The Doubler (by Ray Abruzzi)
So, I don't really mind the stink of my friends, or hearing their bathroom tales of "foot-longs" or torrential squirts. There is a very distinguishable camaraderie associated with rest rooms, locker rooms and other areas designated as males-only. But something about the work environment, the air of formality and etiquette, lends a sense that there should be a higher standard regarding poopy politeness.
The Doubler is a specific person, but anyone can double. In the office where I work there are two men's rest located on my floor. The nearer consists of two urinals, two stalls and two sinks.
Another 50 yards down the hall is the other john, with two sinks two urinals and one super-sized stall, built to accommodate handicapped employees. This is referred to rather unimaginatively as the Throne Room.
Now, when the unfortunate need to go number two arises during working hours, as it often does due to the ungodly amount of overtime my department works, I will hasten to the rest room. I bypass the nearer in favor of the more private room at the end of the hall. Simple enough. My body, being wise in the ways of such matters, calculates the distance and time to this rest room, and begins sending increasingly urgent signals to my bowels as I get closer to the door, so that by the time I get through the door it is seconds to show time.
Preperation for show time requires two paper towels, one wet and one dry. I nervously dance from one foot to the other as I wipe the seat with the wet, then dry it with the other before placing the little ring thingie over the seat. This extra wiping, sadly, is necessary as several of my co-workers somehow have missed the raise-the-seat portion of their up-bringings entirely. That completed, it's bombs away and business as usual. Should someone happen to come into the rest room I am occupying to use a urinal, wash-up, or use the Throne (indicated by the door opening and then closing without someone entering) I bide my time, sitting patiently until they leave, before I exit the stall.
I will often refrain from wiping or squeezing as I realize these sounds are unappealing until after the coast is clear. I also do not like to exit the stall in someone else's company, because I cannot escape the feeling of "I did a BAD thing," and don't want to meet their eyes and exchange bathroom pleasantries with anyone when I am feeling so dirty and disgusting about what I have done. Seems like pretty common courtesy to me.
However, apparently these simple courtesies allude many of my co-workers and one in particular: the Doubler. An unlucky chain of events usually precedes the arrival of the Doubler. In order to be doubled, one must be using a stall in the dual bathroom. This occurs when: a) You had something extremely disagreeable for lunch and have to make bad potty. Though your mind may say "Let's go to the bathroom down the hall and be alone," your body says, "No, you get into that near bathroom this second or we're going live right here in the hall."
So, you listen to your body. I have attempted to override its dictatorship on more than one occasion, which almost resulted in my demise each time (and the pre-poop-bowl-wipe job was certainly very shabbily done). And: b) A worse fate, which can also occur, is that when I reach the Throne room, court is already being held, and I must about-face and beat feet back to the People's Stalls. Those are some tense moments. The tensest. I have a 100% success rate, though, where inter-pants accidents are concerned.
So you enter the near john, and pray that it is unoccupied. If both are, it's probably over, Johnny. If one is, well, there you have it, you're about to double someone. It does happen, but at least you made an effort.
My special rules and tactics for doubling, or being doubled are simple, if only marginally effective.
Number one: Never at any time do you address the occupant of the next stall. It doesn't matter if it is your buddy from production or the guy from next cubicle over. Nobody is anybody in the stalls, they are just shoes to you.
Number two: Keep it quiet. Be aware of the sounds emanating from your ass, your mouth, and your wipe. Keep it to a minimum, and that includes relief sighing. Nobody needs or wants to know you had a happy little movement. Keep it special by keeping it to your self.
Exiting has it's own set of rules. Not only must you try to avoid urinal and sink users (you dirty, filthy boy) but you must be extremely careful to avoid the other stall guy. The guilt would be unbearable. I have known myself to wait as long as five extra minutes, sitting silently in the stall, done with my business, simply to avoid contact with others. It's the rule. I have even been caught once in a waiting game with another, equally polite player, that ended only because I had to get back to my desk to take a call I was expecting. My unknown friend had the courtesy to wait until I left. Good player.
A good tactic to use in the event that you have fallen into a doubling experience is the "thumbs in the ears, pinkies in pushing the nasal passages closed method." I invite you to try this at your desk right now. While not entirely effective, it goes a long way in blocking out unpleasant sounds and odors. (Note: Be careful to avoid loud mouth breathing while employing this technique, and be aware that your own, other sounds are muted to you, so be extra quiet.)
As you can see, a lot of issues revolve around crapping at work, and into this delicate world comes the Doubler. He has a name. Most know it. But he is better known as the Doubler to all. He's middle-aged, kind of short and balding. He's generally affable, though somewhat long-winded and given to tangents. The Doubler rarely changes from his sneakers to his shoes upon arriving at the office (unless there is a meeting or something), and it lends personality to his under-the-stall persona.
His first mistake is that he has never been seen to make even an attempt at using the private stall. He is always in the two-staller. Those Nikes seem to leap out at you when you walk in the john. They add an element of surprise. He doesn't hesitate to plop down next to you, if you happen to be stuck using the community chamber pot.
He also breaks rule number one, whether he is there to use a urinal or a stall. "Hey, Ray, How's it goin'?" And I think, "Well, ***, there's a big log of smelly shit hanging out of my ass right this second, how's it going with you?"
If he does sit next to you, assume an extremely defensive position. I mean, JAM the thumbs in there and PUSH on the nostrils, cause when he goes he really goes: "Great weather today, huh, Ray?" Kerrrr-splash! FART FART Splash FART! Kersplashhh! "Oh, Boy, that's better!, So you believe this fucking deadline or what? These assholes!" Ka-blammm! Fart Fart Splash Fart! Wipe Wipe Wipe! Grunt! Sigh!
And so on. He leaves at exactly the moment you do (actually, fleeing is more like what you are doing at that point), looking to make eye contact and everything else short of shaking hands. Attempts to wait him out aren't worth it, due to the torrent of sound, smell and small-talk pouring out of the booth adjacent to yours. So you make a break for it, and I swear, he senses it and is out after you in a zip and a flush. It's almost as if he wants to high five and say "Good Game!"
I fear the Doubler. And I accept the Doubler, because I have, by necessity, assumed the role of a Doubler on occasion. But my performance pales in comparison to the all-senses-encompassing experience that is The Doubler's way. He is the scourge of etiquette, a Mecca for foul odor and the conductor of a butt-symphony that has no known equal. And he has no concept of his fame. A true Hero.