I wanted to go to a bathroom during one of the breaks, but I discovered that I had to exit the building because, as far as I could tell at the time, the only bathroom for males had its entrance on the outside of the ground level of the building. The bathroom door was labeled "BOY'S ROOM", and suddenly I became very conscious of my age (35). Did this room have an implicit upper-age limit? Was it socially-unacceptable for me to use a urinal intended for boys between the ages of 14 and 19? It wasn't a public bathroom, per se, because it was on the grounds of a high school, so one could argue that there was a de facto age range expectation. I didn't know why I was anxious -- and the thought that only people with bad intentions or morally-corrupt imaginations would feel anxious made me more anxious. Anyhow, I simply went in to the bathroom and tried to remain in the moment, without thoughts, focusing on completing the task as quickly as possible. But I knew that if I saw something such as an unusually-small urinal, or a sink closer to the floor than sinks in most public bathrooms, then I would panic and have to run out of the bathroom. Fortunately, the bathroom looked like any other public bathroom. Even so, it bothered me that I was forced by circumstances to confront a distracting psychological and sociological problem in the middle of taking the SAT. I don't have time for this, id! My super-ego is trying to fail the SAT.
When all is said and done, kindergarteners will have spent up to 60 days of class time—or a third of the school year—taking various standardized tests.
This happened about forty-five times-until one night in the very busy bathroom of a movie theater at the end of the movie, I discovered the trick. When someone takes his position next to you, and you hear his nose breathing and you sense his proven ability to urinate time after time in public, and at the same time you feel your own muscles closing on themselves as hermit crabs pull into their shells, imagine yourself turning and dispassionately urinating onto the side of his head. Imagine your voluminous stream making fleeting parts in his hair, like the parts that appear in the grass of a lawn when you try to water it with a too-pressurized nozzle-setting. Imagine drawing an X over his face; watch him fending the spray off with his arm, puffing and spluttering to keep it from getting in his mouth; and his protestations: "Excuse me? What are you doing? Hey! Pff, pff, pff." It always worked. If I found myself in very difficult circumstances—flanked on both sides by colleagues, both of whom said hello to me and then began confidently to go—I might have to sharpen the image slightly, imagining myself urinating directly into one of their shock-widened eyeballs. (Baker 84-85)
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