Waiting on four pepperoni HARs (hot and readys) to be…well…ready (Little Ceasar’s was back-logged) I moseyed over to the bar next door to find a bar bathroom. I found and entered a small closet with two urinals and a stall and an older gentleman followed close behind and grabbed a urinal before I did.
Now I have to tell you that the events that transpired were not normal Edmund-Bathroom Protocol. Normally in a two-urinal-one-occupied situation I choose the stall.I take the high road. I take one for the team.
I normally go with the stall to give the urinal man some peace of mind and free flowage. Its an act of charity. A humanitarian endeavor. Have some courtesy. No man wants to stand inches away from a stranger who is also urinating.
But today was different. Today I felt sassy.
Plus the stall looked dirty and gross.
So I went with the urinal right next to him. And the most amazing thing happened. Staring at a wall full of ads, a bar calendar, business cards, and other pleasantries, the guy broke the tension: “Boy, April sure has flown by fast.”
He was right. April had flown by fast.
Caught off guard by his candor and insightful observation, and noticing that I could practically taste the beer he’d been drinking, I went into talking-with-intoxicated-strangers mode. I love talking to intoxicated strangers. Okay let me clarify. This guy was about two beers away from swimming, so he was not really drunk-drunk. A better description would be “I love everyone in this bar and want to talk to everyone because I’m happy” intoxicated.
Let me tell you, for those few golden moments while relieving ourselves, we chatted up a STORM. Your Church rosary making group had nothing on us that day. I mean we were REALLY communicating on a deeply personal level. Chuckles were had. Heartfelt questions were asked. Comradery abounded.
No eye contact though. That’d be weird.
As we parted ways, I couldn’t help feeling that my life was just a smidge better than before I entered the bar. Instead of entering a crowded room full of people and pretending all of them were as real as Manti Te’o’s girlfriend, I actually existed in a personal way in a room full of crowded people. Okay, in the bathroom next to a room full of crowded people.
Jefferey Kahn argues that beer gave us civilization because of its ability to put us all on the same social “playing field” by lowering our inhibitions. Which made me realize, a lot of the greatest Saints went through life sans inhibitions. In fact, the first Christians were mistaken for 4 a.m. Waffle House customers. (Look up Acts 2:13, I’m loosely paraphrasing. Sort of.)
Which made me THEN realize, all Saints are drunk people!
Think about it. What made St. John Chrysostom call out the Emperor’s wife publicly?
Lack of inhibition.
What caused St. Nicholas to think it was perfectly okay to slap the ever-living heresy out of Arius?
Lack of inhibition.
What made St. Francis Xavier travel door to door in a foreign land telling thousands of natives that they should make hamburgers instead of worshiping cows?
Lack of inhibition. It goes on an on.
Its like Jesus is saying “Let them come to me, for the kingdom belongs to such drunks as these.”
But it makes you wonder, what if we chose to act that way all the time? What if we chose to not have social inhibitions? (You weird extroverts that act this way on a regular basis can stop reading, this is for the rest of us. We can still be friends. Lower your voice. Yes, you can tell that one story again.)