Let’s talk about going to the bathroom. Hey, come back! Hear me out.
Now, I don’t mean actually going going. This isn’t some entry about digestive health. I’m talking about the journey. Tangent incoming: you can always tell how legitimate the claims of sexual indiscretion leveled against a politician are based on how ridiculous their defenses are. It’s inversely proportional (math proves it!) “Hiking the Appalachian Trail” … “The Meaning of the Word ‘Is’” … “Follow Me Around, I Don’t Care” … where am I going with this? “Wide Stance“. Larry Craig’s memorable deflection against charges that he was soliciting sex in an airport bathroom stall (hand signals under the stall wall, a kind of ASL for weird perverts). Now, I’m not here to wide-stance you, but I do have some other stances I’d like to discuss.
Women go to the bathroom together to talk about stuff. That’s true, right? Maybe it is. I’ve never gone to the bathroom with a woman so I don’t know. One thing I can tell you is, I sure don’t go to the bathroom to talk about stuff. It is not a space for socialization, no matter how nice the acoustics are. Bathroom moments are moments I definitely do not want to share with others. So please don’t talk to me. I’m not even really comfortable chatting at the sink.
I have performance anxiety, okay? My trick is to disacknowledge even my own existence (and glance over my shoulder… I must have some deep-seated phobia that somebody’s gonna shove my head into the tile wall, or sneak up and tickle me… probably the latter), so I don’t need you coming in, acknowledging it, and shattering the illusion.
Men know about this… women, I’m sure, can piece it together… but it’s weird if you’re going, and you aren’t at least one hand in control down there. It’s weird if a guy’s standing with both arms free. Crossed across his chest all grumpy-like. Look, biology has decided over the course of millions of years of evolution that the best way to coax organisms into not retaining waste material is to make the departure of said substances feel good. So cheer up! You’re ridding yourself of stuff you don’t need anymore. It’s like a yard sale for your bladder, or finally setting down all that luggage once you get to the hotel room.
If you insist on going hands-free, consider: instead of crossing your arms like a sourpuss, raise your hands to the sky in triumph! Ain’t nobody gonna stop you now. Yelling “woooooo!” is optional but encouraged. Or, if you’re feeling majestic, put your arms akimbo like Superman. Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive. Maybe you could even vocalize one of the following theme songs:
I am more partial to the Fleischer Studios animated theme. It’s peppier, and easier to sing. Actually, John Williams music uses a lot of unusual intervals and rhythms that make even his most memorable themes tricky. Seriously, try humming the Indiana Jones theme and then immediately listen to it, I think you’ll be surprised how far off you were.
Okay, you remember how I mentioned bathroom stalls earlier, and the hand signals under the wall? Well, this is kinda about that. Yes, I am sick and tired of co-workers soliciting me for gay sex in the bathroom.
That was a lie, I made that up. That’s not a thing that happens where I work.
That I know of.
But, we do have ID cards with our pictures on them. I wear mine clipped to a belt loop. When I am, uh, situated in a stall, the name badge is just so that it’s visible under the wall in the next stall over. No way man, I don’t want my ID card face staring into the next stall. That dude’s got his own issues, he doesn’t need my horrible, horrible ID picture judging him (it is a very judgmental picture). I tuck that badge in my pocket.
There aren’t a whole lot of people in the office. I hope nobody recognizes my feet.