Strange Conversation

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There’s a song by the late Ted Hawkins, “Strange Conversation,” that’s an all-time favorite. It begins with the line, “I had a strange conversation …”

Well, I just had a strange conversation. I’m at a gross Starbucks in North Hollywood. I needed the bathroom, and asked a barista the code.

“One-two-three-seven-eight-eight,” he said.

“Cool,” I replied. “Thanks.”

As I headed toward the john, I heard another man ask the same question.

“One-two-three-seven-eight-eight,” the barista said.

The guy approached as I was punching in the digits.

“I’ll be quick,” I said.

“Good,” he replied, “because this is gonna be a bad one.”

“Do you wanna go first?”

“No,” he said. “You go.”

I peed—20 seconds, max. Opened the door, looked at him.

“Quick, see,” I said.

“Yeah, thanks,” he replied. “Because I’m gonna be sitting there for a while, and I hate doing it with the pressure.”