Monthly Archives: June 2012

Lights Out

This is one of those iffy subjects.  I am wondering if I can pull this off without offending and bothering you.  By you, I mean specifically you.  You know who you are.  If you don’t, that would be an odd thing.  Perhaps you are in a coma and don’t know you anymore.  Sad really.  But since you are reading this, I would guess that you are alive and well.

The topic pertains to the bathroom which is one of my favorite topics when I am trying to produce something that will make you smile.  Producing humor that is, not anything else that you may or may not have been thinking.

You have to understand that I am a man.  I’m a grown man–someone who is raising a family.  I have my fair share of responsibilities and I am a decent member of society.  However, you also have to understand that before all of my so called maturing happened, I was a little boy.  And after that, I was a male teenager.  And then for a while, I was a guy in college.  Poo-poo jokes and embarrassing situations revolving around the bathroom are something that I embrace.  I can’t not smile when I am confronted by a story that involves gas or someone caught with their pants down.  I have to admit and acknowledge that its part of me.  It makes me, me.  I’m ok with it.

So, that being said and understood, I’m entering a small public restroom the other day.  It’s a nicely constructed with all the newer no-touch devices—lights, toilet flusher, sink water, towel dispenser, etc.  I walk in the lights click on automatically.  I proceed to the stall, to do what people do in a stall.  No details needed there.  You get the picture.  (“Everyone Poops” is a great book.  Look for it if you have never seen it.)

Then some time passes.  I’m not known for being fast at this “particular activity”.  If a book or a magazine is handy, I’ll take in a few stories.  But honestly, who wants to be known for either outcome: fast or slow.

“Hey, isn’t that Marcus over there?”

“Yeah, man it is!  Boy, he can move fast.”

It’s a good compliment for a football player, baseball player, or a track star, but not for someone seeking to relieve their biology.

Anyway, time passes and the sensor and timer controlling the automatic lights conspire against me as they make the decision that there is no longer anyone in the bathroom.  Lights out!  All at once, I am subjected to total darkness.  It’s alarming and very hard to describe the feelings that rush over you in that small moment of time.  In an emergency, the battery back-up lights would kick on, but this is no emergency.  This is simply an energy saving piece of electronics doing its job.

I think to myself for a plan.  This is a problem I can solve.  I’ll stand up and wave my hands around in order to make the lights click back on.  I do just that.  Nothing.  I’m in the stall with my pants at my ankles flapping my arms so hard I nearly took flight.  Nothing.  Still total darkness—like complete total darkness.  Ok.  I’ll open and close the stall door real fast.  Nothing.  No effect.  Darkness continues.  I can’t believe that the sensor isn’t covering the entire room, but it makes sense.  The sensor is designed to watch the door only, not the entire bathroom.  Despite my situation, I can actually appreciate this design.  I have issues when it comes to devices that “watch” humans in the bathroom.  I’m not a fan of the auto flusher.  First off, it’s watching me sit there.  It sees me.  Creepy.  Secondly, I always cover that “eyeball” with a piece of toilet paper so as to avoid the premature flush.  Nothing worse.

I have a friend on Facebook that posted one of those one-liner jokes that makes its rounds on the internet every so often.  “How does a blind person know when he is done wiping?”  It’s a great question.  Great question.  Well the memory of reading that really hit home just then.

This is the touchy part that might cause you to never return to my reading ever again.  I’ll do my best not to lose you.

I do what I can in total darkness to clean up my… situation.  I am, at this moment, in every aspect of the description, a blind man.  Ok, moving on.  I raise my pants and fix my belt.  I then do the mad dash out of the stall toward the door.  The lights click back on and I reverse the mad dash back into the stall.  In fact, if you had the chance to see me, you would have said, “Wow, that Marcus really moves fast.”

I realize that since no one actually saw me dealing with this whole incident, the story becomes somewhat anti-climatic.  But there I was, back in the stall.  (This is the part where losing you really concerns me).  I return to the seated position in order to check my work.    Let’s just say, as a blind man, I did good work.  Although I still don’t know the answer to that great question—how do they know?

While washing my hands, I had one more flashback.  A long time ago when I was just a little punk, probably somewhere around nine years old, I had a friend named Dave (no last name given in order to protect his identity).  We found it amusing to kill the lights in public bathrooms as we ran out the door when we observed someone’s feet occupying a stall.  We would hear these people’s shocked voices echoing out, “Hey, turn the lights on I’m still in here!” as we were running out the door casting them into total darkness.  We would laugh so hard.

Now, it is so clear that I must apologize to those unknown peoples that we tormented so long ago.  I understand now exactly what they were feeling.  Exactly.  What goes around comes around.

I am sorry.

I wonder if they ever wrote out their story.  Probably not.

Oh, and if I offended any blind people actually reading this story… oh wait, never mind.

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Jet Ski Warning

I returned from vacation not too long ago.  My family made it down to Holden Beach, North Carolina.  This particular beach was somewhat secluded and far from the typical tourist trap like you can find in Myrtle Beach.  I found this destination by utilizing my resources in a very effective manner.  We were invited to join three other families in a beach house for the week.  So I basically said, “sure, here is a check.”  I highly recommend planning your vacations in this fashion.  It is a very low stress approach.

One afternoon in the middle of our wonderful vacation, I got to experience riding on a jet ski for the first time ever.  We rented two jet skis for the four of us.  My wife would ride with one of our sons and I would take the other.  My boys are twelve and thirteen and failed to make the requirement of the minimum age to be the driver.  This requirement can be found in the verbiage of a zillion page small book of a legal document that you have to agree to.  There are a thousand places to initial here, sign there, date here, put a thumb print there.  I try my best to read as much as possible whenever signing my life away.  I look for the obvious warnings like: If you scratch the unit, you agree to pay for the repair and buy the rental company a second brand new jet ski as well.

While reading as carefully as I can while holding off my boys excitement I couldn’t help but notice this warning:  It is highly recommended that riders wear a wet suit.  Water may forcefully enter your rectum and vagina.  Well now that’s an eye opener!  I had to read that one aloud to my entire family.  Three out of four of us don’t have a vagina, so at least that reduces the odds of potential injury significantly.

Anyway, my family is out and about bouncing over each other’s wakes.  Fun was being had. Water spraying and splashing us all over.  Well, not completely all over.  Although I can be sympathetic to the poor soul who sustained that horrible situation that dictated the warning, I’m not sure what position we would need to be in to achieve the forceful salt water enema.  The fun ride completed without incident, unless you count the number of times my son and I shouted, “rectum, hell, it killed him.”

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10,000 Foot View

I’m flying home from across the country after a week of work away from home.  Flying out of this particular area offers incredible views at a most amazing part of our country.  The scenery is amazing with the rocky mountains standing in the background.  My flight had to circle around after lift off, so everyone on board had the opportunity to observe the incredible landscape all around.  Everyone, that is, except me.  It never fails that I get the seat with the perfect view of the wing. The wing!  It’s beautiful.  The way the sun reflects off of the rows of screws, the way those flaps move in and out, and the way the message “do not walk here” captures your eye and doesn’t let go.  Breathtaking.  Simply breathtaking.

It seems to me that the wing is always just outside my window.  It doesn’t matter which seat is assigned to me, the wing will be there blocking my view.  In previous flights, I have heard people gawking at the splendor of the Grand Canyon, or the view of the Washington monument, and all I can think is how it looks a lot like an airplane wing. My seat can be in row one, five, twenty-two –it does not matter, the wing will be there.  I honestly think that if I were to be the pilot of the aircraft, the wing would still be there obstructing my view, sticking out of the front of the plane.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain, if you look out of left side of the plane you’ll get a great view of Yellowstone National Park, and since we will be turning around in order to correct our flight path, those of you on the right will also have the opportunity.  Oh, except you Marcus, if you’ll notice please, that’s our wing.”

I always lean forward in my seat to note the person across the way on the opposite side of the aircraft with the prime view of the other wing.  I feel a special connection to this other poor soul who shares the equally unimpressive view of the aircraft wing.  On today’s flight, my wing-observing partner is actually a blind man.

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