Sometimes it’s at a bar with a complete stranger: “Yeah, boy, how ‘bout those Cubs?” Tryin’ to make an awkward situation friendlier, maybe, with some stilted chitchat. I don’t think that’s what’s meant by public washroom. This must be what it’s like in prison or in the hyena cage at the zoo, socializing while taking care of business.
Mostly it’s guys at work. “So,” the guy starts, the guy who sits down the hall from you by the printer but now he’s up close at the next urinal, grinning. “How do you think the presentation went?”
Of course, he expects an answer. Long pause, keep it short. “You never know” usually works.
Ancient Romans used to poop together. Outside, in giant Poop-a-toriums, I guess they called them. Row after row of stone benches with holes cut in them for their butts. Row after row of Roman butts lined up like at a ballgame, only with grunting. When in Rome, as the saying goes, poo as the Romans poo. This was the height of civilization at the time for these guys. Their empire crumbled soon after.
So thousands of years later, back in the john, the commode commentator’s still yakking, over his shoulder, “that’d be some big account, if we got it, huh?” Yeah, right, great. Gotta go! Gotta leave this small, smelly room. Talk to you next time you get the urge.
Et tu, bathroom buddy.