I was sitting in the bathroom at work when my cell phone began to vibrate. I don’t know about you, but I’m not keen on bringing extra attention to myself when I’m sitting on the public throne. I’m loathe to do something like actually answering the phone, particularly if someone is sitting in the adjacent stall. There’s something a little to vulnerable about phone conversations in the bathroom for my personal tastes. Who wants to hear me passing gas on the other end? “Yeah, I guess we could … urrrrr … ahhhhh … go to your mother’s house for spaghetti tonight.” What about the guy next to me, concentrating on passing his own gas? Do you suppose he wants his serene bathroom experience interrupted by my telephone conversation? Let’s just score that a rhetorical “no” on all counts and move on.
What possible reason could I have for discussing phone etiquette in public restrooms? Well, when I got back to my desk (hands freshly washed of course), I checked to see who called. It was my wife. I called her office, but the receptionist said she wasn’t there. For the record, about four minutes passed between the vibrating sensation on my upper thigh and my call to Cheryl’s office. My spider sense belatedly tingled (no, I didn’t watch Spiderman on HBO again). I checked the voicemail on my cell phone. Cheryl advised me that Beth had bitten someone at school again (that’s another story – I’m not sure I’ll have the stamina to tell that one too) and she was leaving to pick her up. I check my voicemail in my office and find a message from the vice principal at my daughter’s school, asking me to call ASAP! So what do I do? I call. I’m put on hold for a few minutes, and who do I hear when my call is taken? It’s Cheryl at the school wanting to know why I wasn’t answering my phone. I figure she must have had Scotty beam her over. I’ll bet you can sense that there are all kinds of things worthy of discussion when we all get home later that day. What’s the first thing we talk about? “What good is a cell phone if you don’t use it?”
“Cheryl, I was sitting on the toilet.”
“I hear women talking on the phone in restrooms all the time.”
Now I’m thinking, “surely you’re not suggesting I should have answered?”
Is no place sacred?
And who says men are cruder than women?