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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!

Nature Calling, Can You Hold?

I had an interesting bathroom experience tonight. As with all interesting bathroom experiences, I’ve decided to share. Lucky you, eh?

“We proceeded in silence, as men are wont to do in these circumstances. No chitchat. No eye contact. No acknowledgement whatsoever of the presence of another exposed penis in the vicinity.”

To set the stage, I should mention that I usually keep my cell phone on ‘vibrate’. I don’t like causing a ruckus, or attracting the attention of a roomful of people when someone decides to phone me up. To me, a cell phone call should be private. As private, say, as a small metal device vibrating near one’s crotch, for instance. What a coincidence.

Tonight, however, my ringer was on. The missus and I were out for dinner and drinks, and some friends would be calling soon to join us. I had the phone out of my pocket for a while, so I turned it up to hear the ring.

You should already see where this is going. I’ll continue, nonetheless.

Around nine o’clock, I excused myself for a tinkle, and made my way to the bar bathroom. There are two urinals in this particular rest room; I occupied the one closer to the door, and proceeded with my business. A few seconds later, another pee-packing patron walked in, and began to use the other urinal.

We proceeded in silence, as men are wont to do in these circumstances. No chitchat. No eye contact. No acknowledgement whatsoever of the presence of another exposed penis in the vicinity. It’s this sort of plausible deniability that allows most of us to sleep at night.

After a minute or so, my cell phone rang. Only, my cell phone doesn’t ring, exactly. Though I usually have it on ‘vibrate’, I do like to have a unique ring, so I immediately know whether it’s my phone that’s going off in a crowded room. To that end, I chose the Liberty Bell March as my ringtone.

(That’s the theme song played during the credits of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, by the way. I didn’t just choose a classical piece at random. I’m not weird like that.

No, instead I chose a very specific classical piece that evokes memories of a thirty-year-old British TV show often featuring men in drag, a nude organist, and something called the ‘Fish-Slapping Dance‘. That’s exactly the sort of weird I am.)

So now I find myself urinating next to a stranger, while the Liberty Bell March emanates loudly from my nether regions. At some point, I’d put the phone back into my front left pocket, and it chirped away happily from that position.

Da dum da dum da-dah-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum…

The guy at the other urinal turned his head toward me, presumably with a ‘Are you going to get that?‘ sort of look. But since his pants weren’t making any noise, I was still under obligation not to look his way. I kept peeing, praying silently the caller would hang up.

…da dum da dum da dah-dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum…

Still, the phone rang on. I could almost feel the other guy leaning over, about to say something. I resisted the urge to shout, ‘Eyes on your own paper!!‘, shut my eyes tight, and wished I could crawl and hide under the urinal cake.

Or preferably, somewhere far less disgusting.

…da dum dah-dummity dah dum, da-dum, da-dum, da-dah

See, here’s the thing — I’m a lefty holder. Maybe that’s weird, being right-handed and all, but in the peeing department, I hold with my left. I’m not sure why, really. Maybe it’s to keep my ‘good’ hand free for any emergencies that might arise during the process. Though I shudder to think what those might be.

And after all, the ‘hold’ itself isn’t so complicated as to require the finer control of my right hand. It’s a fairly simple procedure, really — the original ‘point and shoot’ interface, if you will.

But with the phone also in my left pocket, I was helpless. A hand transfer seemed too risky. I certainly wasn’t about to ‘fly solo’, even for an instant — not with Mr. Copilot next to me already focused on my situation. And there was no way I could reach all the way over with my right hand, into my pocket, and pull out the phone. Not without defiling on the wall, anyway. Or possibly the ceiling.

So I pretended not to notice.

dum dah-dummity dum dah-dummity…

Meanwhile, the other guy was done, and zipping up. I knew — I just knew — that he wanted to say something before he left. I can understand that. I’m a card-carrying smartass, myself.

But I also knew that if he said anything like what I might have come up with — like ‘You want me to get that?‘ or ‘Nice Python!‘ — I likely would have startled, and peed all up and down one of our shirts. Mine, if I was only surprised, but probably his, if he had a really good zinger.

dum dah-dum da DUM!

Thankfully, the guy left without a word. A few seconds later, I finished up, zipped my pants, and fished with my finally-free left hand — hygiene be damned in an emergency! — for the phone. I flipped the clamshell open just in time for the song to stop, and the ‘MISSED CALL‘ message to appear. Bitches.

So I washed my hands — and rinsed off the phone, to be safe — and trudged back to our table at the bar, a little lighter in the bladder but red-faced and shaken from the ordeal. And I immediately set my phone back to vibrate, where it shall remain until they pry it from my cold, dead hands. The next time I hear the ‘Liberty Bell March’, it had better be followed by some English fool in a dress and an old lady wig prattling on about Spam.

And hopefully, I won’t be airing out my winkie in a bathroom when it happens. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Permalink  |  5 Comments

5 Responses to “Nature Calling, Can You Hold?”

  1. Jerry says:

    I think I would have feigned deafness, and used sign language for the rest of the night. But then, why would a deaf guy has a cell phone with the ringer turned on.

    I’m beginning to think that you are just not ready to be integrated with the general public.

  2. #Debi says:

    I have that exact same ringtone on my phone! I got it because I knew no one else in my circle would have it and it’s a good way of knowing it’s my phone ringing. And it suits my personality. I’m not sure what that says about me (or you, for that matter)…

  3. kerry says:

    i now feel i know WAAAY too much about you.

  4. Lori Hahn says:

    You sucked me right into this…being the mom of two teenage boys, the bathroom humor is typically something that sends me screaming into the night, headed for the nearest liquor store for some sedation…but, this was hilarious. I’m sending it to my 16 year old and will remind him that he needs to step up to the next level in bathroom humor if he’s ever going to be all that he can be as a man!

  5. Roofie Raccoon says:

    It’s tidbits like this which seem to sit in the back of my mind until I one day need to call upon them. I can’t imagine how it will come about that I’ll need this information but I’m certain that I will.

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