T is for "A Toilet Story"

Apple Jacks and Banana Pancakes had not spoken to each other since they had a pretty feirce argument one late night over what model of Corellian Freighter the Millennium Falcon was ("uh, duh, Apple Jacks, it's a YT-1300!" Banana Pancakes exclaimed, his mouth a morass of spittle and partially mashed French Onion Sun Chips ... ) of if Delta Force was a commentary on Reagan-era US foreign policy and its pursuant pitfalls or if it was a metaphor for the escape from the prison of one's own elephantitis-ized ego.

Needless to say, they did not leave that apartment on the best of terms. After their little verbal fandango, Apple Jacks packed up his collection of Garbage Pail Kids cards, gruesomely decapitated action figure heads and all 27 volumes of The Complete Annotated William Shatner's Tekworld and move out their shared hovel of an apartment and onto the dark and lonely streets.

"Better to sleep on a park bench that smells vaguely like boiled cabbage and vinegar than spend another minute in an apartment with a nincompoop!" Apple Jack yelled at noone in particular, his voice a mixture of indignation, sadness and Milk Duds.

That was two years ago.

Since then, Banana Pancake had embarked on a career as a hip-hop mogul, rising through the ranks as the hot new MC, Hostile Apostle, known for his venomous lyrics packed full of cheeky references to discarded pop culture and how badly his back hurt. Dude was huge in Denmark and Hungary.

Apple Jack, on the other hand still worked in the produce section of a rather disreputable supermarket owned by a Spaniard who bore an uncanny resemblance to Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride. The faux-Montoya even wore a sword, knee-high boots and a puffy shirt around in public. Needless to say, the man was hell with the ladies.

So you can imagine the ill-feeling that hung in the air as they glanced at each other at opposite ends of the urinal tract in a public restroom at a certain Major League Baseball park on May 27, 2006. It was obviously palpable to the man between them, a 50-something man who looked a little like Jack White/Black/Palance mated with a cougar who flew through space to have her abominable offspring birthed on the mystical planet Kobol, whose king was the great-grandson of one Lorenzo Llamas, you know, the dirtbag guy from Renegade. With the mullet. That guy. All of that was a roundabout way of saying that the 50-something man's ears were too big for his head.

Big Ears tried to clear the obvious tension that hung like a hanging thing over the entire urinal row by talking about muscle cars and how he'd once seen 14 ninjas piled into a Shelby Cobra, but after one-and-a-half sentences, he fell silent, finished up, and ran out of the lavatory. And no, he didn't wash his hands. I know, gross right?

Both parties tried to optimize the silence to come up with a killer opening line that even pirates or Jason Quinones* would blush at. They stood there, no longer "taking care of business," just glaring beams of purest hatred across the aisle of urinals like missiles or turkey legs, locked an intricate dance of hatred, bitterness and non-urination.

Then something happened.

Someone started humming Kiss' "Rock And Roll All Nite" in one of the stalls. Some guy with Star Wars boxer shorts and jeans down around his ankles, hearing no noise and thinking he was alone in the restroom began singing, as in "like really singing"-type singing. Guitar solos and everything. Improvising, even.

By the time he finished up, the tension had melted like cheese into tortilla soup. After Apple Jacks and the hip-hop mogul formerly known as Banana Pancakes washed their hands (like everyone should do, especially after using a public restroom), but before the guy in he stall started in on humming the entirety of Dave Matthews frat-friendly jam-band classic Under The Table And Dreaming, Apple Jack and Banana Pancake did the unthinkable, they smiled at each other and shook hands. Then they hugged. Then they started arguing about the merits of bass sensationVictor Lemonte Wooten and whether there is a Wilhelm Scream snuck into Xanadu. But they were smiling. For the first time in years, they were smiling. Unlike most other people, they left the restroom with more than they went in with. I don't care which god you pray to or what you believe politically or if you once met Adam West at a classic car show in lovely downotwn Burbank in the fall of 1976, but that right there is a beautiful thing.

So, why am I writing this on the wall of a men's room stall in Yankee Stadium? Well, the fact of the matter is that I got bored sitting here singing the theme song to The Fall Guy over and over and sometimes you see something while you're sitting on the toilet that is so life-affirming and beautiful that you just have to share it. "Pay it forward" and all that.

Also, I'm sort of hoping the people from the Zagat Survey see this and give me a job or something. A guy can only sit on toilets singing loudly to himself and whoever else is "taking care of business" before he starts to get bored and wish he had a "real" job.

I'm sure you know exactly what I mean.


Today's list comes from Ben, so it's his fault if it's too weird for you and your fragile sensibilities to handle.

* Jason, I mean no harm. You know that, right? Well, just in case you don't, I don't. Mean any harm, that is. You were the "Q" in the list. I did what I had to do. I am not sorry.

Okay, I am sorry. Sorry.


b3n said...

Dude, that was almost too weird for me. Nonetheless, I was extremely happy that they made up and that the whole thing had a moral.

On a side note, do you think that this is how Beck comes up with his stuff? Cuz as disjointed as that whole story was, it still made more sense than some of the things I've heard on Mellow Gold.

jason quinones said...

don't be sorry!

it's nice be called out by name in the over imaginative stories of a man who is obviously hallucinating due to a lack of sugar.

how's that coca-cola free diet going so far???

jason quinones said...


just thought you'd like that website if you didn't know about it already.