Gentlemen—and I realize that this is a presumption on my part, but I am reasonably confident that each of you has been male, or at least male enough to be on a business call in a men’s room:
I owe you an apology. I appreciate, now, that your conversation with one or more other businessmen—and maybe even some businesswomen, for that matter—was so important that you needed to participate in it while taking care of other business, so to speak. Under those circumstances, I probably should have forgone what I like to do when I’m in a men’s room stall, which is hum at various baritone frequencies until I find the one that makes the metal walls and door vibrate.
As you might also find to be the case, a visit to a men’s room stall is not always rewarding. My experience, however, has taught me that if I can at least hum just the right note, then no matter what else does or does not happen, I will be able to chalk that time up as well-spent, if not quite productive. For achieving just the proper tone—the one that will prompt my surroundings to quiver—is no easy feat. It is a process, and nor is it a certainty that I will even hit that pitch. Some stalls remain a harmonic mystery.
But I need to remember that my personal quest is not necessarily something that strangers wish to be privy to. Most people have better things to do than listen to me humming a range of subtly variant timbres. You, for instance, had to discuss quarterly sales projections, or market segmentation, or customer retention with colleagues who evidently could not join you for a meeting in person in the men’s room, which is why you needed to be speaking with them by telephone from there. I’m sorry I didn’t respect your need for quiet. I sincerely hope I was not very distracting, though I fear I must have been. I mean, how can anyone be expected to focus on serious business with some inconsiderate buffoon in a neighboring stall droning on? I promise to be less frivolous in the future, and I remain,
Very truly yours,
Matthew David Brozik
Matthew David Brozik wrote this and many other short humor pieces, which have been published in print and online by The New Yorker, Adult Swim, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grin & Tonic, The Big Jewel, and no one.