The last 2 1/2 hours have been quick and extremely productive. I have taken the travel time on Virgin Airlines between Los Angeles and Dallas to begin work on a new short story. As I enter DFW Airport, my mind now shifts to the excitement ahead- the anticipation of surprising my dad with my first trip home on Thanksgiving since 2002 (he previously believed I was taking a trip with friends in the mountains of Yosemite). Upon racing to the baggage claim, I realize it would be wise to answer the call of nature that is resounding in my bladder. Though it is not extremely urgent at the moment, it is quite a drive to our little burg in the country- Athens, TX.
Now I stand in line, waiting for a urinal... or hopefully a stall... to open up so that I may take care of business with some modicum of privacy.
Then I hear it...
Some gentleman at one of the urinals lets fly. Now, it has been known to happen before... if there is any acceptable place to fart in public it is in a restroom. But this is no ordinary wind. No sir, this is borderline atomic, "excuse me sir you should check your undies" gas.
As if this was not enough to make me cringe. The man giggles at himself and proceeds to announce:
"That was me."
As if there was any doubt.
But MAN LAW- which is a time-honored code of gentlemanly conduct for almost every situation, not the least of which is behavior in and around restrooms- dictates that the offender not be regarded by the other occupants of said lavatory.
Then, the unthinkable happens... the Farter, continuing to giggle, turns his head to the left and smiles at the fellow to his right, waits for approval or perhaps a congratulations/high-five, then upon finding none turns to the left and looks for the same.
It is difficult for me to pinpoint the gravity of this situation to the half of the species that do not understand and to whom MAN LAW does not apply. If it is not the Number One Rule in MAN LAW, it is most certainly Number Two:
Never, EVER, under NO circumstances, even under pain of DEATH or castration should you ever attempt any sort of eye contact nor turn one's head more than 10 degrees in either direction at a urinal.
There are reasons for this that exceed time and space. But, trust me, this law is for the best.
Now, this gentlemen just shunned this Law not once but TWICE, whilst GIGGLING. As if this wasn't enough to make every man cry fowl, there was more to come. Our offender had, at the time, occupied the urinal longer than anyone else at the row. Meaning he had gotten there first. Soon the 2 gentlemen of either side of him- whether they were finished or just needed to leave this awkward situation we will never know- flipped, zipped and walked away. Another pair of gentlemen took their places.
Surely, I thought, this fella will be done soon.
He continued to giggle softly at himself, his head rolling around on his shoulders as if he knew the Man Law he had broken and yet was tempted to break it yet again. Then, the next round of gentlemen were also done.
This was not fun, for it was now
Nervously, I approached the urinal. No sooner had I begun to unzip my fly than the man ripped another ass-blast. And we're talking major here... like tuba-esque but with substance to it. The kind that makes you want to vomit, especially if done in a smelly public restroom by a man one does not know.
His laughter was even more hysterical now. The Farter was giggling like a 9 year old school boy in church whose best friend has just popped Mary Margaret's bra strap in the row in front of you. And lo, from the corner of my eye, I see in my peripheral that our Anti-Hero is now looking to me for approval! The NERVE!
In full compliance of MAN LAW Number One (or at least Number Two), I stare straight ahead at the shiny white tiled bathroom wall- refusing to even acknowledge his presence. I strain my bladder to force my bathroom trip to end as quickly as possible, give the required "shake" or two, zip up and bolt for the sink.
The amazing thing is, the Farter has remained at the urinals! He has now outlasted 3 rounds of urinators! Now this is either some really serious peeing, or the man has been faking- this is an offense that is so unthinkable as to not even be named in the MAN LAW, however it MUST be punishable by death. Must be.
As I wash my hands, I thank the Lord that I am free of this man. It is at this moment that I notice him in the mirror behind me. He has finished, his fly is still undone and he is walking behind every man at the sink basin- looking in the mirror not necessarily at us but also not really at himself. Then, past every other many in the restroom who has witnessed his antics and a horrified Nate, he walks out of the bathroom into the terminal.
Not even a drop of water or soap touched his hands.
If I had had lunch, I would have lost it.
Part of me would find comfort if I thought this behavior was confined to this one incident at DFW Airport, but I instinctively know that it is not. I know there are loonies in ever town and every city and that there are people out there who are just plain nasty and unheeding of our most precious laws: the Torah, the Koran, MAN LAW, etc...
I can only hope we one day live in a world where such cherished rules are enthusiastically and religiously observed.