Monday, May 30, 2011

Wet Ankles at IKEA

I love IKEA. Against my better judgment. I’ve noticed there seems to be something lost in translation here though. People seem genuinely surprised that IKEA is not exactly built for quality. It’s nice stuff. It’s decent stuff. It will last a little while, but let’s be honest, it is built with the hopes that you will switch out your entire household in a couple of years. And it works.

Despite the transient quality of IKEA, I spend way too much time there. Which is probably how I ended up at an IKEA just outside of Chicago about a week ago. This time though, I was there for food. Kalles Kaviar and sil to be exact. Maybe some Bilar.

But, because I seem to attract grossness (an actual word by the way), my trip to IKEA was no ordinary trip. Because while I was at IKEA, I was peed on. Seriously.

I went to the bathroom before leaving the store. I needed to pee. It happens. There were three urinals, a common enough set-up really. But there are unspoken urinal rules that should be followed. I found myself in the gray zone. There was a man on the left and a man on the right leaving the middle one open. Now, normally, taking the middle urinal is completely acceptable in this case. But the man on the left was finishing up. Zipping up even. I hesitated for a second, considered waiting just a little bit and allowing him to leave and me to slide in. In retrospect, I wish I had. But I thought it would be awkward. So to the middle stall I went.

To my left was a very old man. Old old. We did not speak while I began peeing. While speaking at the urinal can sometimes be viewed as acceptable, for example, after several beers, maybe at a sports bar, talking at the urinals in the IKEA bathroom is not acceptable. So I kept my mouth shut. In retrospect, I kind of wish I had. Again. Because, as I stood there I felt a slight spray on my left leg.

Now, having a penis includes some responsibility. Like ensuring that you are peeing where you need to. Sometimes you miss. It’s understandable. So I looked down to make sure that I was not, in fact, peeing on myself. I was not. I looked at the urinal to see if there was any way the urinal could be leaking water. It was not. There was only one explanation to be had. The man to my left was spraying my leg with urine. I assume he had prostate problems. Remember, he was old old. This does not excuse it, but gross. He finished up, and walked away. The spray stopped. Now I’m not always the sharpest tool in the shed, and logical conclusions sometimes elude me, but I feel fairly confident in putting two and two together and getting old man urine on my leg.

Finally, I finished up myself. A couple quick shakes, and away to the sink I went. And, for the first time in my life, I washed not just my hands, but also my ankle.

Welcome to Swedish-America. And golden showers.

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Monday, May 09, 2011

Sexy Swedish SEALS

I haven’t been writing much. That’s really not new to anyone who checks back every now and again. I’ve been stuck with the writing. Real stuck. Turns out being a student is a lot of work. Turns out it involves a lot of reading. A lot of writing. Turns out being a teacher and being a student is even more work.

Every single day I stand in front of a class and blabber at them. It’s a performance every damn time. And I have nailed it. And I have bombed it. I have stood their scrambling when everything goes wrong. I have stood their frustrated with their frustration. I have dealt with things that I never expected. At times I have felt woefully unprepared for the extracurricular of being a teacher. Some things they don’t tell you about. Like the psychology that goes into it all. But I’ve gotten by, and it has by far been the best part of being in school again. In fact, not only did I get by, I got through it. The first year of school is over. Papers are submitted. Grades are submitted. Summer looms.

And this summer actually means I’m heading back to Sweden. As far as I’m concerned, it means one important thing for my continued sanity. I’m going to start writing again. I can’t wait.

In the meantime, I’d like to leave you with this in the wake of the SEAL actions in Pakistan. Books that somehow have managed to create a time traveling SEAL who ends up in the Viking Age. What could be better you ask? The fact that they are romance novels. Duh. Who could forget such classics like Dark Viking? Or The Viking Takes a Knight? Or maybe The Viking's Captive? From Sandra Hill, who apparently claims to trace her genealogy back to a 10th century Viking named Rolf, these books are instant classics. Or something like that. This is why I love the internet. And America. Just a disgusting display of ridiculousness.

Welcome to Swedish-America. And Viking-SEAL harlequin novels.

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