My Evening, or “How I Wound Up In The Target Bathroom With No Pants”

So I had quite an evening.

A good morning–more about that later–and we decided to take the evening and go see the new Star Trek movie. We figured we’d go to Beaver Creek, get some cheapass sushi, buy Kevin a new pocket knife, see the movie. We managed the cheapass sushi, but the movie was so popular that we had to run to get decent seats. And that was fine.

It was a fun movie, even though I hate time travel with the burning passion of a thousand fiery suns. My only problem–other than that they blew up *SPOILER* and you just aren’t allowed to blow up *SPOILER* , man!–was Young Spock. I have always thought Spock was hot, since I was about ten, and had only a vague understanding of what constituted hotness, but this is the first time that I’ve felt like a pedophile for it. Oh well.

This was not the exciting part of the evening.

The exciting part of the evening came when I went to the bathroom after the movie, pulled down my pants, settled in to the carefully-aimed-levitation that most women use on movie theater toilets, and discovered a tick attached to my thigh.

Now, as you well know from reading my blog, I have a standard coping method of dealing with ticks, which is to scream like a dying giraffe, rip my clothes off, and run shrieking around the room. 

This seemed inadvisable under the circumstances.

I pulled up my pants over the hitchhiker, went out, washed my hands, went into the theater proper, and waited for Kevin to emerge from the bathroom.

"So I ran into Jay–" he said, emerging, with an acquaintance of mine from webcomicdom.

"TELL ME YOU HAVE TWEEZERS," I said, attaching myself to Kevin’s chest and shoulder with the strength of panic.





"I don’t have tweezers. That’s why I need a new pocket knife. Please let go of me. Do you have your leatherman in the car?"

I did not. My eyes darted wildly around the theater, looking for something that might be acceptable as a tweezer substitute. The only thing in sight was a cardboard stand-up for Land of the Lost. No. Even in extremis, I will not allow a Sleestak that close to my genitals.

"Target is probably still open," said Kevin. "Let’s go get tweezers." (Sorry, by the way, to Jay, whom I don’t think I said goodbye to, or hi to, or possibly anything other than a demand he notice how I was not screaming at all.)

We went to the car. We drove to the Target next door, and the three of us–Kevin and Ursula plus small arthropod fellow traveler, went inside. "Now," said Kevin, "can you remove it yourself?"

"Oh GOD no!"

"…right. Okay. We’ll have to use the family restroom, I guess."

"Dude, I was envisioning using the dome light of my car. The family restroom is great."

We bought tweezers. Kevin and the clerk began comparing notes on tattoo artists, an automatic function among the tattooed, until I began grinding Kevin’s elbow into powder, bringing him back to the task at hand. We went into the family restroom. A Target employee passing us, as we shut the door, gave us the vague annoyed I-know-you’re-going-to-have-sex-in-there look. I considered stopping to explain, but it seemed like entirely too much work, particularly since they weren’t going to believe me anyway.

I took off my pants. Kevin went to work with the tweezers. It was a very small tick, and unfortunately died in the process, requiring subsequent dismemberment and likely regurgitation of stomach contents into my veins. This was unfortunate, but given that Kevin was performing a tick-ectomy on his knees in the bathroom at Target, not unexpected under the conditions. He pried the head out of my leg, while I stared at the ceiling and contemplated my life.

"All done," he announced, checking the rest of my anatomy for more ticks. "You’re clear."

I stood in the bathroom with my courdouroys around my ankles and said, somewhat plaintively, "I want pie. I deserve pie."

"Let’s buy you some anti-itch cream, and then we’ll go get pie." 

We bought the cream. The clerk looked at us again, baffled. "Didn’t you two just…?" 

"I had a tick! Nothing weird happened!" 

"Right," she said. "That’s totally reasonable." Somehow, I didn’t feel like she believed me.

We went to IHOP. There were large, comforting pictures of pie on the wall. We sat down. "What kind of pie do you have?"

The hostess blinked. "We don’t serve pie."

I looked at the pie on the wall. It was an apple pie with a lattice top. It was next to pictures of coffee and pancakes. "No…pie?"


Kevin put his face in his hands. I contemplated pointing to the pie on the wall and demanding answers. I discarded this as irrational behavior, possibly brought on by the tick enzymes now coursing through my veins. I stood up. "I’m very sorry to have taken your time," I said, as politely as I could,  "but I need pie." And fled the IHOP.

We drove to Perkins. We went in. They have a pie case. It was noticeably empty. I looked at the hostess, a tall older woman, and said "Please…tell me you have pie."

"Oh, honey," she said, extending a hand, "our case is busted."


Panic gibbered through my brain. It was ten at night! Where would I get pie? Would I have to drive halfway to Chapel Hill to the 24-hour Harris Teeter to get a whole pie? If I did, I was gonna eat the whole goddamn thing in one sitting. Possibly while weeping. I needed pie now. I needed it like a junkie. If I could have crammed a slice of French silk into an IV and mainlined it, I would have.

"Ha! Of course we’ve got pie. Man, I got you going, didn’t I? Everybody’s comin’ in for Mother’s Day, and when I tell them we’re out, they panic…"


I swayed with relief. There would be pie. All would be well. 

And there was. And it was good.

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