042. Toilet Humour. Jared Cappel

The lone stall before me is clogged with toilet paper, the runny contents dripping to the floor. I slink back to the urinal, shaking, reluctant to look my nemesis head on.

The ceramic is unusually white. A fresh puck lies atop the drain, covered in a scoopful of ice, like a margarita awaiting one final ingredient, a splash of yellow.

The door to the bathroom bursts open. The man strides towards me, his footsteps booming. I can already tell he’s going to be a talker. I turn back towards the urinal and think wet thoughts. Niagara Falls. A leaky faucet. My impending tears.

I feel his breath on my neck; it smells of stale beer and cigarettes. There are three urinals, but he’s chosen the middle one, of course he has.

He throws a hand on the wall. It takes a second or two and then the levee breaks. It sounds like a firehose. At this point, I’d be happy with a squirt gun.

His eyes are upon me. “Don’t you just hate urinals?”

My heart stops. How can he tell? He’s two drinks from a coma. I’m surprised he can stand.

“Well?” A toothy grin.

There’s something playful in his voice, like a child who just started a knock knock joke. His puerility lowers my guard. I think back to his question. Don’t I hate urinals?

He can’t contain his amusement. “They’re where all the dicks hang out.” He roars with laughter, his stream careening off the lip of the bowl and spraying in my direction.

I slide to avoid the splash zone, my movement instinctual. With the pressure off, the volume flows, to my shoes at first, but at least it’s flowing.

I raise my stream higher, like an elephant shooting water from its trunk. I aim for a piece of chewing gum, as if a target in a pinball game.   

I’m doing it. I’m really doing it. And the world needs to know. I feel like a first grader showing off his finger painting. I toss my hands behind my head and turn towards the man.

But he’s gone, the unflushed urinal the only evidence he was ever here. A second man steps to the far bowl. He catches my open stance and gives me a funny look.

I grin. “Don’t you just hate urinals?”

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