Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bathrooms, Tech Guys, and the Weird Professor (me)

Throughout my life, I have gathered what I refer to as “Plunk’s Life Lessons.” These are tidbits of information that I believe make living in this world a safer and/or better place. My poor nephews and youngest brother have heard me spouting off these pieces of wisdom for years. I generally start off with “Plunk’s life lesson #...”, to which I usually hear groans from whoever is riding with me. Anyway...

Plunks Life Lesson #1: Always tie your shoelaces before entering a men’s restroom (Believe me, you don't want your shoelaces dragging the floor in men's restrooms - ewe, yuck!).

Okies in a California Bathroom (this story has sexual images, so read at your own risk)

This story occurred about 5 years ago when two friends of mine from Oklahoma (both law enforcement officers) came to California to visit me. Anyway, myself and one of my buddies, who I shall refer to as Randy (since that is his name), entered the men’s restroom to, uh, pass water, take a leak, take care of business, go wee wee (enter your favorite euphemism for urination here). As I entered the bathroom, I noticed two pairs of feet in the first stall all facing the wall. I did not say anything to Officer Randy. When I went to wash my hands…

Plunks Life Lesson #2: Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, and use a towel to open the door when leaving a men’s restroom (From observations, most men do not wash their hands after using the restroom, so the door handle is going to be, uh, contaminated - yuck!)

...So, when I went to wash my hands, I noticed that all four feet were now facing the other direction. In the reflection of the mirror, I could see a set of eyes peering through the crack between the stall door and walls. At this point I wondered if they were checking me out (male ego speaking), or more likely, they were waiting to see when the bathroom was vacant so they could continue, er, uh, using the bathroom?!?!

Officer Randy and I exited the bathroom as Officer Dave entered (he had been keeping a certain female faculty member company in the hallway). I looked at Randy and asked “Did you notice anything suspicious or different in the bathroom?” Randy gave me an incredulous look as if to say “Uh, excuse me, but I am an officer of the law who has been trained to notice all of my surroundings.” His response was “You mean the four feet all facing the wall when we walked in and then facing the door when we washed our hands?” To which I replied “yeah, that.” I really had nothing else to say. Neither of us broached the question of “What do you think they were doing?” I think we both knew that answer to that question. As we both stood there with an awkward silence, trying to figure out what to say next, Officer Dave came out of the restroom and said, “Did you see the two people in the bathroom stall?” To which we both nodded, (another awkward silence) and then Randy said “Well, you sure don’t see that in Oklahoma very often.” To which I said, “I sure hope they wash their hands afterwards.”

Laptop in the Stall

I walked into the bathroom one day and saw an extension chord plugged into the wall which ran across the bathroom into one of the stalls where it was plugged into a laptop chord. I could see two legs with pants pulled down under the stall door (no, I was not peaking under the stall door - sheesh!).

My thoughts about that are numerous. First, in the time it took to plug in the extension chord, and the laptop chord, and get the laptop situated on my lap, I could have been in and out of the bathroom (hand washing included - refer to life lesson #2). Not that I am bragging, but I am pretty quick when it comes to using the bathroom. Next, just planning that event (i.e., thinking about and finding the extension chord) would have taken more time than my typical bathroom excursion. Next, I wonder if he thought about that chord lying on the bathroom floor? (refer to Plunk’s Life Lesson #1 – seems very relevant here). Also, what could be so important that a person needs to go to that effort to have his laptop plugged into the wall socket while using the bathroom? Was he afraid he was going to be in there so long that the battery was going to die? Did he have a project deadline that was taking every available second of the day? Is that the only place he feels it is okay to surf porn? Anyway, I should have waited to ask whoever came out so I could put my mind at rest, but given that he was plugged into the wall socket, he could have been in there for hours.

Bathroom, Tech Guy, and Me

My office building is in the shape of ‘U’. At one end of the ‘U’ is my office, and on the other end of the ‘U’ are the Tech Support offices for the university. The bathroom is in the middle. So, what frequently happens is I get onto the same bathroom rotation as many of the computer guys, which has led to some casual friendships with some of the guys - you know, saying ‘hello’, talking about our day while standing next to each other at the water sink and/or urinal, passing the sports section of the newspaper under the stall walls, giving a ‘high five’ after a particularly loud passing of gas – you know, those kinds of things. But, it has also led to a couple of interesting encounters; one of which I will share today.

There was a tech guy who got onto the same bathroom cycle as me. We would invariably end up in the bathroom at the same time 2-3 times a day. Each time we met each other at the door, I would say ‘hello’ or ‘howdy’ (okie for “how are you doing today?”), but alas, this fellow would never say anything back. I started wondering if he was deaf, so I would be sure and make eye contact with him when speaking, and I would make sure I would move my lips in an exaggerated way so that if he were a lip reader, he would know what I was saying. In retrospect, he probably thought I was kind of weird.

One day, I was eating lunch with one of the administrative assistants in his office, so I asked her about him. She informed me that he was not deaf, but that he was just painfully shy. But even so, I really wanted to get at least one acknowledgment from him some day.

One characteristic about this fellow is that he always wore dark pants with white socks and old torn up black sneakers (his socks showed through numerous holes in his shoes). I was standing at the urinal one day (sorry for the visual), when I heard someone enter the bathroom. I glanced over my shoulder to see who was coming in; in case it was one of my tech guy buddies I could give an appropriate greeting. It was the shy tech guy. He walked up to ‘pass water’ beside me when I noticed he had on a brand new pair of white sneakers - very snazzy. So, in greeting I looked down at his sneakers and said “Wow! Very nice. Very snazzy.” My timing was off because right as those words came out of my mouth, he was unzipping and pulling his privates out of his pants to urinate. I did not notice as I was looking at his shoes. All he saw and heard was me looking down and making my comment. He very quickly put his privates away, zipped up, and backtracked out of the bathroom. It took me a second to realize what happened.

For the next few months, every time he saw me in the hall or bathroom, he turned around and went the other direction. Except for the fact that he was painfully shy, I imagine that story would have been all over the place and all of the tech guys would have started avoiding me. But that did not happen. Of course he might have posted a blog about the weird professor in his building. I have not seen the Shy Tech Guy for over a year. I wonder if my bathroom encounter led to his taking a position elsewhere due to the emotional trauma.

Shy Tech Guy, if you are reading this, know that I was commenting on your new sneakers!


#351 Fall FCS 340 said...

This story totally killed my throat!! (Let me explain) I had my tonsils removed last monday and it is very painful to talk, eat, swallow... all the normal throat things, and I laughed so hard after reading this I think I have spilt open my stitches :) (it was worth it)

Anonymous said...

My first laugh of the day was from reading this! It was hilarious!

Wayne said...

OK. So I wanted to read a blog or two to try to rediscover the Scott I knew in our youthful university days. I can see I don't need to look any further. Things haven't changed all that much.....

Dinora said...!!!! I couldn't stop laughing. This was great stuff!! I'm a little worried when i go out on a date now. I'm not going to want to hold his hand after he uses the restroom. I'm always going to wonder whether he washed his hands or not. LOL.