Archive for July, 2011

The Origin of a Catch Phrase

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

A true story, free of embellishment.

“Is this the Ladies’ Room?” he shouted as he came bursting in. I was washing my hands in the Men’s Room sink at my office, in a daze from staring at a computer monitor for the last six hours. Turning away from the sink, I shook my head no. “What was that other bathroom I walked past?” he asked, seeming to not believe me.

“That is the handicapped bathroom” I told him. He was wearing a shirt and a tie, and appeared somewhat intellectual, looking at me through black rimmed glasses with a mane of wavy brown hair. He could have been Bill Nye the Science Guy’s younger brother.

“So this isn’t the Lady’s Room?” he asked again standing next to a urinal, seconds after walking through a door labeled Men. Being asked twice caused me to question my own manliness. If seeing me in the bathroom didn’t make it obvious this was indeed the Men’s Room, I must have gone wrong somewhere.

“The Lady’s Room is on the other side of the building” I assured him, trying to put an end to this ridiculous volley.

“Okay good, because it’s going to get stinky in here.” He shut the door to the first toilet stall. I left, drying my hands on my pants to hasten my departure.

There are a number of issues that I am left thinking about after this curious exchange. Why did he assume that he was in the Ladies’ Room, when there were so many signs that he wasn’t? Am I not manly enough to convince someone they are in the Men’s Room by my presence alone? What did this man eat earlier in the day to provoke this evacuation emergency? In an attempt to bring closure, I have decided to coin a catch phrase based on the time I spent with Bill Nye’s doppelganger: “It’s going to get stinky in here.”

I have to credit John Cassidy of South Philadelphia, the first person who heard this story, with helping me to develop this catch phrase. It should be used when you know something bad is just around the corner. As in, your friend has been telling his wife that he has been working overtime, but instead hanging out at your house playing beer pong with a bunch of younger women. Then, you are drinking beers at his place on a Saturday afternoon, and she finds a strange pair of panties while cleaning the family minivan. This is when you make a quick exit. But before you do, please exclaim “It’s going to get stinky in here!”