Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Restroom Confessional: Double Dip and a Character Name Revealed!!!!

Yesterday I had an experience that highlights the need for my book. I encountered one of the most fearsome and loathsome creatures in the Restroom World. And in this post, I will reveal his name. I must ask you not to scream when I do. Although laughter would be wholly appropriate.

At some point yesterday, it occurred to me that it was time to hit the stall. Being a wise and prudent Workplace Restroom Patron, I first obtained reading material. This would be a major factor in what transpired.

I hit the restroom, noting that the far stall was taken (the spacious, handicapped-accessible stall with the broken latch).  Let’s call it Stall C.  Going with the standard Buffer Stall, I took Stall A (the one bordering the urinals and containing The Drain).  All was well.

And then the Great Silence descended.  Now, I’m a guy who likes some Cover Sound, and the Great Silence, as you might imagine, is somewhat lacking in Cover Sound.  Fortunately, a friendly-neighborhood Stand-Upper came to the rescue, flushing both before and after doing his bidness.  Cover Sound obtained.

So there I was, basically ready to leave, but I thought a bit more recon was in order.  The Great Silence descended again.  Then, another stall occupant appeared.  Took Stall B.  We were now at Full Capacity.  And within ten seconds, I knew we were dealing with Mr. IckBerry.  Good…you didn’t scream.  Because this isn’t even the guy I was telling you not to scream about.  This is the guy who feels that the restroom is the perfect place to catch up on some emails.  He’s the long-lost-brother of Phone-Guy (pronounced in a manner similar to “Fungi”), who talks on the phone.

(BTW, bonus strategery courtesy via my friend MK:  “Flush!”  Mr. Phongi can’t handle the flushing when he’s trying to carry on a conversation.  Now go kick his unclothed backside!)

So there’s IckBerry, pecking away on his stupid contraption, and still not a sound from Stall C.  It was then I realized who we were dealing with:

Please try not to faint.

It was Secret Agent Man!!!!!

Still okay?  These guys are tough, and you need to be prepared for them, even before my book comes out (which totally won’t happen until I write it).  You need to know a couple of things about Secret Agent Man:

  1. He makes no sound.
  2. He does not want to be seen.
  3. He’s a person, too.  I think.

Basically, this is the guy who won’t make a move (or movement) or a sound until the restroom is empty.  At least that’s his game.  Which means his major tactic is the Wait-Out.  He’ll just hang out there with his hemorrhoids until you bug out.

If you bug out.

Actually, in this case, I could’ve sworn Secret Agent Man took off.  And since I was there before IckBerry, I knew it was my duty to leave first.  So I did.  But Stall C was still occupied!!  Filled with a sense of righteous indignation, I waited until the new Stand-Upper was situated at the Vertical Relief Station, then took a peek under the stall.  Same shoes.  I knew I had just been defeated by Secret Agent Man.  Blast!!!  I left the restroom in abject defeat.

Then, inspiration struck.  No way was Secret Agent Man going to leave while IckBerry was still there.  So, I grabbed a drink of water and waited.  The flush I heard about a minute later was from the Stand-Upper (you, too, can train yourself to recognize flushes).  I listened for Mr. Urinal’s fake handwashing to conclude (which it did, and quickly), then for his exit.

And then I went back in.  The nightmare for Secret Agent Man is the Shift Change, where a stall empties out, only to be immediately reoccupied.  Leaving Secret Agent Man another five to twenty minutes of waiting for this guy to leave.

I’ll admit, I did have a slight bit of trepidation, that IckBerry might recognize my shoes and try to defeat me.  But I had everything going for me in terms of the prospects for Defeating Secret Agent Man:

  1. No pressing work-related distractions.
  2. Reading material.
  3. No need to actually use the toilet.
  4. Fast approach of the top of the hour.

Number 1 is nice, since it meant I didn’t have to blow off any actual work to vanquish my foe.  Although I’d be willing to sacrifice a little bit of work for this opportunity.  Number 2 (heh) is a must-have, because otherwise this gets boring really quick.  Number 3 is unnecessary but nice, and Number 4 is absolutely essential.  Odds are, Secret Agent Man might have something to do at the top of the hour.  Like a meeting, perhaps.  It’s pressure, and it works.

I’ll admit that my resolve wavered a bit when the five-minute mark passed on my second stay, with no sound but the pressing of Biohazard Blackberry Buttons.  Then ten minutes.  This is where the reading material comes it really handy.

Ultimately, I won.  And actually, I’ve got to hand it to IckBerry, because he hung in there, too.  And he even put some pressure on Secret Agent Man.  Once SAM started to stir, about three minutes till the top of the hour, IckBerry spotted him ten seconds or so and commenced his Exit Countdown.  Remember that Secret Agent Man doesn’t want to be seen.  It was amusing, watching him go into Turbo Mode at the sink.  (I’ll give him credit for proper handwashing, SAM though he be.)

Secret Agent Man got out without incident, followed closely by IckBerry.  And then by me.  There was somebody at the urinal at this point, so I flushed for propriety’s sake.  And I washed my unsoiled hands.  Urinal Guy didn’t have any such pretentions, and went for a record-breaking Fake Washing.  Of course, this was the guy whose BO emanates into the hallway from his office, so I can’t say I was shocked.

The really amusing thing I noticed while thoroughly washing my already clean hands was the new Stall Dweller.  He came in while I was washing, took a step into Stall A (which had recently been my hermitage), noted the moving water, and relocated to Stall B.  Clearly, he recognized Stall A was a Hot Zone.  I didn’t think other people knew about Hot Zones.  But I guess they do.

By the way, I didn’t mention that during the Standoff with Secret Agent Man and IckBerry, no less than three men came in and needed a walk all the way over to Stall C to realize we were at Full Capacity.  The closed stall doors weren’t enough for these geniuses.  Nonetheless, their lack of relief falls at the door of Secret Agent Man.  You can’t blame IckBerry for holding out for the proper Exit Order.  You can, perhaps, blame me for the Double Dip, and I’m willing to accept it.  This is a war, and you can’t make an omelet without causing some people severe abdominal distress.

So, there you have it.  I didn’t lay out the full Secret Agent Man profile or strategy, as I will in the book (actually, that chapter is already done).  But I couldn’t wait for publication.  This was too important.  And now you know, and knowing is half the battle.  The other half involves Preparation H.


Restroom Humor: The Sound of Silence

And now for some classic Simon & Garfunkel:

When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of
A neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

Just keep that lyric about the light that split the night in mind here.  And now, on with the show!!!

This made me laugh until I stopped. And then some. And it’s definitely bathroom humor, at least by my mom’s definition.  Fake commercials are, to me, the best part of SNL (and other shows, too). This one, lobbed at my by one of my dear sisters, is truly wrong.

Defies Categorization: Don't Eat Where You…

Most people have heard the saying, “Don’t [relieve yourself] where you eat,” as pertains particularly to workplace relationships. However, I’ve just become aware of a restaurant that flips the saying on its head and does its level best to ruin your appetite.

It’s in Taiwan, and it’s called Modern Toilet Restaurant.  I can’t sum up the apparent dining experience better than the Time Magazine article Mr. K sent me:

Every customer sits on a stylish acrylic toilet (lid down) designed with images of roses, seashells or Renaissance paintings. Everyone dines at a glass table with a sink underneath. The servers bring your meal atop a mini toilet bowl (quite convenient, as it brings the food closer to your mouth), you sip drinks from your own plastic urinal (a souvenir), and soft-swirl ice cream arrives for dessert atop a dish shaped like a squat toilet.

Yeah.  And the menu is, well, unique and consistent.  Just imagine what your soft-serve chocolate ice cream is likely to approximate.  Actually, don’t imagine it.  These are the Interwebs, after all.  Why don’t I just show you?



I’m actually surprised I haven’t seen this place featured on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.  I mean, he went to a restaurant specializing in mayonaisse once…

I’m afraid I’m letting Mr. K down here, because I can’t come up with much to say about this.  Go visit the page and see if you aren’t similarly speechless.  I’m thinking the best thing one could say is what I heard once from Bart Simpson:  “It’s craptacular!”