Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Golden Shower of Hits

I don't know how many of you are familiar with public men's room design (I'm thinking about half of you), but a lot of bars and restaurants place little ads or public service announcements over the urinals. The thinking is, you're standing there with an ad at eye level so even if you don't actually read it, it will stick in your head so you start to think, "Hey, maybe I shouldn't get a DUI," or "Man, nachos sound good right now."

So I'm in a restaurant Saturday night. Before sitting down I go to the bathroom. I see some ads and a couple photos on the wall to my right so I follow over and unzip. in the collection is a photo of three people, I guess a trivia team, called "He shoots, she swallows."

"That isn't very nice," I think. "I wonder if this woman knows she's in that photo above a urinal with that caption. Well, I guess she probably knew the team's name beforehand, so she knew what she was getting into. Hey, this urinal sounds funny."

Many of today's handless driers are actually less sanitary than paper towels.
I looked down. For the past few seconds, I hadn't been using a urinal at all, but a handless air dryer. Conditioned by advertising, I had followed the ads to where I had been trained to see them. I think that whole Black Friday had something to do with it, also.

I have heard stories of this happening to friends and family for years - where the person was either drunk or half-asleep or in a different house and ended up peeing in a chest or closet or something. But I was wide awake and sober.

Luckily the door was locked. I finished up my business in the real urinal and started gathering water and soap in my hands and splashing it over the urine-soaked dryer. I figured that would at least dilute it a bit. Now that I think about it, that probably wasn't the best idea I've ever  had, but I was panicked. I thought the next guy through the door would know that I had peed on the air dryer and ...
well, I'm not sure what they'd do. Probably force me to wear a big scarlet P for the rest of the night while I was shamed in the public stocks.

Luckily, no one was the wiser, and hopefully the puddle of water around the dryer discouraged others from using it for the night. Actually, it might have short circuited if anyone used it, what with all the liquid and soap.

I didn't say anything at all through dinner, and truthfully I kind of forgot about it until we were walking to the car and the girlfriend mentioned something about how cool looking the space-age hand dryers were.

"Uh...yeah. About those handdryers."

So gentlemen, the next time you find yourself in a public restroom, take a second or two to orient yourself to your surroundings. Also, you might want to skip the fancy handdryer and just use some paper towels or the back of your pants.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Everybody Knows that the Bird is the Word

A friend was here for a few days this summer. I try to show visitors the best our city has to offer, so I compiled a pretty good schedule of the area's dining and drinking establishments.

While drinking at Birdies one night, we started talking about strip clubs.

I'll have to admit something here, at risk to my reputation as a dude. Other than delivering food in Atlanta, I've never been to a strip club.*

It's not like I've got anything against naked ladies. It just always seemed kind of ...pointless, I guess. I mean, it's not like you can do anything, you know? You just watch them dance around, listen to Kid Rock, spend a bunch of money, then drive home alone.

Anyway, after more cheap drinks, a strip club seemed like exactly the right place to end the night. But where to go? I had no idea, so I texted some friends. While waiting for their replies, I realized, hey, there's a place right near my neighborhood.  It seems pretty sleazy, too. We'll have a couple drinks, look at some sketchy strippers, then go home and either drink more or fall asleep.

As my friend put it later, "We looked like George Clooney and Brad Pitt walking in there compared to everyone else there." Mostly because we were wearing shirts with buttons and had like, hair, and teeth and everything.

We're sitting there watching the dancers (who have to wear bikinis. Weird.) and a couple of the girls come to our table. They're not as crack-y as I'd expect, and one of them, a curvy goth girl who would later dance to Portishead instead of bad strip club hip-hop, was actually kinda cute. I think she really liked us.

One of the cooler things about being older is that you don't care anymore. The bikini-clad girls are chatting us up, and we're talking to them just like we'd talk to, well, anyone not wearing a bikini in a neon-flashing club trying to get us to buy them expensive shots.

We're so old and square that we're asking them about what they're studying in school and what they're planning to do after they stop dancing, just normal stuff, as we're drinking $75 Coronas.

"So what's the weirdest thing you've ever seen here," one of us asks.

"There was a guy who paid me $100 to hit him in the balls," one of our new friends replies.

"Shit, I'd do that for $10," my friend said, which struck me as really funny, but didn't seem to amuse the dancers as much.

She tells us more about ballbuster and about some guy who wanted to tickle her and then casually says, "Oh yeah. There was the turkey guy."

"Turkey guy?"

"Yeah, this guy paid me a hundred bucks to pretend he was a turkey."

"Wait, wait, wait, this is the third story you bring up? How was turkey guy not the first thing you thought of?"

Actually, that is kinda hot.

"So, did this guy want you to, like, stick a thermometer up his ass?"

"Did he want to wear those little booty things they put on drumsticks in cartoons?"

"No, no, he just wanted me to talk to him, but talk to him like a turkey."

"What? Nobody talks to a turkey."

"He wanted me to pretend he was baking in an oven. So I'd have to say stuff like, 'Oh, you're so golden brown, you're really looking tasty now. I can't wait til I take you out of the oven. You are such a juicy, delicious turkey."

"So you didn't have to pretend to eat him or ... I dunno, gravy him up or anything?"

"No, I just talked to him. After a while it gets hard to come up with things to say about a turkey, but it's easier than dancing."

"Yeah, I guess so. Man, that guy must go nuts around Thanksgiving, huh?"

She described the guy to us a bit, and naturally I've been looking for him ever since. Every once in a while I'll be out in public and I'll start scanning guy's faces, thinking, "I know it's one of you. One of you is the dirty, dirty, bird."

But even more than that, I kept thinking about this poor dude's secret. As a man of the world, I don't care what consenting adults do with each other, but could you imagine having this as your secret fetish? How would you bring that up? Would it be weighing on your mind every Thanksgiving?

"Mmmm, honey. That turkey smells delicious. You know Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year. I just...sometimes I feel like just eating a turkey isn't enough, you know? Like, I love turkey so much that...why are you looking at me all weird? Uh, you know, just forget I said anything. Help you set the table?"

Or do you bring it up earlier in the relationship? Sort of laying all the cards on the table?

"So...I'm sort of kinky."

"Oh, that's OK, my last boyfriend and I used to watched Cinemax movies together."


Whatever their predilections, I hope both of my faithful readers have a happy Thanksgiving. And if you notice someone gazing just a little too wistfully at the turkey, well...well, it could be me. Are we gonna eat or what? Or you could be at a table with the Turkey Man. Try to be understanding.

* STOP THE PRESSES! I just remembered I've actually been to the Clairmont in Atlanta twice. Once to see Shellac, which probably doesn't count, and once with some friends. My wife at the time was waiting to use the bathroom when a dancer came out and said "Sorry, Hon, didn't know anyone was waiting. Glad I wasn't fucking anyone." Classy!