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Mr. Johnson Sees a Man About a Horse

Mr. Johnson was five-foot-eleven; wearing a green polo shirt with a couple of smeared orange bleach stains, and similarly stained black slacks. His wrinkled jacket was flung over his left shoulder, and in his right hand was an aged briefcase.

He entered the Taco Bell to use the restroom before his bus transfer (He had never learned to drive, just like Alfred Hitchcock). After that, he planned to breakfast on Pop Tarts.

He turned the restroom door handle downwards 'til it would not move. The door did not open.

"Damn!" he said, under his breath.

Then, with a look of inspiration, he turned the handle upwards. It opened (!) a crack to reveal a tall, unshaven man, wearing a baseball cap, a checked flannel shirt, jeans, and trendy sunglasses.

"Oh, sorry!" said Mr. Johnson, the picture of contrition.

The man closed the door silently. After about 17 mysterious clicks that could have been locking or fumbled door opening, The Man emerged.

"You gotta use the bathroom?" The Man asked.

"Yes!" Replied Mr. Johnson, "Thank you!"

The Man locked eyes with him. "Well, HURRY, then."

The Man stepped out of the way and Mr. Johnson made his way into the bathroom, but The Man stopped him again:

"You just gotta piss?"


"Allright, then." he grumbled begrudgingly, "HURRY."

After Mr. Johnson closed the door, he considered walking to Arby's down the street, where there was nobody to fill the restroom with unrest. But, there he was, before the toilet, and since he'd have to wash his hands anyway (he was a fastidious man, and restroom air was fraught with germs) he decided to go for it.

After a couple of moments, the door was tried, and there was a bang at the door. This did not make Mr. Johnson hurry, but rather, the opposite. Nonetheless, Mr. Johnson tried to do his thorough hand washing quickly. The Man banged twice more. Could he not hear the water running? Could he not hear the hand dryer?

Mr. Johnson emerged, averting The Man's gaze.

"Hey, boy," said The Man, "What the Hell were you doin' in there?"

"Pissing." Replied Mr. Johnson, flatly.

He turned. The Man, in the restroom doorway, was giving him That Look. It took him back to when, as a child, he had seen a puppy whose eyes were rolling in the pet shop window, and had gone in to tell the owner. He had said "I think your puppy's having a seizure." The owner had come out to look and said "He's just sleeping!" And then he had given young Mr. Johnson

That Look.

Mr. Johnson hit The Man squarely on the jaw with his decrepit briefcase. The Man stumbled backwards and fell into a sitting position on the toilet. Mr. Johnson dropped his briefcase and jacket on the floor and approached him.

"Where the Hell do you get off? What are YOU doing in here that's so much more important than what I'M doing in here? Do you own Taco Bell? Are you bulimic, or just shooting up drugs in here?"

"How dare you!" said The Man, grabbing the handicapped handrails, "I was here first."

"And you could have stayed in here. Nobody was banging down the door on you!"

"Hey, man" said The Man, looking up at Mr. Johnson, whose fists were clenched and radiating energy, "I was nice enough to let you come in here, and now." The Man stood up, but he still didn't seem to be taller than Mr. Johnson was anymore. He made a fist, but lost it when Mr. Johnson squealed again:

"NICE?! NICE?! Nice would have been 'I'll be out in a minute, sir' or 'I'll be out in an hour, sir' or 'I live in here, sir.' or even nothing! Let me tell you, threats are never nice."

"You didn't say 'Out in a minute!' when I was knocking!" exclaimed The Man, who recreated his fist and took a right hook at Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson ducked, said "I didn't feel I had a right to in YOUR bathroom," and kicked him in the crotch.

"Do you know?" said Mr. Johnson, as The Man fell back onto the toilet, "Do you know what my girlfriend's cat does?"

(The Man, through his squelched expression of pain, got the perplexed look Mr. Johnson had had when the door handle was clicking.)

"My girlfriend's cat, Ginger Snap, dashes into our only bathroom every time the door is opened and plants herself on the seat. She hisses and yowls and bites and scratches at anyone who tries to get her off. I am sick and tired of Ginger Snap - and YOU!"

And he hit The Man once more.

The Man had been planning to put in his contact lenses and grab some Taco Bell for breakfast before his bus transfer (His car was in the shop).

But at least he'd learned his lesson. That night, instead of glaring at his wife until she did the dishes, he volunteered to do them himself. Of course, when she didn't show sufficient appreciation, he started a shouting match that ended in their divorce.

Mr. Johnson was arrested for and convicted of assault and battery. He now sits in a cell with a toilet in the middle of it. It's all his, except for his cellmates, Vinny the Ox and Johnny Bulldog, who pay him $2 per use.

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