For those of you who know him, you know what to expect from a Greg Prindle story. Greg is a college friend of mine for whom life is a trial, consisting solely of a parade of demeaning events meant to frustrate him. His only joy is to be known as this guy and to be mentioned when things like that happen to other people. Enjoy, Greg.
Earlier this week, I was fairly sick. I have been sick for the past two weeks, having just recently recieved medical attention. It was a mixture of chest cold, allergies and apparently asthma. Good Times. After Rick and Bubba, I was in the production studio, doing my usual thing when nature called. When you're sick you know to quickly answer that call. (Don't worry, this isn't that type of story. I'll keep it generally unfilthy.)
As I walked down the hall to the bathroom, everybody could hear me clinking as I walked. I have, for the past year or so, placed my keys in my front jeans pocket with the car clicker part hanging out. They are secure, with the added bonus of being easy to access without all of the deep pocket digging. This way, when I head out to my car, with various items in hand, it is simple to get at them. The only problem is when my Micra Leatherman is hanging out as well, you can hear me clinking when I walk. Small price to pay.
The bathroom situation at Cumulus is as follows. There is one men's bathroom off to the side which is smaller, dingier, and in a low traffic area. I prefer this one because I am much less likely to be bothered when taking care of business. Needless to say, this one was occupied, so I traveled to the main hallway where the fancier restroom is located.
This one is almost big enough to allow multiple users at the same time, but not quite. The gulf between a solitary bathroom and one where multiple can use it simultaneously is as great as the Grand Canyon. For a bathroom to grow up and be a restroom, it has to big enough to allow anonymity for those who are handling otherwise unseemly activities. If the people in a restroom are acutely aware of what the other is doing and more importantly who that other person is, then it just becomes a creepy bathroom. Basically, this requires a minimum of three stalls, or two if you're amongst strangers (i.e. restaurant). This is not the situation at work.
At work we have a large bathroom, with 1 urinal and 1 stall. You cannot hide in the stall, and there is NO mistaking where that odor is coming from. Thus, most people choose to use the lock on the door. I am one of those people. However, this decision is the cause of the bulk of the social anxiety at work. Do I lock it and avoid a creep-a-thon? Or do I leave it unlocked and avoid being labeled as a selfish bathroom hog? I am a bathroom hog.
This changes the psychology of the bathroom stay. Because I am hogging the bathroom, I try to get business doen as quickly as possible. As I result, I tend to combine some tasks to save time. No, nothing unsanitary. More like pulling up my pants and flushing at the same time.
Because it is a handicapped accesible toilet, it is as long as this story - and requires a long reach to begin the flush. While doing so with one hand and pulling up my pants with the other, you end up pretty close to the front of the toilet. This necessitates a little jump away as soon as you push the lever to avoid splashback. Unfortunately, this flush/pull-up/jump back maneuver didn't go as planned.
As I finished the pants raising I knew that I had made a mistake. My hand brushed something on my pants and they got just a little bit lighter. My worst fears were confirmed as I heard a heavy clink. I had just knocked out my keys into the toilet just as it was heading into it's violent swirl and suck period. No. No! NO!
Still, as freaked out as I was, I was not wading into the abyss to get them back. Much like Seinfeld when his shoelace touched the bathroom floor, these were a goner. Well, maybe I could wash them off and soak them in alcohol. As I was contemplating, I started to roll up my sleeve so I could get them after the flushing was done. There was no way that the toilet would be able to suck up a set of keys with a steel mini leatherman on them, so I'd just have to wait it out. When I finshed the sleeve, the bowl was empty.
At that point I was only left with confusion and pride. How could a toilet suck up a set of keys? They should have sunk to the bottom and avoided the maelstrom. But I guess my relentless key pruning did the trick. I am a big believer in carrying as little as possible on your person at all times. I had only my apartment key, car key, car clicker and leatherman (as opposed to Amber's "Set of a Thousand Keys" containing keys to every door she's ever entered and a tag for every grocery store she's ever shopped at.) So, clearly I had whittled my key set down to the point where it was flushable. (Incidentally, this is now a unit of measure for me, i.e. "I need a bolt for this plank. It should be big, but still flushable.")
Needless to say, I stared at the bowl for awhile. Were they coming back? I tried to get a better angle to look without touching the toilet. Do I flush again? Will that return them or send them even futher to a watery doom? I flushed. They were GONE.
Next step. Do I tell anyone? No. Well at least no one at work. It was just an embarrassing event at the time. I had not yet taken the time to own it and make it a story. So, I left and resumed my workday, somewhat satisfied that when people would talk to me for the rest of the day that I would know something that they wouldn't. It was my secret. Until I had to tell Amber that I needed the spare key she kept in her ridiculously over cluttered key chain. Thanks, Amber.