A Comedic Sein-uation

Andrew Michaels

Has anyone ever told you that what happens on TV almost never happens in real life? At that moment, you get that frustrating feeling in the pit of your stomach, arguing with yourself over whether or not to stick up for “your” show, or just let the person take the win.

Okay, so it is highly unlikely that Monica could afford that fancy apartment in New York City on her own in the show “Friends.” It is also unlikely that friends like Cory, Shawn, and Eric in “Boy Meets World” are always able to fix their relationships with one another after countless fights and debacles. 

But I am here to tell you that it is possible to get that win. I found this out three years ago. And the show compared to was “Seinfeld.”

One evening, my family and I decided to try this new restaurant in town called Morgan’s. My mother informed us that her good friend—let’s call him “Steve”—was the head chef and would prepare our meal himself. Upon our arrival, he greeted us and guided us to a table for four.

After we ordered our food, I excused myself from the table and went to the restroom. As I entered, I was greeted once again by Steve, who must have entered only a few seconds before me. I proceeded with my business and began to wash my hands.  It was at this exact moment when I noticed him using the urinal.

For any man, the silence between two men in a bathroom is, for lack of a better word, uncomfortable. I have been in this predicament too many times, and one of the two men always believe it is an appropriate time to start a conversation.

“So, how’s the family?” Steve asked.

“Good,” I mumble.

Seriously?  We’re going to talk about my family during this time?  Similar to the TV show scenario earlier, I keep my thoughts to myself.  Before long, Steve left, but there was something was missing; some post-bathroom ritual. He didn’t wash his hands.

I left the bathroom, and I sat back down at our table, feeling utterly disgusted with what I just witnessed. Now, I had to live with the thought of Steve’s unwashed hands touching my food.

Suddenly, I remembered why this situation felt so familiar. The very incident I experienced five minutes ago also occurred in the hit television series “Seinfeld.”

In the episode “The Pie,” Jerry and his girlfriend go to eat at her father’s pizza restaurant. At one point, Jerry goes to the restroom and sees her father not wash his hands after using the facilities. Jerry is left watching her father prepare their meal with his soiled hands.

Wow, I thought. This is kind of freaky. I had never been in a scenario that happened just like it had on a TV show. The comical spin that Seinfeld put on the idea had transferred into my reality. While some may have found this “sein-uation” to be rather disturbing, I found it to be both gross and hilarious.

In the end, I was successful in coercing my parents to leave the restaurant due to an “upset stomach,” and I later told them of my encounter with Head Chef Steve. Now, any time anyone says TV and reality don’t mix, I remind them of the bathroom occurrence. Remember, just because a comedic situation happens on TV doesn’t mean it cannot happen in real life. In fact, more often than not, it is the comedy on TV that comes from comedy in someone’s life. Sometimes, you can get the win.

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