Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Man At The Urinal vs. The Man In The Stall ("Hello? Is Anybody There?")

In an attempt to drink more water, I...drink more water at work now. So, with my stunning knowledge of science and biology, I step away from my desk for a few urinal stands throughout the day.

At work, those seconds of standing at the urinal seem like a really relaxing break when you're by yourself. So I feel an unrequited, mild rage when I see someone else at the other urinal. It's like we're two guys on separate breaks next to each other. Ugh. It's just a drag.

However, it's not as awkward as it is at a job where you know everyone, because then you think that you have to strike up conversation while both of you are holding your junk. No, instead, here at this job, I don't know anyone, so I'm allowed to urinate in silence, staring at the cold, white tiles in peace. But, it's reversed when it's a guy in the stall and a guy at the urinal, because then you can laugh about it later or maybe you feel more comfortable. I don't know, but because it seems that no one knows anybody here, it makes the guy at the urinal vs. the guy in the stall stand-off a little more awkward for the guy sitting down.

As I have always been the guy at the urinal here, I don't feel that awkward. But I have a very immediate image in my head when I walk into the bathroom to use the urinal and I hear the rustling of toilet paper from a closed stall. The guy will be coughing and moving his shoes until I come into use the urinal, and, suddenly, the man becomes so outrageously self-conscious (as do many men) that he stops moving, doesn't make a single sound and I wonder if he's stopped breathing as well. But, a lot of times, like most men, I like to think that this man has been looking for an escape out of fear and soon hears the footsteps in the distance, pushing him to look around his stall with wide eyes, asking, "Hello? Is anybody there?"

I've considered this scenario many times (just about every time it's just me at the urinal and a guy in the stall who becomes deathly silent upon my entering the bathroom). And I like the idea of him seeming hopeless, like he's been trapped in the stall for weeks, starved and sad. It's not sadistic, but it would make my bathroom breaks much more exciting.

I've thought about what my response would be (given that someone actually ever says, "Hello? Is anybody there?"). I have decided that a demon voice would be the obvious choice and wouldn't disappoint. Because for a man to ask, "Hello? Is anybody there?", is so out of fear that I would have to continue the charade. Or next time I should walk into the bathroom with chains, make a few shrieking sounds and then pitter-patter my feet out of there. And that'd probably make his bathroom break more exciting too! See, I'm a charitable guy.

I was once in a similar situation but with roles reverse. I was in a stall once some years ago and a boy came into the bathroom to use the urinal. I was enjoying the quiet sound and comforting glow of the mall bathroom before he came along and I just generally didn't care for this kid's random humming. So, clearly, since I have always been so very mature, I decided to make a horrific booming growl that I thought sounded like the balrog from Lord Of The Rings.

The boy was instantly silent. Finally, he asked, "Hello? Is anybody there?"

Hearing his voice travel as I could tell he was looking around, I lifted my legs so that it appeared that no one was in the bathroom (just in case he looked under the stalls). I had to bite my lips to keep from giggling (again, savagely mature, I was). Newly uncomfortable, the boy washed his hands and got the hell out of there. The bathroom returned to its wonderful, harmonious grace and I was happy once more.

Anyway, the point is...well, I guess didn't have one, but I just want that guy in the stall to say, "Hello? Is anybody there?" SO. FUCKING. BADLY.

1 comment:

Stephanie Vu said...

hahahhaha i love this