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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Man Takes Advice From Design On Bathroom Tile Resembling Late Actor Peter Ustinov

Baltimore, MD- Bernard Avery, a 32 year old freelance writer of crossword puzzles, claims to have received expert advice on numerous matters from an unlikely source. He has made successful investments, avoided a potentially serious medical condition, and learned to speak fluent Russian, all with the help of a squiggly design on his bathroom tile. A design he claims speaks to him and resembles late actor Peter Ustinov.
Avery spends more time in his bathroom than any other room in his apartment, due to an addiction to flossing and a terrible case of irritable bowel syndrome. While the average person spends 25 minutes a day in their home bathroom, Avery tends to spend 7 ½ hours a day in his.
"I was sitting on the throne, like usual, reading the latest copy of O magazine, when this strange pattern on the floor tile caught my eye," said Avery.
"The shape looked oddly familiar, I couldn’t place it right away, but then I realized that it looked like actor Peter Ustinov. The Peter Ustinov from the movie Spartacus, with the curly hair and messy beard. I had been living in the apartment for 2 months and hadn’t noticed it before, but once I found it I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It’s not a dirt smudge or anything, it’s an actual pattern on the tile. I found myself alone late at night in the bathroom talking to the tile, asking it questions like, ’what type of wine do you drink with spaghetti squash?’ and ‘which emerging markets should I invest in?’ I was surprised that I was talking out loud to a spot on the floor tile, but I was even more surprised when the spot answered back."
Avery has developed a unique rapport with the tile, often times finishing each other’s sentences.
"I feel like I’ve known him forever, I can’t believe its been less than 6 months. You wouldn’t think so, but we have a lot in common. We share a love of Russian authors, South American wine and chamber music. He’s quite knowledgeable on a variety of subjects which has really helped my crossword puzzles," said Avery.
The bathroom tile Peter Ustinov has turned out to be very much like his human predecessor, holding court for hours on end on a variety of subjects. Avery is learning many things, but his social life and circulation are suffering from the nearly 1/3 of a day he spends in his bathroom, mostly sitting on the toilet.

"Admittedly, I don’t go out as often as I should. I barely went out before, but now it is rare for me to leave the bathroom, much less the apartment. Even when I’m in the kitchen, I yell things toward the bathroom to keep the conversation going. His voice doesn’t really carry past the bathroom door, so I miss a lot when I’m out of the room. I usually pretend that I hear him, because he doesn’t like to be ignored. I learned that lesson early on, he can become very irate."
The unusual companions, for the most part, seem to enjoy their time together. Avery eats all of his meals in the bathroom, and several times has slept right on the bathroom floor, falling asleep to one of Ustinov’s long winded tales, usually involving Tony Curtis, and what a jack-ass he was.
"He has not only enriched my life, but he actually saved my life once. One day when I was shaving, he said that my prostate looked enlarged from his vantage point. On his recommendation I went to a doctor, and guess what, he was right. The doctor was amazed, we caught it so early that it was almost a non issue. I owe Ustinov a debt of gratitude for probably saving my life. I never would have gone to the doctor on my own. He can be quite persuasive you know."
As for now, Bernard Avery is quite content to keep things the way they are, but there is talk that his rent stabilized apartment building may be torn down to make room for expensive professional condominiums.
"I guess I’ll worry about that when and if it happens. If it does, I will of course, very carefully, chip the tile out and take him with me. He won’t be happy to leave, he loves it here, but I couldn’t imagine my life without that darn tile at this point. As sad as this sounds, it’s my only friend." DD

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