Lights Out

This is one of those iffy subjects.  I am wondering if I can pull this off without offending and bothering you.  By you, I mean specifically you.  You know who you are.  If you don’t, that would be an odd thing.  Perhaps you are in a coma and don’t know you anymore.  Sad really.  But since you are reading this, I would guess that you are alive and well.

The topic pertains to the bathroom which is one of my favorite topics when I am trying to produce something that will make you smile.  Producing humor that is, not anything else that you may or may not have been thinking.

You have to understand that I am a man.  I’m a grown man–someone who is raising a family.  I have my fair share of responsibilities and I am a decent member of society.  However, you also have to understand that before all of my so called maturing happened, I was a little boy.  And after that, I was a male teenager.  And then for a while, I was a guy in college.  Poo-poo jokes and embarrassing situations revolving around the bathroom are something that I embrace.  I can’t not smile when I am confronted by a story that involves gas or someone caught with their pants down.  I have to admit and acknowledge that its part of me.  It makes me, me.  I’m ok with it.

So, that being said and understood, I’m entering a small public restroom the other day.  It’s a nicely constructed with all the newer no-touch devices—lights, toilet flusher, sink water, towel dispenser, etc.  I walk in the lights click on automatically.  I proceed to the stall, to do what people do in a stall.  No details needed there.  You get the picture.  (“Everyone Poops” is a great book.  Look for it if you have never seen it.)

Then some time passes.  I’m not known for being fast at this “particular activity”.  If a book or a magazine is handy, I’ll take in a few stories.  But honestly, who wants to be known for either outcome: fast or slow.

“Hey, isn’t that Marcus over there?”

“Yeah, man it is!  Boy, he can move fast.”

It’s a good compliment for a football player, baseball player, or a track star, but not for someone seeking to relieve their biology.

Anyway, time passes and the sensor and timer controlling the automatic lights conspire against me as they make the decision that there is no longer anyone in the bathroom.  Lights out!  All at once, I am subjected to total darkness.  It’s alarming and very hard to describe the feelings that rush over you in that small moment of time.  In an emergency, the battery back-up lights would kick on, but this is no emergency.  This is simply an energy saving piece of electronics doing its job.

I think to myself for a plan.  This is a problem I can solve.  I’ll stand up and wave my hands around in order to make the lights click back on.  I do just that.  Nothing.  I’m in the stall with my pants at my ankles flapping my arms so hard I nearly took flight.  Nothing.  Still total darkness—like complete total darkness.  Ok.  I’ll open and close the stall door real fast.  Nothing.  No effect.  Darkness continues.  I can’t believe that the sensor isn’t covering the entire room, but it makes sense.  The sensor is designed to watch the door only, not the entire bathroom.  Despite my situation, I can actually appreciate this design.  I have issues when it comes to devices that “watch” humans in the bathroom.  I’m not a fan of the auto flusher.  First off, it’s watching me sit there.  It sees me.  Creepy.  Secondly, I always cover that “eyeball” with a piece of toilet paper so as to avoid the premature flush.  Nothing worse.

I have a friend on Facebook that posted one of those one-liner jokes that makes its rounds on the internet every so often.  “How does a blind person know when he is done wiping?”  It’s a great question.  Great question.  Well the memory of reading that really hit home just then.

This is the touchy part that might cause you to never return to my reading ever again.  I’ll do my best not to lose you.

I do what I can in total darkness to clean up my… situation.  I am, at this moment, in every aspect of the description, a blind man.  Ok, moving on.  I raise my pants and fix my belt.  I then do the mad dash out of the stall toward the door.  The lights click back on and I reverse the mad dash back into the stall.  In fact, if you had the chance to see me, you would have said, “Wow, that Marcus really moves fast.”

I realize that since no one actually saw me dealing with this whole incident, the story becomes somewhat anti-climatic.  But there I was, back in the stall.  (This is the part where losing you really concerns me).  I return to the seated position in order to check my work.    Let’s just say, as a blind man, I did good work.  Although I still don’t know the answer to that great question—how do they know?

While washing my hands, I had one more flashback.  A long time ago when I was just a little punk, probably somewhere around nine years old, I had a friend named Dave (no last name given in order to protect his identity).  We found it amusing to kill the lights in public bathrooms as we ran out the door when we observed someone’s feet occupying a stall.  We would hear these people’s shocked voices echoing out, “Hey, turn the lights on I’m still in here!” as we were running out the door casting them into total darkness.  We would laugh so hard.

Now, it is so clear that I must apologize to those unknown peoples that we tormented so long ago.  I understand now exactly what they were feeling.  Exactly.  What goes around comes around.

I am sorry.

I wonder if they ever wrote out their story.  Probably not.

Oh, and if I offended any blind people actually reading this story… oh wait, never mind.

buy my book!

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15 responses to “Lights Out

  1. I have it on good authority that blind people use their sense of smell to resolve that particular issue.

  2. I’m thinking you would need a very flexable spine…

  3. This exact thing has happened to me too! I won’t explain I did, but I will say that you handled this situation with a lot more class.

  4. Oh my gosh, that is the funniest story. And I confess to doing that bathroom light trick as a kid, too – oops! Sometimes I accidentally do it to my husband and kids…yes, of course, it is accidental,….. most of the time.

  5. This was hilarious and should be included in your next book. 😉

  6. Too funny! At least you didn’t run out with your pants half up to activate the sensors. Someone would have walked in for sure. That situation would have put my husband in a cold sweat. I’ll share your t.p. trick with my brother. He was using an automated toilet when the flusher went off. He kind of took a look and saw the water rushing up in the bowl. All he could do before the toilet overflowed was pull everything up. He went outside and told a worker (as he was leaving the fine establishment), “You better check the bathroom. Somebody made a mess in there.” Which is why I will not use public restrooms unless I am near death!!

  7. Oh my. Having four small boys I was optimistic that ‘toilet humour’ was just a phase. Your post reassures me that this is indeed the case; although the ‘phase’ apparently has the potential to be life-long. Best I settle in and get comfortable with it!

  8. Pingback: Dark Humor | Voices In His Head

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