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Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Evolution of Phone Use in the Potty OR Should You? Could You? Would You? OR How Dr. Seuss Colored My Whole Life

When I was a child we had a plain black phone with a rotary dial on it that you would connect to other people.  (Well, it wasn't a fire and a blanket, anyway.)  (It was a party line, which to you technogeeks means that five other people got to share the same telephone line.  Oh, horrors.)

Anybody remember the scene from the move, In & Out,
where the supermodel was trying to figure out how
to use a rotary phone?  I love Kevin Kline.
My daughter will probably ask me, "What the heck is that, Mommy?"  Occasionally, I see one of these phones when I go antiquing.  Next time I might have to buy one to clarify.  I hate to say it, but here it is, "This is what it was like in the auld days, whippersnapper."  The point to this introduction was that this phone was pretty much locked in place and it wasn't going anywhere, much less into the bathroom.  (The only way it would do that is if you ripped it from the wall and threw it into the bathroom.  Hmm.  I bet you're wondering if Fat Woman ever did that.  Maybe.)

In the annals of time, this was followed by the long extension cord.  I used to carry my phone ALL over the living room, courtesy of the long extension cord.  The cord wrapped around furniture, coffee tables, rugs, etc.  Oh, what fun.  I think I mentioned before what a useful tool this was in tormenting my cats.  (Hey, I didn't ask the cat to walk over the cord while I was holding on to the other end.)  (And it didn't really hurt the cat, just ask Mellow, my sister's cat whom I occasionally taunt.)  In any case, while the cord was long, it wasn't long enough to reach into the bathroom.  (Honestly, I probably could have purchased one that was long enough to go into the bathroom but it didn't occur to me to do so.  Probably best for all.)
See, this isn't Mellow.  But possibly Mellow, my sister's cat,
who I continue to taunt in a hilarious fashion, may appear
later in this blog.
Then came the portable phone.  (For those of you born after 1990, this meant a phone that was about the size of a toaster that could be carried around without  a cord, but not a cell phone.)  I don't remember the exact year, but I remember you couldn't go very far without it fuzzing out.  And for some reason it didn't dawn on me to take the damn thing into the bathroom.  Miss Manners had saved me again.

Then some time later, HIM came to me and said that he had taken it into the bathroom while talking to his...get this...MOTHER on the phone.  While speaking to Mom, he had done his dirty, sinful business, and then, here comes the really big mistake part, he had flushed...all while still on the phone with his mother.  I'm not sure what HIM was thinking.  (This was a prime WTFWIT moment.  It's possible it was the original WTFWIT moment, but probably not.)  Perhaps HIM thought he could mask the unmistakable flushing noise while talking loudly.  There might have been a rapid cough-clear-the-throat maneuver while pressing the toilet handle.  Or perhaps there was the quick-flush-fast-and-walk-away-from-the-noise-faster method.  If you flush and run the person on the other end might not realize what you were doing.  (Maybe they won't notice IF the person you're talking to at the very moment that you flush realizes that a) they've won the lottery, b) a meteor is streaking toward their house, and c) that Mel Gibson has stopped over for coffee and an interesting chat about law enforcement officials.  IF.)
Is that my mother on the phone?
Haha.  Police fan alert.  I always
wanted to use that quote.
My MIL, you see, is not deaf, and soon cottoned onto the fact that her eldest son had been talking to her while simultaneously using the john.  She was not amused.  On the contrary, she was less than amused.  I believe that it was years before she stopped asking HIM if he was in the bathroom when they talked on the telephone.  (I wouldn't have owned up to it.  I would have made something up.  It was the TV.  It was an odd atmospheric reaction caused by swamp gas and nuclear fall-out.  It was my cat barfing up a hairball.  A BIG hairball.  Yeah.  That was it.)

Well, the long and short of it is:

Don't use the portable phone while using the potty.

Sage words for the sound of mind.  It seems to be a rule.  I'm not sure if Miss Emily said it first.  It's possible that Miss Emily thought it didn't really need to be said since she started dolling out advice about etiquette in 1946.  (Remember the rotary phone that doesn't migrate into the toilet?  The chances are that it probably did not come up.)

However, portable phones opened the door.  (There's a bad pun there but I'm not going that way.)  But now that we have cell phones, well, whoopsie doodle.  A whole 'nother can of worms has just been opened up.  As a matter of fact, worms are flying everydamnwhere.

Case in point.  I was in the bathroom of Target.  I was minding my own bathroom related business.  While occupado, a woman, I assume it was a woman since it was the girl's bathroom, came into the facility while still speaking on her cell phone.  It was only she and I in the bathroom.  She picked the stall farthest away from mine and proceeded to go peepee (I can hear it and it wasn't like I had a Navy Seal device hooked up to the stall's walls.) while still holding a discussion with Deedee.

Yes, she called the woman, 'Deedee.'  She couldn't stop to tell Deedee that, "I'm peepeeing in the potty at Target, Deedee.  Can I call you back?"  No, she just carried on her conversation.

One must understand that the woman had to know that I was in the bathroom, too.  She walked past my closed door.  It wasn't like I was hiding under the sink in the corner wearing urban camouflage.

It did not matter.  Cell Phone Mama said chirpily, "Deedee, I was just looking at this bracelet.  It had silver plating on it and silver plating turns my skin green.  So I can't buy anything with silver plating.  But it was a nice bracelet.  So I had to ask the clerk if they had the bracelet in something that wasn't silver plated, but that woman looked at me as though I had lost my mind.  So I put it back and got a necklace.  Then I couldn't find matching earrings."  I had pretty much dozed off at that point.  Deedee probably had, too.
I think Target actually has red stalls.  But now I'm going to
have to go shopping there just to check to see if I was
right.  (I went and checked.  SILVER!  Yikes!  They
should have been red.)
Was this conversation important enough to carry into the bathroom at Target and continue it while peeing?  NO, OF COURSE IT WASN'T!!  But Cell Phone Mama persevered.  Let it never be said that Cell Phone Mama gave up on her cell phone call while talking to Deedee.  (I salute you, Deedee, whoever you are and despite the fact that you voluntarily signed up to listen to Cell Phone Mama.)

"So then I went into Petsmart to get some of that gourmet dog food that Fifi likes so much and they had shrimp flavored but not lamb flavored.  Fifi throws up if I give her shrimp flavored food," Cell Phone Mama went on blithely.  "And ohmigod, you don't want to clean up after Fifi when she throws up.  I don't know how a dog that small can barf so much."

I began to pray that I would win the lottery, that a meteor would crash into the store, and that Mel Gibson would stop into the bathroom to discuss problems with local law enforcement officials.  Hell, I would have welcomed a hissing Mellow by that time.  I considered putting my fingers in my ears but it didn't help.  (I needed elephant fingers like my dentist.  Haha.  I love blogging.)

Cell Phone Mama went on, "My boyfriend says he likes shrimp but it doesn't make him throw up.  I think he's better than the last one.  Vito wouldn't pay for dinner half of the time.  I mean, why should I pay for dinner?  He makes more money than I do, so he should pay for dinner.  I mean, you know, jeez."

I don't think Deedee got to talk much.  It's entirely likely that Deedee was a mute whose only friend was Cell Phone Mama.

The continuing conversation while I tried to urge my digestion system to HURRY THE HELL UP AND FINISH! went like this, "So, my boss said I took too long of a lunch but there was this dress I had to try on and I think it made my butt look big.  Wait, I took a picture with my phone and I'll send it to you."  I was briefly thankful here because I thought she would shut up while she sent the picture but apparently she has the kind of phone that enables her to do several things at once, including TALK!  "There, I sent it.  It's not a good angle.  And what color would you call that dress?  Eggplant?  I think it's purple.  But oh, my God, do I need to lay off the potato chips at night or I need to get on the treadmill more often.  I tried the diet potato chips but they made me want to throw up so I-" she giggled here "-Gave them to Fifi.  She liked them better than the shrimp flavored dogfood.  I tried that dogfood, too.  You know, I eat everything I give the dog.  If it's good enough for my dog, then it's good enough for me.  I wonder if I would lose weight if I just ate dogfood."

Does anyone think that I really wanted to listen to this conversation?  (Let me make this perfectly clear to the person reading this who just asked, 'Why did you stay, then?'  I had no choice, due to forces of internal nature.  I was stuck there.)  I was amazed that Cell Phone Mama was so long-winded and that the battery on her phone lasted as long as it did.

Finally.  Finally.  Finally.  I finished and as I stood up, Cell Phone Mama said, "Where am I?"  Apparently, Deedee had finally spoken and it was to ask Cell Phone Mama where she was currently chatting her ass off at.  Good question.

I waited for a moment.  Why not tell Deedee that she was taking a big dumpenetta in Target's bathroom?  Would she fess up to chatting and taking a little crap-a-doodle-doo?  I mean, here was the moment of truth.  Cell Mama considered for a moment and said, "I'm at Target in the food court."

So I flushed the toilet.  Then I flushed it again for good measure.  Life is good sometimes.

In conclusion, here's the new rule:

Don't use the cell phone while in the potty.

Then HIM came in and read over my shoulder and added, "Unless you use the mute button."  I wonder what HIM's been doing when I've been calling.  Hmm.


bonclyde149150 said...

"Finally. Finally. Finally. I finished and as I stood up, Cell Phone Mama said, "Where am I?" Apparently, Deedee had finally spoken and it was to ask Cell Phone Mama where she was currently chatting her ass off at. Good question.

I waited for a moment. Why not tell Deedee that she was taking a big dumpenetta in Target's bathroom? Would she fess up to chatting and taking a little crap-a-doodle-doo? I mean, here was the moment of truth. Cell Mama considered for a moment and said, "I'm at Target in the food court."

So I flushed the toilet. Then I flushed it again for good measure. Life is good sometimes."

So funny! I would have flushed the toilet too.

Carwoo said...

That couldn't have worked out better if I had planned it. This woman seriously said she was in the food court and my hand was on the handle. Karma.