I'm back to reading Randal Rauser's The Swedish Atheist, the Scuba Diver and Other Apologetic Rabbit Trails. Randal has been deeply involved in a philosophical/theological discussion at a college coffee shop with his new atheist acquaintance, Sheridan, who suddenly says,
"Listen, how about we take a commercial break here? I gotta take a whiz."
"You bet," I nod, relieved for a way out of the awkward moment. "It's hard to unpack the mysteries of the universe on a full bladder."
As Sheridan walks away, I look over to you. I can tell what you're thinking: isn't it a bit crass to include a bathroom break in a book like this? After all, Socrates never takes a bathroom break in Plato's dialogues. Why don't I treat my characters like bladderless talking heads?
"Verisimilitude," I whisper to you. "I'm trying to make this as lifelike as possible: In fact, Reader, in order to maximize realism, I think I'll take a quick bathroom break myself. I don't want to play the omnisicient narrator here, you know? I've got to be in the story to be credible." With that I stand up and walk over to the cash register to grab the remaining washroom key.
In case you were wondering, their discussion has been pretty interesting, too.