Brewing Trouble in Little Teriyaki
Stan sits at his local Startrucks, a chain coffee shop that had a truck theme, typing away at his laptop. He puts the finishing touches on his midterm essay, and as he sends the paper to his professor, he leans back and heaves a sigh, taking a sip from his overpriced, burnt, heavily-sweetened iced coffee. Finally, some me time, he thought as he opens a social media website.
The nearby patrons give a bewildered look in Stan’s direction. He plays it off as nothing as he continues perusing.
Stan’s nonchalant demeanor quickly turns to panic as he packs up his belongings at fast food restaurant rate. He shoulders his backpack and rushes to the men’s restroom. He pulls the handle, but finds resistance. No! He waits, but then remembers a Hamburger Emperor across the plaza. Surely they have a restroom!
He runs to the Hamburger Emperor and strides towards the restroom. He enters, but only to find a scraggly “OUT OF ORDER” sign on the only stall. He contemplates the validity of the sign as he opens the door, but quickly sees that the sign was telling a rather stinky, malignant truth. He gags as he shuts the door and exits.
He taps his foot furiously in the hallway. He glances at the women’s restroom and hesitantly takes a step to open the door. A woman walks out just as he reaches to push the door. They exchange embarrassed glances.
“H-hi,” Stan says as he tries cover his motives. The woman shoots him an angry-inquisitive look as she walks away.
Dang it! What to do, what to do?
He stomps out of the restaurant, panicking and clenching. He looks around furiously for a different establishment, and lands on a local teriyaki restaurant. He runs as fast as humanly possible whilst clenching his cheeks. The cashier greets him with a very accented, “Hello!”
“Hi, do you have a bathroom?!”
The cashier replies in Chinese. Stan gives him an unsure look.
“Oh, you not Chinese?” the cashier asked. Stan quickly nods no. “Oh, bathroom in back.”
Stan rushes for the back, shuts the door, sets up a nest, and relieves himself. In the history of his emergencies, this topped the list as the most urgent and explosive of all. It didn’t matter to Stan that the smell was nauseating, or that the splashing was gratuitous. The relief was all that mattered.
He finishes with a sigh and washes his hands. He passes by the cashier, who gives Stan a welcoming look. Uh-oh – probably need to buy something.
“Sorry. No money!”
The cashier keeps a smile on his face, but Stan knows that he pretty much broke courtesy by only using the restroom in this Asian establishment. Stan tries to play it cool as he leaves through the exit.
“Hi, are you guys still open?”
Stan looks up and sees young white man walking up from his car.
“Are you guys still open?”
Stan looks at the young man in a mixture of disgust and horror. This racist, he thought. He tries to keep his cool as he turns to the cashier.
“You can ask that guy-”
Stan looks straight into the cashier’s eyes, those eyes of judgment. The cashier raises his hand and gives him the best Dikembe Mutumbo impression, wagging his finger mechanically.
“Curse you,” transmitted the cashier’s eyes. “Enjoy karma.”
Stan nervously runs away, as the young man inquisitively watches. He shrugs and turns back to the cashier.
“Are you guys still open?”