Monday, January 23, 2006

Lessons I've Learned, Part 9

Keep your hands out of your crotch unless you're absolutely positive you're alone.

Knowing most of my readers have drug and alcohol abuse problems, I realize most of you have already forgotten the valuable wisdom I've tried to impart to you in Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of Lessons I've Learned, but that won't stop me from trying to educate you once again.

When I was in college, I did a brief and unglamourous stint in a kitchen store in the mall. This was one of those stores that sells whisks and crock pots and all that super weird stuff that people (I am told) make use of in kitchens when they do something I've heard referred to as "cooking." I'd expand on that term for the curious among you, but I don't know much about it except that it involves a long, complicated, somewhat acrobatic process of mixing and tossing and mashing different food items and so-called "seasonings," heating them to ridiculously hot temperatures, only to then allow them to cool enough to consume them. It's apparently an arduous process that results in big piles of dirty dishes, and usually the end result is a small amount of finished product, hardly worth all the sweat and aggravation and time. A silly pastime that's totally unnecessary, since everyone knows there are plenty of places to purchase food that's ready-to-eat without going through these strenuous kitchen acrobatics.

In spite of my confusion regarding the whole concept of cooking, I took this job because, well, beer and concert tickets aren't free. It was a crappy job because the owner of the store was a jackass, and because it was an ungodly boring environment. While the clothes and shoes stores in the mall were hopping with business, the kitchen store was as dead as Corey Feldman's career. There were always two employees per shift, and the two of us would just stand there, minute after minute, hour after hour, trying to invent reasons not to disembowel ourselves with a potato peeler before the end of our shift.

One of my coworkers there was a man in his late 60s, a very nice, very distinguished gentleman named Bob. A likeable fellow, proper and polite. Bob and I had little in common, and would do our best to scrape up some small talk between us, never really getting very far with it. But our coexistence was comfortable enough... at least until "the incident."

I was wearing a skirt and blazer one day, rather professional-looking attire, especially considering the head-pounding hangover I probably had. The shirt I had on under the blazer was one of those that kept a girl from having to fuss over making sure it stayed tucked in. It was a kind of bodysuit design, so that it snapped between the legs, sort of like a giant version of the onesie my infant son is wearing right now. Of course, I trust you to assume that it didn't look like a onesie. It looked like a regular shirt, and no one would suspect that it wasn't just your average tucked-in shirt. Here's a picture I found on the internet of the kind of shirt I'm referring to.

These things were popular at the time, though I don't know if people still wear them, and of course, in hindsight I don't understand why they were invented in the first place. Can it really be that there are scores of frustrated women out there having an incredibly hard time keeping their shirts tucked in? But it seemed like a good idea when I bought it, and back then there was certainly no harm in investing in new and innovative ways to keep my clothes from slipping off at odd times. I only ended up wearing it one time, and you're about to find out why.

There was a tiny little unisex bathroom back in the storeroom, which was located in the rear of the store, and the entire time I worked there, the lock on the bathroom door was broken. Industrious employees tried different methods of making it known when the bathroom was occupied, to include a sheet of paper taped to the door with "Occupied" scrawled on it. The problem with such methods is they're not very reliable. Over time people would get lazy and just leave the "occupied" sign on the door regardless of whether the restroom was occupied or not, which caused a "The Boy Who Cried Occupied" scenario. A person might see the sign, and then patiently wait for the occupant to finish his business, only to eventually reach the point of near bladder explosion before realizing that there was no one inside after all, and the sign had simply been left up from last time.

I would have been mortified to be caught peeing by anyone, but really, the chances of it happening were pretty slim. For one thing, I'm a speed pee-er. I hop on and hop off the potty like a Jack In The Box popping up, and the odds of someone invading during those few "on" seconds were slim to none. Plus, there were generally just two of us in the store, and a good employee would make sure, before slipping back to the stockroom, that the other employee was minding the store, and perhaps even give them a courteous heads up with a quick, "Um, hey, I'm gonna pee" warning. Apparently I forgot to do that on the day in question.

As was my custom, I finished my business quickly and then stood up to reassemble my clothing. Had it been a regular tuck-in shirt I was wearing, I would have first repositioned my skirt up to its proper spot on my hips, and then proceeded to tuck my shirt in, and that's how I would have been found when my elderly gentleman coworker walked in on me: Fully dressed with my hands dipping demurely into the waistband of my skirt. He would have blushed and said "Oh! Excuse me," and closed the door, and I would have finished up, and sailed out of the restroom gaily, reassuring him that no harm was done.

If only.

Instead, I had the snap-crotch onesie to contend with. Therefore, upon standing up after finishing my business, I had to hike my skirt all the way up around my waist, leaving my pantyhose still pulled down just above my knees, while I hunched forward and struggled with the crotch snaps. There were three, and I got them snapped, but then two came instantly unsnapped, thanks to the sloppy work ethic of the 9-year old Cambodian sweat shop employee who engineered my blouse. I remained hunched over, hands buried in crotch, pantyhose around the knees and skirt up around the waist, when Bob opened the door and took a step into the restroom. Our eyes locked, and looks of mutual horror were briefly exchanged before Bob fled like O.J Simpson, minus the white Ford Bronco.

Here was my dilemma. No way would a 60-some year old guy know about ladies' shirts with crotch snaps. The only conclusion he could draw from what he had just witnessed was that I had been doing something involving a tampon. The only thing I could imagine that was more embarrassing than being caught mid-pee was being caught mid-tampon retrieval. I had to explain to him that I had merely been innocently buttoning my shirt up, not, I repeat NOT engaging in any type of tampon placement or tampon removal.

When I came out of the bathroom, I tried to explain to the embarrassed Bob that my shirt had snaps at the crotch, some new-fangled invention, you see, and that's why my hands were busily rummaging around in my nether regions, but Bob would have none of it. He shushed me and waved me off with an embarrassed "No explanation necessary" attitude and scuttled away like a frightened squirrel, unaware of how desperately important it was to me to explain why my hands had been ferreting around in my naughties.

The lesson? Whatever the reason you have for engaging in any kind of crotch exploration, for the love of God, make sure you only do it behind a locked door.

Unless, of course, you work for tips, or there's a webcam involved.

36 comments:

miss kendra said...

i'm glad you put that little disclaimer down at the bottom, because i won't stand for you disparaging my chosen field of work!

seeingdouble said...

You know how people say "LOL", but they're not REALLY audibly laughing? Well, this time I am. I'm sitting on my couch with tears in my eyes from laughing at this whole unfortunate mishap. I heart you just a little bit, these stories are great!

Crazy MomCat said...

It is so ironic that you posted this when just minute ago I posted my own "tampon" story. Check it out and especially the link...it is disturbingly hilarious.

And, I now know a good reason to NOT purchase one, if the onesies-for-ladies shirts come back style!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

A likely story. I didn't buy it then, and I'm not buying it now. -- Bob.

melissa.in.london said...

Oh, man. I've got to learn to not read this blog at work. My coworkers are going to think all I do is sit around, tittering to myself with a big dopey grin on my face...

Oh, and I remember those body suit things. Try changing for P.E. when you're wearing one. I was in sixth grade. Thanks, Mom. I'm proud to say that body suit is resting in peace with the socks that disappear from the dryer.

Carbon said...

Wow, I misses out on onsie shirts for adults? How did that happen.

You are too funny karla :)

tfg said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CommonWombat said...

Boy did you miss out on a golden opportunity. You should have returned from the bathroom and simply said "Crabs are a bitch, Bob."

Back when I was at Santa, Inc, the Art Dept. bathroom was a rickety little "one seater" affair with a door that liked to not latch. Those of us who had been there a while knew how to kind of wrestle the door until the latch snapped closed, but new employees frequently had to figure it out on their own.

Twice I walked in on brand new interns in the bathroom. Both were 20-year old art students, both girls, and I SWEAR I didn't mean to do it. I felt absolutely awful that their first day on the job would be marred by the memory of me walking in on them. In both cases I muttered a quick apology, snapped a few photos, and left immediately.

tfg said...

You should have told him that you were "hiding the candy." The resulting heart attack would have solved your problem.

BL said...

Hahaha... such a funny story... sorry you had to experience it... I have been caught doing silly things too. It still makes me laugh when I reply the event in mind... hahaha...

come by and see my vacation pics if you have the need for the Caribbean...

justacoolcat said...

That really wraps up two stories.

1) Crab Bisque -
Step three of Crab Bisque,
"Stirring constantly, add cheese and cook until mixture thickens"

2)How pubic hairs ended up the in the whisk.

You really should take a cooking class, it might clear up some of the misconceptions.

mrtl said...

Goodness me. I had a couple of those tops, too. WTF?

Masked Mom said...

The psychic scars last forever don't they?

Once when my oldest was a toddler and I was eight months pregnant with my second, Son-One woke up from a nap while I was in the middle of a shower. I'm standing in the middle of the living room, stark naked and dripping wet, comforting Son-One(like Mom naked, wet and 8 months pregnant wouldn't cause a whole other set of nightmares)and there was a knock at the locked apartment door. I said, "Who is it?" And the person said, "It's me." It was a male voice and I, foolishly as it turns out, assumed it was Hubby needing let in so I walked over, unlocked the door and walked back to the living room.

The door opened and in walks one of Hubby's friends. I don't know if either of us has recovered yet--and it's been sixteen years, but at least I wasn't, you know, inserting a tampon or whatever it was YOU were doing. ;)

rach said...

whoever thought that snap-closures located at the crotch for women would be a good design feature should be shot.

i had a similar experience with a girdle-type torture device with the stupid snap-closure at the crotch that i was wearing underneath a bridesmaid gown, only i was drunk and i was barged in on my the other bridesmaids, who were equally as drunk. i think we all had a good laugh about it and drank some more.

they're hell if you really have to pee.

Karina said...

That was absolutely hillarious. Thanks for the laugh!

Oh, and I had a bunchof those stupid bodysuit shirt things too...mine were "t-shirt" ones as opposed to blouse ones, but still, what were we thinking??

Maja said...

That shirt reminds me of those pants that have the elastic straps at the bottoms to loop over your feet. Does anyone still wear those?

La Boom said...

Ok..so that explains the time I caught you. However, it does not explain the grin on your face at the time.

TSB said...

I wish I had a memory like yours. I know that there are tons of ridiculous things that happened to me over my lifetime, but I have either blocked them or completely traumatized myself to the point that they have been dropped my memory banks. I'm so glad I have your memories to listen to...LOL

tigger said...

I have a worse story. I was in the bathroom at school wearing one of these idiotic shirts you descibe. I tried to snap it for what seemed like an eternity and I had a friend waiting for me. So, I got so annoyed that I called for said friend to come help me. Yes, this is a GOOD friend. She got down on her knees and helped me snap - just as the door to the stall swung open for all the ladies to see what looked like an erotic encounter. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if I'm going to be accused of getting some tongue, I'd better be GETTING SOME TONGUE!

The Bard of the Wood said...

I love your stories. I hope you live forever, or at least until the day after I die so I can always read them.

Gerbera Daisy said...

Good Morning Karla~ Thanks for the smiles and the memory of that shirt!!! I too had one of those shirts and mine would not stay snapped either. I think I only wore it a couple times.

Jessica said...

Thank God you put that disclaimer on the end...I was beginning to wonder how I would feed my family!

the Caitlinator said...

Sadly, I do not have any hand-in-my-crotch stories to use as a basis for comparison. But yours is pretty funny.

soapbox.SUPERSTAR said...

Karla that is a good story, and I wish I could say that I have not been in similar situations, sadly, I cannot!

Miladysa said...

LOL!

Is he still attending therapy?

Dorothy said...

Omg...I remember those bodysuits! Yeah, they were real cool, but you have a point...why? I hated it when I had to go to the bathroom and there were just too many steps...I like pull down, pee and that's all it took. Thank goodness we don't have to go through all that again. Hey, did a man invent that?

a fish on a bycicle said...

thank you Karla, it's another one of those brilliant, hilarious posts of yours - that remind me just how blisfully uncomplicated it is being a bloke

in your debt

Mighty Dyckerson said...

Similar experience. I worked at a McDonald's in high school. One day I decided to relieve some tension by jizzing into the mayo jar. So I'm going at it...and in walks the female shift manager! So she sees me, glances down, and decides to "give me a hand," so to speak.

And that's how "secret sauce" was invented.

Zen Wizard said...

Are you sure he wasn't just experiencing "turn-on overload"??

I mean, how much of a twenty-something female does a 60 year-old guy get to see every day??

(Unless he's Hugh Hefner or somebody...)

Manic Mom said...

Hilarious. I remember those kind of shirts. Poor Bob, scarred for life! And I wasn't thinking tampon insertion, I was thinking he thought masterbation.

anne arkham said...

I had one of those shirts, too. I think the point was to give double the panty lines.

Stacie said...

The only laugh I have had all day! Thank you so much! I REALLY needed it! Stacie

Frankie B said...

Karla,
that was riotuously funny and somewhat tittilating.
What disturbs me is Wombatin a Santa Suit walking in on those poor interns

Amy said...

What a great story! Well, great for me since I wasn't the one involved! :^)

doggerelblogger said...

I love your blog, and what a FLASHBACK to the crappy jobs of high school. Yeesh.

word verification: anjbe "an jibe"?

Jess Riley said...

Oh my God that's funny. I wore a body suit like that on my 19th birthday, which turned out to be the drunkest I ever got in my life...I can still vaguely recall my friends helping me walk down my dorm halls with the damn body suit snapflap hanging outside my pants. Now I have to check out more of your blog!