I was wondering who to redefine this to: my female or male friends. Thanks to my female friends over the years, I have picked up a lot of "bathroom tales" from ladies, especially after I started in the tech industry where my good friend Suzi once said, "Oh no, Punkie. I assure you. Some women are gross, disgusting slobs." One of the "tales" I hear about are those dainty ladies who don't want to touch the seat with their nekkid butt, so they hover... and thus... miss. And don't clean up.
Men usually pee standing up and the rest of their business sitting down. I assume. I had always assumed. But last week, I was witness to something I can only describe as... upsetting in the balance of "Punkie's Make-Believe World of Should-Be."
I am using the stall. There I sat, almost done with my private duties, and some guy comes in and uses the stall next to me. Now, I had gone to that stall first, but noticed some moron had clogged it with a wad of toilet paper the size of a tri-state county fair. So I used the next one. I figured this guy would see that, go, "Awww... MAN!" and then I'd have to finish quickly so he could use my stall. But he didn't. There was a long pause, and I wondered what he was thinking. Did he think it was me? Was he pondering whether to flush and risk flooding the 6th floor, or was he contemplating the true horror of someone who could never, ever be clean?
But he didn't leave the stall. Then the most amazing sounds erupted.
He was releasing fudgy hostages. Not only that, but he was dropping the Brown kids off at the pool with such velocity, it made noises similar to dropping large stones into a creek. By my right foot, I see a dollop of clear water splash. I edge away from the right stall wall, remembering an episode from "Robot Chicken," which I won't go into, but Prune Bran never used Rod Serling jokes so well.
I was done anyway, and as I bent down to pull up my pants... I saw his shoes.
They were facing the other way.
In a moment when you realize that there's a non-pod person in front of you, I recoiled in horror. I realized that the only way this... protohuman could be using a facilities is facing the wall, straddled over the toilet. This would explain the puddles of water that kept showing up and the fecal matter in places around the toilet one could only describe as choreography of the profane. This explained the splash noise one only expected to hear before a scuba dive.
Did he place his hands on the wall, I wondered, like he's being frisked? At what point did this person receive his potty training? Did he have ANY idea that the toilet, with a wad of paper that could threaten to clog the Hoover Dam, would not flush? Did he not care?
I didn't want to know who did this. I couldn't face this person, I knew, if I worked with him. But I had to wash my hands. And I found I was unconsciously scrubbing them raw like I was trying to erase the image in my brain through my skin. As I went to dry my hands, the person left the toilet, and we made eye contact.
He was one of the construction workers that are expanding our data center. A short fellow with a large head that suggested a hint of Achondroplasia, but not what I would classify as a dwarf by any means (5'2" maybe). I didn't know what to say.
"YOU DISGUSTING PIG FUCK FREAK!!" was one of them. Thankfully, unlike many of my nerdly brethren, my mouth is not directly connected to my brain, but has a post-childhood politeness filter installed by life experience and lessons learned in rejection. Sadly, when it short circuits, it prevents me from saying anything at all as sort of a safety switch.
But he did not show shame, instead, he nodded a confident wordless greeting as if to say, "I just launched chocolate torpedos in the paper wad. Vote for me on Super Tuesday."
I left. I still pass him in the hallways, as he whistles confidently among the other workers, carrying stuff around.
And I think.
And die a little inside...