Welcome back to the Fool’s Gold Advice Column for Smarties. It’s just like “Car Talk,” only more exhaustive.
This week, The General Public has entrusted me—me!—with righting their lives. I am only too honored to set aside my own priorities, because they are proof that this column has at least four actual readers (or one reader with four aliases). So I’ll crack my knuckles and get right down with my altruistic self.
First, let me whisk you back to a college philosophy course I took because it didn’t have a lab fee. There, I learned about moral relativism. The basic idea of moral relativism is that a person’s moral judgment depends on that person’s culture, historical time period, and exposure to the album-length version of “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” No person’s standpoint is inherently superior to another.
This philosophy is incorrect, because there are people in this world breeding cockroaches. Breeding cockroaches is not a boon to humanity. Cockroaches are sufficient cause for various health departments to shut down a restaurant. And I have worked in food service on no fewer than five different days; I have seen what all DOESN’T shut down a restaurant.
Furthermore, cockroaches can rend familial bonds. My little sister would do anything for me. But this one time, at our childhood home, she refused to kill a cockroach intent on attacking us. I distracted the invader from atop a barstool, keeping whatever roaches have instead of eyes trained on me, leaving her ample space to smash the aggressor with an anvil or a piano. But she would not do it. Now that my mother has sold the scene of the betrayal, perhaps we can begin to mend our relationship.
You, Scott N., may think you need better roaches. Really, you need different demands.
Speaking of health code violations, we have two separate readers concerned about letting loose in the workplace. Missy M. asks, “Which stall is the best to poop in in a communal work bathroom?” And Andy O. ponders, “What about bathrooms that you can only get to by going through the break room? Poop or not? That door is seeming mighty thin.”
You all are so cute, thinking these bathroom predicaments are tricky. Try this on for size: You’re at your girlfriend’s parent’s house for dinner. You soon excuse yourself for a moment, because her father’s beer is free but also cheap. When you flush, the water does not go down, as is customary in America. (I hear it goes the other way in Australia.) It does not even balk.
Oh no. It flows over, rivaling a Bellagio fountain show. And it keeps running like it’s been holding it since the Eisenhower administration.
You hop in the little plastic trash can to keep your shoes dry. Taking stock of the implements at hand, you calculate that there is no quick way to stymie the toilet using a box of Kleenex and a china figurine. Not enough hand towels and toilet paper to stem the tide. The waves conquer the toilet nook and lap at the rug by the sink.
So you give in. You paddle the little trash can out of the bathroom. Only two choices remain. You could turn right, back to the dining room, back to your future ex-girlfriend’s parents, and nobly accept the appearance of indisputable guilt despite your purest innocence. Or you could turn left, through the garage, and deep into the dark, forgiving night.
Missy M. and Andy O., you Smarties are getting paid to poop. Own it.
Donna M., I certainly hope so! If the sole purpose of a system of taxation is not to give us profound satisfaction from exempting ourselves from it, then I don’t want to know why our forebears tantrummed over all that perfectly good tea.
Alternately, I might suggest working from home. You can wear pajamas! Also, people have a much more difficult time stabbing you when they dislike your customer service. So while I hope you all appreciate my helpful answers, I’m not that worried. Not even if you get “Total Eclipse of the Heart” stuck in your head.
If you’ve got 99 problems, I want to hear only the most interesting one. Risk inclusion in the next Fool’s Gold Advice Column for Smarties by tweeting your questions to @ZachHively or emailing them through the Missives form on this site.
This Fool’s Gold originally appeared on The KC Post.