2002-06-24 3:14 p.m.
The restroom near my office at work is an interesting specimen. It is cleaner than the restrooms at Stanford Hospital, as spacious as one could desire, and less than a 15–second walk from my office. But, being the only restroom on the floor of our building, it is always at or near maximum capacity—standing room only here, people. One seldom finds it without a queue for one of the three sinks, two urinals, or three stalls. And don't hold your breath if you are hoping for the spacious and comfortable handicapped stall—it is always taken by some lounging engineer with what appear to be some serious and lengthy gastrointestinal issues.
Recently I was lucky enough to find the entire 3rd–floor restroom empty; barren; silent and uninhabited. The handicapped stall had my name written all over it. I had a hunch that it would be my lucky day, and I even had brought a book along in hopeful anticipation of this mini–vacation. I let myself in to the presidential suite of stalls and paused for a moment to enjoy the semi–random patterns in the vast cerulean and white tile floor.
And then I sat.
And as I let my eyes wander, I noticed something—some things—disturbing the peace of an otherwise spotless floor. Tiny and familiar crescent–moon–shaped bits loitered on the blue and white tiles around the toilet where I was sitting, all within my arm's reach—exactly ten fingernail clippings littered the floor.
What sort of careless person would be so inconsiderate as to just discard their fingernails like rubbish on the floor of a public restroom—a room that they share with co–workers, superiors, and people from all walks of life—especially when there are avid fingernail collectors such as myself who would be very happy to have those nails for their collection? With care and respect, I wrapped them up in a single square of toilet paper and put them in my pants pocket. It really was my lucky day.
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