|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Feb. 26, 2013 - 10:24 a.m.
When you gotta go.
Last Tuesday when I came to work there was a sign posted saying that the mens' bathrooms on our floor was closed. The entire office complex has been undergoing a multi-year renovation project, and I guess yesterday was the 9th floor guys' bathroom's turn. The Mens Room was cordoned off, and from inside you could hear banging and drilling and cursing in Spanish all day long. In order to use the bathroom we had to go up the stairs to the 10th floor or down the stairs to the 8th floor.
No big deal, right?
Well actually, in radio that IS a big deal. Bathroom breaks in this biz are coveted like precious yellow diamonds. They're rare, they're tiny, and they're often fought over. If you get a five minute break you don't go to the vending machine for a(nother) Snickers bar, you don't tweet "Finally, I can poop! #americanpie", and you certainly don't pre-read copy or do anything else that would make your show sound better.
You sprint for the bathroom. And I mean, sprint.
You lose all sense when your chance finally arrives, too. I can't tell you how many times I've leaped out of my chair only to immediately crash over backwards when my head is jerked back by the headphones I neglected to remove first.
This is how bad it gets: the women here all wear panty shields because wiping takes too long.
And it can get even worse than that. During Hurricane Sandy when the few announcers who managed to make it in had to cover for announcers who didn't - for 3 days - there were stretches where we were chained to our microphones for hours at a time, talking non-stop.
And drinking coffee non-stop.
On one marathon 14-hour clip I managed to grab just two bathroom breaks. During one of them I was standing at the urinal, head back, eyes closed, in classic Relieved Guy Position. Suddenly the door crashed open and Deb, an announcer from down the hall, came barreling in and bolted straight to kid's urinal right next me. She spun to face away from it, dropped her sweats, and leaned forward, elbows on knees.
"The stalls in the Ladies Room are occupied" she gasped.
"Why don't you go into a stall here?" I asked. "They're all empty."
"No time. I have to be back on the air in 28 seconds."
She barely finished that sentence before she straightened up and ran for the door, hopping from one leg to the other trying to hike her pants along the way. I stood with my dick in my hands and watched her not-quite covered buns and some tenacious droplets disappear around the corner.
When the bathrooms aren't working here it's cause for real panic. There is just no time to run up or down a flight of stairs, go, then get back to the mic in time for your cue. People - not me, of course - have been rumored to resort to the kitchen sink during the overnights if they were absolutely desperate and thought they could get away undetected. I don't think anyone ever actually did that...but I don't go near the sink.
So when I saw that sign announcing the Mens Room was off limits, I had a real start. Morning drive radio is particularly hard on one's renal system, and I could well imagine that some my cohorts might start looking at that kitchen sink in a funny way as their shift went on. I was not looking forward to the next eight hours.
However, when I got upstairs to my studio I saw an addendum to the note. They were leaving the Ladies Room open, and we should coordinate breaks by gender in order to avoid embarrassing encounters. Which in reality meant: "Ladies, don't be surprised when a guy comes barging in while you're sitting there and he begins peeing in the stall next to you without even closing the door." (Fortunately the ladies here are all radio pro's, so they're already inured to indignity.) Everyone was relieved, in both senses.
That setup worked just fine on Tuesday. Which was a good thing, since the renovations took longer than expected and the Mens Room didn't open until Friday.
I do want to stop here briefly to note: you women are PIGS. Seriously. When I first ran in to the Ladies bathroom Tuesday morning I stopped dead in my tracks. The place was a mess! Granted I wasn't expecting to enter the Faerie Realm of the Enchanted Kingdom, but...this? I thought I'd arrived just 5 minutes too late to stop a suicide bomber. Toilet paper strewn everywhere, and not just on the floor, and not all of it unused. Weird, multicolored stains on the sinks and mirrors. Clumps of hair in the drains. If this Ladies Room isn't on the list of Superfund Sites, someone's definitely on the take.
And the smell. What is that cloying attar you ladies douse yourselves with to mask your natural musk, anyway? Whatever it is, work pussy is better, trust me. Knock it off.
Ok, I'm not gonna harp on that. But it really did come as a shock. All my adolescent fantasies were destroyed in one fell swoop that day.
Back to Friday.
On Friday the New! Improved! Mens Room opened for business, and the Ladies Room was cordoned off for its makeover. Us guys will be sharing facilities with the babes for the next week and a half (it'll take an extra 3 days to decontaminate theirs). They better not ruin ours like they did theirs.
Anyway, the first thing everyone wanted to do when they got to work was see what sort of upgrades they made to the Mens Room. Myself included. As soon as I got out of the elevator I turned towards the bathroom to take a peek. My buddy Bill was just coming out of it as I rounded the corner.
"Bill! So how is it?"
He laughed. "It's...well, you'll see." He laughed again, and walked past.
That was odd.
I opened the door to the Mens Room.
It was gorgeous. The whole thing was done up in varying shades of grey, with stainless accents. The tiled floor looked too classy to walk on, almost. Even the stall doors were stunning; thick, opaque smokey glass with mirrored trim. Six low profile stainless sinks rose up from the floor, each with a small protruding handle-less faucet operated by a sensor. In between each sink was a stainless soap dispenser, also on sensors. And the urinals - well ok, they're urinals. I think that's where they decided to save some money, because they looked like the same white porcelain jobs I'd been peeing in for the last 17 years. But at least they were clean. For once.
I stepped in.
And as soon as I did, I heard "Splooosh...plop".
I looked around. I was the only one in there.
I took another step.
I didn't really have time to ponder it however as I had to be on the air shortly hadn't even set up in my studio yet. I couldn't tell my PD that I missed my first mic break because I was admiring the bathroom. So I walked over to a urinal and unzipped. But every other step I heard "Splooosh...plop...Splooosh...plop".
I finished, zipped up, and turned towards the sinks. I took my first step.
And a blob of soap foam shot out of one of the automated soap dispensers and hit the floor.
I took another step. Then another.
They forgot adjust the sensitivity settings on the soap dispenser sensors when they installed them! Anything that moved caused every unit to spit out a blob of foamy goo!
This was GREAT!
I trotted along the entire bank of sinks 2 or 3 times, and sure enough as I passed between sinks each dispenser went "Splooosh...plop" as a white foamy ball hit the floor. After two passes it looked like some weird whipped cream fetishist had broken in and left little mounds of ReddiWip behind.
It was GREAT!
But I did have to get back to my studio. The show really must go on, hilarious soap dispensers or no. At least according to my boss. I washed my hands with an intended sploosh of soap then exited back into the hall.
Where I was almost bowled over by my buddy Deb who was hurtling towards me at full tilt. "Outta my way!" she bellowed. "I've only got 47 seconds!" She kicked the door to the Mens Room open and ran in.
Two seconds later she ran back out. She got right up to me and jabbed a finger straight into my chest. "You're PIGS! You're all fucking PIGS!" she screamed. "You couldn't wait til you got home??"
"Wait til I got home?" I said. "I would have exploded!"
"The new Mens Room is so pretty you just HAD to jerk off as soon as you saw it?! PIGS! ALL OF YOU!! She spun and shot back into the bathroom. The last thing I heard was her wail echoing down the hall, "TWENTY THREE SECONDS! SHIT!"
Back in my studio I sat scratching my head. Seriously - how the hell could she tell? I mean, it looked exactly like the soap blobs!
It really IS a pretty bathroom....