« Pondering Along

A measure in time...

by Mark Cartwright

Let me start this off by saying I really don't pay much attention to whomever is in the urinal next to me.  And I usually don't resort to bathroom humor, but this is a true story, so I have to tell it while it's still burned into my brain.  So here goes.

I was in one of my favorite restaurant\lounges last week, and as does happen, nature called me to the facilities.  There were two stalls, with the normal privacy divider between them.  The man using the other stall was talking on his phone... loud.  You know the type.  They guy who thinks the party on the other end of the line is using a bag phone, and therefore won't understand him unless he TALKS REAL LOUD into his iPhone.  Anyway, because of this, I can hear his half of the conversation very well.  I'm starting my business, as he is obviously finishing up his.  Again: there is a privacy barrier, but there are telltale signs - even from the shoulders up - that indicate that that you're finishing up your business, whether you tap, shake, swing, or wring.

That brings me to my question.  How much time is considered beyond an acceptable time to "finish up?"  Whatever your answer is, this guy was going above and beyond on his call of duty, to the point where I was getting a little uncomfortable being in the next stall.  And here's the kicker:  All the while that he's tapping, wringing, shaking, swinging, for all I know pounding it on the porcelain, he's on his phone saying, "Last time we did ribs, but this time, I'm going to do a sirloin rub.  Yeah, we've got this spice, and you just work it in real good.... NO, it's not a sauce, it's a RUB.  Yeah, kind of like that... you just take it, and shake it all over, and then you just really rub it in there, and then you wrap it in foil....etc..."

By now, I'm waiting for one of my friends to come in and say, "Dude, you just got totally punk'd!"  But nobody walks in, and as I was finishing up my business, he walked right between me and the sinks, and out the door, still yelling on his phone.

No way.

It was a Seinfeld moment in real life.  I can see Jerry and George sitting in the diner, rifling off one of their great scripts.

Jerry:  A rib rub... really?

George:  ... a rib rub.

Jerry:  Really?  Well how long did he...

George:  Too long, Jerry!

Jerry:  How long is that?

George:  WAY too long, Jerry.

Jerry:  Well, there's no real rule...

George:  If there was, this guy would have been fined by the league. (slams hand on table.)

Jerry:  And he didn't even wash his hands?

George:  How could he?  He was too busy yelling out his recipe to someone, who was obviously four thousand miles away, listing through a string and a soup can!!!!

(Yes, I washed my hands, yes, I used a paper towel to open the door without touching it, and yes, I pointed the fellow out to my wife once I was back at the table.  Thank God he was sitting at the other corner of the bar.  I didn't want to see if he had ordered the sirloin.)