Saturday, March 25, 2006

An unexpected side benefit

Our friend R. owns a small construction company in our city. Joey met him about eight years ago through one of his business partners. Over time we’ve become good friends but friends with benefits – as in, when his computer network goes down, Joey saves the day, and then R. reciprocates with doing some work on our house for free. And vice versa. Last week R.’s hard drive died so he got Gateway to send him a new one, Joey installed it and got his network back up and running, and miracle of miracles – R. didn’t lose any of his data. R. was so ecstatic that he offered to take us to dinner last night.

We went to one of the new hot spots in town. Now, we are creatures of habit and we have our usual favorite restaurants that we frequent for a good dinner, but I was intrigued by this new place. For starters, it is located in an adaptive re-use building that my company finished over two years ago – retail on the ground floor, luxury apartments on floors 2 – 5 – and they had never gotten anything to move into that space. I was anxious to see what the restaurant turned out like.

The atmosphere is very cool, albeit a little strange. For starters, the building was an old cigar factory so you have lots of exposed wood beams and then we had put in some reinforcing concrete pillars. Well, they had taken the bottom four feet of the pillars and covered them with tiny ruby-colored glass beads. Then they had this weird gold-colored chain mesh stuff hanging from the ceiling to the floor to act as a partition between the bar area and the restaurant. Very strange, as in it looked like a set in one of those soft porn movies on Showtime.

Anyhow, dinner was great (and I’ll post about the food later) and the booze was flowing freely since there were seven of us at the table and everyone was imbibing at a pretty regular rate. And I don’t know if you can relate to this, but you know how if you’ve been drinking, you get to a point where you just HAVE to pee and can’t put it off any longer? I hate that because then “the seal” is broken and then I have to pee every 5 seconds.

Around 11 PM I couldn’t put it off any longer. So I skittered my way across the slick concrete floors into the ladies’ room. A two-holer. Someone was in the second stall, so I sidled into the first stall, hung my purse up, and prepared to take care of some business. I unzipped my pants and got ready to de-trou and then discovered that the previous “lady” had left a lovely wet puddle all over the seat. Not a few drops, a freaking ¼ cup of pee. Anyone that knows me knows that I have a serious issue with people who don’t check the potty behind them. Don’t leave your liquid offerings, hair, butt crumbs (the little nuggets of toilet paper you get from wiping repeatedly), skid marks, or whatever…clean it up, dammit.

So there I am faced with a moral dilemma. It’s not that I want to sit on the seat (I’m a hoverer thanks to my mother grinding it into my brain that something nasty was going to leap on my hoo-ha if I got closer than 2” to a public toilet), but there’s the decision of how to handle this…lift the seat up, sending the liquid cascading onto the back of the toilet and then onto the floor, or use some toilet paper to at least soak up some of the liquid. I decided to try and clean it up a little bit so at least pee wouldn’t be flying everywhere.

I reached over to grab a wad of toilet paper off of the roll. I hadn’t really checked out the general layout or style of the stall (that’s another weird thing about me – I am always checking out toilet partitions like the construction geek that I am), but the toilet paper dispenser wasn’t your typical commercial-grade type where you have rolls the size of beach balls locked in a huge plastic trap. This was an actual residential-style toilet paper holder but it was the hook style that is open at one end. Well, whoever the rocket scientist is that designed this toilet paper holder should be shot, because the second I pulled on the end of the roll it shot off of the holder and went rolling out of the stall and across the ladies’ room. So there I am – dying to pee, pants already unzipped, stuck with a seat covered in pee, holding the end of a roll of toilet paper while the rest of it is way across the restroom.

In typical fashion of my usual luck, the person in the next stall had already de-camped, so I had no allies at that moment. I zipped back up, came back out of the stall, and chased the roll of paper until I caught it. Yeah, I ended up with about 40 FEET of toilet paper. Most of it had stayed off of the floor thanks to my stellar handling abilities, so I decided to use the clean part to do the seat defunking and the rest went into a little Lilliputian-sized trash can that they had in the sink area.

Back in the stall again, I ripped off huge wads of paper and wiped off the seat. One wad was deposited into the toilet so I could flush it down and not cause more problems by clogging up the toilet (how embarrassing would that be….). I press the button, and…the damn thing won’t flush. Press it again, and it makes this half-hearted attempt to flush, but at least the paper went down. Another wad of paper later, and the same thing happened. It was really weird but I figured perhaps it was one of those stupid low-flow toilets they were using to conserve on water.

Cleanup completed, I finally got myself de-troued and began The Squat. I have killer leg muscles from all the walking I’ve been doing, so my hovering has become more proficient. Maybe a little too proficient. I was breaking new records in squat height last night and I was so proud of myself. I was not going to be a seat sprayer, no siree!

The next thing I knew, as I was hovering over the seat, that damn toilet started flushing like it probably had never flushed before. I’m talking water velocity and height the likes of which I have never seen. I’m talking bidet city. And the stupid thing flushed and sprayed over and over again like it was possessed. You have never seen someone rocket out of a bathroom stall so fast like I did last night. So I pulled myself back together, disinfected the exposed areas of my body, and skittered on back to the table where everyone was waiting on me.

Joey: Everything OK?

Me: The toilet in there is possessed, I swear to God.

Joey: Huh?

Me: Never mind. Let’s just say that I feel springtime fresh now.

My apologies to the lady who used the stall before I did last night. I regret questioning your moral fiber. I suspect it wasn’t your carelessness that lead to the unpleasant surprise on the seat. My question for you, though – do you feel fresh like a mountain breeze today like I do?

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