This post is NSFA (Not Safe For Anyone)

By Mir
March 27, 2013

At first I was going to say that this post was NSFW, but upon reflection, that’s TRUE, but an incomplete caution. This post is not safe for work, home, in your car, with a fox, in a box, or with any breakfast product, rhyming or not. Honestly it’s not safe anyone at all.

If there are small children in the room, do not read this post. If you are of delicate sensibility, please do not read this post. If you are not in the mood to be completely horrified, for the love of God: I’m trying to explain to you that you should not read this post.

If you—like me—believe that the only redeeming value of being completely traumatized is in then sharing that trauma with others, and relishing in their anguished squirming and scream-whispers of, “No! NO! THAT DID NOT HAPPEN!!” then you might like to read this post. But you can’t say I didn’t warn you, because I did. REPEATEDLY.

Dare to read on? Alrighty, then. HAVE I GOT A STORY FOR YOU!

Yesterday I took Chickadee to therapy. This is unremarkable, for the most part. (Well, it is remarkable to me that her therapist is awesome and Chickie goes willingly, because that’s both lovely and very different than past experience, but all of THAT is a different story altogether.) This was not her regular day, for reasons which are unimportant. What is important: We went to therapy.

Chickie’s therapist is part of a largish practice with a sizable waiting room. Generally when we go there, we go up to the desk, sign in, pay, and then go find a place to sit. We are typically surrounded by multiple other families, and often a large passel of kids of varying ages. One time there was a little girl playing with her older brother who had a giggle that sounded EXACTLY like the Pillsbury Dough Boy, and the entire waiting room was in stitches, listening to her laugh. It’s usually a bustling place.

Yesterday was different (hooboy, was it different…) in that her appointment was at the end of the day, and when we arrived, there was no one else in the waiting room. It was quiet and that was weird. The woman who checks us in was nowhere to be found, either—turns out she was taking out the trash when we arrived. Well, no matter. We sat down and waited, and when she returned, I went up to give her our payment.

While I was paying, a young man came through the door and got in line behind me. He was maybe… 20? I don’t know. As I finished paying I noticed that he was standing a little too close—I had to do kind of a loop forward and then around to get away from the desk and back to Chickadee without running into him—and I didn’t think much of it other than maybe a brief mental flash of the Seinfeld bit about the “close talker.” As I retreated, he smiled at me.

I went back to where Chickadee was waiting, and sat down next to her. Remember—we were the only ones there, and the waiting room is pretty big. Smiley finished at the desk and came and sat down directly across from us. I mean, DIRECTLY ACROSS, when there were easily a dozen other chairs he could’ve selected. Ooooookay. Chickadee was buried in her phone, texting a friend, and I pulled out my own phone to check my email.

So I’m staring at my phone (which is basically in my lap) and Chickie’s staring at her phone (which is basically in her lap) and my phone dings because I have a new text message. I click over to my texts, and it’s from Chickadee. I’m about to give her a hard time because she’s sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME, but her message reads: “That person is disturbing me.”

I glance up, and our buddy Smiley is still smiling at us—beaming, really—like it’s the greatest day ever. He’s also masturbating at a frenetic pace. I’m talking hand-inside-his-pants, going-to-town. I hastily looked back down at my phone and texted back to Chickie, “I hadn’t even noticed and now I’m skeeved out.” Except my phone autocorrected “skeeved” to “sleeved” and then my poor confused daughter was all, “He’s been doing that since he sat down. Also: sleeved???”

We sat there, and my mind raced. What was the right thing to do? We were safe, there was no imminent threat to our well-being (I mean, other than the mental trauma and the wanting to bleach our eyeballs out), and I think I was afraid that if we moved or otherwise drew any attention to ourselves that… I don’t even know. It would escalate, somehow? It would be like that scene in Silence of the Lambs and one of us would end up covered in semen? I DON’T KNOW, I WAS UPSET. And just when it seemed like maybe I should DO something, Smiley’s therapist emerged and Smiley withdrew his hand from his pants like everything was perfectly normal and stood up and greeted his doctor and disappeared down the hall.

I watched, transfixed, sure that the unsuspecting doctor would shake his hand and I would perish on the spot from the grossness of observing an Unknowing Penis Residue Handshake.

After they left, Chickadee and I looked at each other and began giggling hysterically, because we are toddlers, and then HER therapist came to get her, and then it was just me in the waiting room. I sat there, trying to figure out what I was supposed to do. (I mean, the only other place I’ve experienced this before is on the subway in Manhattan. And there everyone just looks away and gets off the train as soon as possible. This seemed different.) Finally, I went back up to the desk (the way the woman up there sits, she doesn’t have a clear view of the waiting area), and said, “Heyyyyyy… this is kind of awkward, buuuuuuut….”

She was horrified. Which: you know, that was comforting. You know when you tell somebody about something awful and you’re kind of checking their reaction, all, “Well maybe it’s not as bad as I think it is…?” And then when they’re all HOLY SHIT THAT IS NOT OKAY you’re somewhat disappointed that you’re NOT just being a drama queen, but also vindicated in the knowledge that yeah, it really was appropriate that now all you want is one of those Silkwood showers.

“This will be addressed. Immediately,” she assured me. And then she picked up her phone and texted the doctor who’d taken Smiley into the back. SO.

Confident that I’d done my part in this bizarre little series of events, I commenced texting people to say ZOMG PUBLIC MASTURBATOR AT THE THERAPIST’S OFFICE WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK??

A while later, Chickadee’s therapist came out and asked me to come on back—we often do a parent check-in as part of her session—and I found myself very relieved to be leaving the waiting room. As I settled into the loveseat in the doc’s office, I informed Chickie (and her inquiring eyebrows; I love that kid’s facial expressions so much) that I’d spoken to the powers that be about our experience, and she said, “Oh, good. THAT WAS NOT OKAY.”

This, of course, led to the derailment of my child’s therapy as we explained to her doctor what had happened, and if I hadn’t loved her doc before, I certainly did after this. The first thing she said when we told her what we’d witnessed—after re-gathering her dropped jaw—was, “Well that is… CLINICALLY SIGNIFICANT.” (Bwahahahahahaaaaaa!) And then the second thing was, “Well, I think that’s the third worst thing that’s happened in our waiting room since I’ve been here.” Which, WHAT? Naturally we pressed to hear what would be WORSE than this, and hey, WHADDAYA KNOW, they had a guy die in there once (sleep apnea!), and also they sometimes have to call DFCS when people are, y’know, actually beating their kids in public.

So relax! Therapy waiting room fapper was only the THIRD worst, y’all. THANK GOODNESS.

We managed to switch back to the topic at hand (oh my God, AT HAND, I CAN’T STOP) and finished the session with some discussion of things which were NOT creepy public masturbators, and then we said goodbye and left. I can’t speak for Chickadee, but I felt a rare urgency as we darted out the car—maybe Smiley had already left, but I wasn’t interested in running into him again.

I think it’s fair to say that we laugh-shrieked all the way home. My sides ached and I was in tears by the time we pulled into the driveway. Chickadee started it with, “That was NOT OKAY! I am scarred for life! I’m gonna need YEARS of therapy!” When I pointed out that that was lucky because fortunately she already has a great therapist, she added, “IN A DIFFERENT OFFICE.”

At one point I said, “Well maybe he was just—” and Chickadee cut me off with a flat, “NO. YOU KNOW WHAT HE WAS JUST.” And we howled. We couldn’t stop. What else can you do?

“You’re going to write about this, right?” she asked, as we neared home. I hesitated. “What?? MOM, you can’t NOT write about this. I mean, it’s like, not even an OPTION. You have to! You’ve been saying nothing interesting has happened to you lately! HERE YOU GO!”

Yeeeeeeeah. Um. Here’s to nothing else “interesting” happening to me.


  1. Little Bird


    That’s BEYOND creepy.

  2. Heather

    Um, ewwww? But kudos to the practice for taking it seriously. And what’s the old curse, may you live in interesting times? Here’s to boring.

    • Sheila

      Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Tip your waitress!

  3. CuriousCat


    i’m not shaking anyone’s hands, anywhere, EVER AGAIN.

    also, forget about band camp stories. from now on, it will be…”this one time? at my therapist’s office? there was this guy…”

    • Caroline

      OMG! That is hilarious CuriousCat!!!!

  4. robin

    oh my god!

  5. Rita

    Smiley’s actions were definitely disturbing and not okay. Chickadees therapists reaction was priceless. I loved all the laughing all the way home. But what really made me lose it was the link to yesterdays post… “Georgia really makes you work for it” takes on a whole new meaning!

  6. LizD

    SO squick!!

  7. MomQueenBee

    I am not even in the same geographic REGION as you are and I still want to put at least one more state between me and that office. Ish.

  8. Niki

    Oh dear God. My first thought would be, “Who is he picturing in his head? Me? My daughter? The receptionist? His therapist? A unicorn?”

    I’d like to say that I would have started pointing and shrieking immediately, but I probably just would have texted a friend about it.

  9. Bryan

    holy moly. I wouldn’t have been able to sit there.

  10. Betsy

    Ohh yes, memories…I had my own “Smiley” one day at work (dispensing eyeglasses, no less). He casually flopped it out and I, not so casually flipped out! He left, police were called and he was subsequently arrested for lewd behavior, or something. Good times.

  11. Navhelowife

    Okay, probably not the best thing to read right before I take my kiddo to Therapy but I am laughing so hard I can barely type. Mostly I spend the hour trying to not to make eye contact with the people who are complaining LOUDLY about their bill.
    I’ve seen some creepy things there but NOTHING compares to this. You win the “BEST STORY ABOUT THERAPY” award.

  12. jenjam

    Omg! I could not even imagine having to deal with that! It’s definitely interestingly HORRIFYING to say the least!

  13. Brenda

    Oh. My. There just are no words. None. My therapist is part of a practice that treats mostly special needs adults, so I’ve had a few uncomfortable moments where people’s boundaries are a little different than usual. But nothing, NOTHING like that. Also, dying of sleep apnea in a waiting room? Wow. I have so many questions about that.

    • CuriousCat

      me too. like, how long was he WAITING?

      i’m thinking it would be a really good idea for this therapy practice to start monitoring their waiting room.

  14. Kim

    Holey freaking moley. The other two may have been worse, but at least you would have know what to do.
    I’m glad you two were able to see the humor in it. I swear, I’m reading so much misogynistic crap right now, I want to HULK SMASH someone, and I’d’ve been willing to take Smiley on.
    (Is not a solution, I know, but still. I want anti-sexism superpowers.)

  15. Kelly

    As I was reading, I literally threw myself back in my chair and covered by mouth and nose with both hands in disbelief. And then I almost lost it when I read, “therapy waiting room fapper.” This was an interesting read. ;-)

  16. Average Jane

    Aaaaggh! Wow. Just…yeah. No words.

  17. Megan

    Yep, amazing where these things happen. I had a guy refuse to let me pass on a freeway once…. when I glanced into the cab of his truck I realized what he wanted me to see. How can someone drive and do that?!

  18. Susan

    I am still laughing at the thought of Smiley’s therapist realizing he/she shook THAT hand! I am totally skeeved/sleeved out that happened in the waiting room.

  19. kapgaf

    For interesting stories, I have to hand it to you. Oops, probably not what you want to read right now! Still, you got a lot of laughs and a funny post out of it. I just hope Chickadee has not been Scarred For Life by the TWRF!

  20. Otto

    I’m waiting for #ClinicallySignificant to start trending on Twitter …


    • Brenda

      I would love to see this happen.

      • Mir

        So I just got this comment email as “I would love to see this happen” without it telling me it was a response to another comment, and I went “….”

        But the trending on Twitter, yes. That’d be good. Way better than you wanting to see what I saw. Carry on!

        • CuriousCat

          now, that made ME laugh out loud!! seriously, i’m laughing so hard I can hardly type.

          Poor Brenda. For a moment there, Mir thought you were a seriously twisted voyeur!!

        • Brenda

          Oh, I am so glad I decided to revisit the comments on this post! I almost hurt myself trying to hold in my laughter since I’m at work.

    • Heather


  21. carrie on

    Happened to me in my high school classroom once. I don’t know if he was doing anything or just making sure it was still there or what, but his arm was in his sweat pants up to his sleeve. I was midlecture while walking around the room when I saw it so it went something like “lecture lecture lecture WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN YOUR PANTS PUT HAND SANITIZER ON NOW!!!” I called him out in front of the whole class because I was caught off guard. I don’t think he lived it down. At least he was a senior and it was May so he didn’t have to live it down for long.

    • Celeste

      Ok, a high school senior?!? Deserves to be called out in front of the class. Wow.

    • Kim

      Ok, that made me laugh! Not nearly so grrrrrr now. Hand sanitizer!

    • Brenda

      Oh, that totally deserved a calling out.

    • Laura D.

      Well, when the kindergarteners or first graders have their hands in their pants, we ask everyone to put their hands on the table. But a HS Senior? Ick!

  22. Michelle

    Wow, I am stunned. Guess maybe it’s a good thing he’s in therapy?

    P.S. I’m thanking my lucky stars that I’ve been sheltered enough so far in life to escape such inappropriate public behaviors.

    • Cheryl

      You also have been fortunate to not have to ride public transit. Seeing someone’s junk was just another Tuesday. I would have NEVER guessed how many people were into that.

  23. Sassy Apple

    FAN-tastic. Guess who has a therapy appointment this afternoon?

  24. Liza

    Ewwwww! Also, every sentence I have tried to write sounds inappropriate. (IE, “you handled that well.” But mercifully, you didn’t handle it at all!)

    What I want to say is, “Way to go, Mir! And Chickadee! And the responsible adults in the office!” And creepy weird fapper clearly needs treatment. Not that I’m glad this happened to you and Chickadee, but at least it didn’t happen to a whole crowd of people.

  25. Jen H.

    I’m sorry. You handled that SO well. And I’m howling in laughter myself now…

  26. Holly Gault


  27. Megan @ Mama Bub

    I’m hearing a Friends style EWWWWWW in my head, although this is much worse than peeing on a jellyfish sting.

    • Brenda

      That’s pretty much the perfect reaction.

  28. Angela S

    I was in the middle of making this week’s green smoothies and um yeah totally distracted that I had to put what I’d made back int eh blender to fix it. Whoa buddy sooooo creepy. So glad the practice handled it well or at least acted like it was a huge deal. NASTY!!!!!

  29. Debra

    My momma always told me to be careful what you wish for. Wishing for something exciting to happen can apparently be construed in many ways by the Universe.

  30. Karen

    Um, next time there’s a masturbator in your presence, can I please be in the twenty you text? Because that shit is awful and awesome at the same time.

  31. Nicole

    Ok, I am traumatized on your behalf! So very disturbing!
    But, hey, at least it happened in the therapist’s office – you were able to tell HIS therapist on him immediately, and they can watch him like a hawk in the waiting room in the future, AND you and Chickie immediately got professional counseling for your Clinically Significant experience!

    Also boring something something?

  32. JoAnne

    What does it say about me that I was less appalled because this happened in a therapy waiting room and because this is probably one of the many reasons he is in therapy!!?!??! LOL

  33. Sarahviz

    You had me snort-laughing at “Unknowing Penis Residue Handshake.”

    • Karen R

      Best line ever.

  34. Deirdre

    I have a greater appreciation for the fact that my kid’s therapist is essentially a solo practice in the mornings. ‘Cause EWWWWWWWW!

  35. diane

    I’m with JoAnne, I’m glad at least he’s getting his problems…um, addressed?
    I hope I hope I hope.
    And I live in Chicago, so I’ve seen it plenty on CTA. My therapy waiting room experiences have been quite boring–usually seething couples quietly arguing before the appointment. I guess here the people with squick tendencies just roam among the unsuspecting public. :)

  36. Jean

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! TOO FUNNY! Glad that you and Chickie were able to share a good laughfest over this. And Otto is also very clever…

  37. BethRD

    I think my thought upon leaving that waiting room would be, “Gosh! I feel so essentially mentally healthy right now! I managed to get through the whole wait without masturbating at all!”

  38. Aimee

    That therapist is a gem, because CLINICALLY SIGNIFICANT is worth of Understatement of the Century honors. Holy holy holy cow.

    Also, fapper? Clearly I am not up on the current lingo. And considering what the lingo means, I’m not sure I want to be, although the writer in me thinks the word is quite a good one for one doing what that one was doing. EW.

  39. JennyA

    Well, that *beats* my Creepy Adjacent-Car Highway Fapper story.

    Groooossssssss. Although, when you were describing the guy standing too close to you I was reading through my fingers expecting something to, ah, actually make contact with your person. So I guess it could have been EVEN CREEPIER.

  40. Sunday Stilwell

    That was so many levels of hilarious…but only because it didn’t happen to me. LOL

  41. Katie K.

    Yikes! Really, really not ok! But it reminded me of an incident I had completely forgotten about. I grew up in the country, next door (if up a huge hill through some trees about 1/4 of a mile can be counted as next door) from my grandma and through the woods from myaunt and uncle. We all had really long driveways (couldn’t see the highway from the house as well. Once when I was around 13 my aunt and uncle were out of town so I walked with my grandma through the woods and headed down their driveway to get the mail. As we turned a corned we came upon a parked car. Through the window we could clearly see the naked back side of a male having sex. We couldn’t see the girl, but we could hear her. I looked at grandma and she looked at me. Not a word was spoken, but she marched over to that car, knocked on the window and said, “Excuse me, but this is a private driveway.” There was a mad scramble of putting clothes back on and some mumbled apologies before they tore out of the driveway like they were being chased by the devil. Grandma looked at me again and we both cracked up. We could not stop laughing the rest of that day. One of us would say, “Excuse me. This is a private driveway.” and we would laugh for another 20 minutes. I had the coolest grandma ever.

  42. Stacy

    I worked with a guy once who ALWAYS had at least one hand down his pants. He got fired. Still, not as traumatic and Smiley.

  43. Lynda M O

    Yeah, Interesting. No thanks. I love dull boring existences and yours is not among them this week. Good thing you’re pretty.

  44. jodie

    Oh man, I’m sad to say I knew exactly where this was going when he stood to close, and hooboy do I know alllllll about how awkward that feels. When I ran the learning center we worked with kids (and many adolescents) with pretty significant learning and developmental disabilities. And inevitably at least once a week we had to reinforce with the boys “Our hands stay out of our pants.” Once, I even had to call a mom because he son groped (no joke, groped!) another mom’s breasts in the lobby. What a terrible call to make. On one hand…imagine having all those urges (blerch) and not understanding them at all. On the other….YUCk!

  45. Katherine

    Luckily the kids aren’t here, so I don’t have to explain the EWWW’s and then the giggles. Certainly not boring! Chickie was right to insist you tell this story.

  46. Arnebya

    “Masturbating at a frenetic pace” — I’ma die. At my desk. I hope my death is the worst thing to ever happen here so they can all remember me. (And I’ve had this happen, only it was, um, handled differently (read: subway. Member fully out.) This is what you get, Mir, when you begrudge the normalcy of nothing to write about. You get handed something.

  47. not supergirl

    Laughing here. I should be more horrified, but my work and life experience tell me this is way too common. I think, were I in your shoes, I’d have had exactly the same thought process. Not in actual danger, so just ignore it as much as possible. HOWEVER, I would defintely have been skeeved, too, or sleeved, you know, if you want to put it that way, I’m not the boss of you. And I think the idea of being in the situation with my daughter would have had a significant impact on that. Maybe even clinically significant. LOL

  48. el-e-e

    Nononononono. Erase! Delete! Gah. Can’t unsee!!!

  49. Chris G

    I’m glad you said something and so glad he wasn’t in the parking lot too!!!!!!. I am so glad Chickie got you to write about it……that was a tense moment reading it as I can only imagine it was sitting there. I’m glad you two laughed over all of that…it sounded like a bonding moment between just the two of you…glad nothing else happened…it was awful but will be fodder for you and your daughter to eeeeewwwwww about for a long time. I am sincerely glad she likes going to therapy, thats half the battle to getting better. I am so glad to be listening to this story of you and your daughter because it proves we don’t know what life has in store for us or how we will get to the end of our issue. I know it wasn’t easy to send Chickie to live with her dad but some growing up happened and it looks like 2013 is your year. You deserve it so much after the emotional pain last year… would have never been curious about luminous paints and getting the perfect color for your office….but Monkey and his adolescence will keep you busy and full of posts…

  50. karen

    ooooooh, yuck. I’m wondering if I were sitting there… would I have immediately yelled at him to “Knock it off!”… um, no pun intended! ….or would i have been more diplomatic, the way you handled it.

    Gross, man. Just gross.

  51. Tracy B

    There is a TV show called, “What would you do”? I swear I would be looking around thinking, this has got to be a TV show. This doesn’t just happen! I’m with Chickie on this one….THAT IS NOT OK!

  52. Heather

    Oh. My. GAWWWWWSH. That is SOOO “clinically significant”…and icky. :P I’m glad you brought it up with the therapist(s). But I really do love that it’s something you and Chickie can laugh about and even, well, sorta bond over. (Cuz what’s a little eyeball trauma good for if not a memorable mother-daughter experience?! :P )

  53. mandy

    Sick. Also: love the text you sent those way lucky peeps in your inner circle.

  54. suburbancorrespondent

    Yet another situation not addressed in all those child-rearing books we zealously read when the kids were younger…WHAT TO DO IF SOMEONE MASTURBATES IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILD IN HER THERAPIST’S WAITING ROOM.

    You know, that’s a pretty good book title…gets people’s attention, anyway…

  55. Sheila

    I only wish you would have warned us that this would be hard to read.

    (See what I did there?)

    (Please don’t block me.)

    • Mir

      10 points to Gryffindor!

      • Sheila

        Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Tip your waitress!

  56. Jeanie

    I’m speechless, to say nothing of grossed out.

  57. aem2

    Your intro reminded me of “There’s a Monster At the End of This Book!” I kept expecting Grover to tell me not to turn the page!

    And your story reminded me of the time in university when I was on my way home and saw a guy masturbating on his bicycle, which struck me as not terribly comfortable. And of the time pre-digital camera when I was travelling in San Fransisco, staying in a mixed room at a youth hostel, and left my camera on my bunk while I went to shower. Came back after a month away, developed my photos, and saw that the not-shy-about-hanging-out-naked-guy in our room had left me a little something to remember him by.

    In panoramic.

    • aem2

      And “clinically significant” is my new favourite phrase.

    • aem2

      Okay, I shouldn’t keep replying to my own comment, but I feel I should clarify that I didn’t come back to the room after a month of showering, but came back home after a month of travelling.

      You may now return to your reading.

      • Mir

        Given what was apparently happening in your room, no one would blame you for showering for a month straight, I’m thinking….

    • CuriousCat

      now, this intrigues me. the logistics of riding a bike AND masturbating at the same time, I mean. the hand/eye coordination, the rhythm….

      it would take some mad skillz to pull that one off, is what i’m saying.

      oh yes I did say it!

    • Amelia

      how comical, that he thought he’d need the panoramic view.

  58. Patty

    This made me laugh so hard that my daughter (who is 7) came up and demanded that I tell her the story that was making my laugh so much.

    The third worst thing? Oh, I die.

  59. Karen

    I used to live in NYC and have been fondled on an escalator, watched a man pee ON a building and stood way too close to the all too “happy” Subway rider, but even this would have freaked me out! A waiting room??!

    I guess we should all just be happy he was seeking therapy….

    • Elizabeth

      Still do live in NYC. And have had all the above experiences plus the apparently homeless and, if I recall legless, guy on Broadway in Tribeca grunting and jolting on the sidewalk, which I took to be a seizure. I called EMS, and stayed to help and, well, it wasn’t a seizure.

      Nowadays, people take cell phone photos/video on the train and they put the guy’s face on the front page of the NY Post and he gets arrested as soon as he is ID’d.

      As for the grinder– I just say very loudly and very sweetly (I am, after all, from the South): “Excuse me, do you mind not pushing your penis into me? I don’t find it pleasant.” And if that doesn’t work, the sudden donkey kick to the groin while wearing Danskos right when the doors open is very satisfying. Timing is important, because you want to have only the barest moment of publicly embarrassing him prior to your exit.

  60. Jessica

    Can we change “waiting room fapper” to “waiting room wanker”? I’d hate to let a chance for alliteration to go by… ;~)

    New band name: Clinically Significant Fapping I’m pretty sure it’d be big band.

  61. Lindsey

    I’m still howling about the therapist’s response, “Well that is… CLINICALLY SIGNIFICANT.”


    Years ago, while I was still in college, I was waiting at the bus stop at about 5:30 in the morning, in 20 degree weather, when this creepy guy walked up. I thought nothing of it and was just minding my own business, until I casually looked over at him at one point and he had was masturbating with his penis outside of his pants. IN 20 DEGREE WEATHER.

    I was so cold, all I did was roll my eyes and started walking down the street to the next bus stop. And that caused him to respond, “OK! OK! I’ll put it away! You don’t have to leave.” I just kept walking. Uh, sorry pal, but YES I DO. I’m walking as far away from you as I possibly can. :-P

    By the time the bus came, he had wandered off and wasn’t on the bus, but it was CREEPY! Who do you report that kind of thing to?

  62. s

    So…this makes me never want to sit in a waiting room chair ever…will I look odd carrying around toilet seat covers everywhere in case there are ummm dried fluids on a seat?? I saw someone doing this when I was driving years ago and it took me awhile to erase the image from my head…gross and creepy. Definitely not alright ..poor Chickie.

  63. Mary K. in Rockport

    I have absolutely nothing to add! But on the news right now, they’re talking about video games installed in urinals that are controlled by the “stream” and I’m not kidding.

  64. Kate

    I must admit that with the crappy week I’ve been having, getting to laugh at this this morning was really great (and I’m trying so hard not to make some unintentional bad pun with this one.) And I had to go tell a coworker because we both had weird experiences while waiting for doctor’s appointments last week and those experiences were NOTHING compared to this.

    (Which is good because most of the people I see at my clinic are kind of on the senior citizen side and …. don’t want to go there.)

  65. Chuck

    Sorry you guys had to experience that, but I’m very relieved that at least he didn’t unzip first.

  66. Gaylin

    A friend of mine was in an elevator when the man next to her pulled it out and started enjoying himself. She looked down and back up at his face and said “What’s it going to be when it grows up?”

    He put it away and left the elevator rather quickly.

    I am glad for both you and Chickie that at least he kept it in his pants, a very handy young man . . .

    • karen

      I used to work with sex offenders, and my comment was going to be something along the same lines. I think that what works best is either saying, “Stop masturbating!” loudly and clearly and without sounding horrified, or making some kind of derogatory statement about their penis or masturbatory ability. The put-down route is much more fun, but i’m not so good at quick come-backs in those situations.

      • karen

        BUT that’s only if you’re, y’know, in a safe enough place. OBVIOUSLY i wouldn’t start confronting someone if i wasn’t certain of our safety. (I’m not trying to say you should have done anything different!)

  67. Michelle

    OH Mir, i have been reading your blog for a long time and today is the day that I have to write you!

    OMG, I am reading this at the end of a work day and I must say I gasped loudly and my eyes popped open. I am definitely awake now.

    Gosh, normal and boring is good right..thank you so much for always being honest and i love your blog.

  68. Brigitte

    Ah, the old Chinese curse, “may you live in interesting times”, strikes again!
    Here’s to being bored, instead!

  69. Laura

    As the mother of a twenty-year-old manboy, all I can think is “Oh my God, his poor mother.” My kid is still a challenge, and will be until the two spheres of his brain fuse together and pull down out of his ass, but this? I am going to have a bumper sticker made that says “At least my kid is not a public fapper.” That will rival all those “My kid is an honor student at whatever school”, or “Higher education student’s mom” stickers that all the other moms have. My kid is not a public fapper, and it is going to be a golden day!

  70. Korinthia Klein

    I would like to think I would have been able to confront the guy, because shifting the power element might have ruined it for him, but I probably would have been too uncomfortable to know what to do either. (Oh, and Eeeewwwwwwww.)

  71. Bryn

    Ok, I now need yet another replacement keyboard……. and thanks for having the courage to write this one up.

    But seriously, and bearing in mind my male POV, why is the consensus here apparently a mixture of giggles/EEEWWW/frozen in embarrassment or fear?
    Maybe I keep company with a different class of lady, but most of the mothers I know among our family,friends & neighbours would have left Mr.Fappy in need of emergency surgery if he had tried that one on in front of their children. Many years ago I witnessed one mothers reaction to seeing her daughter (15yo) have her bottom pinched in a department store – the pincher never saw the chair that broke apart on impact with his head…… no police prosecution, mother defending her child…

    Mentally ill or not, it’s only fun for these deviants for as long as they are allowed to get away with it. I know it’s hard to be alert & ready at all times, but even if you choose not to carry mace spray or a gun it’s worth attending a self-defence situational awareness course, so that you can identify threats in time to avoid being frozen by shock.

    I will not actively encourage you all to be armed at all times – it is your privilege to choose. I will say that I am very envious that you still have the right to choose – our politicians stole that right from us in Britain many years ago.

    Best wishes to you all,
    Bryn (a Grumpy Old Welshman!)

    • Mir

      If he had been touching either of us or if he was actively exposing himself (while it was obvious what he was doing, he was covered) I absolutely would’ve done something to protect my child, Bryn. Given that we were not in danger and this guy was pretty big (and we are small, and the lady behind the desk is maybe 5′ tall) and I had no idea who was around back down the hallway (my daughter’s doc is also a fairly slight woman), I’m confused as to what you think I should’ve done…? I guess to my mind, any action had the potential to PUT us in danger, while the situation as it stood was uncomfortable but not dangerous.

      If someone is nuts enough to masturbate in front of people, engaging with them seems like a poor choice to me.

      • Bryn

        Hello Mir,
        I should have emphasised that I am not in any way trying to dictate how you should react – you alone must decide that in any given circumstance, with emphasis on your and Chickadee’s safety.

        My own culture/upbringing/background would have caused me (50yo/250lb male) to be grumpily in his face telling him to behave or face consequences. Some of the ladies in my family who’ve read this have said that they would at least have called him on his behaviour – but they do routinely carry pepper spray/mace when going out privately, and are used to dealing with ‘naughty’ people (1x nurse, 1x policewoman, 2x inner-city schoolteachers).
        It would be unreasonable to expect you to react in the way that they are trained & able to with years of experience – but I would still urge you towards self-defence & situational awareness classes.

        With respect,

  72. Jessica

    Oh my gosh, so so gross, I don’t know if I could have stayed seating there but I probably would have been like you and too freaked out to move.

  73. Lexi sweatpants

    “Waiting room fapper” bahajahahahaaaaaa. Another damn reminder I need to do my kegels. I totally lizzed.

  74. Kim at Let Me Start By Saying

    This so tickled me, but not in a way that would persuade me to tickle myself that way in a public waiting room.

  75. RuthWells

    I am sitting in the Undergraduate Admissions office at Yale waiting for my kid to finish participating in a students-only forum, and I now feel distinctly dirty. NSFY, or any of the Ivy League, I’m thinking!

  76. Ashley @ It's Fitting

    I am also giggling like a toddler. That’s awesome stuff. And absolutely gross and shower-inducing, but AWESOME.

  77. Zoe

    Umm, he should be reported to the police, not his therapist. Masturbating in front of a young girl? What would he have done to a girl he caught alone?

    • Bryn

      I have to second this comment. Was he reported to police, or did “patient confidentiality” take precedence? Did you get any feedback from the clinic admin?

      For comparison : in the UK, patient confidentiality is sacrosanct until a child is believed to be at risk, then the kid gloves come off – the Doctor/other health care person has a legal duty to report to police, with a carbon copy to local Childrens Social Services.

  78. anonymous

    Uck. This story compels me to share my high school horror story. We had a kid in class who was, apparently, incredibly turned on by biology class. and history. and english. (obviously he was disturbed and got off on public displays). He would masturbate openly (not in his pants, or covered by anything but his hand) daily in every class, and especially when he was sitting next to one of my friends in our assigned seats in biology. and either the teachers (all women) couldn’t see it (unlikely) or were too uncomfortable to say anything, it went on for months and months before a different friend and I went to the principal (after an especially horrifying incident in which he was doing a team project with the one girl, and he stood behind her, with his erect penis hanging over her shoulder. Uggghhhhhhhh…)

    We thought the principal had already been informed, so we stormed out of class to tell her she had to do something MORE, but she had no idea. She immediately pulled him from class (after detouring to get a male guidance counselor) and I seem to remember he constrained himself to the boys bathroom after that, but I know it got better.

    Anyway, still scarred over this, clearly.

  79. elz

    So much to say. A guy died in their office? I mean, statistically and all, but still…
    I reiterate my tweet from the other night-EW, YUCK, Ugh.

  80. js

    Thank God he’s already IN therapy! Add this to the list of uncomfortable but necessary conversations to have with my ten year old. Ick. Also, I had to

    • js

      I prematurely hit the submit comment…I was laughing too hard! I had to look up fapper.

  81. Andrea

    I don’t want to sit on any reception area chairs ever again.

  82. Frank

    FAPPER??? I thought, and was SURE, that I had heard all of the euphamisms (except for the ones where you have to give a ‘if you know what I mean’ ‘nudge nudge’ to get the listener’s mind into the gutter), Hilarious! Glad you could turn it into a laughable experience… cant imagine what lay on the other side of the spectrum…

  83. Jen

    I think you and Chickie needed that laugh. :) Hooboy…

  84. Flesher

    My advice? Whenever you find yourself in a situation like that – immediately point and laugh.

  85. KayGM

    Pretty entertaining story! Gross, but entertaining… :)

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