Intrepid Columnist Tests Craig’s “Wide Stance”

I’m working on my stance.

Not my batting stance.

Not my political stance.

My restroom stance.

Thanks to Idaho Sen. Larry Craig, I now realize how critical a “wide stance” can be when sitting on a public toilet.

Craig, you see, is not gay. He never has been gay. Craig didn’t want to solicit sex from an undercover cop in a Minneapolis airport men’s room, when the senator reached out with his right foot and touched the policeman’s left foot in the adjoining stall. Craig told the cops he just “has a wide stance when going to the bathroom.”

So I’m sitting here on the commode at the public library looking at my feet.

They appear about shoulder width. I’m not sure how that measures up with other guys since I don’t, as a rule, stare at the feet in the next stall when I use a public restroom. I have my own business to attend to.

On the other hand, several questions of physics and physique come to mind as I try to slide my feet out far enough to reach into a stall next to me. That’s what the cops say Craig did.

Craig tapped his right foot, Sgt. Dave Karsnia wrote in his police report. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moved his foot closer to my foot … The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area.”

Now, I know the senator was not trying to solicit sex because he swears to me and the rest of America that he is not gay and never has been. What I’m wondering is this:

With a stance this wide, how does a man get his pants down?

My friend and fellow investigator Chris, who claims a middling restroom stance, flew into Minneapolis Friday for a wedding, but took time out to file these crime scene photos.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketMaybe a loosely fitted pair of pants might make the drop. But unless you’re going commando, your underpants are going to bind somewhere around the knees.

Aside from cutting off blood flow to your lower appendages and leaving them so numb you might not be able to stand when you finish relieving yourself, this begs a question of orthopedics:

With knees bound, but a stance wide enough to reach a foot into the next stall, how come Larry Craig didn’t dislocate at least one joint?

As I try to mirror Idaho’s oh-so-heterosexual senator’s feat of flexibility, I struggle to keep balls in sockets. And I trust you know the balls and sockets I mean.

I go to the most flexible person I know – my wife. She actually suffers from a rare form of genetic soft tissue arthritis that makes her tendons and ligaments far too stretchy. Her joints are hyper-flexible. This means that if she doesn’t work out constantly to strengthen her muscles, her joints bend unnaturally and sometimes slip out. For example, the rheumatologist can bend her thumb backwards to her wrist.

I ask my wife whether she uses a wide stance in public toilet stalls.

This puts her nose out of joint – figuratively, of course.

“I keep my legs together in front of me,” she sniffs disgustedly. “I don’t want them near anyone else.”

I decide not to ask her to test what I now refer to as “the Craig Component of restroom relief.”

But I do wonder whether the straightest of straight senators rides sidesaddle on the thunder mug.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketYou see, in addition to touching Sgt. Karsnia’s left foot with his right foot as a result of his “wide stance,” Craig reportedly waved his left hand under the stall divider. “I could see it was his left hand,” Karsnia wrote in his report, “due to the position of his thumb.”

All right. Now, we’re talking serious contortion.

Back on the public toilet, I bend forward reaching futilely. I have to twist my body at least 30 degrees and I’m still having trouble getting my hand to the divider, much less reaching under it.

Sure, my sons call me “Lobster Boy” because I have the arms of a man 5 feet-6 inches tall attached to my 6-foot frame. But I challenge anyone to try to sit straight on a toilet seat with their legs spread several feet apart and try to reach their left hand under the right side stall divider.

Unless you’re a comic book super hero with elastic arms, it ain’t happening.

Once again, I am awed by Larry Craig’s gymnastic skills, if not his supplications to Sgt. Karsnia.

My wife and our friend Sharon suggest that the senator might have merely been asking for toilet paper. They’ve both done that before or had it done to them. Apparently it happens in the Ladies Room all the time, although the extended hand under the divider is usually accompanied with a spoken request.

Despite a couple of hand swipes, the cat seemed to have Craig’s tongue. He never spoke to Karsnia until the policeman showed his badge under the stall divider and pointed toward the stall door.

Then, the ranking Republican on three U.S. Senate committees cried, “No!”

No indeed.

No, Larry Craig says, he is not gay. No, he says, even though he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in this matter, he is not guilty of any crime.

No, he didn’t flush the toilet when he left the stall to be taken into custody – a notorious gay-bashing politician who is not and never has been gay got taken down by a “wide stance” mistaken for homosexual advances.

Meanwhile, I’m doing stretching exercises and not worrying too much about Larry Craig. He may be done as a U.S. Senator, but he’s got a helluva future with Cirque de Soleil.

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Jim Spencer

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