Saturday, April 3, 2010
The Omega Pu Fraternity
The thinly veiled roll of posterior torture in the form of lowest bidder industrial-strength adsorbent "sanitary paper" does encourage, however, a foray into the territorial behavior of the military man (for reasons which will become obvious if they are not already, I cannot comment knowledge of analogous regressions committed by the fairer sex).
I haven't been counting porcelain "omegas" - rather plastic ones, or, often, the spaces between 2x4s, here in the sandbox - but, by rough estimation, the number of rectums (not counting the colostomies at my workplace) here at this enclave outnumbers thrones by more than 20:1. I am sure someone in the Pentagon working for the 3-star in charge of logistics has actuarially prepared for this type of derriere:throne ratio by carefully calculating the number of minutes spent per soldier performing the base act of ridding of undigestables. (Never mind, that the waves of curry fajita induced dysentery are both unpredictable in scope and severity of those affected - beyond the scope of all ninja actuary - like Josh Worsham or Frank Houghton).
Anyway, there is always an available, relatively sanitary place to get down to business. But among men, at least, this is not the point. For these most private of moments, the king needs to be atop his own throne. Just imagine the scandal of violating this privacy to be atop the throne of another king! In anything by the most dire of emergencies, this, among men, is a deplorable act of humiliation. In Iraq dust-camp, we make adjustments, but the territorial lines, make no mistake, have been drawn - like the tape around Les Nesman's office he imagined in Cincinnati - and woe be it to he found in the stall of the king.
This brings me to an experience had the other day in the nearby Cadillac (though I am still unclear of the origin of this name for the W/C trailer, I am starting to suspect that it is a ironically applied compliment of sorts, to this 20th century improvement over the Turkish toilets endured by those before me). I was near the end of time in my personal claustrophobia-inducing plywood box, when there was an attempt to open, then a loud bang on the door. This was followed by and urgent, "Hurry up, I have to go," uttered in a deep voice owned by someone very capable of just removing the plywood door off the hinges. After recovering from the initial shock of having my entitled-field-grade-officer-personal-space invaded, I remembered that there were 5 other empty stalls when I entered the one I was currently occupying - given the picture above this is the one I have come to prefer.
"Try another one," I simply said.
"But I use this one!" he unrelentingly replied.
I thought about this for a minute. Now, I am not one to prescribe entirely to the king:throne subculture described above, but I admit, unabashedly, that the concept is not foreign. An attachment to any particular commode has its roots in learned behavior. As a child myself, I witnessed that a good number of those in my father's family, only would concede to conduct said business via a "foreign toliet" in a complete emergency. One of my best friends from college, to this day (as far as I know), still insists on being completely naked, not even with socks, to perform the act. !?!
So it is, not out of fear of the hulking M-16 carrying, walking bicep behind the door, but out of respect and perhaps a bit of empathy, for the man and the psychologic quagmire had immersed himself into, that I quickly completed my business, and egressed.
I could see him scowl in the mirror while I washed my hands. He didn't even say thank you.