“Haste Makes Waste” a true story by James Huffman

I have this weird thing with going to the bathroom at Target.

It seems like every time I walk into the store, I have this undeniable need to go the bathroom. Last time this happened, we were at Target in Glendale. The Target in Glendale is a force to be reckoned with. It’s connected at the hip with the Glendale Galleria. It’s a big store, three floors.. three available bathrooms.

So I was in Glendale and I had to go… and I’m saying I had to “GO” go. I needed a STALL. I walked in to the bathroom on the 1st floor and the facilities are in use. No Vacancy. I walked out and waited nearby for the crowd in the men’s room to disperse, but it just kept getting bigger. I took the escalator to the second floor, casually entered the bathroom and surveyed the scene. AGAIN… OCUPADO… DAMMIT.

So I ended up riding the escalator up and down several times, finding Kristen and checking in at various points during my quest… just to update her on my progress. I’m sure the security staff must have either been RED FLAGGING me as a suspicious character cruising the commodes, or laughing their asses off at the guy who can’t catch a break in the damn bathroom.

ANYWAY, I finally got smart and tried the bathroom on the THIRD FLOOR of that Target and found me some peace and tranquility. It took about 45 minutes, but I eventually got the job done.

THAT’S not even the story I’m trying to tell here!

Kristen and I went to Target in West Hollywood on Saturday. As soon as we walked in, I had to go to the bathroom. I excuse myself from Kristen’s shopping festivities and mosey on over to the men’s room, which is right there, adjacent to the check out area. Much to my dismay, and pretty much on par with my expectation, the bathroom is full of people. There are NO stalls available. I stand there inside the bathroom for a couple of minutes, but that starts to feel awkward and creepy, and I’m starting to get weird looks from guys coming in with their kids, so I step out. So, there I am, pacing around, hanging out by the bathrooms. OH look, the mass of people checking out and/or waiting to check out are perfectly poised to witness this exercise in futility. Not only do I look like the creepy and sketchy… but the entire store gets to know how badly I have to go.

BUT WAIT! There is a bathroom downstairs! It’s not an official TARGET bathroom, but its a bathroom just the same. It’s basically a bathroom owned and operated by the shopping plaza that Target, Best Buy and a handful of other stores, call home. This bathroom is a lot more public than the one inside. It’s more exposed to the elements and is very often occupied by the crazy street people who hang out at the corner of Santa Monica and La Brea. At this point, I could care less. I’m tired of waiting and I gotta GO… and when I say GO… I mean “GO” go.

The thought popped in to my head like a light bulb and I bolted. I swiftly scurried away, skipped the escalator and practically threw myself down the stairs. Which was a terrible idea because if I had fallen, I most definitely would have Sh%%T myself. … it would have been “game over.”

Down the stairs
I juked a family of four
I stepped and I spun
and I stiff-armed the door.

I stopped, looked around
I surveyed the place
I was bound for a frown
At least that’s how I was braced
Nobody around?
What a spectacular space!
Not a sight. Not a sound.
Brings a smile to my face.

I was AMAZED at my good fortune. This bathroom was CLEAN and totally unoccupied. I lunged for the nearest stall, got comfortable and got busy. While I was in there, I heard a few people come in, use the facilities and exit. I silently and anonymously apologized for the noises and the stench I was creating behind door number 2. It wasn’t pretty, but most folks can (and should) be forgiving in such circumstances. So I finished up, finally. My ordeal seemed to be over. I was feeling good… funky and fresh. With one upward stroke of the zipper and a buckle of the belt, I was ready to face the world again.

I emerged from behind door number 2 with a twinkle in my eye and a heavenly sigh. I stepped over to the sink and took my place between two others to give my hands a good and proper washing. I noticed, out of the corner of my (twinkling) eye and ear, that the person next to me was mumbling and shaking his head. Someone else entered the room and I felt that person’s momentum come to a complete halt… to the point that the door to the bathroom was being held open.

With the water running and my hands super soaked with sudsy soap, I looked up to see a roomful of women all staring at the strange man who was washing his hands in the Ladies room. That person who was next to me? Mumbling and shaking his head? That was a she. SHE was mumbling and shaking HER head.

Now THAT was awkward. I let the running water rinse the soap off my hands and I quickly looked for a paper towel to dry off so I could get the HELL OUT of the LADIES ROOM. You think it was quiet in that room BEFORE? Imagine 4 women all stopped dead in their tracks, glaring at me, while I wash my hands. And would you LOOK at THAT, no paper towels! This bathroom was equipped with state of the art Dyson Air Blade Hand Dryer. Awwww… Goooood for YOUUU. The Dyson Air Blade Hand Dryer is a fine piece of equipment, but instead of standing there and enjoying the moment, I decided to take my wet hands and get going. I figured I could drip dry on the way back to Target.

TRUE STORY. I swear.

I found Kristen up stairs and joined the shopping festivities… already in progress.

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