Tonight we stopped at an In-N-Out for dinner. After we ordered I excused myself to go to the bathroom to wash my hands. On my way over I decided to go ahead and use the toilet while I was in there.
All seemed normal at first. Someone was already in the large stall, and I happened to choose the one next to it. Just as I sat down a strange noise occurred. We’re not talking traditional “bathroom” noise. It was difficult to tell, but I think it was either a weird giggle or a suppressed sob.
Immediately the need to pee vanished. I didn’t know what was going on in the stall next to mine, and I didn’t want to know. I seriously considered simply exiting the stall without using the toilet. However, the bathroom was once again all quiet. I couldn’t just leave the stall without making any “bathroom” noise. That’s almost as weird as making weird non-bathroom noises.
I didn’t feel like adding to the weirdness of an already weird situation, so I forced myself to go as quickly as possible. As I was finishing up, another strange noise sounded. This time it was either roaring laughter or hysterical sobbing. I’m not sure which. The weirdness was escalating. When the noise stopped, I heard some quiet muttering. It occurred to me that there might be two people in the stall.
I frantically cranked open the lock, which happened to be an unusually stubborn one, and walked to the nearest sink to wash up. I soaped up and waved my hand under the faucet to set off the motion sensor. Nothing. Of all times for the water to not work! I moved to the next sink, praying that one of them would work so I could get out of there. Thankfully it worked. As I rinsed off the soap I glanced at the occupied stall through the mirror and saw a pair of fuzzy, pink slippered feet standing near the door of the stall. I couldn’t tell if there was another pair of feet further back, as the stalls were fairly deep.
I inwardly breathed a sigh of relief when I saw paper towels instead of an air dryer. I don’t think I could have endured another 20 seconds in that room.
After escaping the bathroom, I realized that it might have been someone with special needs. That would explain the odd noises and the possibility of two people in one stall. However, if it was two people, it seems weird that the one was being so quiet. If it were me helping a person with special needs I would have spoken to her at a normal volume mostly so that other people could hear that things were under control. That taken into consideration, I’m still not sure what was going on.
After I sat back down at our table I watched the bathroom door for several minutes, looking for some kind of closure to my strange bathroom experience. Nothing. Once our food arrived I stopped watching, but as we were leaving I scanned the feet of as many fellow customers as possible, looking for the fuzzy, pink slippers. Nothing.