Butterfingers

The scene of the horror.

Written at 11:54 am, Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Well, that was pretty much the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. Without dancing around this too much, here’s what you’re getting in for if you decide to read the rest of this, in plain, declarative form:

I dropped my work ID badge into a toilet that I had just finished using, and snatched it out of there while it was flushing.

There it is. In all its horror. If you care to exit, no hard feelings. For those of you who wish to continue this journey, what’s wrong with you? And nevermind, I don’t care, I’m talking about this whether you’re here or not. Here we go.

So it’s right around lunchtime, I’m coming off a hot streak of firing off emails and clearing some projects off my desk, and it comes time for a break. I retire to the facilities with the usual. As I wrap things up, I think about what I’ve brought for lunch. I ponder what to read while I’m eating it. I wonder if I’ll get any real work done before this two hour meeting I have at 2:00.

As I absent-mindedly pull my pants up, mind awash in the day’s distractions, my right hand sweeps across my belt line as I go to clasp my Banana Republic suit pants. I clip the clasp on my belt holding my ID badge, and the momentum from my hand coming across my midsection sends it off my body like I’m shooing away a fly.

Horror.

With a precision aim like I’ve practiced this technique or something, the badge lands square in the crapper.

Well, that’s just fantastic. What a perfect thing to happen today. Why don’t I… FUCK ME, AUTOFLUSH!

Panic.

Split second decision. What do I do?

Thwarp.

I thrust my hand into the abyss and snatch my now unspeakably befouled plastic card inside its little laminate gulag from the unholy water.

I’ve rescued my badge, and thus, saved myself the $25 replacement fee, but at what cost? I ponder, as I stand alone in the bathroom holding this disgusting fucking thing in my now disgusting fucking hand. Fearing sudden intrusion from an interloper, and knowing I don’t need a witness to this dumpster fire that is now my day, I chuck my badge into the sink and cover it in foam soap.

Am I de-magnetizing this goddamn thing, I wonder? After considering, and a thoroughly reasoned “I don’t give a fuck” as my answer, I determine de-magnetization, and thus, de-utilization, might be preferable to the perpetual knowledge that this toilet besmirchment of human dignity hangs off my waist  for however long my employment at this company lasts. I sort of hope it doesn’t work anymore., Hell, I might even toss it away myself even if it does just to psychologically move on from this ordeal and never speak of it again.

Lysol! Big aerosol clouds of Lysol coat my badge and my hands. Anti-bacterial. I read it again. ANTI-BACTERIAL. Fucking better be. This is a public toilet. At home is one thing. Fear of the unknown, and Christ, the known when you consider some of the bottomfeeders you’ve seen pass through this restroom, is another. Another coat of Lysol it is.

I give it a thorough toweling, put it back together and there it sits back on my belt. It knows where it’s been, and so have I. And we can’t bear to look at each other, which is doubly weird because it’s got a picture of me on it. I fear we’ll pass out if we look directly at each other like Old Jennifer and Young Jennifer in Back to the Future II. We don’t make eye contact for the rest of the day, and likely never will again. It’s been a bad day.

And that’s the story of the second time I stuck my hand in an unclean toilet.

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