August 29, 2007

Life - It's A Freakshow

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I'm a freak-magnet. Allow me to illustrate some of the many strange individuals I've run into over the last two days.

1. There's a homeless guy in downtown DC who stands by an exit from one of the bridges that crosses the Potomac. He, like many, carried a sign explaining his plight. Unlike most, he was using a toilet plunger to collect small change. If I were to venture a guess, I bet he doesn't do all that well donation-wise.

2. I was heading back to the parking garage yesterday evening, walking behind a little old guy. He was dressed in a suit and tie - like half the people on the street - but he was a little stooped over, unassuming. Until he got to a newspaper dispenser on the street corner. At that point he upped and started kicking the ever-loving shit out of the machine. Like, full-on ultimate fighting smackdown. The dude has a serious problem with newspapers.

3. Washing my hands in the bathroom, a very large man came in and picked a toilet-seat cover from the dispenser on the wall. He calmly walked over to one of the other faucets, turned the water on, and ran the toilet-seat cover under the water. Then he made his way to one of the stalls, unballing the soaking wet cover while he went. Does anyone have any clue what this was about? Because the only thing I can come up with is the fact that he needs an airtight seal to drop his kids at the pool. Tell me there's some better reason I haven't considered.

4. Another bathroom encounter, because you can never have too many of those - I was, again, washing my hands in the men's room. I found myself standing next to a man in a wheelchair. He smiled and we said hello. I breathed a sigh of relief. Until I was treated to a lecture on the quality of the toilet paper. "Can you believe how bad the toilet paper is in here?" he asked. "Probably the cheapest shit they can get or it's a charity case. You know, made by some group of poor, washed up disabled assholes or something. Get some real fucking toilet paper, I say!" And the whole time I'm thinking huh, bitter-much? and hey, aren't you disabled?. But I couldn't say anything. All I could do was nod.

The moment you've been waiting for: The answer to the what embarrassing reference did my wife make that she's really not sure she wants you knowing that she knows contest? Most of you got it - D. She made a brilliant reference to Dilithium Crystals. Apparently she's not proud of that knowledge.

Posted by Chris at August 29, 2007 7:03 AM

I saw a lady do that once with a toilet seat cover. I looked at her so strangely that I suppose she felt compelled to explain, and she told me that it makes the paper stick to the seat and not slide around.

Seems strange to me, because I'd think the coldness and wetness would negate any positive benefit realized from the stickiness. But oh well...

Posted by: Alissa at August 29, 2007 7:50 AM

Do you think, that maybe, when you encounter these people in the rest room they go home and write about how they saw some weird dude in the restroom washing his hands?

men with "Wide Stances" In Minneaplois airports excluded of course.

Posted by: William at August 29, 2007 8:09 AM

There are times I am having one of these encounters and I think, "Oh now there's a good blog entry!"

Posted by: Maribeth at August 29, 2007 8:11 AM

Woohoo! I got it right!

I've also had some encounters with weird individuals in the restroom, like the really tall woman who left the seat up. I'm guessing she's possibly not biologically a woman.

Posted by: Jessie at August 29, 2007 8:17 AM

This explains why I'm drawn to this blog then, right?

In all seriousness, I can relate, I'm a total freak magnet. I should write about it myself sometime.

Posted by: August at August 29, 2007 8:50 AM

I'm just patiently waiting for "Rude Cactus: The Book" a/k/a Strange Stories About Strange Things I Encounter In Bathrooms


Posted by: Michelle at August 29, 2007 8:55 AM

Oooooh, the cystals?? Damn!!

If you're an old dude and you're going to kick the piss out of something, better a newspaper dispenser than a puppy, I always say.

I always say that.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at August 29, 2007 9:08 AM

ah...Beth's my girl...i knew it ;)

Posted by: ali at August 29, 2007 9:35 AM

Aww, I guessed incorrectly. Glad you're the freak-magnet though...makes for entertaining reading for the rest of us!

Posted by: Ross at August 29, 2007 9:44 AM

The first thing I thought of with the toilet seat cover was that he wet it to use it wipe the dirty toilet seat...hum!

I am a freak magnet too...if there is a freak any where in the area they will walk straight up to me! Shudder

Posted by: Gypsy at August 29, 2007 9:50 AM

The first thing I thought of with the toilet seat cover was that he wet it to use it to wipe the dirty toilet seat...hum!

I am a freak magnet too...if there is a freak any where in the area they will walk straight up to me! Shudder

Posted by: Gypsy at August 29, 2007 9:50 AM

I am freak magnet as well. Crazy people seem to... well like to speak with me. It used to freak me out, now I mostly just find it amusing. Like I would panic and think that I must be or look crazy too - my mom (yeah because she loves me no matter what, right?) said the reason they choose to speak with me is that I look open and trusting. F***ing great!

One time in the San Jose Museum of Art (I think...) my mom left me at the table in the restaurant. I was happily eating my scone and some tea (back off...) when this woman sits down next to our table. She then turns to me and smiles a huge crazed smile and says "look at the shadows on the wall. Aren't they most beautiful thing you ever saw? See how the pattern is there and there." All the while wildly gesturing. She not your typical museum patron might I add.

I just smiled and tried to look equally as enamored with the shadows on the wall that DID NOT EXIST!??! My mom came back and the lady left immediately.

Posted by: Christina at August 29, 2007 10:07 AM

This is why YOU have such a popular blog... and I'm such a wanna be. ;)

Posted by: sue at August 29, 2007 10:07 AM

I once had a person tell me over the stall that I was putting the toilet seat cover on wrong. Apparently you don't need to detach the middle section so that it hangs down into the bowl, which is what I was doing. When the woman heard the sound of tearing paper, she yelled, "You know you don't need to do that!! Just pee onto it and it will go in the bowl!!" WTF?!

Posted by: GreenCanary at August 29, 2007 10:29 AM

I too am a freak magnet, but since I am usually on campus when I bump into them, I don't feel like I can share the experiences on my blog.

As for the toilet seat cover, I thought that he might be so germophobic that he wanted to wash the germs from the air, or the person who had grabbed the previous cover off before he used it.

Posted by: Krush at August 29, 2007 12:13 PM

So I realize that this is gonna come out all wrong? But I LOVE your bathroom stories...

Posted by: Emily at August 29, 2007 1:42 PM

"...he needs an airtight seal to drop his kids at the pool."

That's gonna be with me all day.

Posted by: Pammer at August 29, 2007 2:34 PM

Please tell Beth I'm happy to teach her all the words to "Groove is in the Heart" anytime she wants... Succotash wish! I tell you, genius!

Posted by: alektra at August 29, 2007 4:09 PM

Wow. I guessed twice and was wrong both times.

Posted by: wordgirl at August 29, 2007 6:14 PM

Maybe TP dude was looking for a wet wipe?

Posted by: Sphincter at August 29, 2007 6:21 PM

I would buy a "Rude Cactus: Freak Magnet" book so fast...

Posted by: Fraulein N at August 29, 2007 6:38 PM

That was totally what I was thinking. And she needs to stand tall.

By the way, have I mentioned we are watching the entire first season of Firefly right now and pulling for Nathan Fillion to be cast as Kirk in the Star Trek prequel?

Posted by: aimee/greeblemonkey at August 29, 2007 6:42 PM

Freaks are all around and they are getting more and more. Ppl go crazy because of the reality. May be u shud start thinking of something useful instead of watching freaks cuz u ll eventually absorb that stuff.

Posted by: a1x at March 4, 2008 3:28 PM