A friend once told me about a guy she knew who hated going to the bathroom anywhere but his own house. If he was out and found he suddenly had some, uh, business to attend to, he'd hightail it back to his own facilities rather than perch his buttocks on the rim of an unfamiliar porcelain throne.
Apparently, there is a guy living in my parents' apartment building who has the exact opposite problem.
The other day I was down in the gym and happened to spot a two-page (two-page!) sign taped to the back of the wall. The sign detailed all the things the management had caught residents of the apartment building doing wrong lately---like going barefoot on the elliptical machine (ew) or leaving their toddler to play with the free weights while they read Newsweek on the treadmill (argh)---along with a polite plea for them to stop doing them.
At the bottom of the sign, three particularly heinous crimes had been called out. "On several occasions," the sign read, "residents have been spotted misusing the common facilities. We have highlighted some instances of such misuse below."
The first crime was fairly minor. "One resident," tattled the sign, "was observed unplugging the water dispenser from its power source and utilizing the electricity for personal use."
While I figured that a little cord-jiggling wasn't so bad, I did wonder what sort of personal use we were talking about: charging a cell phone? Possibly forgivable. Plugging in a toaster? Maybe a little weird.
The second crime was slightly more bizarre. "A female resident," snitched the sign, "was noted washing personal laundry in the female restroom almost every evening."
It was the "almost every evening" bit that cracked me up there: what tragedy had befallen this mysterious female resident that had her soaking her smalls in a public bathroom, on a regular basis no less. Had her washing machine broken, perhaps? Did she have an embarrassing (yet reliable) case of incontinence and a fervent wish to hide it from the people she lived with?
The third crime, however, was the most hilarious. "A male resident," huffed the sign, "was seen hurrying from his apartment to the male toilet. He emerged five minutes later to return home."
Attention, residents of my parents' building! No longer can you sneak out of your apartment for a sneaky constitutional in the communal restroom by the pool, you hear? Not even if that girl you have a crush on has dropped by to play Guitar Hero and the burrito you ate earlier is proving to have been an awful mistake. Your neighbors are alert and they're watching for suspicious activity just like this. Particularly if you're hurrying. Then it's just obvious.