Thursday, April 17, 2008

He Takes the Call

Time: Perhaps 2004.
Scene: Men's room, Former Employer. A four-seater.

Your Correspondent is in Seat One, enjoying the Morning Excremeditation, with a copy of perhaps a Dilbert book, or some other light reading. I am alone, as is my earnest wont. (I cannot make Those Noises with anyone else in the room. I just cannot. I will wait till somebody leaves before committing those mortifying, though, I recognize, thoroughly human, noises. I have experienced physical pain in order to avoid this mortification. Call me an eccentric.)

Somebody comes in. Ah, nuts. Maybe he's just in for a Number One. Maybe he'll just wash his hands and go.

Nope. Stall Four. Down go the pants. In for the Long Haul. Boogers.

A chirping sound comes from Stall Four. His cellphone goes off.





Before he could even get to the second syllable of "Hello?" I was pants up and gone.

He! took! the! call!

If you want to grow old with me, if you want to sit with me in a rocking chair on a porch in our dotages, drinking moonshine whiskey, smoking cheap cigars and telling whoppers about girls we've had and cars we've boosted, you will never -- that's never -- have taken that call. You will have perhaps fished it out of your pocket in the pool of trouser at your feet, flipped it open, seen who it was, and flipped it shut -- and the reason you will have done that is to shut the fucking thing up, so others can go about their business in peace without a fucking cellphone ringing six feet away.

You will not have taken that call.

Jesus Suppurating Christ on a frying pan. Civilization's over, kids. We're headed for a New Dark Age. A Nude Ark Age. Blame cellphones. I know I do.


Derryl Murphy said...

Years ago, sitting on the throne in the basement of a downtown department store, some rubby dub came in and kindly occupied the stall next to me. After a minute or two of silence, a hand suddenly slipped under the divider and into my stall, hand up. "Got any change you can spare?" came the rather rough voice. My response was, "Sorry, you caught me with my pants down."

But all I did was feel sorry for the guy. I would have wished hot death on the cell phone guy.


Carl the Big Fool said...

Agreed on the cell phone guy, and on the desire to be alone in that situation. I just don't want to be around another dude taking a shit under any circumstances. That divider doesn't block smells or sounds, now does it.

Simon (Homefront Radio) said...

Don't have one. Don't need one. I'm sick of people reading / sending messages in the middle of conversations enough that i don't need people who use them either. It tells you all you need to know about their self-obsession and their need for instant gratification, though i'll make allowances for EMS workers and doctors.

I was picking up my Stemitil at the Chemist a few weeks ago, and noticed a small, hand-made sign:

Please refrain from using your mobile phone whilst being attended by our courteous staff.

I asked the girl serving me if people were really that rude, and she said "It was that bad that it had doubled the wait for prescriptions".

I was in the emergency room last week and overheard the conversation in the next cubicle where a child had been having bad headaches after a sports injury.

The Doctor was trying to calmly explain that her son had cracked his skull, and needed to be flown to Sydney to have blood drained from his head to prevent pressure on the brain.

Halfway through is sentence, she's on the phone to her husband, in tears. The doctor is trying to explain to her clearly what needs to happen, but she's not listening. He waits patiently.

Her converation over, he starts in again, but she's on the phone to her sister. Then her mother. This went on for 20 minutes until he was allowed to say his piece.

Of course, the kid, who had been happily stuffing his face with icecream, hears all her 'He's going to ddddddiiiiiee!' wailing, so he starts bawling too.

Basically she was so impatient to relay information she wasn't even waiting to get all the information, which was basically that the condition wasn't life or death at all, but because of an equipment malfunction here.

I wonder how she didn't notice the 'DO NOT USE Mobile Phones - may interfere with medical equipment' signs plastered all over the place.

Her need to be in instant contact with everyone overrode her own basic concern for her son's health, let alone everyone else in ER.

I'm SO rooting for the inevitable brain tumours. They'll be doing society a favour.

Anonymous said...

I am stammeringly confounded that you didn't overcome your aural modesty and let loose the hounds of gaseous fury. He would have never answered another cellphone call while answering the call of nature.

John B. said...

Now "The Hounds of Gaseous Fury"
would be a great double great name for a band...I love it.

Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

"I am alone, as is my earnest wont."

Man, there are two kinds of people in the world, you know? Personally, I couldn't agree w/ you more. All bathrooms, IMHO, should be single-occupancy, and situated out of earshot. The only worse bathroom situation is the dreaded trough.

OTOH, anon's comment is pretty fucking funny, too.

cleek said...

yeah... i listened to a guy break up with his girlfriend, over the phone, while he was pissing in the urinal next to me.

people are wrong.

ade said...

There was that one time I entered a toilet to find that one of two cubicles was occupied. I entered the free one and (after checking the hygiene of the seat) sat myself down and readied myself to drop Mrs Brown and the kids off at the pool. Almost immediately a voice came from the other, previously silent, cubicle:
"Um... Hello?" I reply, expecting a "I've run out of paper" type rejoinder from my fellow defacator.
"Hi, yeah it's Derek Smith here, I'm just returning your call.."
The bastard next-door was actually MAKING A CALL whilst taking a dump!

The Viscount LaCarte said...

I'm with you Ned. I've heard in Japan some of the more upscale privies actually pipe in loud oceanic sounds into each stall to buffer the unpleasant noises.

I'm also a strong proponent of the courtesy flush and I wish to old bog other people would follow suit, especially the ones that frequent Taco Bell. Hey Seuss a Lou! I've learned to hitch myself up too in case the plumbing is a bit aggressive. Not a fan of the surprise sitz bath, especially in a public stall.

I've heard guys closing the deal, trading stocks, arguing with their spouses.

Then they exit the stall and head straight for the door. I hate that when it is someone I know. They touch anything after that I'm reaching for the hand sanitizer...

Chunky Stu said...

He Takes the Call = Eek! He stall chat.

Dragon Laugh said...

Ugh. A similar incident occurred in a one-stall ladies room at a department store I frequent. While I was washing up, a woman walked into the room with four kids in tow. She promptly dragged all four of them into the one stall with her (it wa s big stall) and went about doing her business very loudly. And yes, she was making those noises.

Before I could even dry my hands, her cell phone rang. Then, still making those sounds, and with four hollering, laughing, screeching kids in the stall with her,






I was appalled, and beat a hasty retreat.

What I was shopping for was in the area right near the restroom, so for the next five minutes I tried to ignore this woman's rather personal phone call which, due to her very loud voice (gotta drown out those kids, ya know), could be heard outside the restroom. through the closed door.

Another woman approached the restroom at one point, opened the door and paused. A look of part horror and part disgust crossed her face, and she promptly backed out, truned on her heel, and strode away. , back rigid.

I still shudder at the thought.

Roman Meal said...

I can not be too clear in this! I was there over upon the vomitorium, a feather half down my neck...

I heard a bell of some distance to summon his husband.


Wiped the vomit from his mouth... to answer back! This set me with much nausea!!!