As a general rule, I assume no one really wants to know what happens in a public restroom during such auspicious times as when I happen to be in it. Call it a courtesy, or some sort of introvert survival instinct – if I alienate my few remaining friends with regular (pun not intended) tales from the toilet or stories from the shitter, my life is going to culminate in the same manner as Fortunato from “The Cask of Amontillado,” i.e., with myself entombed in a stall. And while I am a Poe fan, that particular method of passing seems to lack some of the literary merit found in the original. (Which doesn’t, I suppose, rule out my being immortalized in a dirty limerick, but I never recited, “There once was a man from Nantucket” and thought, “Man, when I grow up, I wanna be just like him.”)
However – and you all knew the conjunctive adverb was coming, so don’t act so surprised – one does not title a piece “Music to Poop By” and then proceed not to talk about the individual blasting “Drops of Jupiter” in the men’s room.
2001 called. They want their song back.
Now, let us be clear: this was not a ringtone. That was my initial assumption, too. However, I was forced to abandon it when we hit the line that goes, “Tell me, did the wind sweep you off your feet?”, which A) happens to be part of verse three or four and B) happens to take on new and unfortunate connotations when thundering through a public bathroom. Yet to focus exclusively on point A (in the hopes of forgetting about point B entirely), let it be noted that “Drops of Jupiter” is not a short song. It clocks in somewhere in the neighborhood of four minutes and twenty seconds, which for an insipid pop song is approximately four minutes and nineteen seconds too long.
What all this would seem to point to is a reality where someone – a man, I hope, given that this was a gender-specific restroom – realized that the native ambiance was not fully conducive to the completion of whatever business to which nature was compelling him to complete. So, with little regard for his stall mates, our amateur sound engineer whipped out his cell phone and selected a song that put him in the mood to, in the language of the internet, set up us the bomb.
We come to the point where there should be an epic climax, but I really have nothing for you. He eventually flushed. Stopped the music. And then left.
Fast forward, I later regaled my wife with the above tale, because after seven years of marriage, this kind of thing is pretty much all there’s left to talk about. She suggested I come up with my own restroom theme song. Something that fully communicated the drama of what was about to occur. And you know what – I think she’s right, and I think I know just the tune.
The theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey should do nicely.
Dunn. Dunnn. DUNNNN. DAH DAAAH! BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.