May 08, 2014 - 6:51 AM
Whilst browsing in the mall the other day I was once again reminded of my age, this time by my bladder.
This is a moment I dread since it involves undergoing one of the most painful rituals of adult male life: The use of a public rest room.
There is nothing restful about it.
Ladies may be permitted to enjoy the privacy of a cubicle, but gentlemen must endure a communal experience, lining up at urinals like milk cows in a barn. It’s never pleasant doing this sort of thing in company, but to disappear into a cubicle for the mere passing of water is a failure of masculinity as drastic as owning a Smart car.
Instead we test our nerves (if nothing else) by attempting to perform in front of an audience what should by any sane measure only ever be done alone. Like fishing.
I was gratified to find the entire uritorium empty, and took my place at the farthest trough from the door. No sooner had I started when the worst possible scenario unfolded. A man appeared at the urinal next to mine. And dammit, he spoke to me. If you are that man then, Sir, I have some things to say to you which for obvious reasons I couldn’t quite muster at the time:
What the hell are you thinking? Do you somehow believe I came here to socialize? I’m busy you idiot, and besides, I’m concentrating, something that after the age of fifty becomes increasingly necessary at times like these. I suppose you assume that because we’re involved in the same activity we have an obligation to communicate, but frankly I consider the current task to be more of a solitary one. And then you ask me “how’s it going?” Well it was going rather well till you walked in thank you very much. In fact it was in full flow. Now I can’t even seem to manage a dribble.
Instead of the above carefully constructed diatribe I mumbled the standard “goodthankshowareyou” before slinking away to the sinks. Then I waited outside, pretending to examine the contents of the store window opposite while watching the reflection to see when my new friend vacated the facility. As he did so I saw him stop and look in my direction, before walking away shaking his head. Only then did I realise I had been staring intently into a store that sold only lingerie.
As I turned to re-enter the washroom disaster struck when another fellow went in ahead of me. He looked like he might be a talker too. Then I spotted my salvation: the disabled washroom.
I feigned a limp as I approached in order to validate my entitlement, and once inside was able to complete the task in hand without further interruption.
And yes, it went very well. Thank you for asking.
— The Grumpy Old Git is the old guy next to you reminding you to keep your eyes on your own test.
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