Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Things I Don't Get, Volume 1


This might end up being a regular feature, but I’m starting to run into a lot of things that I don’t ‘get.’  Even if they are explained to me I don’t understand them.  I’m sure many of these things make perfect sense to other people, and I am okay with that.  We are allowed to not understand the same things (with some exceptions.  Everyone should know how gravity works, and probably how to change a tire, but what people should understand is a completely different topic.  And I’m sure there are things that I like that other people don’t get.  But those people are not writing this blog.  So here we go with the first list of things I don’t get.

1)      Mirrors above the toilet in the bathroom

While it is perfectly okay to have a mirror in a bathroom because sometimes you have to check yourself out, mirrors above toilet are creepy.  We just moved into a new house (more on that in a future post) and we have a mirror above the toilet in the bathroom.  It totally creeps me out.  Clearly any time this happens the decision is driven by someone who sits down with the back to the mirror while peeing, not those who are standing and facing the mirror.  I could understand why Dirk Diggler might want to have a mirror above his toilet, but pretty much no one else does.  In our house, I want to sit down instead of standing when using this bathroom.

2)      Black toilets

Our Darth Vader Toilet
Yes, this, too is because we moved, but this is the other bathroom.  Black toilets look cool.  My son thinks we have a Darth Vader bathroom.  But there are problems. Like you can’t see in the toilet at all.  Not that you would want to, but now you can’t.  And it’s impossible to tell if the toilet is clean, even after you just cleaned it.  I feel like we are going through three times as much toilet bowl cleaner in this house since it is better to be safe than sorry.  Trust me, I lived in an apartment with three other guys.  Stuff grows quickly on a toilet and ours was white and we could see it growing.  If we had a black toilet, we wouldn’t have noticed until the toilet clogged and wouldn’t flush with all the stuff that grew on it.

3)      Fishing  

Okay, this isn’t entirely true.  I understand why other people might like fishing.  If real life fishing was anything like it is portrayed in ‘A River Runs Through it’ everyone would move to Montana and fly fish all day (and I’m sure our wives would love it if we looked like Brad Pitt, or even Tom Skerrit for that matter).  I’m taking about suburban or urban fishing.  People try to fish in the Chicago River.  Now, it smells like dead fish, which would make you believe there are live fish in there but I’m doubting it.   We live near a river now and I heard there might be fish in that river.  I often see people with their poles dangling in the water.  In some places, the water is even deep enough for fish to swim.  But I’ve never seen anyone catch a fish.  Maybe I am not patient enough.  No, I just don’t get it.

4)      Iced Coffee

I like coffee. A lot.  I can’t remember the last day I didn’t have a cup of coffee.  Even when I get up early to go running, I have a cup of java before I head out.  And even if it is , it is 88 degrees at 6 in the morning in September, it is hot coffee.  Always.  I have a coworker who drinks iced coffee in the summer and regular coffee in the winter (well, not entirely true.  He gets like an iced mocha frappe china choo choo coffee at Starbucks in the summer).  I have writer friends who swears by iced coffee (are you reading this Ben Tanzer?) and insist there is something wrong with me for not liking it.  But I’ve tried it and, well, I don’t get it.  I know, I know, I should totally get it.  I like ice.  I like coffee.  But not together.    Maybe I am still stung by the first iced coffee I even drank from a Gloria Jeans coffee shop at the mall.  I drank half of it, then immediately got the caffeine shakes.  I though my heart was going to burst out of my chest and pull me through the mall by my guts, beating at 120 bpm.  Maybe I’m doing it wrong.  Am I supposed to brew regular hot coffee then pour it over ice?  Do I need to let hot coffee cool to room temperature then add the ice?  Do I brew it a room temperature and let it steep first (wait, forge that.  12 hours of steeping?  Too much planning.

5)      Talking on the phone in the bathroom

I’ll do just about anything in the bathroom.  I’ll read the paper or a magazine, check email, play Words with Friends or the Simpsons Tapped out. I’ll scroll through endless Facebook posts.  I once brought my laptop into the bathroom because I was picking my fantasy football team.  But I won’t talk on the phone with people.  “But Mike, isn’t it the same thing?” you are saying right now.  “You were using your phone to play words with friends.” Of course it’s not the same thing.  What I am doing while in the bathroom do not bother other people.   There is nothing more distracting when you are standing at a urinal than the guy next to you yapping on his phone about some sales visit to a new client (airports are notorious for toilet phone talkers). And sometimes peeing takes concentration (remember this post?).   Now, maybe I’m not as coordinated as others because I can’t hold my phone while unzipping, pulling out, aiming and complaining to my friend that the cell phone reception totally sucks in this bathroom.  I just don’t want to try.  Seriously people!  Just call them back.  I can't even put a picture of this in here because its gross.

I once had a girlfriend who would go to the bathroom while we were talking on the phone.  I could always tell because she would wait until I was doing the majority of the talking, then she’d get quiet.  Of course, most of our conversations were dominated by her, so I usually didn’t talk for long.  Then there would be silence so I would ask her something.  Her answer would come back with a little echo (why do bathrooms always echo).  “Are you going to the bathroom?” I’d ask.  “I’m already done,” she’d say.  She might have been, but I just figured she was lying to me.  I hope she remember to go back and flush.

So three out of five were about bathrooms.  I promise next time that sixty percent of the list won’t be about toilets.

Thanks for reading.