I’m still not sure how it happened, but it did.
I had just finished one class, and there was a ten-minute break before the next one, so I decided to go and use the men’s room. The time in between classes is a busy one for the restrooms, and the only open spot was the middle urinal, with students on either side of me (I can’t say if I knew them since I generally try to avoid eye contact in the restroom).
Since it was Monday, it was suit day (someday I’ll write about my daily dress patterns), and I was wearing a tie along with my suit jacket.
Anyway, as I was standing there, the silence of the restroom was broken by the sound of two doped up Hispanic men. It took me a couple of moments to realize, with horror, that the voices were coming out of the phone in my pocket.
Somehow the Spotify app had opened on my phone, and was playing, loud and clear, a Cheech and Chong routine, Tortured Old Man (which ironically, described me quite well at the moment).
I’m guessing the students on either side of me had no clue what was going on, and were probably wondering why there was the sound of two doped up guys with Hispanic voices coming out of my pocket.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t exactly in a position to stop the routine right away, and it played for probably fifteen to twenty seconds before I was able to take the phone out of my pocket and put an end to my embarrassment.
I’ve felt humiliated before, but having that feeling in the men’s room is about as bad as it gets.
After turning off Cheech and Chong and washing my hands, I quickly exited the restroom, being doubly sure not to make eye contact with anyone.
I can’t say for sure how many students witnessed the whole scene, but it was at least two, and unfortunately, it would only take one to spread the word about what had just happened. But I’m hoping that the students in the restroom were just like my students in class, not really paying attention to anything I was doing, but who knows.
Maybe I’ll be forever known as the old guy who still plays comedy routines from 40 years ago on his phone, in the bathroom. There are probably worse things to be remembered for as a teacher, but at this moment, I can’t think of many.
But since it is the season for giving thanks, I will say that I’m grateful that I don’t have any Andrew Dice Clay routines on my phone…
*image from Uproxx