grandpa always gave Bert $20 to do with as he pleased.
The brisket was just part of the amazing meal Bert always ordered. Bob’s Bistro also made the creamiest, butteriest mashed potatoes and that wasn’t all. The brisket bistro masterpiece entree included the best string beans ever made.
Every Sunday meal with the family was filled with jokes, stories from grandpa about his adventures as a cruise ship captain and lots of hugs. Bert thought it was perfect.
A menu special.
When Bert arrived with his parents at Bob’s Bistro this Sunday he noticed a new thing. He saw the restaurant’s Specialty Menu easel next to the host’s podium.
For some reason, Bert had never noticed the easel before.
Written in neon blue, pink, and orange was the words,
“Try Our FANTASTIC FRIED Chicken!” and a crude picture of a Chicken leg accompanied the drawing.
The hunger thought implanted in Bert’s mind was insatiable. He had to have fried chicken. And, a lot of it.
Bob’s Bistro’s brisket suddenly didn’t exist to Bert. The tradition broke and disappeared in a flash. The young boy’s mind whirled in chaotic bedlam.
The moment they joined grandma and grandpa at the table Bert couldn’t contain his need. “Grandpa, did you see that special?”
“Yeah, sure Bert but let me tell you about the time I had the best fried chicken in the world when I captained a cruise ship down in Panama and…” Bert cut him off.
“Ok, I got to have that fried chicken. I’m so hungry!”
“All right, calm down. I’m sure you can have the fried chicken. But, don’t you usually get the brisket?”
Grandpa thought it was funny how excited Bert felt about the fried chicken because Bob’s Bistro always had the special on the chalkboard easel every Sunday.
The waitress brought the orders for their dinner. Before Bert’s plate touched the table he grabbed at a chicken leg and attacked it devouring a hot chunk of golden-fried delight.
The chicken special came with a large breast and 3 legs.
Bert didn’t bother with the mashed potatoes or green bean sides.
Rumbles of urgency.
The rest of the family continued to eat and talk but Bert was stuffed. His tummy couldn’t stand another bite of food.
He began to feel weird and his gut grumbled. Bert’s cheeks suddenly turned red with embarrassment. He passed a squeaking pop of gas that turned all attention at his way.
Bert quietly said, “May I be excused.” Then, without waiting for an answer he ran to the bathroom.
Taking the first open stall he quickly pulled his pants down and let go. The release was at once relieving but it also grossed him out. The noises his body produced were unworldly and foreign.
To his horror more and more came out of him. Bert thought it would never end. In his long life of 9 years, he never experienced anything so disgusting and painful.
He believed an hour passed. The torture his stomach twisted in wouldn’t stop.
Finally, he heard Dad’s voice. “Son, is everything alright?”
Not seeing Bert come back to the table after 10 minutes gave the family concern so Dad went to check on Bert.
“Yeah, Dad. My belly hurt bad but I’m starting to feel better.”
“Sure Bert just wanted to make sure you’re okay.”
“Fine Dad. I’ll be out in a minute.” Bert didn’t want to cause any problems and felt a bit humiliated. Dad left without another word.
The black covered dispenser next to Bert’s right knee hid the view of its contents except for a small square of toilet paper hanging below the bottom opening.
Finally feeling the uneasiness pass from his insides he reached down to grab toilet paper and pulled out roughly six inches worth before it jammed. Bert tore off the piece an applied it with haste.
To his horror, there was no more. The toilet paper ran out. The dispenser was empty.
He couldn’t get up from the seat. The mess down there was nasty and he didn’t want to deal with it. He became so nervous his hands were shaking.
Bert was out of solutions and he didn’t know what to do.
Then it came to him.
A moment of hope. What if the dispenser wasn’t empty. In his mind’s eye, he thought of all the toilet paper piñatas hanging from the rafters in the bistro.
To get the prize from a piñata you have to hit it and break it. The toilet paper was his prize and the dispenser was a piñata.
Bert began to kick the dispenser with all the might he could muster in his half-naked, pants restricting his legs position. He let out yells of fury nobody heard in Bob’s Bistro because of the music playing in the bathroom.
Then magic happened. He heard it. A clank and a clunk. An empty used toilet paper roll fell from the dispenser on the bathroom stall tile floor.
A new roll fell into place where the last had been.
A victorious return.
Upon gracing the dinner table again and rejoining his family Bert glowed like a triumphant, conquering soldier. He sat down and ate his cold mashed potatoes and green beans.
Grandpa, grandma, Mom, and Dad all asked him how he was feeling.
Bert smiled at grandpa and said, “Let me tell you a tale about a boy and his adventures with toilet paper.”