Friday, June 23, 2006

The Lightest Brush of Porcelain

I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of the public restroom concept. Its unpleasant. I just don't like it very much; at least partly because I'm extremely conscious of the potential unsanitary condition created by even the lightest brush of porcelain, plastic, or stainless steel on skin….Any skin.

I don't want to touch the seats, sinks, or door handles. I don't want to brush past the door frames. I don't want to grasp the hot and cold knobs on the sink. I definitely don't want to handle the paper towel dispenser.

Unfortunately it’s a necessary part of life, so I've learned to cope, but mostly I just don't think about it. Today I did, but what grabbed me today wasn't the germ situation; it’s the urinals. In my office restroom there are two. One is three feet lower than the other.

I don't know why.

I have, however, noticed that people, for no clear reason, tend to gravitate towards one or the other. If you wander into your office restroom on day 1 and find Joe standing at righty; chances are good that’s where you can find Joe on any restroom visit in the future. He has committed.

I, for one, have opted not to make that important commitment just yet. I'm concentrating on ferreting out the pros and cons of both righty and lefty before making the call.

I'm also a little thrown by the melamine stall dividers. I mean, seriously, take it on down to the floor - you know? Why leave the shoe-identification gap at the bottom? Was that one additional foot really enough to blow the construction budget? I'd love to listen in on that conversation.

"Well, almost done. Just have to put the walls up on this here stall."
"Walls? Don’t you mean 'dividers'?"
"No, you know - a wall. All the way to the floor. I mean, it’s a bathroom. You need privacy."
"I'm sorry. That’s just not in our budget. Leave it just high enough off the floor for shoes to poke through."

There are probably only a few times in life that I really, really mind having my space invaded by feet. That’s one of them. Next time some guy's docsider cheats off into my side - he's going to get a solid stomp right in the toe.

Also - if that weren't bad enough, I think stall walls are shrinking. I walked into one restroom recently where you could easily slide an average-size dictionary through the gaps around the door. I guess it does help reduce the tendency for unwanted stall-handle rattlers.

I don't need a dictionary to tell you what I think about handle rattlers.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Wherefore Art Thou?

It has recently come to my attention that I am sadly lacking in the poetry-writing department. Furthermore, my most recent relationship user poll has indicated that I should begin to consider developing my talents in that arena and start putting some serious thought into directing those efforts towards a certain someone.

I'm fairly well-educated. I went to college. Studied the great thinkers. Read some Shakespeare, Faust, Goethe, maybe a little Sappho. So sure, I understand poetry. I like Robert Service quite alot and Service was a great poet! He tended to stay within the comfortable confines of man-talk. I can appreciate that, but somehow I doubt any young lady I know would appreciate the appelation "claw fingered" or "wanton." See below:

Dance-Hall Girls
~ A Poem by Robert Service ~

Where are the dames I used to know
In Dawson in the days of yore?
Alas, it's fifty years ago,
And most, I guess, have "gone before."
The swinging scythe is swift to mow
Alike the gallant and the fair;
And even I, with gouty toe,
Am glad to fill a rocking chair.

Ah me, I fear each gaysome girl
Who in champagne I used to toast,
or cozen in the waltz's whirl,
Is now alas, a wistful ghost.
Oh where is Touch The Button Nell?
Or Minnie Dale or Rosa Lee,
Or Lorna Doone or Daisy Bell?
And where is Montreal Maree?

Fair ladies of my lusty youth,
I fear that you are dead and gone:
Where's Gertie of the Diamond Tooth,
And where the Mare of Oregon?
What's come of Violet de Vere,
Claw-fingered Kate and Gumboot Sue?
They've crossed the Great Divide, I fear;
Remembered now by just a few.

A few who like myself can see
Through half a century of haze
A heap of goodness in their glee
And kindness in their wanton ways.
Alas, my sourdough days are dead,
Yet let me toss a tankard down . . .
Here's hoping that you wed and bred,
And lives of circumspection led,
Gay dance-hall girls o Dawson Town!

Now, wasn't that nice? Lusty youths? Claw-fingered Kate? Thats good poetry. I'm sure I could probably whip up some pithy, over-the-moon, wherefore-art-thou talk, but certainly not in the daylight, and definitely not during deer season. I just don't have the strength.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Bad Carbitude

Monday is a fitting day to begin any sort of torturous endeavor, so I figured - why not start a low-carb diet this Monday? I'm starting my whale-down workshop today so watch out Krispy Kreme - your profit margin just dropped about 2%.

Diets always sounds like a great idea while happily satiated and sitting around the remains of Sunday lunch, but when confronted with the glorious offerings of Rosa's pizza, I tend to inwardly curse my well-intended post-lunch declarations. Of course, then I'm like "well I might as well workout today too (at 6AM) if I'm going to eat healthy." I think you can see the downward spiral from there.

You know you're relatively overweight when your family becomes so accustomed to your porkosity that they feel comfortable remarking on it. "Well, you know how round your face gets..." is not on my top ten list of things I'd expect to hear from a conscientious support group.

The end result of my well-intended new diet is that I'm not only starving, but I'm really sore - sometimes in specific places, but mostly just all over. Plus, my little pinkie toe appears to be sprained. A man ought not ever to be made aware of his pinkie toe.

There is nothing so discomfiting as an acute awareness of one's pinkie toe. It is hard to feel masculine and powerful if you're forced to consider a pinkie toe because an internal undercurrent of pinkie-toe awareness is very distracting. They are perhaps the most unmanly and powerless human appendages ever devised so I prefer to ignore them altogether. When I can't ignore them - it’s a problem.

Dating has taught me that many women seem to feel much better after a nice long conversation about their most recent painful life event. Having talked about my pinkie toe issue, now I think I feel a great deal worse. I can only conclude, then, that despite my pinkie toe awareness - I am not a woman. Thats good news.

Also, I just got a Krispy Kreme mailer with a 10% discount. I've got that going for me. Monday might not be so bad after all.