Why I’m going to be incontinent when I’m old

Why are the crazies always attracted to the bathrooms I use? It’s not that they are being messy or anything. It’s more that there is some nutso behavior going on and it baffles me. Plus, can’t a girl just pee in peace? 

At the Old Place of Lawyerly Things, there was this woman we collectively referred to as The Grunter. We shared a bathroom with another organization that rented empty office space on my floor, and this woman worked at the Other Organization. She was a tad off, even in her outside-the-bathroom interactions. People used to see her coming towards the elevator, trusty rolling backpack at her side, and beeline for the stairs. Or suddenly remember they forgot to shred that one document. You know, that one document that must be shredded right now or the world as we know it will blow up and it will be their fault so of course they have to go back to their office and save the world via shredder this very nano-second. Once, before I knew better, I rode the elevator down with her and she went on an Anti-Bush/Pro-Kerry tirade that included speculation about each guys’ carb intake, performance in bed, and preferred comic book reading material as a teenager. Being a polite Midwesterner, I sat there and listened for seven excruciating minutes before she paused for breath and I was able to escape.

The Grunter was particularly lovely in the bathroom. If any stall was in use when she entered the facilities, she took this as an open invitation to have one of her Special Conversations. Didn’t matter if she recognized the shoes or not, it was enough that there was another warm body in the loo. By virtue of your need to perform basic bodily functions, you were instantly best bathroom buddies and subject to listening to her Crazy Rant of the Day. And that was just went she was letting loose with the bladder. Daily, between 10 and 11 and again between 3 and 3:30, The Grunter would come into the bathroom, big honkin’ novel in hand. I’m talking 800 plus page masterworks like War and Peace or the latest Harry Potter. She’d wait for the handicap stall and once inside, she’d make herself comfy by taking off her pants and folding them onto the floor (yeah, I totally hunkered on the floor of the bathroom once, and watched in fascinated horror after an admin told me about it). And then she’d start to grunt. A lot. It was like a soundtrack for a good ol’ Animal Planet Mating Special and entirely uncomfortable to be around. Since The Grunter and I seemed to have synchronized bladders, this was especially traumatizing for me. If I was the first to arrive, and found myself relieving my bladder when she got going, I would scamper out of there as quickly as possible. There is something about Rhino-esqe mating sounds that’s a real Personal Show Stopper. In desperation, I even started washing my hands in the kitchen just to get out that much quicker. I mean, it sounded like she was birthing an alien or something. A few times, I was saved the indignity of listening to her by a fellow Grunter Victim. I’d be headed down the hall, clearly on my way to the bathroom, and some poor traumatized soul would whisper, “Don’t. The Grunter’s in there.” On those merciful days, I’d go downstairs.

At the Current Place of Lawyerly Things, there is a Singer. Now, I know people sing in the shower. Heck, I sometimes channel my inner Celine while shampooing. But singing in a public restroom? In the workplace? What is the world coming to? The Singer makes her appearance daily, usually around 1ish. Her repertoire includes everything from Barbara Streisand to the Wicked Songbook to the Selected Works of the Disney Princesses. Oh, and once, she sang Barracuda. That totally ruined Heart for me. It’s not that Singer is nearly as disturbing to the bathroom experience as The Grunter, but it is still a little strange. And mildly off-putting. And these people keep finding me. That’s all I’m saying.


One Response to “Why I’m going to be incontinent when I’m old”

  1. Hello Operator « Who Invented Roses Says:

    […] There’s the non-profit that apparently only hires clones of Brad Pitt Circa Fight Club. As I once told a friend, it’s like Heaven trains their angels right next door. We also share the floor with the top-secret sciencey group that brings over cookies. In theory it’s a sweet gesture but no sooner do they drop off the chocolate chips, then Wonder Admin throws them away. She’s convinced they’re laced with some nefarious new chemical and she refuses to let us become hapless guinea pigs simply because we share a floor with science nerds. And until recently, Six was the home of The Singer. […]

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