September 19, 2011

Caught With My Pants Down . . . Literally! (Day 59 - September 19, 2011)

The above photograph is a simulation
only, and not the actual bathroom stall
in question.  Just saying.

Ladies and gentlemen . . . I don't want to alarm anyone BUT we've had a situation involving That Poverty Guy and the police.  Please remain calm . . . no one was hurt.  I repeat . . . no one was hurt (. . . embarrassed, befuddled, and momentarily demoralized . . . but not hurt)

The incident happened on That Poverty Guy's recent road trip, and took place in a public washroom of a hotel which That Poverty Guy was walking past when "nature called".  Fortunately, investigators at the scene have recovered the "Little Black Box" recording device from That Poverty Guy's brain, and the following is a complete transcript of the event.

PLEASE NOTE - When reading this transcript, kindly keep in mind That Poverty Guy has a physical condition that sometimes results in extended sessions in washroom facilities ( . . . and which is quite literally a pain in the derriere).

Transcript from Little Black Box (16:02 - 16:32 September 15, 2011):
16:02   That Poverty Guy ("TPP") enters hotel's public washroom on the main floor and occupies one of the two empty washroom stalls.
16:03    TPP thinks to himself how nice the washroom stall is . . . clean, graffiti-free, smells nice, and very private.
16:04 - 16:16   TPP engaged in "taking care of business" while having interpersed random thoughts about the meaning of life, how many tiles are on the washroom floor, where he's going to sleep that night, and what type of wood the stall door is made of (. . . yes, wood, as noted above it was very nice).
16:17    A single, loud knock on TPP's washroom stall door to which TPP replies, using the age old code for someone in midst of evacuating his or her bowels, "Busy!"
16:18 - 16:22  TPP still "taking care of business" and now thinking about how, if he really were homeless, he would likely spend a lot of time in this washroom.
16:23   Multiple loud knocks on the washroom stall door to which TPP once again replies, "Busy!" Muffled voices of at least two individuals are heard followed by a question TPP did not anticipate, "Daniel!  Is that you Daniel? We need to talk to you."  TPP responds quickly, "No Daniel here."  And then adds for good measure as it seems like the right thing to say at the time, "I'm busy!"
16:24   The muffled voices now confer, and one is distinctly heard to say, "But he's been in there such a long time!!"
16:25 - 16:27  TPP still trying to "take care of business", but such is becoming increasingly difficult with the interruptions, and is now worrying about whether someone saw him come in and knew he was not a guest at the hotel.  TPP starts to feel bad about his appearance, and changes his mind about spending a lot of time in this washroom if he really were homeless.  Too much hassle.
16:28  Multiple loud knocks on the washroom stall door followed by the following pronouncement - "This is the RCMP.  We need you to come out of the stall immediately."  Startled, TPP blurts out the first thing that comes to mind, "I'm busy!!!"  To which the police officer replies, "You have two minutes to get out of there.  I'll meet you outside the washroom."  TPP yells in desperation, "What's the matter?  What have I done wrong?!?"  No answer.
16:29   TPP tries desperately to finish his "business" and reaches for tissue paper ("TP").  Now, in a panic, TPP grabs too much TP to the extent that TPP's toilet becomes plugged.  TPP looks at the TP rising to the top of the toilet and wonders whether it can possibly get any worse than this.
16:30   Multiple footsteps entering the washroom followed by multiple loud knocks on the washroom stall and another pronouncement, "This is the RCMP!!  You must leave the washroom stall immediately or we are coming in!!!"  TPP looks down at the almost overflowing TP-filled toilet while pulling up his pants, and states again just in case anyone was of any doubt on the matter, "Just a sec . . . I'm BUSY!"  At that moment, the toilet miraculously drains, and TPP unbolts the door.
16:31  TPP emerges from the washroom stall to find himself facing two police officers, both at the ready to lunge should TPP make any sudden move.  TPP asks quite incredulously, "What is going on?!?"  The police officer closest doesn't appear to like TPP's tone, and states, "Sir, you're going to have to remain calm."  The second police officer looks back over his shoulder to the open door of the washroom where a security guard is standing staring at TPP and looking quite foolish.  The security guard then says quietly, "That's not him."  Both police officers roll their eyes and offer their apologies to TPP.   The police officers leave TPP alone in the washroom.
16:32  Not knowing what to do, TPP re-enters the washroom stall from which he came in order to catch his breath and gather his thoughts (most of which cannot be provided in this transcript in order to protect the innocence of young readers).

Clearly, this was a case of mistaken identity.  Nevertheless, I felt harassed while in a very vulnerable state.  Given that I originally thought they may have been after me for loitering, it made me think of how many people in poverty get similarly harassed when they are simply trying to look after their personal needs . . . perhaps going to the washroom, perhaps seeking some warmth, perhaps scrounging for some food.    I know that when I was much younger I thought very badly of a homeless man that was taking forever in the washroom facilities of the restaurant in which I worked.  I can promise you that I won't be having those same thoughts again after this incident.  
I hope that we'll all give our fellow human beings (rich or poor) the benefit of the doubt, and try to imagine what it must be like in their shoes before making any judgements about them.

Hmmm . . . I wonder why they were looking for Daniel?

Hey!! I'm That Poverty Guy . . . let's make a world of difference together.


  1. I am so sorry but I can't stop laughing, you are too funny, glad you weren't tazered or something! You are definitely making us think about the other side of the powerty story. Take care, A

  2. LOL, so totally worth the read, not just for the good humour.... ok, mostly for the good humour, but for what you said at the end too, taking the time to put yourself in another person's shoe can be the first step to making a difference in the world- I'll be coming back to read more :)

  3. Sean D. Krausert, EditorSeptember 22, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    Thanks for the feedback, and I'm glad that you found the post funny. One of my goals is to get people engaged in things that could make one cry, but to do so in a way that people are encouraged to get involved and can look at how they can help while having a smile on their face.

  4. Actually, this does really raise some concerns about "Daniel"... were they worried about him for his safety? Were they "after him" and not willing to let him finish his business?
    Poor Daniel that they would treat him as such!!!

    Funny story TPP guy with your TP problem too...LOL

  5. Sean D. Krausert, EditorSeptember 23, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    I'm glad you found some humour in my discomfort! LOL

    But seriously, I wonder why they were looking for Daniel. I had the distinct impression that they were not concerned for his well being. I think he did something wrong. Then again . . . maybe the security guard was mistaken about Daniel, too!