Living In the Toilet #5

by Scoats

January 1998

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Scoats's 1997 Xmas Story
Running a pub, I see people at their very best and their very worst. Since this publicaton is called Living in the Toilet, you would be correct if you guess that this is going to be a very worst story. It was a very quiet Sunday night and all along the Avenue very few people were stirring.There were about six customers, including me, evenly spaced around the 20 seat U-shaped bar. I was relaxing, having a glass of beer. It was sitting-as-a-customer time, not owner/manager time. A knucklehead, a semi-regular, comes in. He's someone I know by sight, but not someone I try to give anything more than the time of day to, a knucklehead. He finds a seat that pretty such continues the pattern of empty stools between people. He's loud and obnoxious and is looking for someone to talk loudly to. As Bob Dylan says "It ain't me babe". Shiny Happy Scoats had the night off. I successfully emitted a leave-me-alone vibe, but one or two others were willing to make conversation with him across the bar.

He wanders over to the jukebox and plays 7 songs, $2 worth. As the first song comes on, he says loudly "Don't blame me, I didn't play this". The second songs comes on and he didn't play that one either. Someone explains to him the instructions, clearly printed on the jukebox and identical to every other CD jukebox in the world, which are type in the album number then the song number. Ironically 6 out of 7 songs were pretty good.

Knucklehead says (loudly) "I want retribution". I ignore him even more than I was ignoring him previously. He points to me, "there's the owner; I want retribution". I assumed that he didn't want me to smite the jukebox for him and I saw no benefit in explaining the difference between refund and retribution to him. I also wasn't about to refund money for stupidity, especially to a loud idiot. So I continued ignoring him.

About 30 minutes later, as I'm saying my good nights/Merry Christmases, he leaves before me. He has about a 60 to 120 second lead time. The front door to my apartment is right next to the front door of the bar, but recessed in an little alcove. As I exit the bar and turn to enter my apartment I catch someone in the alcove out of the corner of my eye. I quietly step backward towards the front door of the bar to be in a better and less threatening/vulernable position to see what is going on. It's Knucklehead. He has his back to me and doesn't see me as he turns and starts walking north up the Avenue. I think/hope maybe he had stepped in there to light a cigarette sheltered from the wind. I notice the storm door to my apartment closeing slowly and a wet spot on the pavement in front of the door. I open the storm door and see that my front door is visibily wet. I step out of the alcove; he's 1/2 way down the block. I see no benefits arrising out of confronting him and let him go. Then I notice that little bush in front of the bar been yanked out and is sitting on top of the planter. I replant the bush, disinfect the door, and note the incident and his flagged status in the bar's log book. People have urinated in the alcove before and I'm sure it will happen again. It's part of the stuff that goes with owning a bar. This guy really irritated me because he went to the trouble of opening the storm door and pissing on my front door.

Three days later on Xmas Eve, I enter the bar, coincidentally about 30 seconds after Knucklehead. The bartender is telling Knucklehead that he can't serve him. I walk past and allow the bartender to take care of it. Cornering a knucklehead and making him feel vulnerable isn't a good idea. The bartender tells him that all he knows is what's in the log book, that he pissed on the door and ripped out the plant. Knucklehead denies all knowledge of the incident, protests for a few more seconds and then leaves. About 30 seconds later, it occurs to me to check outside. Across the street, Knucklehead is getting into his car, there is a wet spot in front of my storm door, the storm door is wet and the bush is way down the block. The asshole proved us right. Merry Friggin' Christmas.

That is my Xmas story for 1997. It doesn't warm your heart, but it did warm the pavement (twice). The story of the Xmas Urinator might have a moral if you want to look for it, but I suspect any moral would be cynical and not in spirit of Xmas.

Shiny Happy Scoats
About six weeks ago I took the advice of an idiot woman who complained about my frequent lack of smiling while working at the bar. I had felt that my suffering of idiots was enough and that suffering idiots gracefully was above and beyond the call of duty. Then I remembered a quote from David Letterman who said that he pretended to be having fun even when he wasn't, making the show more fun. This would also rub off back onto him and he might actually start having fun. Now I greet idiots with a Mickey Mouse smile, which may be the ultimate in sarcasism and/or cynicism. Non-idiots enjoy watching Shiny Happy Scoats in action; idiots like the surface value of Shiny Happy Scoats. Everybody's happy, happy!

Living in the Toilet is a mostly monthly zine published by Scoats. Copyright: Scoats 1997. All rights reserved. Most wrongs unintentional. Reproduction permitted as long as it is accompanied by this entire paragraph.

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