Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A story my son would find hysterical

This afternoon while expunging the remains of my morning coffee, I was joined by a pair of shoes in the neighboring stall. I flushed the toilet, and the shoes responded with an authoritative and resounding fart. "Sorry," muttered the voice belonging to the shoes. "I tried to time it with your flush."

While I am certainly not one to scoff at a pair of well-mannered feet, I did find their apology completely unnecessary. If there is any place one's feet can make such noises guilt-free, it most definitely is the public restroom of the world's largest retailer of natural and organic foods. Fire at will, I say. Fire at will.

A far less appropriate place is the undergrad library at the University of Washington, where I found myself studying one quiet afternoon in the late '90s. The library was unusually warm from the sunny day, and I was studying for a less than riveting class (like statistics or astronomy or any one of the other equally questionable "math" classes I took while at the U), and I simply could not keep my head from doing that annoying snooze nod thing. Finally surrendering, I pushed my books out of the way and made a futile attempt to get comfortable before completely passing out cold. I woke myself up once with my own snoring; once with the drool dripping from my gaping mouth onto my hand; and one final time with the distinct feeling that I'd just let one rip.

My eyes popped open, but otherwise I held perfectly still. Maybe no one heard. Maybe the vibration on the chair felt louder than it sounded. Maybe nothing had happened at all, and the awkward feeling was simply the remnants of an odd dream. Slowly, I lifted my head and peered around the corner of my study cubby. The coast was clear to my right, but an entire Econ study group sat grinning at me from the left. The highlight was the guy who gave me a thumbs up as I skulked down the stairs and out the library doors, disappearing into the merciful setting sun.

That probably warranted an apology.

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