Have you ever noticed the unspoken covenant that we as a society have about using the restroom? Adults, normal in almost every way imaginable, will pretend not to notice when someone they’re with goes into a private room and empties their bowels. We’ve agreed to develop a blind spot in our collective consciousness when it comes to this event.
Now there are no doubt perfectly sound reasons for this. I’m sure our mental self-image as enlightened, intelligent souls doesn’t mesh well with the base act of evacuating yesterday’s Taco Bell. And given those two incompatible mental images, we just junk the one that is less pleasing. But for me, understanding the underlying rationale doesn’t strip away any of the wonder.
We’re all pretending that nobody poops.
Given that, I really have a tough time understanding people who talk on their cell phone while using the restroom. They’re breaking the social contract by mixing outside world stuff with the Porcelain Chamber of Secrets. You have to ask yourself, do they really believe that the person on the other end of the line doesn’t know what’s going on? Or are they just restroom rebels who do not care?
These folks irk me, which is why I normally consider it my sacred duty to power-flush the toilet five or six times in a row when I hear someone on the phone. (Oh sure, it’s crude and shallow, but so is most everything else to do with a restroom.) But once in awhile what you overhear makes the entire invasion of that sacred realm worthwhile:
Honey, I swear to God, I didn’t move it. I mean, why on Earth would I take your Vagisil? Maybe your mother took it when she was cleaning.
I heard that lovely bit while I was washing my hands. It left me with a lot of questions, but it’s probably for the best that I didn’t get any of them answered. After all, there are only so many taboos one can break in a public restroom before the whole thing gets weird.