I was in the communal men’s room at Luddite, Crapstone & Fuchs after lunch, having just returned from my favorite Mexican eatery, El Bolas del Toro, where I enjoyed a “5-and-5.” Meaning, five overstuffed burritos and five margaritas. While I love the food at that place, it doesn’t always love me, and I was in the process of evacuating my bowels when my concentration was rather rudely disturbed.
“Psst, boss. Hey boss.”
“What?” I said. “Who’s there?” I recognized the voice, of course; it belonged to my idiot vice president, Sherm Schweinbumser. But I wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction of admitting that.
“It’s me — Sherm.”
“Sherm Schweinbumser. Your VP?”
“Oh,” I said. “You. What have I told you about talking to me in the men’s room, Schweinbumser?”
“Uh… not to do it?”
“Exactly. And yet here we are.”
“I’m sorry. It’s just… well, I have a problem.”
“I’ll say you do. For one, you’re talking to me in the restroom. Secondly, you sound awful.”
“Oh, that. I’m whispering.”
“So I don’t attract attention.”
“Jesus Christ, man. You weren’t making any sense to begin with and it’s been all downhill from there. Cut to the chase already.”
“And stop whispering!”
“Alright,” he said. “I… I sort of have my arm stuck in the toilet.”
This was a new low even for Schweinbumser, and it stunned me into silence for several seconds. Finally, I said: “Come again?”
“My arm. It’s stuck in the toilet.”
“I know I’m going to regret asking this, but. Why?”
He moaned softly. “My wedding ring… it slipped off my finger. I was trying to get it back.”
“How did it slip off your finger?”
“I was, uh. I was wiping.”
“Dear god. You mean?”
Having finished my business, I rose, flushed, and zipped up my pants.
“Schweinbumser, that is without a doubt the most disgusting story I’ve heard in ages. And I hear plenty of disgusting stories in the circles in which I travel. Hell, I’m responsible for most of them. Frankly, I have half a mind to fire you.”
“Oh, geez. Please don’t do that. I’m going to be in enough trouble as it is, what with losing my ring.”
“We’ll see. In the meantime, do you have your cellphone on you?”
“Well, call maintenance. Removing employees’ arms from crap-filled toilets isn’t in my job description, and I have a lot of work to do this afternoon. Ta ta.”
That Schweinbumser. Good thing he’s willing to work so hard for so little pay or he would’ve been out on the street ages ago. Anyhow, I have to split; Miss Cashtushy is wearing a preposterously tight outfit today, and I need to think up some reason for her to do a lot of bending and stretching in my office. Wish me luck.