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Thursday, August 8, 2013

What’s Going Down in the Bathroom

The office bathroom, a room where I once almost died, has been on my mind lately.

Which means, of course, that I have been forced to do something. 

In a move that expresses both my desire to remain semi-oblivious  to the strainings of the gal in the next stall and the need to add more music to my life, I have brought a clock radio into the situation.

There it sits, on the counter, next to the double sinks just under the mirror, a vision of late-80s splendor.

It blinks the time continuously – roughly seven hours and 23 minutes off – because I cannot be bothered to set it correctly.

It’s not about the time, people.

It’s about the distraction it provides.

And even that is not what it is about.

What it is about is the burgeoning radio war.

Tamra is perplexed. 

“Every time I go into the bathroom, it’s on a different station.  Are you doing that?”

“Nein,” I say.

She shakes her head.  “I’ve been in there three times today; and each time I go in, it’s a new station.”  She pauses.  “The last time I was in there, Billy Idol’s White Wedding was playing.”

She pauses again, bemused.  “White Wedding,” she repeats.

“I can beat that,” I say.

We turn, in our little double-wide cubicle, knees toward each other. 

“Barry White,” I say.  “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe.”

We grin at each other.

“The bathroom,” Tamra says, “is just one aspect of life’s rich tapestry.”

And so now that the women of the 48th floor have become accustomed to the buttons and dials of a 30-year-old clock radio, the station changes, perhaps hourly, from Dance to Pop to Orchestral to Soul.

And late yesterday afternoon, someone actually turned it off entirely. 

“What’s it mean?” I ask Tamra.

Tamra, a practical woman with a wardrobe I wish I could squeeze into, regards me.  “I have no idea.”

We blink at each other. 

“No one knows,” I say, “who brought it in.  And I’ve overheard people talking, that the music sure beats the awful silence created as four women in four different stalls all wish that the others would leave so they could do what they came in to do.”

Tamra nods.  There is wisdom in this.

“And yet the stations change, possibly hourly.”

And shaking our heads, we turn back to our work.

Are women really that fickle?


Z said...

We turn, in our little double-wide cubicle, knees toward each other. I was startled there, until I realised you were back in the office when you had that conversation.

Anyway, I can't listen to the wrong music, especially in the loo where there's no one to distract me (assuming it isn't a double cubicle). I'd absolutely change the station. I'd put the time right too, but that's because of the obsessive nature of my personality.

Mandy_Fish said...

The old YMCA where I used to work out had an old alarm clock radio in it with the blinking time. It was always set to Rush Limbaugh's radio show every time I went to work out during lunch. And every day I changed the station immediately. *Shudder*

Silliyak said...

I'm not understanding why all the fuss about when you're "powdering your noses"

Pearl said...

Z, oh! Sorry if I was unclear there.
Tamra and I never use the double-wide potty. :-)

Mandy, as would I. :-)

Silliyak, Apparently it needs the proper music to do it!

Al Penwasser said...

NOTHING'S going down in the bathroom which is why I need that plunger.
It's so nasty, though.

Al Penwasser said...

Incidentally, I hope someone washes their hands because that would be one funky radio.
It'd be like a plunger.

Pearl said...

Al, ah, holy hannah, Al, ya had to bring up the hand-washing. /shudder/ I hate to think of how many of my coworkers do NOT wash their hands...

Nessa Locke said...

I was thinking the same thing as Al. How many things to you want to touch in the bathroom, anyway? I won't even touch the door handle without proper paper towel placement.
And if I really wanted to make a statement about the radio, I'd "accidentally" drop it in the sink.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
...isn't this what the little earplugules with walkabout music were invented for?

Me? I avoid communal toileting like the plague. Mother swore I had camel in my ancestry. &*{

Pearl said...

Nessa, when faced with the bus, the skyways, and the general amount of contact in a city, the bathroom pales. Well, for me, anyway. And I am quite the little hand-washer. :-)

Hari OM, Yam. I work four nines and a four. At some point -- at least Mon-Thurs -- I will be in that bathroom. :-)

jenny_o said...

Wait, now, what? We ALL know who brought the radio in! Those of us paying attention at the beginning, that is.

I'm surprised health & safety didn't remove the radio from fear of losing workers by electrocution. Accidental, of course.

Leenie said...

Sometimes it's just better not to know.

Jono said...

Electricity and water is just the thing for a disgruntled employee. Or even a gruntled employee, for that matter.

HermanTurnip said...

I used to own a hand-me-down radio I got from my grandfather. The tuning knob would turn, but the station never changed. At one house it only received a gospel station. When we moved cities it then only received a station called "B100", and that's when I learned that I hated, with all my heart, crazy morning FM disk jockeys.

Joanne Noragon said...

We kept the coffee maker in the bathroom, to the dismay of the men. As they had more power but we had the coffee, we got a kitchen.

Gigi said...

Oh hell, you've got the wheels in my brain spinning (not always a good thing) about what would happen should a radio just happen to appear in our bathroom at work...

mapstew said...

No radio in the Gents, maybe we just don't give a shit? :¬)


sage said...

The things women do (and talk about) when there are no men to keep them on the straight and narrow... :)

Merlesworld said...

What a good idea every work bathroom needs a radio, wish we had one where I worked.

Juli said...

Yes. Yes we are.

Eva Gallant said...

Distraction in a public restroom is a necessity!

Daisy said...

Pearl, you make every room in a building as interesting as public transportation!

River said...

music to poop by.

the walking man said...

You know it was the GUY who lost his key to the executive bathroom who turned the radio off...on another note are you saying that females grunt when actually---you know?

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I found this to be another funny post only because like Z I had a moment where I thought you were in a double toilet maybe that is because I have terrible dreams about going to use a public toilet only to find there are now doors

Daisy said...

I would welcome the distraction of music. As for the different stations, variety is the spice of life, I suppose. :)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I kind of like the idea of a constantly changing radio station anywhere--but especially in the ladies' can!

Indigo Roth said...

"Are women really that fickle?"

Can I have notice of that question, please?

mromain said...

Pearl, just be glad that nobody has come up with the truly nefarious idea of stealthily setting the alarm function to go off whilst some unsuspecting patron is trying to complete the task. At least, that's what I'd probably do.