or - The Butterfly Effect vis-a-vis Facial Hair and Excretory Hygiene
As a youthful act of defiance, I grew a goatee. It didn’t look that great, but I gave it some time, and after a month or so, it really started to fill in – I’d say I was halfway between Orlando Bloom’s fruit-stache in Pirates of the Caribbean and Jeff Bridges’ Dude a la Big Lebowski.
But this story is about poop. Jon at Extraneous Kickassery told a story today about a guy who had stunk up the bathroom at work (come to think of it, Lil was on a potty kick too), and it reminded me of the time when someone at work took a dump in the garbage can in the bathroom. This episode I did not understand. Clearly, the guy had made it to the bathroom on time, there was plenty of toilet paper; the situation was perfect for an ordinary, regular, put-the-seat-down-and-sit-on-it poop. Instead, he chooses to wedge himself up between the top of the can and the paper-towel dispenser and pinch a loaf for posterity – a loaf that will last.
When I came into the bathroom that day, and smelled that bitter oniony stank of a air-drying turd (you can tell a turd in water from a turd in air just as easily as you can tell a fart from an oops-I-just-shit-my-pants, sorry, tmi), I checked the toilet for “klingons,” then peeked into the garbage, saw the relic, and burst out with the only thing I really could say: “Oh, COME ON!”
But this story is about my goatee. Jon’s poop story also reminded me that I had grown a goatee – wait for it – as a youthful act of defiance. I started it around a month or so ago (call it six weeks), and it was just beginning to fill out nicely (I’m having the strangest sense of déjà vu here).
Then suddenly, two days ago, I heard from my coach about my upcoming tryout. I was excited, and decided that I needed to look as young as possible for the tryout (minor league coaches are notoriously pederastic – see those mustaches?), so I shaved the goat. And you know what? It had filled out more than I expected – so much so that I needed a hair clippers to get it down to length before shaving, so much that I dulled one and a half razor blades, so much (and here’s the kicker!) that I really looked different when I shaved it off. Why is that important? I wouldn’t let myself into bars? No. It’s important because (remember this) every time for the last two days I have seen myself in the mirror, I have gotten startled and have to check again for thirty seconds or so to make sure I am myself and not a vampire or Matt Damon or whatever.
But this story is about poop. Yesterday, I cruised into the bathroom as is my wont, and purged my colon (wow, sometimes it’s best to leave the descriptive writing at the door, huh? The bathroom door. Zing!). And as I stood up, I caught a glimpse of someone moving around suddenly, staring at me. When I stood still, he stood still; when I moved, he moved.
I was petrified. Slowly, slowly, I poked my head around the corner and saw… the mirror. Duh! It was the goatee, throwing me for a loop all along. I chuckled to myself as I walked to the sink buckling my belt, washed my hands and winked at myself in the mirror. Then I shook my head and gave the requisite shake-of-the-wet-hands-so-as-not-to-waste-paper-towels-by-drying-hands-that-are-soaked-and-could-easily-be-shaken-half-dry-at-least. Then I checked my teeth real quick, made a scary face at myself and laughed. And then I walked out.
There was one thing I didn’t do.
Go ahead, read back, see if you can see what it was.
Figure it out yet? I hadn’t. I was almost all the way back to my desk when it hit me.
You didn’t flush.
I panicked. I started hyperventilating. My face was flushed… but the toilet wasn’t.
So I scurried back toward the bathroom, and just as I rounded the bend and the door came into view, I caught a glimpse of a shoe retreating into the commode and the door clicked close…. I was too late. All was lost.
I shuffled aimlessly, despondently, over to the locked door, as if there was something I could do. And then I was startled by the bellow from inside, a screech of the most righteous indignation. “Oh, COME ON!”
I hustled back to my desk.