And now, Scary-Crayon presents...
In addition to the bookstore gig, I've been working a temporary position at a local community college for the past month. Naturally, when one leaves for work at around 6 AM and doesn't return until roughly 6 PM -- unless one is a robot and/or an alien that only drinks creek water and expels waste simply by exhaling swamp-scented mist -- one will at some point be forced to use the communal/public bathroom. And on several occasions at the college, I've noticed students hanging around in there. At a glance, this is unsurprising -- in high school, of course, it was quite normal to find groups of students standing about in the bathroom, engaged in such seedy activities as gambling, getting high, and occasionally even making out and/or engaging in oral sex. Of course, the college has student lounges and hiding places behind dumpsters for these kinds of activities, but old habits die hard.
However, these guys in the bathroom aren't engaged in any of the above. Nor are they using the bathroom, waiting to use the bathroom, washing and drying their hands after having finished using the bathroom (as if anyone except me ever does that anyway) -- they're not even smoking or checking themselves in the mirror. And no reason at all would be reason enough to be there, I suppose, but I'm convinced that that's not why they're there either. No, I've encountered one or more guys who hang around in there waiting to be entertained. With what? Apparently they find the mere fact that people have to use the bathroom -- and that shit smells bad -- to be extremely funny.
For instance, when I went to the bathroom the other day, there was a guy just standing in one of the stalls and not doing a fucking thing. Seriously. I heard no sounds that indicated number one or number two; the toilet was never flushed (not that that means anything, with the majority of people being disgusting fucktards who either don't care enough to flush the toilet or get a kick out of leaving their foul waste behind for the next person to discover); and upon finishing and exiting my stall, the door to that stall was wide open and there was nothing at all left in the toilet. What I did hear while I was in there, however, was laughter. Laughter. So I guess he was doing something after all! (Laughing.) And I've seen it other times -- guys just standing around who suddenly burst into laughter whenever someone farts or begins to take a dump. As it is with flies, for them, the scent of shit provokes the kind of mirth that rightfully precedes a jolly and festive banquet.
But why is this so funny? Admittedly, if I were standing on the green at the Masters, watching Tiger Woods preparing to take a swing at the ball, and, in the midst of that stillness and silence, someone let loose with a fifteen second foghorn of a fart, I'd find that pretty amusing. And I do find it hard not to burst out laughing whenever a customer loudly cuts the cheese and then looks around embarrassedly (yes, lady, we all heard you). But that's largely because farts are out of place on the green and in the bookstore, and I certainly don't follow people around expecting them to provide me with the entertainment that only the passage of gas affords. In the bathroom, however, you expect people to fart. And if you're in the bathroom anyway and someone emits a warbler of a foul blast, a chuckle would be understandable. But to stand around in the bathroom waiting for someone to do so? That's just fucking sick.
But perhaps there's something else involved? Perhaps these people actually get off on smelling farts and shit, and their giggling is indicative of their intense pleasure at being so aroused? Perhaps, for them, standing in the bathroom while people expell gas and turds is the equivalent of me hanging around a gothic ice cream parlor and giggling as graceful, sexy girls with dyed hair and spooky tattoos and black clothing (oh my!) lustily lick their two-scoop cones as the frozen treats melt, dribbling down their pointed chins and onto their pale bosoms? (Allow me to lick that off for you, m'chere.) Perhaps, like flies, they truly are delighting in the prospect of a coprophagic feast, since it is reasonable to assume that, following a statistical analysis and much careful observation, whomever is taking a shit will leave it unflushed? Or perhaps we're barking up the wrong tree, and it's standing in urine that they enjoy? I cannot say.
Perhaps these questions are best left unanswered.
-- Wes --
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