Ringers, and All The News That Is Poos

Pardon me while I bask in the glory of the subject line I just created.  It’s a thing of beauty.  It’s actually one of the things I enjoy most, coming up with great titles.  For instance, when my mother was thinking of hanging out her shingle as a lactation consultant, I told her she should try these taglines: “We bring out the breast in you!” and “You’ve tried the rest, now try the breast!”

Moving on.  I’ve decided to reveal another character name. After, that is, I report that I took one M.K.’s advice on dealing with a Ringer.  Hmm…I suppose this is a character name I’ve not previously revealed.  Oh well.  He’s not a major player.

So, the Ringer is a guy who talks on his phone in the bathroom.  This particular guy evidently carried a conversation into the Smelly Confines and took a Stand-Upper.  His technique was impressive, however, as he didn’t say a word for a full two minutes.  And then he started in at about 70dB.  I laughed out loud, then took my friend’s advice.

I flushed.  Repeatedly.  This was easy, as I was only in the stall to change clothes.  I also coughed really loudly as Mr. Ringer took to the sink for his requisite fake handwashing.  I hope he appreciated my efforts.

Anyway.  Have you ever been in the stall, changing clothes, when you realize that, after all, the throne is right there, and you haven’t gone in a while, and I mean, now’s as good a time as any…

Me neither.  But if it had happened, I’d have noticed a subtle shuffling of the Old Fishwrap in the stall next to me.  That’s right, I realized I was dealing with (and again I must ask you not to scream):

The Newspooper.

He’s a formidable enema enemy.  Because he ain’t goin’ nowhere.  He’s got him some serious perusing to do, and ain’t nobody gonna kick him out.  Now, maybe you’ll get lucky and he’s just got the Sports section.  But if it’s baseball season, he could decide to pore over every box score from yesterday’s games.  Face it:  he’ll be a while.  You have choices here.  You can:

1.) Bail.  There’s no shame in this.  He’s a toughie, and if you’re not prepared, he might make you cry.  Besides, if you’re worried about him popping out of his stall and catching you washing your hands (and putting a face to what he just heard you do), don’t be.  He has to fold that paper up.  It’s a thirty second job at the least.  Plenty of time to give your hands a thorough cleaning (if you’re into that).

2.) Destroy him.  Okay, so we’re actually talking about defeating him when he’s not really in the game.  Actually, he’s not really thinking about you in the other stall at all (like, say, Secret Agent Man is).  He doesn’t care that you’re there.  He’s reading, and will continue to read until such time as he stops, er, continuing to read.  Basically, he’s unpredictable.  So don’t do this unless you’re prepared.  And by prepared, I mean armed with a medium-length novel or similarly lengthy reading material.  A Kindle will do nicely, too.  You’re not guaranteed to win just because you’ve got more pages, but at least you’ve got a shot at it.

One aspect I just thought of is that Newspoopers are known to follow certain schedules.  Which means you can use him against Secret Agent Man if you want to.  And by that, I mean forcing SAM to stay longer than he perhaps wanted to, while allowing you to hand-off the domination of Mr. Agent Man.  If you can hold him in there until NP arrives, you can make Secret Agent Man’s life just that much more difficult.   And that’s always worth doing.  Maybe I’ll think about this angle a bit and blog more on it later.


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