Monday, July 10, 2006

Don't Get Me Started

I told Sar of Belle of the Brawl not to get me started on public restrooms, but she did anyway. Why the hell do they call them REST rooms? They aren't restful at all!

You know when you have to visit a public women's restroom, you usually find a line of ladies, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, and you actually get inside the darn door to the place, you check for feet under the stall doors. Yep. Every stall is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get in to find the door won't latch. WTF? It doesn't matter. You gotta go.

The dispenser for the modern "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mama,no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there were one, but there isn't - so you carefully but quickly drape it around your darn neck, (My Mama would turn over in her grave if I put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants, and assume "The Stance." If you're female, you know the drill.

In this position our aging, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance."

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mama's voice saying, "Well, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!" Your thighs shake more. That Mama. The older I get, the smarter my Mama seems.

You remember the tiny Kleenex that you blew your nose on yesterday -the one that's still in your purse. That will have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It is still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes open your stall door because the latch doesn't work. Someone whose Mama didn't teach them to check for feet under the door. Those unfit Mamas. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet. "Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping that precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down plop onto the dreaded TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course. Those other women!

You shoot straight up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.

Mama would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, I'm positive, absolutely certain, that her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, "You can catch all kinds of horrible, ugly, disgusting diseases from a public toilet." (Mama always screwed up her face real good when she said this.)

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose that somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too. At that point, you give up. What's the point of pretending?

You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks. You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, or probably they're broken, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel, if there are any towels. Which there probably aren't. Sometimes there's a drinking fountain outside that you can wet your hands on.

As you leave the facility, a kind soul at the end of the line waiting to use the bathroom tells you that you have a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??)

You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it the woman's hand and tell her sweetly, "Here, you just might need this." No one tells you that you purse looks nice hanging around your neck like that but finally you notice it as you're walking around feeling dirty.

See guys? This is why women go to the bathroom in pairs.

It's so you have a friend to hold the damn door that won't lock, hang onto your purse, and hand you Kleenex under the door.

54 comments:

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Ah, Lucy, I hope this only happened to you ONCE.

Terrific story, kid. And so it goes.

actonbell said...

Aaaaaaah. Yep, great rendition of a terrible, awful, no-good public toilet day.

Mindless Dribbler said...

lol...damn, all that work ya'll females go through.

Makes me glad in a lot of ways :)

Tom & Icy said...

I always wondered why human women went there in pairs. Now I know. Thanks. I'll stick with the backyard as long as I don't grab poison ivy leaves to wipe. Oh heck. Woof!

The Lazy Iguana said...

I am SO GLAD I can just use the dumpster behind the place I am at.

But if you have to use the men's room - it is not any better. There is hair EVERYWHERE. It is in the sink. It is on the floor. It is stuck in the celing tiles. How it gets up there is a mystery, but it is there.

And if you are at a bar, the floor IS wet. You try to ignore that. But you know what it is - recycled beer.

KristieD said...

i think every woman has at some point experienced something similar in her life regarding the public restrooms. i laughed so hard reading this!! too funny.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

LOL, LOL, LOL...PEFECT! This is the BEST "treatise" on the Public Rest Room Syndrome I have ever read! BRILLIANT, my dear!

AP3 said...

Ah, yes. Now I remember why I learned long ago to hold it for 8 hours until I get HOME.

Doug said...

See, and I always thought it was to defend against sharks.

Sar said...

BRAVO, TLP!!!

I laughed all the way through reading this. And it reminded me of the one stall my little one and I were in on our recent trip. It had no latch and I was tricked into forgotting when I managed to just get the door to stay shut. I was rudely reminded though. See I always squat in front of my little one and lean back against the door when she goes. Yeah, the door fell open, and I'm pretty sure I saw signs giving me a 9.5 on the landing. My little one thought it was the funniest thing I've ever done. And in fact it may have been.

Anonymous said...
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Joel said...

That was a great story...still laughing!

Peter said...

Great post on a very serious (but VERY funny) situation Lucy.

neva said...

TLP: so you saw me that day?


too too too funny... and too too too familiar. sigh. if not for public restrooms, i'd have thought "penis envy" was a figment of Freud's imagination. xoxo

Minka said...

That was hilarious!!!
And above all true...
Together we can out-smart public bathrooms :)

Christine said...

Teaching a little girl to use a public restroom is also quite the challenge. Of course, she is too short for the "stance" so we have to wipe the seat with a wet one, cover with 14 layers of paper, be LIFTED up on said paper having it fall into the bowl and quickly proceed to start over. Grrrr. I can't wait until she is taller. And don't get me STARTED on reaching the soap dispenser or hand dryer.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

I see that all you women understand (and have had this happen to you) and the guys can't truly get it. Having that "handle" really is a bonus in the restroom.

ariel said...

so true words, TLP! I'd have laughed my ass off wasn't I shocked with memories. the worst might have been when I forgot to lift the cover before, and left a puddle on and around it... can anything worse happen to a prude and pedantic 9 year old?

Jamie Dawn said...

There's so much truth in this funny post!
I call all toilets that are not my own, foreign toilets.
I hate foreign toilets. There is no rest to be had on a foreign toilet. I keep several tissue packs in my back pack purse thingy, as well as anti-bacterial hand wipes.
My mamma is very proud! :)

Jamie Dawn said...

TLP, even with all the troubles you mentioned, I wouldn't want a "handle."
As Elaine on Seinfeld said, "I don't know HOW you guys manage with those things!"

Paul said...

You're a hoot, Pez! After all these years I finally know why women go in pairs.

lime said...

dangit lucy.....now they know the real reason and we can no longer use the 'going off in pairs to discuss dastardly ways to coerce them into our will' theory that strikes fear in their hearts. how can one hope to cause abject terror when the object now has a mental image of us with wet butts and purses as necklaces?

lol, good one. so true

mireille said...

I believe in Aral's method. I don't care if I have to take drugs, I'll do anything to keep from having to use a public restroom. And I'd rather die than use that wildlife variation, the dreaded Porta-a-Potty (TM). You can see how this makes distance traveling a problem. xoxo

still life said...

Yay! From start to finish, you nailed it!

Remember when you were little and your Mom would hold you, kind of dangle you over public toilets? ;)

kenju said...

Lucy, someone sent this to me in email. I had NO idea you wrote it! LOL

Bela said...

Hilarious and so true! We don't have seat covers in this country: we don't care about germs (our hospitals are proofs of that, LOL!). And we usually stand in line very quietly and for a very long time in front of vacant stalls because we are too polite to check for feet and/or try the doors.

Fred said...

Brilliant post, TLP. It made my day. I've alwyas had a thing about names.

No such thing as a restroom in Europe - they either just call it the toilet, or a WC (Water Closet). Maybe we chould adopt their logic?

How about CR? (Comfort Room) If you go to parts of Asia, you can pee in one of those. But, based on your post, that name wouldn't work.

Or, how about when restaurants get cute with the names, and you have no idea whether it's a men's or women's toilet? Of course, making believe you're on the pay phone while you wait is a good trick. That way, you can see someone come out to make sure you're going in the right door.

I guess I could go on, too...

Savtadotty said...

You had me laughing so hard I almost had to go to a rest room. Luckily I am babysitting for my granddaughter, so if they've run out of toilet paper I can use diaper wipes.

Rachel said...

ROFL!!! Oh, how funny and I could just picture it as you told it. Ain't it the truth though! I hate going to those bathrooms and the things are so darn small that it's hard to get the door closed sometimes. I have never figured out how real heavy people manage it, but maybe they use the handicapped one. I always check for paper first!! Gee, I never thought about hanging my purse around my neck. I hate it when there is no hook and, like you said, that's usually the case.

Thanks for the laugh!

G said...

Okay, that just may have saved my day - the laughter. I sat laughing at my desk (ever so silently yet heartily chuckling with a hand over my mouth). I tell you what - that handles the ab exercises for the day.

I have taught my daughter the old feather the nest routine until she is tall enough (may be time) to teach her "the stance". That was good fun.

partyrunner said...

i was at work and i was HYSTERICAL reading this. couldn't stay quiet to save my life (or prove i was working). you should write a book. i'm not kidding. fill it with chapters on the obstacles of life and life in general as being a senior. you're so funny and clearly a gifted writer!

Logophile said...

Wanna know my secret?
Wait till the doorway is clear and sneak in the men's room. There is always plenty of paper, seat covers, and the doors latch. And if you time it well no one will ever know!

Pavel said...

My goodness. Lesson learned: never take going to the bathroom for granted, guys!

Saur♥Kraut said...

OH yeah. True dat. These places need to be renamed. I vote "Nastyroom".

Keith said...

Brilliant piece of journalism, but all that just COULDN'T have happened.....could it?

Libby said...

Bravo, TLP!! it's 3:20 am, and i sat here and read this, and laughed so hard (quietly, of course!) that i don't think my stomach muscles will ever stop hurting!!

Jemima said...

Absolutely true. Horrible!

Jon Cox said...

VERY TRUE & WELL SAID!

natasha said...

Wow. What a fantastic story to come back to!!

I missed you! Thought you said you stopped writing?

ariel said...

Logo, American men must know something. here, whenever I accidently walk in a men's restroom, there's even more mess than in woman's. yick.

Urban Chick said...

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

edina monsoon said...

Goodness. You've just written what every woman has gone through at some stage of your lives. It's uncanny...reading it on line. Thanks for describing it so the men know us womenfolk have a legit reason for going to the loo in pairs. Thank YOU.

cassie-b said...

That was a perfectly told story of the average trip to the public "rest rooms" of this country.

Thanks so much for the laugh.
Cas
nice to meet you.

Anonymous said...

Very, very funny!

Congrats on your award :-)

Anonymous said...

Oops above was me:

http://www.lisabindacity.com

Raggedy said...

Congrats on the award! Funny Stuff!

CrackerLilo said...

Came here from Hoss'--BWAHAHAHAHA!!! You deserved recognition, after all that!!!

All too real and true.

I put my purse on the floor *once*. In Queens, so I guess I deserved it when the hand went under to snatch it. I stepped on her hand. My beloved agreed I got her better than the cops would have!

Mamacita said...

I think you nailed this experience perfectly. Yup, can't think of a thing to add. Hilarious!!

RLGelber said...

Sooooooooo true! I've never hung my purse around my neck though (mental note made.)

Lillie said...

LOL! So damn true!

Anonymous said...

Try an asian style crouch toilet which is on the floor, where you stand astride, and there is no toilet paper, but a bucket with a cup and water to rinse yourself, while the whole room is moving because it is on a bumpy train in India! Then you will appreciate any western toilet, and always have kleenex in yoiur purse from there on!

Klondike Kate said...

ROTFL TLP! This will teach me to get busy and neglect my blog reading! I really could have used this laugh earlier in the month!! =-)

karla said...

While this is a sad, hilarious, and horrifying story indeed, I did come away having learned one valuable lesson: I never thought of hanging my purse around my neck. I would have set it on the towering pile of germs on the floor. Thanks for the tip, Wet Butt!

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