Today I went out to dinner with most of the family to an x-tra cool burger joint. It's a little bit of a drive, so we seem to get there only about once in the summer. It has very very good root beer and ice cream and huge piles of nasty delicious food -- giant burgers and onion rings and such. I can never get close to finishing the food, which always bothers me because I think I am wasting money and I hear my mother's lingering voice telling me to "join the Clean Plate Club!" THANKS FOR THAT, MOM.

Of course, mid-meal my five-year-old daughter announces she must go to the bathroom. Why yes, there is nothing I enjoy more than interrupting a meal to go in a public restroom. I ask her, as I always do, if she could possibly wait until we finished our food. She just smiles widely at me. Dammit. So, I take her through the restaurant to the ladies' room, the door of which has a giant cardboard cut-out of Marilyn Monroe in a bikini on it. My daughter looks at it and loudly goes, "EEWWWWWW! THAT'S DISGUSTING!" and I maneuver her into the can. It's a two-staller, taken up apparently by two small children, so we wait. The children's mother, a tired tanned blonde in a hoodie and cropped sweatpants, harangues them: "SPENCER! YOU SIT UNTIL THAT ALL COMES OUT NOW! ADRIANNA, WIPE FRONT TO BACK!" My child looks up at me and I can see she is dying to go "EEEWWWWWW!" again, but I frown and shake my head at her and for once, she gets it and is quiet. It is starting to smell a bit. My appetite goes further down.

Spencer, a buzzcutted lad of about three, proudly emerges first, and his mother dashes into the stall. "GOOD JOB SPENCER, YOU GOT ALL THE POOPIES OUT! YAY!" Oh, jesus. Lady, give me a damn break here, huh? She closes the stall door behind her, and takes what sounds like a Niagara Falls-type pee. She keeps yelling. "SPENCER! WASH YOUR HANDIES! WITH LOTS OF SOAP AND WATER! NOT TOO HOT! WAIT FOR ME TO COME OUT! ADRIANNA, FINISH UP NOW! DON'T USE TOO MUCH TOILET PAPER!"

Adrianna rushes out of her stall, pushes past the still-proudly-beaming Spencer, wets her hands, and bolts out the door. The mom flushes, asks Spencer, "WHERE DID YOUR SISTER GO?" while washing her hands, and Spencer points to the door. She grabs Spencer by his little arm and they rush out the door. OK. Time to get this done, finally. My food is surely cold.

I open the stall door for my daughter, the one Adrianna used as I am always suspect of little boys and toilets. Sitting neatly on the edge of the toilet seat is a lovely well-formed turd. I stare for a millisecond, and announce for my daughter, who did not get to see this or would have issued the loudest and longest "EEWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!" of all time, to use the other toilet. She pees for about three seconds, "All done!" I roll my eyes. She finishes, we wash our hands, exit the bathroom as Marilyn seems to wink salaciously at us from the bathroom door.

When I get back to my hot dog, lying there on my plate, well-formed, I decide I am full.