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Opinion: A delicate situation

In today's world, peace and quiet are hard to come by

Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 22:01


William Guerra

With unnatural abominations like multi-colored goldfish crackers and margarine, it can safely be assumed that this world is a terrible place in which nothing is sacred or safe anymore.

Nothing, that is, except for bathrooms.

Life is a disaster in which we cling to the illusion of control. We walk around like everything is just peaches and cream when we know at any moment we could be torn to tiny, bloody bits by a rogue, genetically engineered velociraptor. You’re completely unprepared for that and there’s nothing you can do. That’s life.

In this crazy world, we can’t be certain of anything. We must take our peace where we can find it. And at this point in my life, I look forward to the few minutes of the day that I can call my own. And that is my bathroom time.

No one is going to bother me in there. No one wants to bother me in there. That is my time to do whatever I want. I can be anything I want in the bathroom. While I sit in there, in my metal partition palace with the tiles in hushed pastel tones lying so orderly under my feet, I can believe everything just might be okay someday.

But of course this nirvana, in which everything in life for a moment seems triple-ply, exists in the real world where all good and pure things can always be ripped from us. Just like that one guy from the first Jurassic Park movie was snatched from his porcelain sanctuary by that silly tyrannosaurus rex, we too can have our joy and safety chomped up and swallowed like the defenseless dinosaur bait we may all eventually be reduced to.

But before the dinosaurs have even gotten a chance to destroy life as we know it, someone much more sinister is at work — the good people who pick the music that plays in the MSC restrooms.

Of all of the problems that I experience as a privileged member of a country with a relatively stable economy and government, being subjected to the music in public bathrooms is far and away the very worst one. You’re a captive audience in there, man. And I can’t do anything about it.

Just imagine. You’re in a public bathroom in some swanky movie theater right before Christmas. Every organ of your digestive system has decided they don’t want to be team players anymore and are wreaking havoc on your body. You sit in the bathroom stall as the final battle of the apocalypse, the true fight between good and evil, is waged beneath your rib cage.

All the while, the six-minute version of Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer is playing, taunting you just like those other stupid reindeer that wouldn’t let Rudolph play their stupid reindeer games.

I still have nightmares about that stall.

There is no appropriate genre that can serve adequately as bathroom music. Top 40 is often too sexual to be anything but uncomfortable. You try listening to Bruno Mars sing about going to paradise while sitting on the toilet. It’s not okay.

Jazz music is too classy to work well. As the croons of Frank Sinatra float down under the radiant fluorescents, I always feel oddly underdressed. Ella Fitzgerald is just not a woman of the toilets.

The worst of all is Sarah McLachlan, who oh-so-famously lent her voice to the sad puppy commercials that marked the lowest points of my childhood. I once cried in an MSC bathroom stall when “In the Arms of an Angel” came on and I couldn’t stop thinking about abused kittens.

If this is the way things are going to be, we might as well not even wait for the geneticists to bring the dinosaurs back and just go ahead sacrifice ourselves to normal dangerous animals like bears or really irritable donkeys.

This is not the life I want to live. I want peace. I want quiet. I want my bathroom back.  

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