The most irritating thing about the man in my driver’s seat is not that he won’t ask for directions. It’s that he won’t ask for the toilet. Often, about 10 miles into a road trip, he’ll start bumping his left knee up and down in a Rockabilly beat, even though there’s no music playing.
“You have to go, don’t you,” I’ll say to him.
“Yeah, I really can’t hold it in much longer.”
“Look, there’s a gas station!”
“What’s wrong with a gas station?”
“But you stand! What’s the difference what it looks like, if you’re standing?”
“Forget it. Give me that coffee cup.”
“ACCKKK! Don’t you dare. We’ll find a diner.”
He races the car on the road a few miles longer. His leg rhythm speeds to a beebop beat.
I reach into my handbag, past the portable sewing kit, disposable shower cap from the Sheraton, sugar free hard candies, lip gloss, receipts, comb, advil, and pizza coupons, and retrieve a plastic sandwich bag with two folded toilet seat liners.
.“What the hell are those?”
“Toilet seat liners. Look, there’s a diner.”
“I’m not paying a dollar for a friggin cup of coffee just to take a leak. I’ll pull over by the side of the road.”
“Gross. That’s illegal, by the way. I can just see us getting a ticket for urinating in public. That’ll be cheaper than coffee.”
“Shut up, I can’t hold it in any longer.”
“They’re closed. Give me that water bottle.”
“Yeah, right, sharpshooter. Oh wait, look. They’re not closed. The lights are on!”
“The guys are mopping up. They’re closing”
I open my car door and scream “YOU PULL OVER RIGHT NOW!”
The car swerves.
“Watch it, you’ll get killed!” he screams.
I jump out of the car and pound on the locked door of McDonald’s.
“Help, Help,” I yell.
Fred Astaire is behind me, doing the two-step.
“What is it,” the young man asks as he opens the door.
“Please, sir, I’m sorry, but I’m pregnant and I really have to use your rest room. Could you please let us in?”
“Um, My husband’s just going to use the men’s room while he’s waiting.”
He dives into the men’s room like Clark Kent into a phone booth. I retreat into the Women’s room. We emerge a minute later.
“Thank you so much, really,” I gush. “It was a real emergency.”
“No problem. Congratulations, ma’am.”
The young man lets us out. I waltz my man back to the car.
“Thanks,” he mutters as we drive off into the night. I go to throw the used coffee cup into the trash.
“Better leave it out,” he grins. “Just in case.”