He hates grocery shopping with his mother. He never tells her she’s weird, but she is. She buys the same stuff every week. He knows what she’s going to buy before she even leaves the house. Bread, milk, eggs, coffee, bran cereal, and worst of all, baloney. When his mother orders the meat she always says, “One pound of baloney, sliced thin. If it’s sliced too thick, it gives my husband gas, and we don’t want that.”
He comes up with a plan he is sure will work. His mom won’t let him stay home, so he’ll say he has to go to the bathroom and he’ll stay in there until she’s done shopping. Brilliant!
“I have to go to the bathroom, mom.”
“Okay, I’ll wait for you right here, dear”, she says.
“No, mom, you go ahead and get the groceries and I’ll meet you at the front”, he answers.
“Oh, no, dear. I’ll wait right here. I love grocery shopping together. You go ahead, I’ll wait right here.” She didn’t get it, and he couldn’t tell her.
Now he’s stuck. He doesn’t have to use the bathroom, but now he has to fake it. He goes in the stall, locks the door, and waits. When it’s been long enough, he tries to open the door. It won’t budge. He bangs on it. Nothing. He takes a pen from his pocket and uses it to force the lock. The pen snaps in half and spills black ink all over his hands. He wipes his hands on his pants, totally forgetting he is still wearing his school clothes.
“Why does this stuff always happen to me?!!” He quietly screams to himself.
“Mom!” He says just loud enough so she might hear him.
“Mom!!” He says just a little bit louder.
“Mommmm!!!” He finally screams in total frustration.
“What is it, dear?” she calls through the door.
“I can’t get the door open! Come in and help me, please!” he yells.
“Oh, no, dear, I can’t come in there. It’s the men’s bathroom” she calls.
“Mom!! There’s no one in here but me!! Please come in and help me!!”
“I’ll get the manager, dear.”
“No! Mom! Just come and help me!!”
“Don’t you worry, dear. I’ll be right back.”
He sits down on the toilet, wondering what he did to deserve this.
Soon he hears someone come in. “Son? Are you in there?”
“Yes, I can’t get the door open”, he answers.
“Your mother tells me you don’t like going grocery shopping. Why is that?” he asks.
“What? Please! Just open the door! It’s locked!
“Oh, it is? I thought you didn’t want to come out” the manager says.
“No! The door won’t open!” he says.
“Well, why didn’t you say that?! I’ll go get something to open it.”
“Finally!” he whispers to himself. As he’s waiting, he can hear the faint sound of sirens. They’re getting closer.
Suddenly, two firemen burst into the bathroom. “Son!! Are you in there?!” One of them yells, even though he’s right outside the stall door.
“Yes, please open the door.”
“Ok, son, you need to calm down. Take a deep breath. Say this with me, I’m going to be alright,” the fireman says.
“Please, just open the door.”
“Why don’t you want to go grocery shopping with your mother, son?”
“What?!! Pleeease!! Just open the door. It’s locked! It won’t open!” he yells.
The fireman answers, “What? It’s locked? Why didn’t you say that. Stand back!”
Soon a motor starts, and sparks begin flying. Suddenly the stall door swings open.
“Thank you! Thank you!” he says, and tries to walk past the firemen.
“Oh, no, son. You’ve been through trauma. We need to take you to the hospital.”
“What?! No! I just want to go home!”
One of the firemen takes him by the arm and lays him down on a stretcher. He is pushed through the store as he continues to yell.
“Mom!! Don’t let them take me!! I’m fine!! I just want to go home!”
He is pushed into a waiting ambulance. The doors are closed and soon they are speeding to the hospital. When they arrive, the doors swing open and he is wheeled into the emergency room.
“This looks serious!” a doctor says. “We’re going to have to operate immediately.”
“Operate?! No! I’m fine! I just want to go home!”
He is wheeled into a bright room. A mask is placed over his face and the room begins to spin.
“Mommm!! Don’t let them…”
“Wake up! Wake up!”
He opens his eyes and is shocked to see his own bedroom.
“You were yelling in your sleep, dear. Get your hands washed, dinner is ready.”