I don’t make friends at work, I make associations. Or it could be more that people make associations with me. Due to my height, I’m usually the first to be associated with “Can you get that off that shelf?” Then of course if I’ve mentioned that I’ve traveled a bit, there is the association of asking me random travel questions, “Hey, quick, best things to see in Burma?” (I’ve never been anywhere in Asia, making my opinion more worthless than usual.)
As it turns out, yet another association has been made towards me in that I apparently stimulate urine production. This happens more so with one fellow than anyone else I’ve noticed. If I get up to go to the bathroom, he’s right there behind me, ready to go as well, maybe one out of every three bathroom breaks. But, before you think it might be some badly thought-up attempt at friendship (“Helluva day for a piss, huh?”) or his coming on to me (“Man, these stalls could easily fit two. At night. Maybe naked.”), I need to point out that he’s a duck and cover urinist.
For the ladies, this is going to be a foreign concept as you only have stalls in your restrooms. But in the men’s restroom there of course is the option of urinal or toilet stall. While it seems obvious that anyone with only a need for #1 would use the urinal, there is a large subsection of men in the US who will always run to the stall for business, terrified in the thought of standing next to another man (with a partition I might add) when they need to pee.
I should point out that in addition to his duck and cover antics, he’ll also wash his hands, leave the tap on, reach over for a paper towel, and then use said towel to turn off the tap. Of course he doesn’t use the towel to then open the door outside, although many do as shown by the waste bin next to the door to toss their used door handle towels (Johnson & Johnson is missing a marketing opportunity with this one). I need to add that often he and many others don’t bother to use soap.
I am at a loss as to how this twisted up approach to hygiene works in the US. Where did the logic come from? How did germaphobia sweep across this verdant land? And will there be a day in the distant future when two straight men can comfortably piss next to one another?