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.”