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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

There’s Such a Thing as Being Too Comfortable at Work

Okay, folks — here goes. I promised you a post involving my penis — albeit only incidentally — and dammit, I’m gonna deliver.

(Actually, I hate to think of my penis as being merely ‘incidental’ to anything, frankly, so maybe I should rephrase that. Let’s just say that my muffin-poker is not going to be the funny part of this story. For once.

On the other hand, ‘muffin-poker’ might be. Hee!)

While I’m in the mood to settle scores, too, I’ll finally be a good boy and let you in on the nasty, horrible, gruesome stuff that I mentioned a few posts ago. Except that I still don’t want to gross out the two readers who didn’t comment, begging to sully their brains with such things, so I’m still going to leave it up to a reliable third party to give you the scoop. But I’ll at least provide you links, you filthy dirty perverts, you. Don’t click if you can’t handle the truth, now:

Don’t say I didn’t warn you, folks. And I didn’t want to know, either. We’re all goin’ straight to hell, you know that, right?

Okay. Shake it off, now. Let’s forget we ever spoke about any of that nasty business, and get back to the story-that’s-not-really-about-my-penis-but-that’s-all-you-know-so-far. Deep breath. Here we go.

So, I was at Tequila Rain on Friday night, waiting for the Sox game to get rained out. There were a few of us there drinking together, planning out the evening. And, as is wont to happen after a few tasty Guinness, I eventually had to make tinkles in the little boys’ room.

(Except I didn’t say I ‘have to make tinkles’, of course. Grown men don’t say such things in that situation. It’s not nearly manly or tough or suggestive enough. No. When a guy is out with other guys and he needs to go winkles, he’s got to say something like:

Dude, I’m gonna go wiggle the lizard.

Or:

I’ll be right back. I’m gonna squeeze the firehose.

Or how about:

Gimme another beer. I gotta whip up some Cheez Whiz.

It’s nearly impossible to just say, ‘Hey! I’m pissing!‘ any more. And it doesn’t stop there — oh, no. You can’t simply announce a number two, either. Now, you’ve got to come up with some clever shit to mean ‘shit’. Specifically, shit like:

Oh, brother. I’m gonna hafta go park a couple of Buicks soon.

Or maybe:

Oof. Feels like it’s time to drop another head of lettuce into the salad shooter.

Or:

Be right back, fellas. I gotta go see a man about a dog.

Yeah, I never understood that last one, either, frankly. These bathroom euphemisms are just getting way damned out of hand. I don’t even know what’s being referenced any more. The other day, a guy said to me:

Be with you in a second — I gotta slip a beaver in the bucket.

A ‘beaver in the bucket’? What the hell does that mean? A number one? A two? Is he stepping out for a quickie? Feeding the parking meter? Wha?

Okay, I made that last one up. Still. It’s getting ridiculous. That’s all I’m saying. ‘Beaver in the bucket‘. Hee!)

All right. Lost my place there. Where the hell was I, anyway?

Oh, right. Taking a piss in Tequila Rain. Moving right along, then.

So, I headed to the head. Where I was reminded — for approximately the 7,427,831st time — that I would make a horrible rich guy.

(No, smartass, that part has nothing to do with my penis. My penis has yet to make an appearance. Be patient. And shaddup.)

In this case, I was reminded because the establishment — a fairly nice restaurant/sports bar/club combination — had a bathroom attendant. And I never know what to do when these people are around.

In case you’ve never run into this particular phenomenon — like if you’re a woman, maybe, or if you hang out in even divier bars than I do (if that’s possible) — I’ll explain. The bathroom attendant is a man who sits on a little stool in the rest room and tries not to watch you pee. Meanwhile, your job is to pee while you pretend that he’s not there at all. Then, as you prepare to leave the area, you’re supposed to let him hand you a towel, or brush off your shirt, or… I don’t know. Sometimes there’s a basket of mints or something on the counter — I guess you can take a mint, if you want. Why anyone would take candy from a stranger paid to pretend he’s not watching you piss, I don’t know. The whole damned phenomenon is creepy, if you ask me.

Anyway, if you partake of any of the various services that the gentleman might be offering, then you’re of course obligated to leave him a bit of cash for a tip. Fine. Fee for service, quid pro quo — call it what you will. I’ve got nothing against capitalism; I’m just not altogether comfortable practicing it with a guy in a bow tie offering me a Junior Mint in the bathroom, is all. And with all the euphemisms flying around those places, lord knows what he really means by ‘Junior Mint’, eh? *shudder*

But back to the story. I walked in, did my business, and… well, to be quite honest, I just walked out. Now, that’s going to shock some of you, I imagine. Not necessarily because it was rude to the guy or anything, but because in this case, he was holding — some might say ‘guarding’ — the paper towels. So, if I didn’t tangle with him, that means I didn’t wash my hands. And I didn’t. I’ll admit that. It happens.

See, here’s the thing — I do often wash my hands after using the bathroom. Always at work, usually at home, and faithfully after a number two trip. But there are times — and particularly out at a bar, where everything is generally filthy already — where I don’t see the point. Besides the fact that I’m certain my hands are already dirty before going in there, two things jump to mind:

A.) I’m not really getting my hands dirty. I unzip, I reach in, I haul out the equipment, and I make sure the business end is pointing away — always away — throughout the entire procedure. At worst, I’m using maybe three fingers to… uh, I mean, like eight fingers. Yeah, eight — and both thumbs, mind you! And a sling, and… and… a tripod. Yeah, a tripod! And… well, you get the idea. So long as I don’t physically piss myself, the ‘damage’ to my cleanliness seems pretty damned minimal. And:

2.) I’m not convinced what I’m touching is really ‘dirty’ to begin with. You’re not supposed to handle something if you don’t know where it’s been, right? Well, of all the things in the damned world, my winkie is the one where I know where it’s been, for the past thirty years or so. And besides, it’s in my pants, which were clean when I put them on. And for that matter, I’d just had a shower when I got dressed, so I was clean when I put them on. How exactly does washing my hands apply, again?

So, I walked out. Other guys were coming and going, and washing, and taking towels and leaving money, so I didn’t feel too bad about it. Sure, the guy works in a mens’ room, which sucks. But based on the pile of cash he was accumulating there, he’s not gonna starve any time soon. Probably makes more than I do.

Still, I felt a little odd. I never know what to do in these situations, where I’m expected to tip people for things I don’t necessarily want, when I’m not completely comfortable with them being there in the first place. I’m that way with bellhops, and valets, and yes, bathroom attendants. Telemarketers give me the creeps, too, for similar reasons.

(Oddly enough, I’m willing to make an exception for strippers. I like to think that means I’m making ‘progress’. My wife thinks it means I’m a ‘horndog’. You say to-MAY-to; I say to-MAH-to…)

So, an hour or so later, when my bulging bladder and I had to head back to the bathroom, I decided to throw the guy a bone.

(Not — repeat not — a euphemism, people. I decided to ‘throw him a bone’, not ‘throw‘ him a ‘bone‘. Keep those beavers out of the buckets out there, dammit.)

So, I went back in — the bathroom happened to be empty this time — and again, made sweet, sweet tinkles. I also made sure — not simultaneously, you understand — that I had a couple of one-dollar bills in my pocket. Then, I walked over to the sinks, squirted some soap, washed my hands, and turned to the guy for a paper towel off the roll in his hand.

And he was asleep. Just sitting there, on his stool, propped up against the wall, sound asleep. Clutching the only roll of paper towels in the room to his chest. And snoring, ever so softly.

I stood there for a minute, with my soaking-wet hands, just looking at him and considering my next move. Should I wake him up? Should I try to pry the towels from him and take one? And if I did, should I leave a tip? I mean, he’d actually just made the job of washing my hands harder, not easier — that hardly seems worth a buck. And what would I do with the towels? Just leave them out on the counter, robbing him of income and encouraging everyone to take one? It’d be anarchy, dammit. Creepy, surreal anarchy. And I wasn’t going to go there.

So, I just walked out, hands dripping on the floor. I got back to the bar, snagged a half-dozen drink napkins off the bar, and dried my hands. And cursed whoever out there came up with the bright idea of ‘bathroom attendants’ in the first place. Apparently, they’re supposed to make a place seem ‘classy’. But it just makes me feel icky and self-conscious. Which I don’t need, of course. I mean, I think I draw enough attention in the bathroom already, coming in there with the sling and the tripod and all. Ohhhh, yeah. Giggity!

(Note to self: ‘Bathroom humor’ quota officially met for next six months with one post. Nice job, self!)

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One Response to “There’s Such a Thing as Being Too Comfortable at Work”

  1. Stevie says:

    Okay, ya made me hurt myself laughing this time. I think I dislodged an organ… my liver maybe.

    It’s all good, as long as it wasn’t Eric’s organ… right?

    (See what happens when ya get start in with the “winkie” humor? lol)

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