The time has come to steer Lame Adventures straight into the toilet. Elsbeth, my boss, is a respected award winning interior designer. On the night she won her most recent accolade for creating an eye-catching three-dimensional tile, I was undergoing colon prep. While my Lord and Master was clutching her trophy and delivering a speech thanking the little people I was completely indisposed. As soon as she could escape the glare of the flash bulbs, she forgot that I had specifically told her that I was spending the evening evacuating my being. While I am relieving myself voluminously, an elated Elsbeth calls and leaves a message on my home answering machine.
Elsbeth: We won! We won! We won! (pause) Are you there? (remembering) Oh! … I know where you are, uh, well … Just wanted you to know we won!
Insert sound effect: toilet flushing.
One of Elsbeth’s most inspired creative feats, at least amongst her staff, has been the red light in our office that she had the company craftsman install a few years ago. If I recall the root of Elsbeth’s inspiration, it was her very own bladder after gulping down yet another 20-ounce bottle of Diet Coke. When this light bulb is lit, this notifies us when our bathroom is occupied. This is great since our bathroom is inconveniently located outside our office in our department’s warehouse. That light bulb was truly another stroke of Elsbethian genius. Prior to its existence, often one would trek through the warehouse, over to the bathroom, only to find the door shut, forcing the outsider to make a decision, do you wait or return later?
If the occupier was our former cleaning lady, Agnes the Bitter, a pygmy sized woman who excelled at vacuuming near ones desk whenever one was on a business call, odds were good that you might have to wait up to half an hour for her to emerge. This was not due to A the B diligently cleaning every inch of our bathroom with a toothbrush, it just happened to be her choice destination to park herself with her cell phone. Since the advent of the red light, our bathroom was no longer a safe haven of privacy for A the B to grouse about how overworked she was, although I suspect that once that red light bulb was installed, it was topic A on her call sheet for weeks on end.
Fast forward to the present. I am sitting at my desk re-proofreading the same document to the point of developing hysterical blindness, when I polish off my third cup of tea in two hours. Suddenly I feel the need to urinate with an urgency akin to my ancestors, if any of them happened to be tea-drinking barnyard animals. I steal a glance in the direction of the red light. It’s not lit. I think, “Oh happy day!”
Fleet of hoof, I race to the bathroom, turn on the light, but before closing the door, I see this:
With bladderial floodwaters rising rapidly, I defy the odds, speed-race back to my desk, and grab my camera to take the above image. Then, I am free to thoroughly drain my being. I emerge feeling three gallons lighter with slight dry-eye and itchy knuckles.
Back in the office, I immediately show the picture to my colleagues, Greg, Elaine and Ling. Both the Quiet Man and Elsbeth are on the phone so they’re spared. Greg is quite sure that The Company Blockhead was the culprit. One of the requirements for anyone working under Elsbeth is that your signature is not your thumbprint. Therefore, this does appear to be the handiwork of the love child of a small soap dish and a tree stump. An old adage claims that a picture is worth a thousand words, but I deduce that the positioning of this toilet paper roll rates just eleven more:
This is a statement in the language of bathroom etiquette stupidity.