Here’s a rundown of all the dangers we face every day:
7. The person who takes his/her coffee mug into the bathroom, puts it by the sink, and then leaves without it.
Anything that enters into a bathroom is contaminated. That includes your coffee mug, the food you hadn’t finished chewing yet, even your bubble gum. All is lost. If you bring it into a bathroom, it’s garbage. So you might as well just throw that mug right into the trash can as soon as you get in there. Or, screw it, just keep drinking from it while you’re on the can. What difference does it make? This is your life now.
6. The person who never flushes quite enough
I don’t want to go into more detail here, I really don’t. Just, come on. Give the ol’ bowl a look-see when you’re all finished up. You know what, let’s all start flushing twice, just in case. There’s literally no risk here. Sure, you’re wasting water, and maybe you’re trying to conserve. But at what cost?
5. The person who farts
Okay, we’ve all been there. Things happen. You’re in a den of sin now, where bad things happen to worse people and sometimes you fart. You didn’t mean to. You didn’t even know it was happening.
Or did you? Did you feel it start to poke its smoky tendril toward the airlock door? Did you wonder if maybe this time, just this one time, the universe and all its gods would let you sneak one out without anyone noticing?
Did you think, “I’m in a bathroom, isn’t this what it’s for?” and just throw all caution to the so-to-speak wind and let slip the particulates of biochemical war?
You did, didn’t you?
4. The woman who’s taken up a water cleanse and sees more of the insides of a stall than her own family
We get it. Water is, like, super healthy. But at some point, you’re just adding more water to water, right? Plus, water can kill you. So is it really worth the risk? Just keep drinking coffee, so at least when you’re in the bathroom you have time to use your phone.
3. The guy who wants to talk to you
So, you’re at the urinal. And maybe there’s a guy next to you. Or maybe, even worse, he’s heading into the stall. And he’s talking to you. He’s saying words to you while you are currently touching your you-know-what-but-let’s-not-say-it-because-Jesus-is-listening and what are you supposed to do now? It doesn’t feel right. It feels too intimate, like maybe this is the closest you’ll ever be to another person and you never asked for this.
So you mutter a “yeah, tell me about it,” hit the flush, wash your hands, and call your lover and tell her you’re sorry.
2. The older guy who takes the newspaper with him, and then puts it right back on the stack with the rest of them, as if he didn’t just contaminate the whole goddamn pile
First of all, this is what your phone is for, and why you should never touch another person’s iPhone. Second, it’s garbage now. Throw it out. Throw out your bubble gum and your coffee mug. Hell, keep a change of clothes in your office so you can destroy the ones that spent those fateful minutes with you as you disposed of your sins.
Also, we know you’re only reading the Sports section anyway, because that’s the section of the newspaper specially reserved for the worst of us. So just take it. Take that section, read about the scores and the hits and highlights. Celebrate your team’s victory or their crushing defeat. Read about what might have been if only they’d sunk that basket, or join in their victory as you sink your own.
Just, don’t bring it back. Throw it out. Burn it. Shove it into the toilet and hit the flush over and over and over until all that’s left is soggy paper, a flooded floor, and everything you’ve ever deserved.
1. The person who takes a call while in a stall
There is no emergency worth doing this. Whoever died will still be dead in a few minutes. Hardly any more dead. Oh, it’s your spouse calling you, and she/he knows where you are? Cool. Great. Now I know everything about you and your nasty family.
But, at the same time, don’t you envy this person? Like the person who walks into the grocery store, parks their cart a foot from the door, and starts reading the flyer as if there’s no one else in the world other than them. The person who thinks, “I’m here, I’m happy, and isn’t that all that matters?”
What sort of elevated sense of self do you have to have to swipe “Answer” at a time like this? What sort of spiritual awakening must you have had to say, “This is a good idea”?
I want to be you, I now realize. I want to share your world and bask in its earthy scent.
Tell me your secrets, whisper them into my ear as from under a stall’s door, and let me know what I must to do to join you.