Saturday, October 26, 2013

Let it roll, baby roll

Can we please have a moment of silence for my dignity? It died this week at work… on a toilet seat… much like Elvis did. Only there were no drugs involved. In fact, there was no toilet paper involved either, and that’s exactly where this week’s story begins. 

You see, when I’m at home, I accept that there’s never toilet paper when I need it. Though I buy it once a week and restock each bathroom in our house every weekend, for some reason there is never a square to spare when I'm in the loo. The roll is either as barren as Carthage or has a single, tattered remnant of hope still glued to the cardboard. 

But that’s not the point. The point is that you don’t expect that to happen at work. You don’t grab a roll on your way to the bathroom, “just in case.” Nor do you do a little recon before you “drop trou.” You assume that everyone has done their part. In other words, both you and the toilet paper roll are completely covered. Worse than that, at home, at least you have options: Kleenex… paper towels… packing tissue. I’m not proud, but I am honest, and there are days that the cocktail napkins in the kitchen drawer should be grateful they dodged a bullet.  At work, your only option is to twerk like Miley Cyrus to elevator music and hope you can actually drip dry with some modicum of success… which is precisely what I did.

However, before I can tell you that part of the story, I have to tell you this part first. 

At the risk of blaming the victim, I should say that there was, indeed, some toilet paper on the roll when I walked into the stall. Not enough to line the seat, per se, about twenty to thirty squares, but definitely enough to take care of business. So there I was… jeans around my Dr. Martens… peeing… when I reached for the toilet paper… and accidentally pulled the entire roll with its holder off the wall. Yes. Really. The toilet tissue literally flew across my lap, landed on the floor, and proceeded to unravel as it rolled all the way to the restroom sink… while I helplessly watched in abject disbelief and horror.  

It’s times like these I wish I had more middle fingers so the universe knew exactly how deeply I wanted it to fuck off. Anyway, in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m not sure what happened next. I like to think that by repressing it, I actually found some dignity. Note: If no one claims it within twenty-four hours, I’m keeping it.

Talk to you later.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Please, please, please wait a minute Mr. Postman

Today’s tale takes “going postal” to a whole new level. However, before I can tell you that part of the story, I have to tell you this part first. You see… a couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine’s dad suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly passed away in Florida. In less than a ten day period of time, my friend got the phone call, hopped a flight, drove to the hospital, and lived in a waiting room or by his father’s side until the decision was made to end life support. 

Having lost my own dad, I know how awful the whole experience can be. That's why, when my friend returned home to the Mid-West, we went to lunch so I could see how he was doing. As expected, we spent as much of the conversation laughing as we did crying; then, after an hour or two, we hugged our good-byes and he said, “Wish me luck. I’m off to the Post Office to get my dad.” Yes. Really.

Now, please believe me when I tell you that Mark Twain was right, “Reality is stranger than fiction because, unlike the truth, fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities.” And since there’s NO delicate way to say this, and my friend gave me the OK to share it on mkromd, I’ll simply be candid. His father’s ashes were sent to his neighbor’s house by accident. For one minute, imagine that you’re the guy who lives next door, and the mailman asks you to sign for a package… from a crematorium… that CANNOT be returned to sender… since that would be God.  

Because I don’t have a filter, when he told me that, I literally burst out laughing (which, thankfully, made him do the same). I mean, really… when a child loses a parent, it’s a tragedy; but, when the United States Postal Service does it, it’s just careless. That said, he told me everyone was GREAT about it. Maybe since all’s well that ends well, on the drive home, I found myself saying, “Self, if that’s going to happen to ANYONE, it’s going to happen to you. You’re going to die, and instead of DB getting your ashes and you meeting your Maker, you’re going to spend eternity in a Post Office. Seriously, if you thought mailing a package at Christmas was Hell, you haven’t seen anything yet.”

And that would be the BEST case scenario. What if they mail me First Class, with adequate postage (though I’m sure I wouldn’t weigh as much as they think I do), and I get delivered to some freak’s house who keeps me in a jar in his bathroom. You don’t know. Strange shit happens in suburbia. It does. And then, imagine if THAT person dies and bequeaths me to HIS kids, and so on and so forth until my remains become like the Elephant Man’s. I’ll be trapped in limbo screaming, “I am not an animal!”

At said moment, I realized that perhaps I’m the suburban freak people talk about, because I ACTUALLY wondered… what if I chose to have myself anonymously shipped to someone instead. What if I paid extra, and the crematorium put me in a pretty box, gift wrapped me, held me until the holidays, then mailed me like the ghost of Christmas present. That’s right, she who laughs last laughs hardest.   

And, just because it’s important to plan the work and work the plan, I logged onto FedEx’s and UPS’s websites. Neither will allow you to ship human remains. Only the United States Postal Service can do it. In other words, neither rain, nor sleet, nor hail will stop them from delivering you… to the wrong house. And to my friend who is reading this, I sincerely hope you laughed, if only for a little. To everyone else, talk to you later.