I was just informed that I'll need to have two of these whatever you call them. My first thought is I may have to take this down a notch, class-wise. Down a level in terms of not so much dignity but more like, did he just say that? He did. My long-term goal is to lightly offend, without losing the reader. To cause slight discomfort, and to simultaneously fascinate you.
A friend of mine and I were recently talking about the line that is crossed in conversation and how this line is often if not always blurry or even invisible. The line of going too far. His position was that he doesn't know where this line is until it's too late, and some freshly offended person lets him know he has just crossed it. With myself, I know full well where the line is and cross it anyway, just to see who will get offended and who will laugh. Some people will laugh even though they know they oughtent be. I know, it doesn't exist.
The classic example is the grosser than gross game from the playground, and if your friends had trouble assimilating, High School as well. What's grosser than a thousand dead babies in a trash can? One dead baby in a thousand trash cans is the answer of course. Which when you're 12 is pretty nasty. Maybe it still is. There are a million of them. Anyway, this friend was doing this with some people, and everything was just fine, ha ha, and then that one foot went over the line. You'll have to ask him for the specifics. I'm trying to think what else it is that I can write about, when I step into the men's restroom here at my place of employment. There you go. Unlimited possibilities.
To start, there are two different kinds of bathrooms here where I work. The first is the standard multi-use type where up to five men can perform two different functions, well three really, but let's keep this semi-clean. Two functions, number 1 and number 2. If anyone really knows statistics, check me out on this. I figure we have 3 stalls, 1 guy each, with 2 options per guy. Plus the urinals. You've got a minimum of 18 possibilities going on in the stalls plus your 2 at the urinals. That's 20. In one bathroom. This assumes of course that the urinals are being used as intended, and knowing my work mates, they most likely are. This does assume also that the actions being taken in the stalls are singular. That is, that there are no dual actions, which is pretty hard to do, even if you think it's just #2, you always get #1. It has something to do with the Prostate Gland. A powerful gland in more than one way. The obverse of this is not always true. Surprises do happen, but for the sake of our mathematical model, we'll have to make some ruling assumptions, or it just gets out of hand. So what'd I say? 20? This is for the 3/2 combination restroom. I think we have some other restrooms that are larger. And then of course there is the private restroom. I haven't even gotten to the women's yet. Shit. It just goes on and on. Fortunately there is a nice limiting factor. There are ~35 employees in the company. 16 female and 18 male. And really what are the chances that every single person in the company will be in the bathroom at the same time? Pretty small, although not impossible. Thanks to the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and really one of the most interesting things I have learned to date, there is a statistical possibility that all of the oxygen molecules in any given space, say a room, will all locate to one corner of that room, leaving any living thing in the room deprived of the O2. I don't remember the exact numbers, but the chances of winning a 42 number, six pick lottery are probably better than this. If there are any science geeks out there, or I suppose we can let the math geeks in too, please correct me on this if I'm way off. If I'm just a little off, leave me alone. And besides, if you're sitting there, while you should be working, checking my math? you have too much free time and should spend it reevaluating you life, and not checking my math. By the way, all of this, every word, was conceived, written and spell checked in the privacy of my own home, on my own personal time.
The second type of restroom is a private bathroom we have which is really quite nice. It's not just Executives only or anything like that either. Everyone can spend time in there. It has a shower even. A rack for towels, soap, shower stuff. Very classy. We had to have a sign put on the door. A sliding sign. One side says VACANT and the other side says IN USE. At first people weren't putting the sign into it's proper place when they would enter or leave the room. So you had people in there while the sign was on VACANT. You had the sign say IN USE when the room was empty. Now there is a homemade sign on typing paper taped to the inside door that says something to the effect of please make sure the sign is correct before you enter/leave. Being a private restroom, the door has a lock on it. The nice thing about locks is you don't Have to engage them. You have a choice. You can always plea ignorance. I forgot to lock it, sorry. Or you could become angry - Don't you knock! god! I think the quiet approach would be the most effective. If you hear a knock, remain silent. Just sit there with your pants bunched up at your ankles and stare at them as they enter. Like whatever they choose to do is fine, either way. Stay or go. I don't care. It's highly unlikely they will say much of anything later due to the instant self incrimination that comes along with it. Then you will always have that. That bond.
What I'm getting to is a discovery I made several years ago. An exercise I put myself through, to test the limits of my capabilities. Put simply, I wanted to find out what was the fastest time that I could complete the following sequence: enter a bathroom, undo garments, perform a #2 operation, do a standard cleaning, reapply garments, and exit the bathroom. I left out the washing of the hands part because this was an exercise in time management. Say the scenario was one where you had to perform the necessary function, leave your composure intact, so it doesn't look like you were rushed, and do so at a decent level of sanitation, all in less than 1 minute. I can do that now. I think the actual time was close to 45 seconds. Of course there could be circumstances where say if you were running away from some thing, or some body, and you just had to go. One of those times when it's really not up to you to decide. If it's going to happen anyway, just let it go. I have not had this problem yet. I haven't had to use the 45 second option. For clarification, the standard cleaning is four.
And I don't think I'm too far off base here. This is not rocket science as they say. I'm 30 right now. Let's figure on a once a day schedule, average. We'll use a value of 27 years to account for potty training and all that. So 27 years of conscious, solo bathroom time. Let's see. (365 trips/year)(27 years) = 9855 individual trips to the bathroom. That's just under ten thousand trips to the bathroom! Anybody who is now about 30 years old has no business not being able to get in and out of there in less than a minute.
The other thing I did recently was to determine if there were any size constraints, bathroom wise. Fortunately we have a ½ bath in our laundry room which is smaller than an airplane bathroom. I just measured it last night. It is a mere 9.72 ft2. Or even better it is 1400 in2. It has the toilet, and a sink. The definition of a ½ bath. There are approximately 2-3 inches of extra space on either side of the toilet. That plus there is a large water pipe/waste pipe running up into the ceiling right next to where your legs are going to be. It would be the perfect bathroom for a six year old. The sink is right there, they wouldn't even have to stand on their toes. But it does have a traumatic atmosphere to it. All boxed in like. Smells funny too. Not bad, just funny. Unknown. I crammed myself into this bathroom, just to see if I could. I could. I didn't make it out in 45 seconds, but then it was never my goal to combine my challenges into one grand challenge.
I've been seeing the bathroom more and more as a safe haven. A place to go and have complete anonymity, complete freedom. Complete anonymity if you stay in there long enough. In the past I have reserved my functions to ensure privacy and anonymity. Even though there are walls I felt I was being judged for my actions in this serene place. Now I see it differently. This is a place where you can reinvent yourself, try new noises that you might not otherwise have let yourself try. Really sink your teeth into the role. Moan, wail. This could really be a healing therapy for some. Every emotion you are feeling would be released along with the dirge of anal promotions unleashed into the porcelain. Think of the restroom stall as a confessional booth. The person next to you takes on the role of the priest or psychiatrist, unknowingly and unwillingly, yet powerless to stop you in your search for peace.
Elvis Aaron Presley died with several pounds of impacted feces in his colon. This is something you don't hear on the Graceland tour. Apparently opiates will cause severe constipation. That, and he really didn't eat that well. A low fiber diet. A few well placed enemas might have done him some good. Maybe not have saved his life, but at least it would not be known that the King of Rock and Roll died on the toilet with all that baggage. I'm sure there would be hoards of fans willing to perform the Act of Release for the King free of charge. It could have been a money maker. A little embarrassing to have a super-fan down there with rubber tubing and warm liquid, yes, but watching some of his concerts near the end there just make you sad.
As a kid we went to the West for a vacation. In Montana, you can buy a jar of Buffalo dung, sufficiently dried, for $10. A souvenir. And this is before Ebay. If some person will pay money for Simon LeBon's sweaty undies, someone will pay more for a vial of Elvis Presley's feces, signed limited edition.