Brian Armitage stepped out into the cold and muffled a cough with his fist. He told himself nothing was wrong, as he picked his way down the narrow concrete path, determined not to let the ice take his legs from under him in the darkness. When the door clicked shut behind him, he knew he should have turned and waved, but foremost in Brian’s mind was the need to urinate.
“Never use the bathroom,” was what Shrewsbury had told them, paraphrasing the manual. “That puts you at a disadvantage. It gives ‘em time to talk. Also, you’ll feel indebted: especially if you splash the carpet. You don’t want to feel indebted: it’s not conducive to business. You don’t want to give ‘em an edge.
"You can take a cup of tea, of course, that’s just being polite; and a biscuit’s OK, but never take the last one. Many a deal’s been lost over the last custard cream -- folks are funny like that.”
Shrewsbury wasn’t funny -- Shrewsbury was a prick. And Brian’s bathroom avoidance was less to do with sales tactics than it was a shy bladder: the thought that they might be out there listening to him pee would wrap itself constrictor-like around his urethra and make relief impossible.
Circling around his car, Armitage unzipped, and began urinating on the conveniently located rose bushes lining the driveway. His stream hissed as it vaporized in contact with the ice. He sighed with satisfaction, having emptied his bladder without soiling his clothing.
Armitage then returned to the front door, knocked twice -- Shrewsbury's recommended number for an immediate and expected return to a client's home (one knock possibly being interpreted as a clanging pipe and three as aggressive overkill) -- and said, upon being greeted, "Much better. Now...where were we?"
Opening: ril.....Continuation: Evil Editor