Sunday, June 3, 2012

Old Shitty Science Projects of Mine

I think most of you know me as a man of science. I tend to be (sometimes annoyingly) analytical, logical, emotionless, etc.. So it may come as a surprise that although I thoroughly respect the scientific method and and its contributions to technology and society as a whole, I'm pretty fucking awful at it myself. I remember three science projects from my junior high and high school days, and I don't know which one to feel more ashamed of. I will now describe them to you in as much detail as I can remember.

Grade 6 Science Fair

To be fair I was still pretty new to the whole "science" thing at this point, and although I considered myself relatively bright for my age, the concepts of "hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion" were kind of lost on me. 

"So wait, you want me to ask a question, make up an answer, and then see if I'm right? Why don't I just look that shit up in a book?" I thought. 

"Well this could be something you maybe haven't found or can't find in a book. Something you've been curious about that you can play around with. Science is fun!" A teacher would answer. 

I then thought to myself "If I can't find something in a book it's probably because nobody gives a shit about it. But whatever, I'll do your fucking science."

I probably had a month or so to do this project, which for a sixth grader roughly translates to "you will never have to do this." But suddenly, the science fair was a few days away and I hadn't done shit, so I furiously racked my brain to come up with some bullshit I could test. I settled on, "What happens when you put different shit in cat litter?" Because fuck it, I had two cats, and therefore cat litter, and it seemed like something nobody else would ever think of because it's probably the least important thing there is.

The Experiment 

Step 1: Grab 3 different fruit peels and put them in 3 different buckets of cat litter.

Step 2: Leave one of each peel in regular dirt as the "control"

Step 3: Hate yourself.

The Hypothesis
The fruit peels in the cat litter won't decompose as fast.

So I threw some fruit in some cat litter and forgot about it. A couple days later, with no excitement whatsoever, I checked the results. The fruit peels in the cat litter were all dried out. The fruit peels in the dirt were all wet and gross and smelled terrible.

This was a waste of time.

I presented my findings to a jury of my peers, detailing how "cat litter absorbs shit, and dries it out, effectively reducing the smell of rotting fruit the same way it does for cat piss." Nobody, including the teacher, gave a shit, and I got an A+.

Grade 8 Science Fair
Sorry to skip grade 7, I have no idea what I did that year. But hey grade 8, I was a whole 2 years smarter so probably came up with something really great right? Nope. I think I procrastinated even more this year. I found myself with probably less than 36 hours before I had to present shit and realized I couldn't sit around and wait for science to happen, I had to make the science quickly. I had no idea what to do. Well, I was really cool and had a rock collection, so I figured I could include that somehow and maybe get bonus points for geology or whatever. Also, that night we happened to be cooking some food on a little gas grill on the porch. So I settled on the scientific query, "What happens when you cook rocks?"


The Experiment
Pretty straightforward really. I would find a bunch of different rocks from my awesome collection, throw them on the grill for an hour or so, and see what happened. I don't even know what I used for a control. Uncooked rocks probably.

The Hypothesis
I don't know, they would get hot?

So I started the experiment, while my parents probably thought to themselves "wow let's go inside." I waited. I thought maybe something cool would happen to some of the softer looking rocks, but after an hour they looked pretty much the same so I just left them there and did something else because maybe they were shy or something.

Well I came back much later, and one of the rocks was kind of black underneath, but another one had broken in half!

Phew, something to write about.

I basically wrote in the fanciest scientific language I could muster, that nothing much happened. I made up some shit about chemical reactions causing color changes and probably mentioned kinetic energy because I had just learned that word, and called it a day. The teacher wasn't very impressed, but I got a B.

Sophomore Year Biology
This year was more textbook based, and didn't include a whole lot of free experimenting, but there was one project that involved living like a zoologist. This was exciting in theory. We got to pick two animals, one vertebrate, and one invertebrate, and we would observe each one for three separate sessions of ten minutes each. The idea was to watch them in their habitats, and to not interfere with their behavior, and record everything they do for some reason. Here was an opportunity to go out into the world, and do some real field work! Haha fuck that!

I, along with probably half the class, chose to watch a cat, and an ant. The teacher's face as we all announced our choices got visibly more upset. In my defense, the cat was a given for the vertebrate, because I wasn't about to drive to a zoo. And for the invertebrate, what else was I gonna do? Buy a lobster and watch that? Find some other bug that is functionally identical to an ant? Find a flying bug and inevitably lose track of it? Watch a...clam? Oh well, let the observation commence. 

Cat Observations
Sure, cats can be funny sometimes, but that's usually only if you fuck with them. For the purposes of this project, we weren't to interfere. As it turns out, when you just let your cat do its thing, its number one priority is to be not exciting. Over the course of those three ten minute sessions my cat did a whole fat load of fuck all. One session in particular I remember quite well. My cat was outside and walked over and sat on a stump. I watched it from a window in my garage, so as to not affect the science, and started the timer. The only thing he did in the whole ten minutes was turn his head I think once. After these sessions, I stared at my mostly blank notepad and thought the only logical thing: "I'm gonna make some shit up."

So I calculatingly wrote down some cat like activities, being careful not to make it too flashy or too boring. Fairly satisfied, but a little uncomfortable that I just faked an entire log of cat endeavors, I took a break, not at all excited to soon observe an ant, which could not possibly be any less boring.

Ant Observations
I (surprise!) ended up procrastinating a bit for this one. Then with probably a day left or so I remembered "Oh yeah I have to find an ant and watch what it does." So, I walked around my house not looking very hard for an ant. I predictably wasn't having much luck. At this point it was time for some self reflection. I wasn't sure which would be sadder, watching an ant for thirty minutes, or lying about watching an ant for thirty minutes. I decided that the world was a cold and unforgiving place to make me choose between the two, and ultimately decided to do the only logical thing: "I'm gonna make some shit up."

I was able to come up with several ant-like activities such as "walking" and "just standing there" totally on my own from memory. However, it became tiring to make up thirty minutes of unique yet not totally fake ant activities. I slogged through two "observations" and wondered how I could escape from writing pretty much the same old shit in the third one. I decided to boldly end this ant's tale with murder. I thought "how funny would it be if while watching the ant the cat came by and killed it?" So that's exactly what happened to this make believe ant in this project. RIP my imaginary insect friend. 

I don't think we had to present our findings, because if the entire class had to sit through shit like "My cat ate some food" over and over, we probably would have shit into our own hands and smeared it all over the chalkboard. I don't remember what grade I got on this project but after bullshitting an hour's worth of observations I guess any grade that's not an F was a win for me. 

So, what have I learned from science classes over the years? I realized "you can easily get away with procrastinating", "bullshitting is surprisingly easy" and "two days is basically enough time to turn anything into science" but most importantly "I will never be a scientist ever." 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Skateboarding. That is All.

You probably aren't wondering why I started skateboarding. Well, my bike had been stolen a couple years before, and I wasn't ready to go through that shit again, so I decided to find a new mode of transportation. One that might give me tons of chicks (nope). Enter skateboarding.

Oh hi.

After getting used to using words like "gnarly" and "stoked" unironically, I was ready to undertake what was to become a constant uphill battle.

At first I practiced on friends' boards. A decent board is kind of expensive so I figured I'd mooch off of others for awhile while I decided if this whole endeavor was worth it or not. Admirable, I know. I eventually got to the point where I could skate several feet without getting injured, so I was hooked. As far as some fancy ass tricks, I figured I'd start at the beginning with, the ollie.

Speaking of ollie, what a god damn weird show this was.

Well, while trying to figure out the most fundamental trick, I discovered something kind of bothersome about skateboarding: falling.

Yes sir, for those first several months I spent as much time skateboarding as I spent sitting near a skateboard shortly after falling off of it. But like any endeavor, if it doesn't make you severely handicapped or kill you, chances are you'll start to get better, and I did. After those first few months, I might've even looked like a competent skateboarder,  providing you were watching from a distance, and need glasses, but forgot to wear your glasses that day.

At this point, brother Mike had noticed that I was getting somewhat serious about skateboarding and just fucking went to the store and bought me one. It wasn't a professional board by any means, but you know what? I wasn't a professional. THANKS MIKE!!

  • Tangent! This brings to mind an incident I remember about playing drums. My first drumset was secondhand, and of course after just a few months I wanted a one million dollar drumset so I tried to make excuses about how the quality of the set was interfering with my destiny. My dad said something along the lines of "well, I'm sure a professional could sit down at the drums you have now and blow you away, so don't worry about getting a new one just yet." Thinking back, I'm amazed he managed to say anything other than "shut up son".

Alright, tangent achieved.

So at this point I had taken up skating with a few friends that were equally not very good, and it was a great time. We could all do some simple tricks, so I had fantasies of soon becoming capable of this:

Even though all I was currently capable of was this:

Little by little we all steadily progressed. We were finally able to fall in such a way that it only took several hours to recover rather than several days. We even got to the point where we could go to local skate parks and less frequently think "wow, everyone here is so much better than me."

Years later we all got fairly decent. Each of us had our occasional moment in the sun, those days where out of nowhere one of us was suddenly capable of greatness. But for some reason, it never lasted. After throwing ourselves down a giant set of stairs one day, we consistently failed at a set half the size the next. After doing a kickflip off a giant ledge one day, we could barely manage to do it on flat ground the next. This constant up and down struggle was frustrating, but we just kept at it, and at the start of each day we would wonder "is this gonna be a good day or a bad one?" because you just never knew. And oh boy some of those bad days were very bad. Let's talk about a couple of the worst injuries shall we?

Fairly early on in the game, I was having one of those confident days. I was still on the skateboard brother Mike had gotten me. I probably hadn't fallen for fifteen minutes or something so I got cocky and thought "I'm gonna ride down one of the steepest hills in town!" I don't know why I felt so stupidly confident, it probably had something to do with my friends watching, but I even gathered speed before going down the hill. About halfway through I thought "ahhhh fuck" and just waited to fall horribly.

I knew it was going to happen. I was going way too fast to jump off and hit the ground running, so I just had to wait and cling to the .0000001% chance that I would make it to the bottom unscathed. Nope. Sure enough, I got speed wobble and slammed into the ground. If you've never experienced speed wobble, don't. It felt like falling out of a car.

..not a parked car. Like, a moving car. One moving the same speed that I had been going on my skateboard. Why did I include this hypothetical car?

So, I severely gashed both elbows, knees, and my back, but apparently after tumbling several times, I'm told I popped right back up onto my feet. I don't remember doing that, but I guess it's good that I did, so my friends didn't have to spend more than a second thinking "well, our friend is now dead." After this injury I should've just taken a break from skating for awhile, but about a week later I was walking somewhat normally again and figured I was good to go so I tried to ollie a cinder block and my knee hit the cinder block and oh god it was horrible.

Next! One day I was skating at colby college with a few folks, and we hit a favorite spot of ours, a long set of 5 stairs. I had gotten pretty good at launching myself down these stairs without bailing, so now the only thing to do was to try to do it while going faster.

Once again, my confidence made me complacent and I didn't pay attention to what I was doing. A good rule of thumb when it comes to weight distribution is to err towards the back foot. Why is this? Imagine riding a bike. What happens when you slam on the rear tire breaks? You skid along safely. What happens when you slam on the front tire breaks? You flip over the handlebars and slam your dumbass face on the ground. Well, I forgot that rule, and tried to stick a landing when leaning a bit too far forward. I landed on a rock and my board stopped dead in its tracks. Face smash!

Haha, no not really, but to prevent from smashing my face, I had to smash basically the rest of my body. It was a little chilly out, so it didn't really hurt at the time, but once I got back inside and my circulation returned it felt like I was being stabbed everywhere for hours.

All things considered, I've done pretty well to not mangle myself. I still ride these days, but I use it mostly as a mode of horribly inefficient transportation, rather than a ramp conquering sex chariot. I'll probably continue to ride it until my legs give out, and I look forward to the injuries to come. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I'm Sorry, Enormous Stranger

Here's another story from back in the day that I may have shared with some of you. It's another one of those situations where I had no idea what the fuck to do, and to this day, I'm not sure if I could've handled it any better.

It all started back in college after a percussion lesson. I was playing a piece that required a certain sound that I just couldn't seem to get with the mallets I had at my disposal. I spent some time with my teacher going over some different choices, but we were both ultimately unsatisfied. Near the end of the lesson my teacher suggested that some mallets I had might sound ok if they had some thin rubber sheathing over them. I politely responded with "What? Where the fuck am I going to get that shit?" 

Well apparently a good place to check was the chemistry department, where they would hopefully have some rubber or plastic surgical tubing that was the right size to slip over the end of the mallet. If you haven't thought "well this sounds fairly sexual" by now, then clearly I'm not doing a very good job. 

Anyway, off I went to Aubert hall, which incidentally I had been pronouncing incorrectly all throughout college. I assumed it was pronounced "aw-bert", until my teacher was all

and told me it's pronounced 'au-bear'. 

Since it was the home of the chemistry department, and I was a music major, I had obviously never gone anywhere near the place. It was big as fuck, and the moment I stepped inside I had no idea where to go. There was no "surgical tubing this way" sign, so I had no choice but to ask strangers "hey do you know where I can find some uh...surgical tubing?" This was met with mostly "no." Or just a confused face. Something like..

I assumed most people in there would at least be able to point me in the right direction and help me narrow my search, but apparently the whereabouts of surgical tubing was some giant fucking secret. I eventually got some vague answer like "uh 3rd floor maybe?" and was somewhat relieved, but also a little irritated because who knows what further tribulations I would have to endure for two measly pieces of plastic if step one already took about forty times longer than expected.


Then, to even get to the 3rd floor meant even more bullshit because it was one of those buildings where certain elevators only went to the 2nd floor, and if you get off there expecting to maybe find stairs to the 3rd floor then fuck you because the only stairs on the 2nd floor go down, but then you can't get off at the 1st floor to start over using those stairs, because those stairs led only to "basement level C" or some other endless crypt. So back to the elevator. 

After finding the mythical 3rd floor, I had to hop around into various rooms and once again ask strangers, "does anybody know where I can get some fucking surgical tubing for christ's sake?" A few people responded with "what do you need it for?" See usually this means "yes I know where it is, but you have to give me a valid reason for using it before I'll give it to you" but instead they would listen to my story about mallets and end up telling me "ok, well that might be down the hall? I'm not sure!" Good. Well then I'm glad I regaled you with my tale for nothing.

I finally ended up finding a TA that told me where I could find some tubing, but after hearing what I needed it for, he told me they probably didn't have the right size. AWESOME. Well, I checked it out anyway, and sauntered down the hall for hopefully the last time.

Eureka! This room was definitely what I needed. It was a giant lab/warehouse looking room with boxes of shit fucking EVERYWHERE. Still didn't know exactly where to find the tubing I needed so I asked the only guy in the room. 

This guy, by the way, was huge. HUGE. He had to have been pushing 400 pounds. 

I told him what I was looking for and he expressed the same nonoptimistic sentiment as the TA in the previous room, and showed me one of the sizes of tubing they had. I told him it was probably too small. He said "well we have one size bigger, but I still don't think it's what you're looking for." I asked him if he wouldn't mind showing me anyway because hell I'd pretty much gone on safari to find this stupid room. He pointed to where it was and said "well, we might need a ladder." 

Sure enough it was stacked several feet off the ground on top of all kinds of boxes. We glanced around for a ladder, but couldn't find one. Then he saw a little metal stool and said "oh, well this should work." I said "...are you sure?"

I think you see where this is going.

This stool's structural integrity was dubious at best. But the guy approached it with a confidence that suggested he had no scruples about its ability to support his utter massiveness. 

I will now demonstrate my reactions to the situation as it developed, using owls: 

He climbed on and stretched his arms up to grab the coil of tubing at the top of the pile.

His balance wavered.

He regained his composure and stretched again.

The stool creaked.

He had the surgical tubing in his hand!

His balanced wavered again...

And the stool gave out. 

He crashed thunderously to the ground with a force felt by probably most of his ancestors. This. Guy. Fell. HARD.

He groaned slightly and I was immediately psyched that he was still alive. I rushed over to him and asked "Oh jesus, are you ok!?"

He seemed calm, but his answer was "No." 

He looked down. I followed suit, and glanced at his feet, which had maybe just taken more brute trauma than any feet in the history of humans. The sight was unpleasant.

Picture a foot. Now picture that foot upside down. Now picture the person attached to the foot not being upside down. I imagine this guy was in shock, as there was no reason he had to not being screaming like a completely psychotic individual. 

Despite the horror of the situation, the thought occurred to me, how to test the pile of tubing that had collapsed by his side without it being weird? But before I had time to give that much thought, the TA from down the hall had apparently heard the crash, along with probably the rest of the University of Maine, and had come to investigate. He immediately took action and called an ambulance. Hmm, guess I should've done that. 

So there we were. I was standing by being not all that helpful while the TA attempted to calm the fallen man, even though the TA seemed much more hysterical (seriously this guy's ankle was ruined). I had no idea what to do. I had resigned myself to not really testing the surgical tubing, as it seemed like the less important of two issues at the moment. But then, what the fuck was I going to do? The ambulance had been called. This guy was clearly suffering, and I felt horrible, but he was in stable condition, and being looked over. I thought about sticking it out until the ambulance got there, but then didn't really know what purpose I'd serve other than to confirm to the paramedic "yup, he fell." This guy didn't even seem comfortable with this TA all up in his face, so I didn't want to add to that. Plus, because this whole ordeal had taken a lot longer than I expected, I was almost late for class. 

So, I was stuck. I realized that leaving was probably the wrong thing to do. I was obviously partly responsible for this accident, so I guess I felt like I should see this thing through to the end. But then several minutes passed, the ambulance hadn't arrived, I felt awkward as fuck, and nobody was talking to each other. I finally asked the guy something generic like "hey man, are you gonna be alright?" and he responded with something equally generic like "yeah, I'll be fine". I apologized profusely, and he brushed it off, saying "it's ok, it's ok." Feeling like I couldn't possibly get any more closure than that, I left the room, apologizing once more, and feeling fucking terrible.

That surgical tubing might've been perfect

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Giving Blood

It's not like giving blood is terribly uncommon, but I'm going to relate to you all my personal experience with it anyway. To those of you that haven't done it, take my story possibly as a warning.

Let's start with a little anatomy lesson. When you give blood, be prepared to sacrifice about half a liter. Is this a lot? If you're an averaged sized person, then no not really. More importantly though, will it fuck you up? Ha ha ha. Foreshadowing.

So I had made my appointment to donate blood one afternoon at the University of Maine. Incidentally, I was the typical lazy college kid, and my daily diet usually went as follows.

8am - Glass of orange juice, maybe.

10am - Nothing.

12am - Snack from the vending machine outside of class, maybe.

2pm - Nothing.

4pm - Small to medium lunch.

6pm - Nothing.


This is basically the opposite of what every dietician/nutritionist/doctor will tell you is healthy, but whatever, it was college and I was a young high metabolism garbage disposal of a son of a bitch.

So on this day I had as usual woken up approximately 4 minutes before my first class and left no time for breakfast. Whatever, I felt GREAT. After class I skipped over to the place to give blood, like this:

Any excuse to use this picture.

While waiting to donate, I sat around forever. Then I got pulled into a little cubicle where they asked health related questions, like:

  • Do you have AIDS?
  • ...Are you sure?
  • Have you had sex with anyone that has AIDS?
  • Do you have hepatitis, or anything else? *coughAIDS*
  • Have you participated in gangbangs/needle sharing/reckless drug use?
  • Have you traveled to any countries lately? Specifically ones filled with AIDS?

So after convincing them I was fairly disease free, they tested my blood for proper iron levels by putting it in some liquid suspension and seeing if it floated or not.

 It sank like a fucking rock and I was cleared to go.

My blood.

Now the fun part! I hopped up onto the hospital bed, feeling a little anxious because I was about to watch a giant needle get stuck in my arm. I had never had a giant needle stuck in my arm before. Don't people sometimes faint from this? Is this going to hurt...forever? Well it stung for about a half of a second, and that was that. Phew. 

So at this point my blood was pumping away. After a short period of time, I felt a combination of lightheadedness, which I assume is normal, and extreme glee. I tried not to laugh, because I would have appeared crazy, but it was difficult to maintain my composure while thinking "Haha I am bleeding into a bag. On purpose." I thought if I didn't finish up pretty soon, I was going to look like this:

The whole ordeal lasted several minutes, but then I was done. Crisis averted. Then came some excitement, because you know, snacks.

That's right! To minimize negative effects caused by a sudden drop in blood sugar, they give you a bunch of sugary shit. Makes sense. So there I sat, munch munch, but it wasn't long before I started feeling peculiar. It was a mix of growing lightheadedness and nausea. I thought "eh, this is normal, be cool" but it was getting worse. I started getting nervous, so I pounded some apple juice and slammed down a bunch of cookies. Great plan! Maybe I thought my digestive system was going to distribute this food throughout my entire body immediately instead of digesting over the course of several hours like it usually does. Nope, still getting worse. I was pretty sure I was gonna pass out pretty soon, so I looked for a nearby nurse, hoping I could discreetly mention "hey I'm not feeling too well over here, what should I do?" but they were all busy with other people. Seeing no other option I said to some random dude next to me

"Hey man, I'm feeling dizzy as HELL." 

I'm not sure what I expected him to do about it, but luckily since I had told him at about the same volume as a jet engine, a nurse quickly rushed over to me, put me on a bed with my feet elevated, and put cold packs on my face. I felt fine almost immediately, so I told the nurse "Whoops, false alarm!....K....Bye!" But they wouldn't let me leave until I they were damn sure I was actually fine. Can't have blood donors passing out in the road on the way home I guess.

Fifteen minutes or so went by, which coincided with the first fifteen minutes of my next class. Welp, guess I wasn't going to that! I eventually flagged down a nurse and said "seriously, I'm ok, can I go?" She then looked at me silently for several seconds. I'm still not really sure what she was doing, maybe checking to see if my pupils were dilated or something? Do pupils dilate before fainting? 

So I sat there, waiting for her to you know, speak. Eventually she asked "are you ok?" And I said "...yes, kind of like I just mentioned." 

The nurse finally let me go, so I hopped off the bed and wandered off. I was fairly disoriented and still not feeling great, but I felt good enough to walk home without fear of passing out. Then, I slept. For the rest of my life.

So my story isn't all that unique I suppose, but remember kids, if you're going to donate blood, eat some god damn breakfast, don't be a god damn idiot. Like me.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Day I was Trapped in the Bathroom

I told a story recently about a legendary dump. Well, here's another one.

It was early on Thanksgiving day several years ago. My grandparents and maybe a couple other folks had showed up and were having cocktails. I decided it was the perfect time to get a shower in, because things hadn't really gotten going yet. I didn't announce my shower plans to anybody, because you know, who gives a shit? 

So I went upstairs, did my thing, finished up, and in those few seconds between turning the water off and pulling the curtain back to grab a towel, I heard the door open. You see, our bathroom door was fairly unreliable during the colder months. The wood compressed just enough so that even if the doorknob wouldn't turn, the door could still sometimes pop open. "Fuck that lock!" I thought, and started sheepishly clearing my throat a few times, and shuffling around somewhat noisily.

No response.

No worries though, even if the intruder somehow hadn't heard me, I expected them to either 1) See the mirror fogged up, or 2) See my pile of clothes on the floor. Surely one of those facts would clue them in that someone was currently behind the shower curtain, silently hating them. Still, nothing registered. After hearing the unmistakable slightly labored breathing of my grandfather, it became clear why. He was hard of hearing, so of course he never heard me moving around or clearing my throat. As for not noticing the mirror fogging up or seeing clothes on the floor, I can only chalk that up to some as of yet undiscovered malevolent force in the universe. 

So at this point I'm still standing there in the shower desperately hoping he'd figure out I was in there. I suppose at this point I could've avoided disaster by just sticking my head out from behind the curtain and saying "HEY I realize the door popped open there, but the KNOB DID NOT TURN BECAUSE IT WAS LOCKED PLEASE LEAVE." But I froze. I guess I had assumed too much time had passed by then and he would've thought I was a weirdo for not saying something immediately. My only hope was to wait it out. It's not like he was going to take a shower right? Hopefully he was just taking a piss, and it would all be over in 30 seconds or so. As long as I stayed hidden and silent, I just might make it out of this unscathed. 

Well of course he wasn't taking a piss. Of fucking course he wasn't. I heard him sit down for a shit, so I quietly closed my eyes in a sort of resigned cheerlessness, and waited.

It was loud. It was putrid. It was legendary. 

It went on for quite some time, and all the while I'm standing there revolted, and yet somehow fascinated. Fascinated not only that a man was capable of defiling a room so swiftly and unapologetically, but also that I had ever gotten myself into this mess. 

We all do our best thinking in the shower, and surely now was a time for reflection. I started pondering my life up to that point, and then wondered where it would go from there. How would this scenario play out? The idea of me escaping undetected at this point became more and more of a distant fantasy, and a few thoughts bounced around my head.

"If he finds me here now, what do I do? How in ever living fuck am I going to explain myself?"

"I wonder if there are support groups for people that have also hidden in the bathroom while their grandfather took a shit."

"Hmm, what objects are close by that I can kill myself with?"

"I've ruined Thanksgiving."

After something like 15 hours, he finished up. I snapped back into lucidity, and felt a confusing mix of joy and fear. Joy that the end was near, and fear that this end might also be tragic. He walked over to the sink to wash his hands, the sound of each footstep thunderously echoing against my soul. He dried his hands, and then what's this?

He wasn't leaving.

No, the faucet turned off, but then he started traipsing around the bathroom. What was he looking for? A towel? No! They were right next to the sink? From the sound of it, he was just taking a whimsical tour of the bathroom. My heart sank when I figured surely this tour would include whatever was behind the shower curtain. Fear had overcome me. I was sure that he was seconds away from pulling back the curtain and seeing me standing there. I found a small amount of comfort at the thought that I had become such a hollow shell of a person at that point, that maybe he wouldn't recognize me.

I braced myself, hoping the shock of the sight of me wouldn't give him a heart attack. "Please do not let him find me." I thought. "Please let his curiosity become fulfilled before inspecting the shower. Please."

And just like that, he walked out.

And I wept..