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Alex Baer: Stalling Around with Bathrooms

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Stalling aroundWe used to make fairly regular advances in our culture.  Some were dubious, many were trivial, but, overall, we seemed to be tracing a generally positive pathway forward.  Now, it seems we're just stalling -- unable to get a grip on things, so to speak.

This is not news.  Way back before the Earth's crust cooled and dinosaurs appeared, we used to go get coffee.  Cream and sugar were the only tricky, ponderous variables which might throw us off our games -- especially, first thing in the morning, before we'd had our coffee.

Now, you're lucky to get out of a coffee order with under ten adjectives and after having made 62 ordering decisions.  This is called Freedom, and with it comes the Stern Burden of Responsibility.  But, I sometimes long for the simplicity of Formica countertops in a streamlined establishment looking and sounding nothing at all like the cross of a plumbing store and a steam locomotive factory.

(Sometimes, I object to modern life, and become furtive in my interactions -- humorous only to me, of course, as I suggest the foam heart on the surface of my undulating Grande Maximo Robusto-sized Triple-shot Mocha-Latte Cappuccino, with White Swiss Bittersweet Butterscotch Biscotti Bits, and Zest of Fresh Spanish Blood Orange Rind,  be applied from right to left, versus left to right.  Then, of course, I have to find a new place for coffee.  Again.)

But, never mind.  As often happens with coffee, this brings us galloping to bathrooms. Like getting a coffee, getting up and propelling oneself toward a bathroom facility used to be a simple event.  (Sorry for the awkward lingo there.  It's just that "going to the bathroom" and "going to the bathroom" both sound a lot alike, and can be very confusing to non-native, and to native, speakers of our language.)


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