Yesterday, I drove via the Cedar Bridge across the Minnesota River for a business appointment. Not for the first time, I wondered when driving on a bridge will seem normal once again. But that was not even close to the most traumatic part of my expedition. No. When I got to my destination, I realized I needed to, ummm, relieve myself before my meeting.
So it was that I found myself in a public restroom for the first time since Larry Craig’s potty story hit the MSM.
Unlike the MSP International Airport, this was a humble two-holer. One of the stalls was occupied. I was extremely careful to avert my eyes as I passed it to the unoccupied stall. >>Read more + updates.
As soon as I entered and locked the door, the situation intensified. The purse-hanging hook was broken. I did a quick 360 in the wee cubicle, eyeballing my options and smacking my hip on the roll-holder in the process. Shhhh! It didn’t mean anything, person-in-the-second-stall (I dare not speak the acronym). There was no place to put the damn purse. In spite of all the caveats about disgusting germs breeding in bathrooms (oh, yes, germs do it there, too), I plopped the purse on the floor near the door. And snatched it back up before it even had a chance to settle into itself.
What was I thinking? What if purse-parking is a signal? What if the vice police were deployed in Stall Two at One Corporate Center?
I hung the purse around my neck. As I lowered my clothing, being extremely careful not to assume a wide stance, the purse shifted, tightening around my neck like a noose. As quietly as I could, I redeployed its strap to a jaunty bandolier position across my chest. And then I sat.
The (presumed) woman in the adjacent stall cleared her throat. Oh, lord, a signal? And boom! just like that, I desperately needed to cough. I think it was the noose thing. I dug my purse out of my armpit, buried my face in it and ack’d as softly as I could. I listened intently. Nothing. So far, so good, near as I could tell.
I checked my feet. Aligned neatly side by side, directly in front of the stool, toes forward. Zero foot motion. None. I eased the tissue from the dispenser. Quietly separated it from the roll. She flushed. I froze. If I flushed back, would it mean something? I waited. She waited. All was stillness.
Then I heard the unmistakable thwock of her door bolt thrown open. I bent low, half expecting to see someone peering back at me under my stall door. Soft-soled black stealth shoes. Not a good sign. More silence and then the swish of the bathroom door opening, closing. She didn’t wash her hands! Ewww!!
I concluded my personal ministrations and was just about to step out of my stall when someone else entered the stall beside me. Ah, jeez, here we go again, I thought.
I raced out to the sink, splashed soap and water on my hands, grabbed a towel and took it with me into the building’s hallway. I glanced furtively in both directions. No one was there. I dried my hands and unwound my purse to assume a more natural look.
That was when I began to wonder whether there were security cameras, recording all of my actions. I looked up. Looked around. Smiled gamely at the unknown someone who might be watching the unseen monitor.
I was pretty sure that if I didn’t drink anything, I could make it through my meeting and back home without another pit stop.
Curse you, Larry Craig.
UPDATE: Larry Craig pleads guilty.
UPDATE: Larry Craig says he's sorry "for what he's caused."
UPDATE: Larry Craig says he's not guilty.
UPDATE: Larry Craig says he will resign.
UPDATE: Larry Craig says he may not resign.
UPDATE: Larry Craig bows to Republican pressure and says he will resign.
UPDATE: Larry Craig says he won't.
UPDATE: September 10: Larry Craig will seek to retract his guilty plea.