You again?

Okay, this may not be the usual high-brow material our Dunce Academy readers have grown accustomed to, but I have observed a phenomenon that I believe deserves note.  At work, I have a co-worker, and every time I rise to answer nature’s call, so does he.  Every single time.  We work on opposite ends of the building, and would have no way of knowing that the other is embarking on a trip to test out “the facilities” (I recently encountered someone that referred to the bathroom as “the gentlemens;”  I didn’t care for that at all; struck me as pretentious).  But every time I head that way, so does he.  What is going on?

Now, I suppose it’s possible that he “goes” way more frequently than the average person.  Maybe he drinks five pots of coffee a day or something, and hits the head (I also don’t really like this phrase very much, “hit the head;” it seems sort of militaristic to me, and sort of crass) (the irony of someone writing a post about toilets referring to anything as “crass” is not lost on me, not to worry), something like 25 times a day.  And if he is going with such exceptional frequency, maybe this is not some connection he has with me, but with everyone in the office.  Maybe everyone thinks they share the same…um…schedule.

Or maybe I make water more frequently than most.  Maybe people are talking about me.

Or maybe he and I drink exactly the same amount of the same type of substance at the same time of day and have identically-sized bladders.  Maybe we take the exact same number of breaks at the exact same times.  Always.  I wonder…

While we are on this topic, I have often thought it would make an interesting sociological study to observe which urinals people use and why.  Like, do you mix it up, always go for the one in the middle, the one closest to the door?  And how does the presence of others impact your choice?  If someone is in your designated spot, for example, do you wait, pick another one, or run screaming for the door?  Does anyone else think about these types of things?  Am I a freak?  Let me know.

Okay, now back to more elevated things.  Stay classy, dunce army!

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7 thoughts on “You again?

  1. I will give you a thought experiment that a friend told me while critiquing the delivery of a highly-respected kettlebell instructor’s teaching style in youtube videos.

    “Pretend there is a row of urinals. At least one dozen. I am down at the right, third from the end.

    A man enters and chooses to urinal right next to me. While we relieve ourselves, he slowly reaches over in front of me and starts batting at my p*nis, slowly.

    Watching his videos is way more uncomfortable than that would be.”

    Tell this person to try the same thought experiment.

  2. Have you ruled out that this potty-room chum of yours has not installed a secret camera in your cubicle? Have you received any fuzzy anonymous stuffed toys that are proudly on display in your workspace recently?

    As for choice of stall, when I am with the toddler (read: 90% of the time) we’re headed for the extra-wide stall. The child is quite taken with the strength of the flusher when we travel around. He needs someone to hold his hand in case the power of the flush is too terrifying.

    • At this point in my life, I’m not going to rule anything out. And if I were to determine that a camera was in place at my cubicle, I could maybe even be okay with that (if the camerawork is actually going on within the confines of the bathroom, however, I would be decidedly less cool; even I have my limits). But let’s say, for the sake of argument, that there is something intentional about our coordinated trips; would this be definitely and unexplainably weird? And if so, why? Women have been “powdering their noses” in groups no less than two since the beginning of time, and no one bats an eye. Why is this? What is going on in there? Do I even want to know?

    • What is it about the shrill of an industrial-strength flush that sends toddlers shrieking in terror? The ones with an automatic flush are the worst. Something about how it’s automatic and outside their control seems to only add to the trepidation.

  3. The urinals where I work are placed just like those in the picture, except there is one more than what is pictured. This extra urinal is very awkward because us manly men can leave one urinal of space between the first and third, but then there is the question of skipping one for equal spacing, or skipping two and going for the end unit. The other problem is that those two unoccupied urinals side by side offer some false sense of privacy, since they look open and inviting, yet you still have a neighbor on either side.

    I think they should either have an odd number of urinals, or maybe just put some decent dividers between them, as ours have no dividers whatsoever. Isn’t there some kind of building code that requires dividers? I think there should be.

    • Spacing is important, and I am a huge advocate for odd numbers. Because if there are guys at every other spot (guy – empty spot – guy), and you come in, well, you’re forced to take a spot between two guys, and that’s just the way it is. But if you come in and there are two spots (guy – two spots – other guy), you are forced to make a very un-manly choice. You either sidle up to one dude, or you sidle up to another, but either way, you are picking a dude to sidle up to, and sidling like that is just thoroughly un-macho.

      Dividers, of course, would be a huge help in this situation. Anything to narrow the number of un-manly choices you are forced to make in a given day.

      Thanks for your thoughtful insights, Eric. Quality stuff.

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