by K.M. Zahrt
Dear Urinal Fisherman at Comerica Park,
I saw you with your buddy at the Tigers’ game on Friday. I want you to know I don’t judge you. I understand. You’re not the alpha. Your buddy is taller, handsomer, and wittier than you. You’re happy just to be his best friend, to be at Comerica Park watching Verlander pitch a win against the Royals on a beautiful fall evening in Detroit. It’s the night of your life. You’re having some beers; you’re happily buzzed; everything’s going great.
Just when the night’s about to conclude, you find yourself eliminating excess fluids at a urinal next to your leader. It’s a high pressure situation. You need to empty the tank so you can keep up at the after party, but you can’t take too long. That would draw unwanted attention to yourself. Rule #6: Draw attention to yourself, but on your own terms (Wedding Crashers, 2005). So you try to distract yourself, to take your mind off the moment. You pull out your smartphone. Heck, it’s the end of the game, you may have some urgent messages awaiting your prompt reply. You can kill two birds here.
Your buddy finishes up and heads for the sinks. It’s go time. Here it is — the reason you knew all along you shouldn’t have worn your designer jeans with your Verlander jersey; they never fit quite right. As you struggle to close your fly with your left hand, the line starts to build behind you. Situation normal is rapidly getting all effed up. You bring your right hand in for emergency assistance, and Murphy lays down the law. You fumble your smartphone at the goal line, and you watch, in slow motion, as it bounces off the back wall of the urinal and plunges to what may very well be an untimely death in a pool of your own urine. Oh, the irony!
You don’t have time to plead to the wingmen gods to bail you out. You must act, and you have three choices:
- Start calling for assistance like your child is drowning, yelling at your buddy in between wild curses: “Get paper towel! Get paper towel now!” And the two of you will work like a dream team to retrieve your smartphone with minimal urine damage on your hands and clothes.
- Play it cool. Leave the smartphone. Turn and walk away. You’ll tell your buddy, your girlfriend, and the sales associate at the mall nothing other than: “I lost my smartphone. I need a replacement.”
- Waste no time. Pluck the smartphone out of it’s urine-flooded grave with your bare hand. Get it to a sink as quick as possible and wash your hand and your smartphone until your bones start to feel clean.
So, what do you do? It appears you’re going to go for option #3. You pluck instinctively, perhaps before you’ve fully thought through your options, but as you turn with the urine dripping off of your phone, we make eye contact. For this, I apologize. I feel somewhat responsible for what happens next. That’s when you choke. With two swift passes, you wipe both sides of your smartphone off on your designer jeans and cram it into your pocket along with your urine and the urine of thousands of other disgusting men who came before you. You lost your cool and bailed on the plan — something so shameful for a wingman like you.
I can offer you some reassurance. I don’t believe anyone else saw what happened, including your buddy. You don’t have to confess, and you can keep your right-hand-man status for now.
I hope you learned from your mistake. I hope you’ll perform better in the future. For the time being, your secret is safe with me.