Another glob of phlegm sailed past me and splattered against the wall of the shower. I couldn’t believe the mistake I’d made, commenting on old Scratchy’s habit of hawking and spewing in the shower room at the YMCA. I should’ve known better, should’ve known he’d be bold enough to strike back. Now, instead of horking in the vicinity of his own personal shower space, he was firing the toxic payloads right at me.
“I’ll do whatever I want in here!” said Scratchy, whereupon he cranked out a dump and whipped that at me, too. “This shower’s public property!”
As the bombardment continued, old Lou Fargus hobbled in from the swimming pool. “What’s going on in here?” he said.
“I’m gettin’ some a’ my own back,” snapped Scratchy. “Teaching this little creep that I can do anything I like to defile the world around me if I so choose! Care to have a go at him?”
“Ah, he’s all right,” said Lou. “How exactly you been defiling the world, anyhow?”
“Hawking and spewing in the shower!” Scratchy demonstrated by ripping another one loose and flinging it in my direction. “If I can do it on the sidewalk, out the car window, in the parking lot, in a restaurant, in bed, and in church, where’s he get off telling me I can’t do it in the shower at the Y?”
Lou, who’d always treated me decent-like, shrugged and shook his head. “Can’t argue with logic like that,” he said, and then he joined Scratchy’s assault.
My throat is still raw from all the screaming. I don’t know if I will ever look at an oyster the same way again.
©2009 Robert T. Jeschonek