Asparagus Pee and Other Bathroom Musings

There is a fine line.
Wondering if I crossed it…
Or just nudged it some.

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Not sure why, and not sure I really want to delve into why, but every time lately when I enter a bathroom I begin studying what is happening rather intently. My own habits, the habits of others, where things are placed, how we behave towards each other while in there, etc. I have come to realize several rather startling things. So of course, I’m going to tell you about them now.

1. I wonder what cavemen thought when, after eating asparagus, their pee smelled funny.  Personally, I wondered once when it happened many years ago, Google’d it and learned all about it. Now when it happens I just nod in understanding. How odd to have it happen to you 20,000 years ago and not understand. “Ugh… ugh ugh… UGGGHHH!” I would love to see that cave drawing…

File:Asparagus image.jpg

image from Wikipedia

2. Do you ever want to apologize when you are at work and have to go #2 and it is the most appalling smell ever and someone comes in the bathroom? I have so been tempted to say something like “I’m sorry, something died in my colon… they aren’t sure what it is but they said it would eventually stop.” or the more fun version ” Boy, howdy! What in the good lord’s name did I eat? That’s the last time I have Skyline Chili with a White Castle chaser!” Like I said, very tempting…

3. Point 2 is made all the worse when there are only two stalls. At least when there are three stalls I feel a little better that the person can get away.

4.   But then when there are 3 stalls (and point 2 above is still in play), and I’m politely ensconced in the end stall… why in blazes does the newcomer take the middle stall? My god, can’t you smell that? Get away!!

5. Are you a stall skipper or fill-er-in-er? In point 4, and assuming a normal circumstance, would you leave a polite gap between you and the other person or sidle up nice and close? I’m a skipper.

6. Do you have a favorite stall?

7. I read an article once that the cleanest public toilet seat is the toilet closest to the door. No one wants to pick the first stall because they assume everyone picks it, but for just that reason, it IS the cleanest. Who does this testing? And what does that mean about the stall furthest from the door? Ewww.

8. Why haven’t those little garbage cans evolved even the slightest in the last 50 years?  I’ve seen the versions in other countries – they are cool. But we get these WWI leftovers for some reason.

9. Do you think urinal cakes, like their edible cousins, are now being replaced by urinal cupcakes?

10.  What is it about public toilet door construction that they can’t manufacture it with a smaller gap? While out today at an art fair, the gap was thicker than my palm.  I leaned to the side, somehow convincing myself that if I couldn’t see them, they couldn’t see me. (Beevis & Butthead moment… art fair…. fart air…. heh heh, heh heh…)

11. No matter what, while walking past a bathroom at work at the exact moment someone opens the door to exit it, I have to look at them. What am I expecting to see?  I even do it when it is a men’s room. It is mortifying… almost a reflex. I really have to concentrate when it happens to not lift my gaze. Weird.

12. I brought in a can of air freshener for one of the bathrooms at work. And now I’m totally creeped out to pick it up. Do you wash your hands first and then spray it? Or try to quickly cover your tracks and wash second. And regardless of what you do, what did the person before you do? I’ve stopped using that particular bathroom now…

Not at all sure how to wrap this up. Crumple or fold…

Men, Magazines and Me

A sewage eating
rodent died in Frank’s colon
gack…help…must…not…breathe….
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I have been trying for ages to find something to write about that would fit the above haiku. It is one of my all time favorites, obviously not for its artistic quality but for how I believe every person living with a grown man can identify with it and readily reflect back to their own version.

I know, it’s gross, but if you are here looking for high art, then I suggest the back button. (Note, my last posting was the anomaly, not this one…)

Anyway, my inspiration was cleaning. About once a month, usually with the waxing moon, I am possessed enough to clean and straighten the house to mother-in-law acceptability. This time, as I was working my way through one of the bathrooms (“… playdoh goes downstairs… coat hanger to the closet… legos to AB’s room… fork (fork!?! eww, who eats in here!?) to the kitchen…”) I came across our requisite stack of magazines. Well, HIS requisite stack of magazines. If there is a publication about something with wheels, he receives it at alarmingly quick intervals. And then he reads each one, cover to cover.

In 30 minute increments.

Twice a day.

In one of two bathrooms.

Yes, I have two bathrooms containing stacks of his magazines.

Now, I have no issue with his love of literature. I have no issue with the regular exercising of his internal organs. My issue is that said literature keeps expanding said exercise periods such that I’m not sure he does anything but poop between dropping off the kids in the morning and picking our son up before lunch. I also resent the number of trees killed between his magazine obsession and, well, his other paper filled endeavors.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it were just a few magazines. I mean, as a guest in someone’s house, it is always interesting to nose about in their bathroom reading material on your way to picking through the medicine cabinet, right? It gives great insight about your friends, and provides much gossip for the car ride home. But I’m a little self-conscious about what people must think when looking through ours… Here is what I imagine goes through their head.

1. Good grief, how much reading can one man do in the bathroom?

2. What’s the difference between Rod & Custom and Hot Rod Magazine? All the cars look the same.

3.  This is a book called “Building A Shed”. It has 218 pages. What in god’s name does he do in here?

4. Street Rodder? Car Craft? Really? I didn’t know that there were this many magazines about cars. See point 2… I’m confused. Wait, is that a hot chick on the cover… cool.

5. Fine Homebuilding Magazine. Never heard of it. “15 different ways to put in stair railings”. Man that sounds boring.  What’s in the medicine cabinet…

And then they emerge, a little shell-shocked, because the medicine cabinet only reaffirms their belief that we are a little weird  (6 different types of children medicines, most out of date, 3 tampons, 2 tile samples and bag of cough drops).

Oh well. I picked him nearly 20 years ago, so I guess I’m stuck with him (plus, as I’ve said before, I’m no picnic either).  I’ll just keep buying Febreeze and insisting that he purge the magazines every 2 months or so.

And to potential visitors, you have been forewarned. (Apologies in advance.)

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