Although I wouldn’t say you’ve been demonstrating an aching desire for interactive blog chatter (ahem), this might flush you out of the reeds. Answer my friend’s question, in the style of those word games from The Atlantic:
Let’s say you are a male junior faculty member standing at a urinal in the small bathroom in your department. As you turn to wash your hands, a senior faculty member walks in to the bathroom and greets you. You say hi back as he goes into the stall and sits down. As you turn to leave, he strikes up a conversation from the toilet. Really, it’s a three way conversation with all of the noise coming from the toilet. Then the stench hits you (your colleague, apparently, feasts on roadkill and rotten cauliflower), but he’s still talking, so you can’t really leave. But you can’t really talk, either, because the thought of opening your mouth in this environment is so awful you fear that you would gag or vomit. After what seems like an eternity, you flee to your office, think happy thoughts while putting your face into a bag of fresh coffee grounds.
While I don’t really need to know what to do in such situations (I plan never to use the departmental bathroom), I would like to know if there is a name for this particular show of power and fecal privilege.