Real-Life Dialogue: Return of the Bathroom Talker

It’s been a long time since I last posted about this guy. Not that I’ve had no further interaction with him, no. It’s just that all further interaction with him has been of the same unvarying sort. Nothing new to report. And I’ve also gotten cleverer about avoiding him.

But this latest example just pushed me over the edge.

To understand what follows, you need to know that at the start of every week, for as long as I’ve worked here, I bring in a small bottle of milk which I use to flavor my tea in the morning; I stow it on a shelf on the door of the refrigerator by the coffee/hot water machine. The bottle, as it happens, holds exactly enough milk for ten cups of tea — two cups a day, five days a week. All was well until one Friday a few months ago, when I suddenly found that someone had “borrowed” a serving or two of milk from the bottle, so I didn’t have enough for that day’s tea.

It happened once, I shrugged. When it happened twice, I was forced to take radical evasive action.

To wit: I wrap my bottle of milk in a way-too-big tan plastic shopping bag — wind the bag around and around the bottle — and then secure the handle loops over the neck of the bottle. I return the bottle to the refrigerator shelf, lying on its side. Unless you unwrapped it, you’d never know what it was.

So last week, I’m dispensing hot water into my cup at the coffee machine when the Bathroom Talker (or BT) shows up. I pour the milk into the tea, and the scene unfolds from this point.

BT: YOU USE MILK.

JES: Yes.

BT: [unintelligible]

JES:Excuse me?

BT: HOW MUCH DO THEY TAKE?

JES: [thinking about this] Oh, uh, I put maybe a tablespoon—

BT: NO. HOW MUCH DO THEY TAKE?

JES: “They”?

BT: DO PEOPLE STEAL YOUR MILK?

JES: [wrapping up milk bottle, putting into refrigerator] Oh. Yeah. A couple months ago somebody started—

BT: SO HOW MUCH DO THEY TAKE?

JES: Oh, uh, well, a bottle holds exactly a week’s worth—

BT: THEY STEAL YOUR MILK?

JES: Well, yeah, that’s why I wrap it up. To hide it.

BT: YOU WRAP IT UP?

JES: Yeah. In a plastic grocery bag.

[BT stops talking, goes to refrigerator. He opens door, scans the contents, focusing especially intently on the door.]

BT: WHAT’S IT LOOK LIKE?

JES: […]

BT: I SAID, WHAT’S IT LOOK LIKE?

JES: [laughs, shakes head, rolls eyes, and walks away without replying]

 

Send to Kindle
Share