Flash Fiction

Almost Wordless Wednesday – #22

Note: The opening photo is not your digital muse for this week’s writing prompt. It’s merely a placeholder for you to mildly admire and then move on with your life. I can’t reveal the true inspirational image without a smidge of background detail or I will dilute the effect of the reveal…

Picture it: Sicily, 1920.

Wait, scratch that.

Picture it: Katy, Texas, November, 2020.

We’re attending wedding nuptials for one of Partner’s nephews. (I’ve babbled about this situation recently in a post found here.) In this Time of the Covid, I was already highly-strung about attending such an event, and matters did not improve when a certain incident occurred that made everything even more surreal and unsettling.

Said incident took place after the Ceremony Proper had been conducted, a lovely diorama in which the bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome, the officiant was funny, the vows were poignant, the sun was shining on the outdoor tableau, and the Nuptial Duo gazed upon one another with eyes that were full of love and hope. And everyone was wearing a mask, except for the gazers and the Preacher Man.

Shortly thereafter, the alcohol began to flow and the dutiful attention to masking began to ebb.

This did not please me.

Suffice it to say that I did my best to distance myself from humanity. Then again, that’s my modus operandi in life, a modus that was well-ingrained long before The Covid, so in that respect it was just another drop in the bucket of my existence. Still, I only took my mask off when I was eating at my assigned dinner table or when I was swilling an option from the open bar.

I did a lot of swilling, which should surprise no one, especially the preacher man, who just happened to sit across from me at the “meet and greet” dinner the night before. (We both had admirable drinky-drink tabs when that night was over, let’s leave it at that.) Naturally, all this swilling eventually led to a need for recycling. I belched (it happens), put my mask back on (still warm, because I rarely took it off) and headed off on a quest for the appropriate comfort station, doing my best to avoid the packs of mask-less groupings of folks, hither and yon.

I found the station designated for species with a certain alignment.

I also found the station to be completely deserted.

What fresh hell? People are drinking, rather exuberantly. There should be recyclers all over the place, squirming a bit as they waited.

Then I approached one of the urinals, and I found this:



Yes, I took a picture with my phone. Wouldn’t you?

No wonder this room was empty. Something had clearly taken place that defied logic and reason.

And this, dear reader, is where you come in. What the hell happened in the men’s room of a massive, rustic, shabby-chic wedding barn originally built by Amish folk in Pennsylvania or some such (not kidding) and moved, hand-crafted plank by hand-crafted brick, to Katy, Texas (still not kidding).

Now, I know that most of you will take one gander at the photo and think “I am not touching THAT”. (And, apparently, one of the elusive participants also did not want to touch something.) But I trust that a few of you will be inspired to compose a ribald and absurd ditty about the dubious doings. And I look forward to reviewing your contributions. (Assuming that I can even read them, what with the way this mask makes my glasses fog up.)

Meanwhile, I’ll be over at the open bar, awaiting your efforts and avoiding humanity.



23 replies »

    • Agreed, Texans are strange, but perhaps we should review why your mind instantly went to “bed of nails”. Do you think we menfolk engage in rounds of Spanish-Inquisition torture whilst in the loo? Oh, wait. I see it now. Hmm. It also looks sort of like those things you can shove your hand in and it creates a 3-D impression on the other side. Not that I’m shoving my hand anywhere near THAT.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I went there. Post photo-shoot, I stepped right over the glove and attended to things. (At our age, when nature calls, you answer.) Of course, because that’s how my life rolls, someone came into the chamber whilst I was attending and was presented with the image of the glove right behind ME. I’m sure he had some questions, but he didn’t ask them…

      Liked by 1 person

    • To be fair, I did mention that the opening photo was an unrelated distraction. Truth be told, though, said opening photo was also taken in a bathroom, with it being a snap of a painting above (yet another) urinal in an artsy-cool restaurant in Abilene, Texas.

      I think what we’re establishing here is that I entertain myself far too much in bathrooms…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m generally off marching vigorously (well as vigorously as a gimpy of 60 years of age with severe arthritis, chronic pain and a sour attitude about that all – CAN) to my own drummer, the beat of which only I can hear. There is a factor that renders me unable to sally forth and satire as I normally would with your always excellent Almost Wordless prompts. I’m socially phobic and that photo freaked me out to a degree that borders on comatose. Not your fault at all, and I might have dealt with the urinal and the glove, but whatever the hell that is IN the urinal (being female I’m unaware of the contents of said devices, save there was always some kind of highly odoriferous cake of ‘soap’/disinfectant/ or drain unclogger (I never did understand what the hell purpose that thing served in there) hanging discretely off the side out of the way of the stream of things. No fuzzy, black, (oh my god that icks me out) thing was ever viewed by me (and I used to clean men’s rooms for a living once upon a youthful time). Sorry but I have to go un-see that. Now if it’s a benign presence and is supposed to be in there; if you’ll enlighten me, I’ll repair my squeamishness and come back and try again. What the %$@& is that? It looks rather as if someone had a bodily malfunction and didn’t make it to the sit down arena and had to make do, or make do in their pants as it were. Gawd. Now I’ve made myself sick. Sorry Brian. Great post, it’s totally my quirk about such things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I’m not sure if my explanation will reduce your displeasure, but I’ll try.

      The thing in the urinal is just a “screen”. (It’s been knocked out of it’s regular position for some reason, one that I won’t ponder further.) As you may have noticed in your life experiences, men are pigs, for the most part. And they throw things down when they are done with them instead of properly placing them where they belong. One of the places they throw them? Urinals. Since the drain at the bottom of a urinal is usually small and covered with a hole-punched grate, things that can’t fit through the holes can back up the urinal. So this device is meant to trap gum wrappers and cigarette butts and (especially in Texas) wads of chewed tobacco and whatnot, preventing the detritus from blocking the grate.

      But yes, at first glance, the screen looks quite nasty, especially since I had the camera focused on the glove and the screen is actually a tad blurry, increasing the oddity and potential dissatisfaction. End of the day, the screen is nothing more than an example of the never-ending effort to staunch the damage of pigly men being pigs….


  2. Like everyone else here, my attention was distracted by the black pincushion in urinal — your explanation to Melanie is appreciated. Alarmingly so.
    As for the glove, I reacted in the same way I do when I see a mask on the ground: AUGH! Get it away from me! AUGH!

    Seriously though, why can’t people act decently in public restrooms? Toss their trash, flush the toilet, act like a human being…. it’s not that hard!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I honestly didn’t realize that the screen would cause such alarm. I was focused on the abandoned glove, as I found it both amusing and alarming. I guess I’m just used to seeing those screens and it didn’t cross my mind that capturing such would raise eyebrows more than the proctological detritus. And, to be fair, I was so discombobulated by being around mask-less people that I welcomed the familiar comfort of spying a potential blog-post photo and I went from there.

      As for people not acting decently, well, the adage bears repeating that if folks act like this in public, you would never want to be invited into their domiciles, as the outrages there are surely worse. Yay, humanity!

      Liked by 1 person

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