Sunday, June 21, 2009

Coulda, Shoulda . . . Didn't.

Becky? Is that you?


Since we're on the subject of bathrooms. . . .ok, I'm on the subject. You're just an innocent bystander.

Since I'm on the subject of bathrooms, this mercifully brief anecdote falls under the category of "Things-that-would-have-been-so-daringly-absurdly-excellent-if-I-had-actually-had-the-cojones-or-just-plain-mental-instability-to-do-or-say-them".

Leaving work late one winter evening, very few people left around the medical practice, I stop into the restroom as I often do before my long commute home. I usually use the one for employees, but instead choose the one for the general public. I enter to find I have my choice of any and all of the four available bathroom stalls, as the room is completely empty.

Though not physically handicapped, I make the obvious choice and opt for the modern and spacious, all-the-bells-and-whistles stall at the end---and why do they so often put the handicapped stalls all the way at the far end, rather than making them the first one? Is this some designer's passive aggression, getting even for the whole "best parking space" thing? I wonder.

Anyway, at this point in our brief yet delightful anecdote--the bathroom stall point--I must say that I'm aware that one of the first rules of writing is "show don't tell". But, for perhaps obvious reasons, I will here choose to do neither. I will also humbly request that you not employ your imagination at this juncture in said brief yet delightful anecdote, lest you render it considerably less delightful. I'm just sayin'. I can assure you that the particular details I will avoid here (and by "I" I mean, of course, "we") are not so important to get us to the glorious climax of this rambling. You just need to picture a bathroom stall door, me behind it, in an empty bathroom.

Got the picture? Good.

So, I hear the main door to the restroom open, and a woman enters. I hear her a bit timidly call out "Becky?" I freeze, she pauses for response. Then, a little more forcefully, "Becky?"

At which point I begin the long, low growl of rabid animals and the criminally insane, then crescendo that growl, ending through clenched teeth with an enraged "DON'T CALL ME BECKY!" *

At this point, it is somewhat important that you read up on what that little asterisk is all about.

*As mentioned earlier in the full-disclosure section, I did not actually have the cojones to do or say this, and the woman simply left.

Sometimes I like to imagine the look on the woman's face and the sound of her feet nervously scurrying down the hallway if I had more bravely seized this chance for a darkly comedic moment. Sometimes I imagine a scenario where instead of with pseudo-rage, I respond with plaintive whimpering from behind the door, and a quiet, resigned "Stop [sniffle] calling me Becky." Perhaps she apologizes, and seeks to comfort me as I do my best to convince her of the obvious; that I am, in fact, not Becky.

"[sniffle] . . .but I'm not Becky. I'm not [sniffle]."

"[handing a tissue] Of . . .of course you aren't . . .Dear."

"I'm not Becky."

Then perhaps while driving home bewildered, she realizes that I work with her physician and have access to all of her personal information, like address and phone number. I again imagine her face at this point.

Yes, there are times when I look back with regret for this missed opportunity to be a complete ass, this chance to erode the mundane. We live, we learn. Maybe.

I get ideas like this on a fairly regular basis, in a variety of situations.

My kingdom for some brass ones.

***************************************


Just an additional note some time after the original blog post, to confess that I still have not the brass--just a couple weeks ago, a similar situation came up. This time, though, I was in the fitting room at Macy's. A woman came in and started calling out "Sissy . . . . .Sissy?" The temptation was again great to rise up and commence a faux-psychotic protest of the name-calling, but. . . .you know, it was Macy's, and that would have been more of a Target thing.


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