male and female signage on wall

After three and a half years in Rural Africa, I was finally back in America, the state of Virginia to be exact. The land of pimiento cheese, Tobacco farms, and a Wal-mart seemingly on every corner.

In Uganda, we made do with what we had. We grew our own vegetables, bought from local farmers, and even slaughtered an animal from time to time. But for one week, I was in the land of consumerism, where convenience is at your fingertips 24/7. I was going to take full advantage.

I don’t want to live like a consumer all the time, but walking the aisles of Wal-mart after almost four years was cathartic. The cereal aisle alone was enough to make a grown man cry. I was determined to bring some special treats back home to my family in Uganda, and you better believe my wife sent me with a list of things to bring home.

Unfortunately, all that unnatural food was taking its toll on my stomach. My body wasn’t sure what to do with all the strange chemical ingredients. So, for the first few days, I needed to make a pit stop every couple of hours to release the preservatives and chemicals from my body.

The day I went to Walmart to get goodies for my family was one of those days. After walking through the automatic doors, I made my way to the bathrooms located in the front. I took a left turn into the men’s room to ensure an uninterrupted shopping experience. Then set myself to the list my wife had sent.

I had no idea how long it would take me to get everything on my list in this enormous store. One hour later, I was halfway done, and I found myself in the back of the store with some mild stomach pain. I was texting with my wife as she continuously updated the list with more items when I saw the restroom and absentmindedly took a left to walk inside.

Something seemed off, but I put the sensation in the back of my mind and went into the last stall to take care of business.

I was immersed in scare cam videos on YouTube to pass the time, and something strange happened. The door opened, and I heard a lady talking on her phone.

I thought, how embarrassing for her. She was so immersed in her conversation that she accidentally walked into the men’s room.

Then another person burst into the stall next to me and released hellfire. It was truly foul. But when I looked down, I noticed my fellow patron was wearing high heels.

Oh crap, I am in the ladies’ room!

Once I realized my mistake, I was desperate to get out of there. I was wearing size 13 work boots, so it would be plainly clear that I wasn’t a lady. So I lifted my feet up off the ground until the ladies emptied the bathroom.

I wrote my wife to tell her of my predicament. She was of little help because she was laughing her brains out. I gave her the play-by-play of this little misadventure.

Every time I prepared for the great escape, another woman would walk in, and I would go back into hiding, pulling my feet up out of view. It seemed like an endless flow of women coming and going in that bathroom. Each time, my feet go up and then plop down on the linoleum floor as they leave. I was stuck in the Walmart Ladies’ room for an eternity before I could escape.

I experienced things in that bathroom that would change me forever; it was not what I expected. The most shocking experience was the farting. I’m talking man-sized farting, the kind of farts your dad makes while sitting in his easy chair watching the evening news. I guess that is the result of politely holding it in while in public.

After 40 long minutes in the Walmart ladies’ room, I finally found a long enough break in between patrons, and I hurriedly made my escape. On my way out, I realized why I had the strange sensation that something was off upon entering.

There were no urinals. Maybe if I had been focusing on what I was doing instead of texting, I could have saved myself the embarrassment. But in the end, everyone got a good laugh, and I left that lavatory a stronger and wiser person, even if I needed therapy for a few months.

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