Monday, March 17, 2008

The watering hole

At my office I have long noticed that there seems to be a dearth of women in the cafeteria. I make the pilgrimage to our cafeteria several times a day, whenever I feel that my caffeine twitch is going out of control and scaring innocent bystanders. As I find myself disinclined to be charged with wasting my time I have endeavored to make these trips educational. I do this by making anthropological observations on the social nature of the cafeteria. As part of my research, I astutely observed that there weren't ever as many women in the cafeteria as there should be. The male of the species could be found drinking, or staring open mouthed at the television, crowding the foosball and TT tables or sitting around in groups shooting the breeze. The women however, were seldom seen.
The mystery was compelling. As a good scientist should, I gathered and sifted through the evidence. What did I have to go on? One perfectly serviceable cafeteria. Many men. Not enough women. The time had come to formulate a hypothesis. So I did. Was it possible that women were more diligent workers and ethically frowned upon whiling their time away at the cafeteria? I decided to reject this explanation forthwith, mostly because it made me look bad. I cast my mind about for a more self serving explanation. If these women were not in the cafeteria, where were they? I started to keep my eyes peeled. For the record, this is extremely painful and makes your eyes water copiously. They were not congregating on the balconies. They were not lurking in corridors. Where were they? I am a naturally curious person, and this abiding enigma was not good my general state of well being.
As luck would have it, in a parallel universe, I was strongly advised by those who hold my happiness dear, to start to drink more water forthwith. All that caffeine and not enough hydration would very quickly result in gigantic kidney boulders, so sayeth the Oracle also known as my mother. Being of a natively obedient disposition, I complied. Where is this story going? Have I completely lost the thread of the plot? Patience, dear reader. With the skill of a master weaver I will soon show you a pattern emerging from these seemingly disconnected threads. Right then, where was I? Ah yes, I was at that junction in my life where I was filled with curiousity and also with water.
Anybody who has lived a little will tell you that when you imbibe quantities of water, there can be only one result. I started to frequent the restroom more often than the cafeteria. And the mystery resolved itself. The women of my workplace congregate in the toilet. There they stand in groups, laughing and talking. While I am one of those who rapidly scurries in and out and worries about unseemly noises reaching beyond my locked door, I am distinctly in the minority. Apparently ridding your body of waste material is just a side effect of going to the loo. You actually go there to congregate. To retell the joke you heard last evening. To hold forth on world issues. I watched mouth agape (no doubt doing an excellent impersonation of a person of less than average intelligence) as a woman walked in with her mobile ringing, answered the call, and promptly walked out again, the call of nature seemingly ignored.
Thus was the mystery solved, my kidney stones averted and I discovered that I am a social retard. Now please excuse me, my phone is ringing and the restroom is a long way off.

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