It was Christmas Card Time.
I entered the Walgreens with my photo CD and strode to the photo counter. I was prepared to sit at the photo machine until the fellow with the white smock gave me the stink-eye for taking up too much time.
I inserted the CD and discovered that it was blank.
I nodded knowingly to Mr. White Smock, and went home.
The next day, I returned with my new photo CD and once again found the machine open and ready for business. As I sat down, I had a sudden and urgent call to go to the restroom.
I spotted the restroom sign and took the shortest route down the feminine hygiene isle. Upon reaching the alcove, I found the clearly marked WOMEN's door, and a mysterious door surrounded by toys with no signage. It had a fancy pushbutton lock on it because I was in a hurry... and, yes, it was locked.
Keep in mind that this is a small town where not even the gas stations lock their restroom doors. Walgreens must believe that a bathroom related crime wave is coming to Wenatchee, Washington. Regardless of this ominous premonition, I still had to pee.
I knocked on the door. No answer.
I heard someone coming out of the women’s room and briefly considered catching it before it closed, but the woman scuttled off so quickly, I didn’t have time to ask her how she thwarted the lock, much less grab the door before it slammed shut.
I skipped to the Pharmacy and informed the lady behind the counter that I need to use the restroom.
The response from Mrs. Blue Smock was, “I’ll be right there.”
At first I thought she didn’t understand me correctly, then I wondered if she was planning to instruct me and needed some preparation time. It looked as though the latter was true, when she walked around the counter and motioned for me to follow her to the restroom alcove.
I began to formulate all of the reasons why I was not going to share my restroom experience with her, while she walked to the unmarked door. She knocked on it, and I said to myself, “I already tried that.” Then she typed in 0000 ENTER, while making no effort to keep me from seeing the code.
That action brought up many questions, all of which would delay the emptying of my bladder, so I bit my tongue.
Then, she held the door open for me. I walked in fully expecting her to follow me in and begin instructing.
Much to my relief, I was left alone in the unimpressive, but fully functioning restroom.
I managed to make it back to the photo machine just as another Christmas Carder was walking up to the counter. Mr. White Smock turned out to be very helpful despite the fact that he was visibly disturbed that I refused to un-click the shadow button on the text. I honestly think he broke out into a sweat when I didn’t remove the shadow on my Christmas greeting.
While he was collecting himself behind the counter, I finished up. The machine informed me that my order would be ready in one hour, which was plenty of time to go outside and share the bathroom code to all distressed looking passers-by.
'Tis the season!