A few weeks ago I was in the bathroom, when one of my coworkers entered, went into the stall next to mine, and took a seat. The following is what I heard.
– 10 seconds of silence
– “God damn, I hate my life!”
– 5 seconds of silence
– “Hey! Hey! Hey!”
– 1 minute of silence
– “Piece of shit.”
– 30 seconds of silence
– “Damn, I hate my life.”
Then he left.
I was not sure what to make of this encounter.
The following Friday, a group of us went out for a beer after work. One of my other coworkers who has an advanced degree in Psychology mentioned that he believes this gentleman to be borderline schizophrenic. It is important to note that he said this unprompted by me. Things began to make sense when I heard that.
Have you ever had an experience like this (not necessarily while in the bathroom)?
— Tracy, College Station
Before I get to the bathroom encounter, I want to say a little something about your coworker the psychology major. What I’m about to say is based solely on empirical data, so take it as you will. Your coworker is nuts. Every single person I’ve ever met who studied psychology in college, whether working in that field or not after graduation, is fucking crazy. I don’t know if they pick that as a field of study because they’re trying to fix themselves or if they like knowing that they’re not alone in crazy town or if they’re in complete and total denial and think that they are not only not crazy but are in fact so not crazy that they can help others be not crazy. Regardless of the reason, you can take to the bank that your coworker has bodies in the basement, is secretly in love with a parent or has to say the pledge of allegiance before bed each night while naked and hopping on one foot. Something.
On to your question. No, I have not had the sort of bathroom experience you’ve described, though I kind of wish I had. Going to the WC is a fairly mundane experience (assuming you’re healthy), so it’s nice to have a little something to jazz it up. I used to know an old lady who had joke toilet paper in her guest bathroom. The paper had jokes printed on it, it wasn’t a joke like “ha ha, this is fake TP. You have to use your hand.” Because that’s not funny. And neither were the printed jokes, but I appreciated the effort. And the expense. This was, like, two or three decades ago. Do you know how expensive that stuff must have been? As if that weren’t enough, the toilet paper was hanging on a holder that had a little radio built into it. So you could also listen to music while you were sitting there not laughing at the jokes on the toilet paper. Very, uh, thoughtful?
As for whether or not I’ve had encounters like this outside of a bathroom – I was a bartender for a decade. So, yes.
Regarding your coworker, maybe he just needs a pick-me-up to make his life a little brighter. Might I suggest a roll of Loo Laughs? Of course they’re offered by a British company. Scroll down and you’ll see other printed TP options, including Sudoku and crossword. I’m thinking that if you’re sitting there long enough to fill in a crossword, perhaps you might want to look into that.[Ask a Dilettante invites your questions. Send all queries to crystal at cryjack dot com, and you will receive a response within a week. Ish.]