The road to Hell is paved by men who refuse to ask for directions. It’s true — I read about it in college. Some guy named Dante spelled it all out.
“Hubby,” I said, with just a hint of urgency in the old vocal cords, “We’ve been driving for hours. I need a restroom.”
He grunted. I took this as a positive sign.
“And maybe,” I added sweetly, “Maybe while I’m using the restroom, you could ask the gas station attendant if this is the right road?”
His knuckles whitened over the steering wheel. “You can hold it, Hon,” he said. “Just a little longer.”
“Forget the directions!” I said, with true desperation. “Just the ladies’ room. I swear!”
“It’s only a little farther. Hang in there!”
I hung. In no time at all the road went from asphalt to dirt. Hubby’s knuckles relaxed. “There you are! The camp road!” He glanced at me and added, “you can go behind those bushes, if you really need to.”
If I were a man, sure, I’d stop to go behind some roadside bushes. All men have to do is unzip, aim, shake, and they’re done. But we ladies, ay yi yi! We ladies.
In order to go behind some bushes we’ve got a lot more undressing to do, and a bit of squatting to do, and unless we’ve packed a box of tissues, we’ve got a little air-drying to do — none of which can be done quickly. Neither can it be done nonchalantly as we whistle and rock back and forth on our heels, despite what they think. Face it, guys: we’re plumbed differently.
“No,” I said.
“Okay, but it may take some time, now that we’ve hit the camp road.”
“What? You said we were almost there!”
“I said ‘it was only a little farther…’ until we hit the camp road.”
I didn’t argue — I needed to save all my energy to hold back the flow, so to speak. I did some anti-moisture visualizations: the little boy with his finger in the dike… nope, way too weird.
The Sahara Desert: dry, sandy, void of any moisture whatsoever… yikes! Never use the word “void” when you’re trying to hold things in.
Okay, okay… breathe deep. Death Valley, the hottest, driest place in North America…
About a half-hour later my visions of low humidity were interupted by the dirt camp road turning into a rocky camp road.
“Yowza, Hubby,” I gasped after a really good lurch, “maybe those bushes are a good idea after all.”
“Too late,” he growled, “we’re almost there.”
“Hubby,” I warned him, “You’re about to do a little swimming, whether you like it or not.”
He hit the gas pedal and the van shot forward. We entered a nightmare of potholes, sinkholes, and unexpected speed bumps until Hubby finally skidded to a halt in front of the check-in kiosk. I climbed into Hubby’s lap and shouted at the man in the ranger hat.
“Ladies room! NOW!”
He pointed at a little building a short distance away. I rolled back into my seat, opened the door and leapt out of the van. As I sprinted to the restroom I dodged a woman whose dog was lifting his leg on a tree. “If only it were that easy for us gals,” called the woman, sympathetically.
No time to answer — I kicked open the bathroom door, shot into a stall, fumbled with my clothing and made it… just… in… time…
“Hey, baby,” called Hubby from outside the restroom. “We haven’t met yet, but maybe we could — you know… Oh!” His voice lowered slightly. “Excuse me, ma’am, didn’t see you with your dog there.”
I had the whole weekend to plot my revenge; preliminary plans already included a bowl of warm water in the middle of the night. Nah, I decided as I washed my hands, that just meant more laundry when I got home.
“As I was saying,” continued Hubby outside, “Lotsa ladies are lining up here hoping to get a chance with me! Better to decide soon if you wanna share a tent. Whadaya say?”
Better to leave it to a Higher Power. After all, if Dante was right, one day Hubby’d be a helpless passenger on an never-ending road — you know, with no restrooms, bushes, or zippable pants. It’s true — I read about it in college.