By Trevor Kroger
Imagine a public bathroom. Not pristine, though certainly not what one would find at a gas station, just a run-of-the-mill facility with toilets/urinals and toilets, sinks, and the occasional dull vulgarity scribbled on the interior of a stall.
Now imagine Individual A enters — Individual A can be male or female, it is inconsequential. A has a great desire to relieve himself/herself — as would be expected of anyone entering the previously described facility — and looks forward to promptly being done with the whole process for whatever reason — e.g. going to a meeting/appointment, catching a bus/train/plane or getting home to watch his/her favorite TV show that is only ever on for a short time of the year, as a matter of fact the rerun season is two-thirds longer than the season proper and there is an overarching storyline that requires meticulous viewing of every single episode in sequence to gain the fullest satisfaction possible — only to find Individual B already present and attempting to relieve himself/herself1.
Individual A and Individual B need not be familiar with each other. Ideally, this would be their first meeting, but any form of not-being-familiar-with-each-other will suffice.
Now imagine Individual A has a personal “quirk” that prevents him/her from doing his/her “business” while in close proximity to another human being. This can be for whatever reason, from simple concerns for privacy, to red-faced embarrassment at the “business” done, to such personal shame and revulsion at the necessary “business” as to feel foolish and unclean should there be any audience to the act.
Now imagine Individual A’s first instinct will be to flee the facilities and seek relief elsewhere. However, he/she has already been well inside the facilities for several seconds and to walk out now would look silly and foolish. For the situation, we will dictate that A’s well-cultivated self-image requires he/she never look silly or foolish around anyone, even Individual Bs with whom A has no prior familiarity.
So Individual A must remain. He/she takes up position in a stall or by a urinal, depending on his/her needs and physiological disposition.
Now imagine Individual A has decided to “hold it” — i.e. refrain from doing his/her “business” — until Individual B completes his/her (B’s) “business” and vacates the facilities. It would be a sound enough plan if not for one serious problem: Individual B is not doing his/her “business.” As a matter of fact, B is not doing a fucking thing! He/She is just standing/sitting there like an exposed bump on a log!
Now imagine the strain this would place on Individual A. He/She (A) is mightily uncomfortable from the get-go, what with “holding it” and all, and now this stubborn Individual B refuses to complete his/her “business” in a timely fashion. How shall Individual A ever get to his/her “business” anyway with an audience present? And what a tasteless audience: to “hold it” as A “holds it” in the blatant attempt to force A to do his/her “business,” despite how shamefully filthy it all is!
Now imagine Individual A coming to a highly unpleasant realization: by “holding it” through all of the above, and what is now a ridiculously long time, he/she has generated an aura of near supreme foolishness. Having set out not to look foolish, he/she has behaved even more foolishly for this damned Individual B’s entertainment. These factors combined with the physical discomfort of “holding it” and the subsequent realization that the aforementioned favorite television show has already begun make for a very disgruntled Individual A.
Now imagine Individual B, a human being in his/her own right with as meaningful an existence as A. As a matter of fact, from B’s perspective, A has just come barging in on his/her (B’s) “business” without any warning. Anyone who has ever been in B’s situation should be able to sympathize — the shock of some clown stomping in on one while one is doing one’s “business” can be so disruptive as to actually halt said “business” immediately and uncomfortably. Perhaps one never consciously thinks of these things, but it was certainly Individual B’s reaction to that damn A’s intrusion.
Now imagine Individual B has a personal quirk not unlike A’s — Again, Individuals A and B need not be familiar with each other despite similar psychological dispositions and again the ideal situation calls for complete unfamiliarity. In Individual B’s case, he/she too finds the doing of “business” in the presence of another most unappealing. This, as above, could be due to any factor from an unpleasant toilet training or previous embarrassing situation or from his/her (B’s) mother locking him/her in the bathroom and warning that he/she (B) had better use the potty and not his/her pants again or else he/she would have a pink bottom by the end of the night and it was all empty threats as Little B’s wretched bitch of a mother would forget about the incarcerated child on the porcelain behemoth and go off to poker night which had the unforeseen consequence of conditioning Little B (and subsequently Individual B) to be incapable of doing his/her “business” except in complete solitude.
Now imagine Individual B elects to “hold it” until such a time as he/she is alone again in the facilities — This could be the first or fiftieth time such a situation has occurred, it is unimportant. So Individual B proceeds to “hold it” in hopes this troublesome Individual A will get on with his/her (A’s) business and then kindly fuck off. However, as earlier explained, Individual A has gotten it into his/her head to do the exact same thing, i.e. “hold it” until Individual B completes his/her (B’s) “business” and exits. Hence, having been copied in stubbornness, Individual B is made to stand/sit uncomfortably — very uncomfortably, as he/she was cut-off in the middle of his/her “business” — while that silly bastard/bitch A just stands/sits there not doing a fucking thing!
Now imagine the confusion of Individual B at the strange — not to mention profoundly annoying — behavior of Individual A. Who in their right mind storms into any facilities anywhere just to stand/sit there all exposed like a Little B while mommy works on a straight flush? Individual B might run through a mental checklist of why on Earth he/she (A) might refuse to get on with his/her “business” — Perhaps some physical ailment causes A difficulty or maybe A had no need to do any “business” in the first place or maybe A is some spy/gangster/other secretive character and is only pretending to do any “business” as a cover for meeting another spy/gangster/other secretive character or maybe A is from the planet Quaxilon where bodily waste is invisible. Any of the above would make for an unnerving situation for any Individual B.
Now imagine Individual A and Individual B. The former experiencing a great deal of frustration over the backfiring of his/her plan to not look foolish by “holding it” until left in peace due to some infuriating Individual B following the exact same tactic, thus making him/her (A) look profoundly foolish. The latter driving himself/herself (B) to paranoid schizophrenia in contemplation of A’s intentions while the specter of a card-shark mommy hangs over his/her head, making sure he/she (B) does his/her goddamn business properly.
Question: Who goes first?