…with our beans baked… (Part V)

Down here, in the men’s room, amongst all the other pissing peckers, there’s a jolly fat guy standing before a urinal. He’s shirtless; his shirt’s slung over his shoulder. Why? I don’t ask. Every other guy parked in front of a urinal is taking aim with one hand, sipping plastic cupped beer with the other. Of all the public pissing situations I’ve found myself in, this one gets the medal for Most Jovial. Call it a Friday Night Frat House Kinda Vibe. And what’s this ephemeral fraternity’s mantra? “Yeah, Megadeth!” One shouts it, everyone around repeat-shouts it. You’ve never seen so many smiles in a men’s room full of heterosexuals. 

I shake out my own warclub, pull up the maroon boxer briefs, button the blue button flies, buckle the brown belt, pass the doorless shit-stalls, and round the corner toward the sinks. There’s this tall, buzz-cut headed guy. He’s got a white plug in one ear, Secret Service style. It’s attached to a coiling wire running down the side of his neck and disappearing into his shirt. He’s saying, “Make me search for it, and you’re going to jail.” And he’s saying it to Ernie. 

The metalheads washing up at the other sinks give Oscar-worthy performances. It’s like Ernie and the narc aren’t even there. But maybe this happens all the time at the Riv. 

Ernie surrenders the plastic baggie with the three fat reefers. Officer Buzzcut takes it and pushes Ernie toward the exit. Ernie’s face doesn’t quite read surprise. It’s more the shock of a dude who shits his pants when he’s only a foot away from the toilet. Well, ok, maybe not for Ernie, but it’s sure reminiscent of several pants-shitting experiences of my own. 

So then what do I do? What I meant to do when I came around the corner: wash my hands. 

19 & 20 November 2004 

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