The plan had been to go to dinner, then to Home Depot for paint for the downstairs bathroom. The first part went well enough. Near the end of the meal he got up to go to the restroom. He was almost there when he heard a voice.
"Hey, I like your shirt."
He turned to see the woman at the check-in smiling at him.
"That show? I watch it all the time. It's awesome!"
He smiled back. "I was on the show."
She smiled back. Or maybe continued smiling. It was a grey area.
He continued to the bathroom, and repeated the events of moments before to his brother, in the stall. "You should talk to her," brother said.
When dinner was over they all filed out. Brother stopped him just as he was about to leave. "Go back in and talk to her."
He turned back, awkwardly introduced himself, and managed to get her name and a promise to friend him on Facebook. All told, a good dinner.
Things started deteriorating in the car. "I have to pee so bad," he announced to the car in general.
"Me too," said brother.
"Hold it until we get to Home Depot," mother said.
Minutes stretched by, flooding with urine until they were horrible distended hours of torture. At last they pulled in to Home Depot. He and brother ran inside, only to find the bathrooms were at the furthest possible point from the door. They power walked. Power walked like their lives depended on it.
"Can I help you with anything?" an employee asked as they power walked by.
"You guys made it," the employee said as they ambled by the other way minutes later.
The next half hour was spent arguing with the man at the paint counter. Mother passed him an orange chip and explained what she wanted it for.
"A bathroom? Really?" the paint man asked skeptically. "Maybe you should just get a sample."
They continued to haggle back and forth, mother slowly telling the man more and more of their life's story. It was an odd experience for the children. In the end, they left Home Depot without the paint they had come for, the second part of the evening failed.
As they walked outside, he stumbled into sister, who yelled and began to chase him. Even though it was cold, he stripped his shirt off and swung it over his head. Strangers in the parking lot stared in horror.
Despite her best efforts, mother laughed. As they pulled out of the parking lot, he stood and levered his body out of the sun roof. They drove for two miles, him shirtless and freezing, his fat oozing over the edge of the car. Many motorists saw him and smiled. Most steadfastly ignored him.
All told, a good night.