… two can be as bad as one, it’s the loneliest number since the number 1” - Harry Nilsson
Am I the only one that finds that bathroom business is irritating?
It’s like doing your taxes. You have to do them, and you’re happy when they’re done, even though you’ve lost more than you’ve gained. But you just wish it didn’t have to happen at all. However, unlike tax time, bathroom business happens every DAY!
(Sidebar: That’s one audit I wouldn’t want to attend.)
Even more annoying is dealing with some of the chuckleheads that you run into using public restrooms. Already, using “public” with something that should be private is NOT good in my mind. I don’t like retail, much less this debacle.
Firstly… would it KILL you to wash your hands? I am amazed how many people don’t clean their hands after flailing them all over a disgusting landscape of germs. It’s like a germ kegger! And when you have OCD like myself, you start to think about all of the people that shook your hand and know that odds are some of them didn’t wash theirs before they shook yours. In effect, you’re shaking more than their hand now. If I wanted to handle another guy’s schlong I at least would ask for a date first. Who knows? Maybe I like him.
By the by, that’s a good thing about having an OCD friend, which can sometimes be annoying. We all wash ourselves really well. So don’t worry, you won’t be handling my undercarriage if we meet.
I guess you could say that there are two major categories to deal with in the scary subject of public restrooms.
I’ll admit that urinating is pretty easy as a guy. However, I don’t like BECAUSE it’s so easy, some commercial venues decide to keep it too simple. Like, caveman simple.
The old Boston Garden was one of the worst. There was a big round trough and guys all stood in a circle and pissed in the middle. You’re trying to pee between periods of a Bruins game and all of a sudden you’re nearly in a circle-jerk. It was awful.
And that reminds me of the urinals at Nantasket Beach. The urinals sat back to back, with NO walls above them. So essentially, you’d be peeing and a guy would go to the one across from you… and you’d be looking at eachother in awkward manner.
The only thing separating the two of you from having a homoerotic moment is about 8” of porcelain.
When you’re talking about dropping your pants in public, I’m already concerned. (Unless you’re Kate Winslet, then I have to say I am perfectly ok with that). But when you add the idea that you potentially have to sit or hover over a seat that has rested who KNOWS how many asses before yours… It becomes truly scary to me.
I am on the road for work all of the time, so I have to deal with this often. And some of the restrooms out there are really frightening.
I sometimes wish that I had one of those wire harnesses that Tom Cruise had in Mission: Impossible.
I would be able to hover over the aforementioned dropoff spot, then swing around and do a cross-legged cannonball launch:
It’s brilliant, no?
Of course, with my friggin’ luck the wire would snap and the worst case scenario finally makes itself known to me:
Maybe I should stay on my feet.
One way I could lighten up the moment for myself…. When nobody is looking…
(Sidebar 2: I know… I know… I can’t do a plie’ at all. But in my defense, do you realize how hard it is to take a picture of yourself acting foolish in only 3 seconds from a laptop? Maybe the arabesque would have been easier.)
Another thing that I hate is the “showdown”. I’m not grand at letting myself fly in a stall when I’m surrounded, if you catch my drift. So when someone comes into the stall next to me, I usually try to wait the other guy out. But every now & then… I find a true adversary. Another guy who wants to wait ME out. You end up both sitting there quietly until one of you finally gives in. It can go on for a while.
I have lost a few of those bouts by the way, but I know I’ve won more than I lost. I usually celebrate with the raising the roof gesture in the confines of my stall:
“Oh yeah…. Oh yeah!”
After the win, you dispose of the many layers of protective paper you’d stacked, flush the toilet with your foot and kick the door open to depart. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
So, if you ever end up in a stall next to me, would you let me win please? And promise me that if you’re going to touch me in some way that you’ll WASH your hands first? Do we have a deal?!
How about we shake on it?
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I was reminiscing today about a first date I had back in the late summer/early fall of 1991. I had only spoke to her on the phone previous to this time, until this one day she came to my work to meet me. Since I’m a chicken shit for the most part, I was loving it. I offered to take her to lunch and she accepted.
I worked in downtown Boston at that time, a few doors down from the old Boston Garden. At that time the Grateful Dead were in town, and the Deadheads had conglomerated amongst the entire area, from Canal st to Friend st. It was a wild week. The smell of incense and pot were in the air all week and permeated in your clothes.
I also had the pleasure of witnessing a couple having sex in the back of a van. There’s nothing quite like the quick glimpse of the back of a man’s ass. Why couldn’t the girl be on top for christ’s sake?? I’ll never get that view out of my head. It’s kind of like when my pal Steve & I rented Shaft in Africa. If we knew Roundtree was going to run around with a spear shaking his bare ass at us, we might have rented Coffy instead. Sheesh.
So I had to bring this girl to lunch by weaving through the crowd of tie dyes to bring her to eat. After lunch, we headed back to my place of employment. On the way, this fella named Steve stopped us. (not to be confused with the Roundtree ass-hating, friend Steve). I am NOT exaggerating when I tell you that this guy hadn’t showered in a LONG time. His hair was matted down so much it could have passed for a Speedo swim cap. He had only 2-3 teeth total that I saw when he opened his mouth. He was wearing this brown corduroy number from the 70’s. He could have passed for a shorter, dirtier hippy version of Joe Buck.
We had a interesting exchange. He had a heavy drawl and at that time I had a ‘wicked’ bad Boston accent. It went something like this:
Steve: “Hah! Ah’m Steve…. Ah hitchhahked all da way from Virgin-yee”.
Jeff: “Hi Steve. How ah you?”
Steve: “Great! Can ah read yeeou a po-em?”
So, he reads the poem to us. I can only paraphrase it for you and give you a small piece. It went something like this:
“FUCK the government. FUCK the government. FUCK the government. FUCK those of you who take from society”.
I think you get the point.
Jeff: “Wow! That was awesome, Steve. Would you take a couple of dollahs fah reading it?”
Steve: “Ah would be much appreciative. Thank ye”.
I gave him a few bucks and then went to shake his hand. When I did, I was overwhelmed with horror to find that the man had NO thumb on his right hand. There was just a tiny stub there. I’m glad I didn’t do the slide-in handshake, where your hand slides in for a strong shake. Otherwise, I would have had the unpleasant encounter with the stub. Luckily I just went for the soft approach so I was able to notice the handicap. I ended up shaking the tops of his four fingers.
As we were walking away I was stupefied. I had shaken a dirty hand and I couldn’t wait to get to work to wash up. This to be no offense to good ol’ Steve, mind you. I have OCD as you now know.
Well, I wasn’t much different back then. Well, at least that girl ended up being my girlfriend… I can handle extra wash time for that.
When I tell most people this story, they ask me what I thought happened to his thumb. I never really thought about that. But I did always wonder how the guy hitchhiked.
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