Best Seat in the House

Bob waddled past the beef jerk display, past the thirty-seven flavors of Mountain Dew, and past the glistening tubes of meat basking on stainless steel rollers. His pace quickened as he neared the men’s room.
“You’re just in time,” said the man who blocked all but a sliver of the door to salvation. “Show’s about to start.”
Bob’s gut growled. “You ain’t kidding, buddy. Can I sneak past?”
“Not without a ticket. Seated or standing?”
“Seated. Definitely.” Bob’s stomach sounded like it had swallowed a dryer that had swallowed a loafer that had swallowed two tablespoons of ball bearings. “Now  if you could …”
“Ten dollars, please. You’ll have the best seat in the house.”
“Ten dollars for a commode? That’s crazy.”
“We’re the best live entertainment in the Tri-Counties.”
“Never mind.” Bob shoved a bill at the man.  He pushed open the door and shuffled to the nearest stall, his hands locked in a death grip on his butt cheeks. The two-deep crowd jammed in front of the sinks parted to let him through. He fumbled with his oversize Don’t Mess With Texas belt buckle. A sigh left his lips as he sat on hard plastic.
The restroom door opened and closed. “Knock, knock.”
Bob stomped his size 12 boots. “I paid ten dollars for the privilege of taking a crap, so you’re gonna have to be patient.”
“Knock, knock.”
Bob stood up. His pants hugged his ankles. His fists pounded the graffiti-tagged walls. “Dagnabit.”
A voice from the urinals yelled,“Who’s there?”
Fifteen voices chorused, “Zany who?”
“Zany-body seen the candy bar I dropped?” Belly laughs and applause bounced of the bathroom’s tinny acoustics like images in a hall of funhouse mirrors. “Thank you. What a wonderful crowd. Welcome to the Tri-Counties best truck stop based knock-knock joke review.”
Caleb Echterling’s work has appeared in the finest men’s room stalls on the eastern seaboard. He tweets funny fiction using the not at all clever handle @CalebEchterling. You can find more of his work at

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