When you are a member of a fitness center and use the locker room, you are bound to encounter a few naked bodies. It comes with the territory and is something you must fully accept. I myself have been naked in my fair share of locker rooms over the years. But every so often you come across someone who is too naked for too long. Today was one of those days. I did not meet this man, but here is the conversation we had in the locker room at the gym (For the record - I was wearing a towel).
ME: You’re still naked?!
ME: Sorry. I didn’t mean to say that out loud. It’s just that you were naked when I entered the locker room. I took a shower. Came back. And you’re still standing there naked with no signs of clothing anywhere.
NAKED: Well I don’t like to put my clothes on if I’m still even a little bit wet. It weirds me out and makes me uncomfortable for the entire day.
ME: I totally get that. But I saw you earlier do the whole towel behind the butt shimmy shake thing. Not that I was watching intentionally. It was just incredibly difficult not to look. There are really too many mirrors in this place now that I think about it.
NAKED: I can get about 90% dry with the towels here. But they’re not exceptionally absorbent. I don’t even think the cotton is Egyptian. So the last 10% has to come via air-dry. And that does take a while.
ME: Is Egyptian cotton really from Egypt? Do they grow it there or is that just some sort of marketing tool?
NAKED: I’m not sure if it is grown there. But I do believe Egypt manufactures it. It’s very hot in Egypt, so people sweat more. As a result, they have been at the forefront of absorbent textile innovations.
ME: Back to the naked thing. I say this being 98% comfortable with my sexuality and I mean no disrespect. You are not a terribly attractive man. Are you really comfortable hanging out completely nude for an extended period of time in a relatively public environment?
NAKED: In general, I am completely comfortable. My confidence wavers slightly when the locker room drops below a certain temperature. Let me ask you a question. Would you have said anything if I were an attractive man who was perhaps more well endowed?
ME: Interesting. Probably not. I might even sneak a few extra peeks.
NAKED: So you’re just a perv with standards.
ME: Whoa. Whoa. Let’s not start calling each other names “guy with the mole shaped like JFK”.
NAKED: I think I will go ahead and put my pants on now.
ME: I will do the same. Although I am still a little damp.
My office at work is right near the kitchen. I sometimes hear people grabbing a bag of chips or conversing with their fellow workers. While sitting at my desk the other day, I overheard one man ask another man “How do you make a cup of tea?” His question was then answered with the question “You’ve never made tea before?” - to which he replied “No.” I did not meet this man, but here is the conversation we had in the kitchen at work.
ME: I’m sorry. Did I just hear you say that you’ve never made a cup of tea and you don’t know how to do it?
TEA: I did say that.
ME: How is that humanly possible? Let’s accept the absurd notion that you have never actually made a cup of tea before. Perhaps you are insanely wealthy and servants with posh English accents have brought you everything you’ve ever wanted. But surely you’ve seen someone make tea before. Or at least you’ve read about it.
TEA: Ummmm… no. Can’t say that I have. Why is that so shocking?
ME: Oh I don’t know. Billions of Chinese drink it. The Indians. The British. It’s only one of the most popular beverages in the known universe – hot or otherwise.
TEA: I’m more of a cream soda guy myself.
ME: Cream soda? Cream soda is your “go to drink”? Cream soda is no one’s “go to drink.”
TEA: I love the stuff. Can’t get enough of it. I drink it cold. I drink it room temperature. I drink it hot in the morning with a lingonberry scone. Delicious. In fact, I make my own cream soda in my garage.
ME: So you can make an incredibly complicated beverage like cream soda, but not a humble cup of tea. You know, tea might be one of the simplest beverages you can make. Obviously, it’s incredibly difficult to make the perfect cup of tea. You have to balance the temperature with the steeping time and the potency of the leaves. But for your purposes it boils down to pouring some hot water into a mug and inserting a tea bag. Not exactly rocket science or brain surgery or something else really complicated and difficult that requires years of study.
TEA: Not sure I followed all that. Do you have a book or a manual I can consult? You know what, I bet I can find a tutorial video on youtube.
ME: You’re screwing with me right.
TEA: Hey you seem like a smart guy. Do you know how make toast?
ME: Enjoy your cream soda.
I pulled into a parking space in the parking garage at work the other day, turned the key to turn off my car and gathered my belongings for the day. Just before I opened my door to exit, a blue sedan pulled into the previously empty spot next to me. As I made my way to the stairs, I noticed the woman in that car was putting THE CLUB on her steering wheel. I did not meet this woman, but here is the conversation we had in the parking garage.
ME: Excuse me. Is that The Club?
THE CLUB: Yes. It is the world’s most trusted automobile anti-theft device.
ME: My friend once used The Club on his Ford Probe. Which was also blue. Are you worried about your car being stolen? After all we are in a secure private parking garage.
THE CLUB: Are you saying my car isn’t nice enough?
ME: Eh. It’s fine I guess. It’s a sedan.
THE CLUB: Yea. It’s really nothing special is it? Truth is, I don’t even lock the device. I just put it on there for show. People get a kick out of it and I think it’s a hoot.
ME: A “hoot” you say? I like that. We should bring that word back. It’ll be the cat’s pajamas.
THE CLUB: Now you’re just trying too hard. Don’t get me wrong - I’m a huge fan of the old-timey slang, but I’m not too keen on shoehorning it into conversations. It makes you sound like a real rube.
ME: I enjoy the word “swell”. I say it often in the place of good. Or I’ll say “fine and dandy”.
THE CLUB: I know the guy who started “radical”.
ME: What do you mean? You’re telling me one guy started “radical”? One person doesn’t start slang. It has to be a movement by a group of dedicated people.
THE CLUB: Believe what you want.
ME: Never doubt a small group of dedicated people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
THE CLUB: One guy can start “radical.”
ME: Who do you think started “cool”? I feel like “cool” is the longest lasting slang term in the history of slang terms. It hasn’t gone out of style since it was first used. In fact, “cool” has such longevity that it almost ceases to be slang at all.
THE CLUB: That dude is the bee’s knees.
My wife and I grabbed dinner the other night at a local LA eatery called “Grub”. As we finished our meal and were waiting for the waitress to return with our credit card, in walked 2 women dressed in full Harry Potter regalia. Each donned a black cloak and Gryffindor striped scarf and tie. That night, I happened to be wearing a blue and gold striped cardigan sweater that was eerily reminiscent of the Gryffindor garb, albeit with one different color. I immediately felt their eyes on me wondering whether I was one of them. I did not meet these women, but here is the conversation we had while in the restaurant.
HERMIONE #1: Excuse me. Are you going to the meeting?
ME: What meeting?
HERMIONE #1: Oh. Our mistake. We thought you might be a fellow wizard.
HERMIONE #2: You mean YOU thought he might be a wizard. It’s because she’s colorblind. Clearly those colors are not Gryffindor colors. I knew you were either an imposter or just someone who likes striped sweaters.
ME: Turns out it’s just the sweater thing. I know zero magic. Not even the quarter behind the ear trick. So what meeting are you going to?
HERMIONE #1: It’s a dramatic reading of the final book of the Harry Potter series.
ME: That sounds awesome…and also incredibly time consuming. Isn’t that book like 900 pages?
HERMIONE #2: 784 actually. Look - we’re really not supposed to be discussing this people like you.
ME: People like me? What the hell is that supposed to mean?
HERMIONE #1: She means muggles.
ME: Muggles? So you’re saying because I am have non-magical blood that I can’t go to your little reading.
HERMIONE #2: That’s what we’re saying.
ME: That’s racist. You two are racists.
HERMIONE #2: We’re not racists. It’s just a very exclusive organization with very strict rules.
ME: Oh well that makes it ok. I have this thing at my country club anyway. Mitzy and Fluffy are waiting for me.
HERMIONE #1: How droll.
HERMIONE #2: What if I use my invisibility cloak? I can sneak him in and nobody will be the wiser.
HERMIONE #1: If you want to do that, that’s on you. I’m not getting in trouble with Dumbledore for this.
HERMIONE #2: I’ll take that risk. What do you say?
ME: Well I would love to see what this is all about. And I HAVE always wanted to be invisible. On the other hand, I’ve never read any of the books and I kind of don’t want to ruin the next movie by knowing what happens. I think I’ll pass. Thanks though.
(Immediately after making that statement, I was transformed into a snail)
Driving home from work at approximately 6:15pm the other day, there was a considerable amount of traffic. As my mind wandered while listening to “This American Life”, my pinkie finger wandered up my right nostril and attempted to dislodge something that was clearly not supposed to be there. During my attempted excavation, I happened to glance to my left and see a woman sitting in her SUV looking directly at me. I did not meet this woman, but here is the conversation we had while sitting in traffic on Barham Blvd.
ME: It’s a perfectly normal thing to do. Everybody picks their nose. Just like everybody poops.
ME: It’s a perfectly normal thing to do. Everybody picks their nose. Just like everybody poops.
DRIVER: I didn’t say anything.
ME: No. But you were staring. And judging. Staring with your eyes and then judging with your eyes. You have very judgmental eyes.
DRIVER: I’m a judge.
ME: Like with a robe and gavel? Do you have your gavel with you? I would carry it on my person like a concealed weapon.
DRIVER: I have a travel gavel that I keep in my purse. It’s a novelty thing. Doesn’t make a very loud sound but it’s fun at parties.
ME: So tell me Your Honor…what do you do if you have to pick your nose when you’re on the bench?
DRIVER: I hold it in.
ME: Hold it in? Like you do with pee?
DRIVER: Yea. You never HAVE to pick your nose that bad.
ME: Sure you do. Nostril blockage is not something to be taken lightly. If it clogs your airway, that will prevent oxygen from reaching to your brain, resulting in brain damage – or worse.
DRIVER: I’ve never heard of anyone dying from a booger.
ME: Well it hasn’t happened yet. But all it takes is one occurrence and then the whole world will change their collective mind about looking down on those who extract unwanted particles from their nose with their digits.
DRIVER: I think that’s the part that grosses people out. If you didn’t put your fingers up your nose and then use those same fingers to touch things that everyone touches, then people would be more forgiving.
ME: Funny you should mention that – I’m actually developing an apparatus that you carry around with you and use instead of your fingers. It is not only more sanitary but more efficient in performing the task. You could put in your purse right next to your travel gavel.
DRIVER: What if you made them look like different things so people wouldn’t be so embarrassed to carry them around? If you made one that looked like a gavel, I would certainly buy it.
ME: “Your nostrils demand justice!” I like it.