Um, can I use your bathroom?

This is one of my all time favourite posts to Artd-l. Just trust me. Read it twice.


Um, I was just wondering where your bathroom was. I was sitting quietly by the table, listening to the older women yack about nonsense, dipping Doritos into that weird artichoke dip or whatever the fuck it was, wondering how rude it would be to cut Bobby's birthday cake before he did, and feeling too "outcast" to go out and play badminton with the rest of the kids. So, um, can you tell me where your bathroom is? Do you even have one? The lady with the thick Polish accent really needs to leave. She's been complaining about how her son Jason won't wear the pair of "maroon slacks" she bought at Kmart because the other kids will probably beat him up. No shit?!? Being Polish is no excuse for not knowing that Americans are aesthetic *slaves*. He'll get his ass beat and deserve it, but not more than I deserve it for not having the courage or will to get up and freely use someone's *bathroom*. I'll let my kidneys rust before I'll find the nerve. So I'm sitting here and trying to be as quiet as I can, trying to look intelligent and polite by looking and blinking and watching their conversation which I care absolutely nothing about. I'm looking on and hoping to win their approval by saying not a word. Is it working? Is it? Seriously! Is it? Because they *are* at least noticing me. Kind of an odd glance, but at least I'm being acknowledged. This awkward glance isn't helping me though. It's not. I'm trying to muster up the courage to be able to speak in complete sentences and this is the best they can do? I'll fiddle with a paperclip I found on the kitchen table, where I sit. I'll play with the paperclip but not bend it out of shape - that would be misuse of private property and that's the same thing as *stealing*. So I'll just put this paperclip back in the little jar full of pens. Oh, I'd like to pull out one of those pens and start tracing the little squares in this red-and-white tablecloth. That would be such fun! That would really impress the other kids who don't even want me here, and occasionally look yonder through the window at me to see what the hell I'm doing. My drawings on the tablecloth would really impress them - I'd look OCCUPIED! Maybe I should quietly get up and leave. I can't do that. I live on the other side of town. I couldn't get home if my life depended on it. Besides, mother said she'd be here at 4:30. Which means she'd start talking to Mrs. Whats-her-face and the annoying Polish lady. So I can expect to go home at about 8:30. I'll just stand around looking stupid then, just as I am now. Bobby will give me one of those "What the hell are you doing here?" kind of looks and I might have to laugh - because I'd do the same thing. But I got way off track. Um, can I use your bathroom?

Joe Headcrash