(subtitled: Stalling for Time)
I was waiting for a flight two nights ago, trapped in the decaying moments between slowed heartbeats. Time tides flowed sideways in irregular surges and only moved forward in regions of eddying currents.
Unexpectedly I got a call from a surprising source – nature.
It was one of those moments we all have had where pre-flight stress and a pepper jack fajita omelette collide with the grace of drunk hippos and your intestinal tract rebels against inaction.
In short, I needed a restroom, and I needed it RFN.
I tried the ages old Man Code usually reserved for selecting the proper urinal in order to locate a toilet stall but apparently multiple guys had also eaten pepper jack fajita omelettes earlier and the only other two empty stalls looked like they were crawling with Hepatitis A and unidentifiable parasites. So neither Door #1 or Door #5 looked preferable to internal rupture and sepsis.
Thus, flanked by two used stalls I picked Door #3 and stepped inside. Trou droppage and the usual maneuvering went without incident, as one would expect given my lifetime of practice in such things.
As I sat there, wondering why my internal organs were suddenly being coy after such a cry and hue only moments earlier, I noticed in the stall to my left what seemed to be a large-ish deep-voiced gentleman having a conversation on his cellphone.
This struck me as an extremely peculiar place in which to carry on a conversation, even as humorous and good-natured as it seemed from his tone of voice. It also seemed obvious that he had a lot of luggage, judging by the thudding sounds and the shuddering of the stall walls.
He was saying “(indistrict conversation) Huh… ha, ha, ha… Uh huh.”
The pre-flight pharmaceuticals (legally prescribed) that I had ingested on orders of my physician were kicking in so it took a moment for my brain to process amongst more thudding noises the man’s next words “Heh heh uhhhhh… That stuff burns my scrotum… (Long pause)… We gotta do this again some time.”
The cure for intestinal hesitation is not “scary clowns” as you would be led to believe in the movie Zombieland, but rather the knowledge that you need to vacate several places – (intestinal and environmental) immediately unless you want to have a very awkward post flagrante delicto encounter with an amorous couple of guys in the men’s room of the airport in Portlandia.
Most of the experience could be considered horrible enough but such events in Portlandia of all places made the situation nigh on unbearable.
There was a crap-ton of hand soap at the sinks but nothing suitable or powerful enough with which to sanitize my now feverish brain. I quickly opted for a second round of pharmaceuticals after returning to my safe bench seat outside of the flow of time, and I continued to wait for my flight with a sense of newfound graceful patience.
There, McGoo… My story did not actually invoke King’s short story “The Jaunt” but there was an element of irony to be found here… My hair is now whiter.
Before I left on vacation I was nervous that I had forgotten something that someone would need for a project’s completion. So a scientist suggested I put together a box which I named exactly as he said. In true Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) fashion I gave it a ridiculous acronym.
Within minutes a note appeared next to it with a tiny box usually used for a 50 count of small fasteners.
It has been said that I have an ego.
And it was then also said that perhaps the box provided for my ego was actually several sizes too large.
I haven’t laughed tears like that in years.
“Arrogance must be earned. Tell me what you did to earn yours.” – House, M.D.