Our littlest of hang-ups is sometimes the stuff of genius or legends.
This is neither.
I’m going to take you to the “Oh no he didn’t” category. Over the years, anyone who has known me has noticed certain idiosyncratic ticks regarding … bodily functions. More exactly, the expelling of gas in public.
I am anal about that subject. (Couldn’t resist) I do not believe in sharing my inner order with anyone, and will always excuse myself to the nearest restroom to relieve pressure.
Before I continue, I’m assuming we’re all adults here. If not, please wait till the end of my sharing before indulging in armpit noises and ‘Blazing Saddles’ references.
This is where I’ll pick up our vaporous tale. A few nights ago, I was enjoying some cinematic goodness with my girlfriend (she absolutely loathes being called that.) After the movie credits, I could feel my bladder about to burst, ( the large movie beverage will usually do that to a person , weighing in at a hefty nine gallons and all …) and I do a pee pee shuffle double time to the movieplex restroom. Understand this, I’m not trying to gross anyone out, just reporting on a curious situation I found myself in the tiled sanctuary of pee and other things.
As I expel a huge flagon of once carbonated and now used soda, I feel alone enough to also relieve some more pressure. At this point, I know I’m alone, there is no other participating pee pee dancers at any of the wall mountable toilet bowls.
From the adjacent stall, I heard the deliberate and very frightening cough, accompanied with a rustling of paper. At that moment, if Murphy’s Law was a real person, it punched me in my midsection and caused the remaining air to exit swiftly in a high pitched squeal. Here I sit, an almost forty year old, father of three, dying a fast social death, in a place where, until that moment I thought was safe for that exact purpose.
The quickening pace of more paper crumpling, trousers being pulled up hastily with an almost deafening zip of a zipper, only added to my mortification. But this is not the end of it. A figure, ( I say this because of the speed this individual was moving, figure was all I could make out), darted out from within the stall, and made a direct path to the exit. That’s right, straight to the door. No washing of the hands, to prevent whatever the crumpling paper was touching, from going forth and spreading Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye).
There I was. Alone in a three stalled, five urinal equipped movie restroom, still trying to attend to remnant dribbles of my own urine, wafting in my own musk and swimming in shame.
After a long pause, I double tapped and gathered what was left of my dignity and headed to the sinks. Depressing the soap dispenser, recreated a similar gaseous sound. I couldn’t help but laugh.
I exited the bathroom in a contemplative state, but reassured myself that I had the protocol right.
A young couple, hunched over in that “I’m telling secrets”, huddled together pose, looks my way, giggles and make for the exit.
I don’t know it happened, but in a place made for the bottom half of your body and all its functions, I’d become an outcast. A rule breaker.
Until next time my friends, I remain your obedient servant.
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