Recently we took a school bus to the Mandarin buffet in Etobicoke.
A place of such regal beauty that even the carpet bears the familiar pink M of The Mandarin.
A place were no expense has been spared in the quest for a faithfully-constructed North American brand of "Far East" so familiar to us all.
A place were the endless bounty of deep-fried popcorn shrimp is always fresh, sizzling away in it's chaffing dish net.
Of this trip to heaven, I have but one story to tell, and it's about the washroom. This should surprise none of my regular readers.
Making my way to the loo, I found that I was treading in the wake of two young fellows--brothers--about 4 and 8 respectively. There was some confusion, on their part, as to which of the two doors they should enter. The doors were clearly marked with pictures: a samurai for the boys; a Mikado consort of sorts for the girls. The make-up on these icons was surely what was causing the confusion; both characters were wearing angry red lipstick.
They chose wisely.
I followed them into the washroom; but before I was fully in, I heard gales of laughter bouncing off the tiled walls. Rounding the corner, I saw the two fellows pointing at the prince-sized urinal (hung on the wall closer to the floor than the kingly urinals to ensure all waste would make it to Lake Ontario, rather than the floor) doubled-over with laughter. The gasping kind of laughter that happens about five minutes into a real hazer.
These two kids couldn't believe their eyes! Apparently they'd never seen a pint-sized urinal before; judging by their reaction, it was better than anything Pauly Shore has done.
I began to get concerned that: 1) someone would walk in on me with two howling young boys and wonder--oh, I don't know what--and haul me off to 22 Division; 2) that they would begin pissing their pants, and never truly enjoy the accommodating urinal.
Finally, about mid-visit for me, one retreated (as if to catch his breath) to a stall; the other, still snickering, decided that it was time to piss into the waiting mouth of the Smurf-esque urinal. This is when things started to get a bit more 'real' for me: the kid in the stall began peppering his snickers with awful-sounding grunts of stress. He would snicker snicker, then hold his breath and grunt. I sounded like a cross between "A Baby Story" on Life, and the canned audience on "Family Matters". This made me and his brother start to laugh; the difference between our enjoyment was, I laughed and did not piss on my own feet. The more the one brother got on like a pig in heat, the harder we two laughed, the wetter the other brother's shoes became. Which made me laugh harder; which made the kid in the stall laugh harder.
Things were getting way out of hand. I had to leave.
Just as I washing up, the grunting from the stall fell silent. For the first time since entering the Mandarin Men's Room, you could hear a fortune cookie crack. Then, a massive splosh broke the silence. All three of us completely lost it.
I was still laughing by the time I made it back to my table, and for the first time in a long time, I was at a loss as to how to begin explaining the cause.