HELL OF PUBLIC RESTROOMS
When I was
in first grade, we had a small bathroom next to the closet. It was
nothing fancy, just a sink and a toilet, but it got the job done. A
reversible sign on the door had a red
a green GO
to let you know whether or not someone was
inside. Of course, our high society humor would call for switching the
sign to GO while someone was inside, and let the hilarity ensue. One day,
the teacher tapped me on the shoulder and started yelling at me for peeing
on the toilet seat and floor. I hadn't even used the bathroom yet that
day, so the sloppy pisser had to have been someone else. But arguing with
her was next to impossible, so I had to spend my entire recess wiping the
floor with bits of toilet paper, while the other kids teased me.
Needless to say, I've had a thing about public restrooms ever since. I'm
not one of those guys like that character in AMERICAN PIE who had to hold
it until he went home, but I've certainly had my share of bathroom
hang-ups. For the most part, urinating in school bathrooms was a pretty
quick and uneventful experience. You could walk up to the urinal of
choice, unzip just a bit, and go on about your business with minimal
interaction. But sometimes, things didn't go so easily.
uninitiated women that never got to venture inside a boy's bathroom, you
haven't experienced the wonder of a wall of urinals. Sometimes as many as
eight or more in a row against the wall would hang there, just waiting to
receive their piss offerings. Choosing the right urinal said a lot about
you. In fact there were rhymes we used to help us figure out exactly
which one we wanted to pee in. One of the most common would have you
start naming them off from the left, "COFFEE, TEA, MILKSHAKE, PEE" in a
sort of piss-scented "EENIE, MEANIE, MINIE, MOE". Supposedly whatever
urinal you chose was what you liked to drink. Lord help the poor kid with
a full bladder that didn't check in advance and haphazardly chose the
"PEE" urinal. "Ha! Ha! YOU LIKE DRINKING PEEEEEEEEEEEE!", was a tough
insult to live down. Most of the kids "in the know" would choose
milkshake or coffee, if they had their druthers.
Another variation on the theme was to count off, "KING, QUEEN, BOOGER,
MACHINE!" This was particularly handy if you accidentally chose the "PEE"
urinal from the first rhyme, and could correct your taunting party, "No
no...I'm using MACHINE!" For obvious reasons, the "BOOGER" and "QUEEN"
urinals were the ones to avoid, but as some of the more sexually aware 5th
and 6th graders would point out, if you chose "QUEEN" it was like you were
putting your dick inside of a hot babe!
The real trauma of school bathrooms was when you had to take a shit. Y ou
might as well have shit your pants in class for all the grief you'd get if
someone walked in on you. Now, I've sneaked into many a girls bathroom in
my day (OK...last month) and I've never understood why the stalls in the
girls' rooms had doors on them, but for some reason they were removed from
the boys'. What evil activities did the administration think were taking
place in them?
Once in 2nd grade, I made the mistake of taking a shit in a stall that not
only had no door, but no toilet paper either. I was stranded there for
about 15 minutes before I convinced some poor kid to grab me some from
another stall. When you need to do the famous "squat walk" at home to
grab a new roll, it's OK, but nobody would ever dare getting caught
performing it in public. He held his nose for dramatic effect, and
practically threw it at me, as if I was some homeless man asking him to
wipe my ass.
When I was
in 3rd grade, bathrooms may have been horrifying to use, but they were
actually cool to hang out in. I mean if they were good enough for Fonzie
to use as his office, it was OK for us kids, right? Every once in a
while, some kids would take part in the bizarre ritual called "CRISS CROSS
PEE" or "CROSSING SWORDS". While Star Wars was popular, you'd even have
weirdos pretending to be Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader with their
lightsabre urine streams. There was even a spell where some kids would try
to pee on your shoe. Suddenly peeing in the stalls instead of the urinals
seemed like a much safer idea.
There were any number of pranks to pull off in the bathrooms, and nearly
all of them involved using wet paper towels. You could wad up a stack,
get them wet, then throw them to the tiled floor and make a pretty large
smack. Sinks were pretty easy to clog up and overflow with them as well,
which surely prompted the invention of faucets that turn themselves off.
Of course the greatest bathroom thrill as a boy was to pee on the "OUT OF
ORDER DO NOT USE" sign that was occasionally taped on a urinal.
I went to in Norfolk, Virginia had retarded kids schooled in the same
building as us. They had their own special classes, but ate lunch in the
same cafeteria, and of course used the same bathroom. These unfortuntae
kids were always getting made fun of in some kind of way. I remember
going into the bathroom and seeing this little bully tell a retarded kid
about twice his size to hold out his hand so he could smack it. The poor
guy was letting him do it over and over again while he cried. I helped a
nice guy out when I came upon him in tears, holding the large carved
wooden key that they used for a bathroom pass, cracked in half. I told
him that the break was pretty clean and if he just laid it down fit
together on the teacher's desk when he got back to class, someone else
might think they broke it. When I ran into the guy later in the
week, he thanked me as if I gave him the secret of life.
As I got older and more self conscious in High School, my big fear was
pissing next to people. I'd really have to relax and meditate for a good
minute before I could let it out. But it took perfect concentration. I
had several times where I'd be ready to pee, and someone would come up
next to me, preventing me from finishing. I'd stand there and pretend to
pee for about a minute, and then flush it really quick, so nobody would
think I was a psycho who just liked to stand there. Since I drink more
heavily as an adult, I've not found it to be much of a problem anymore.
Though every now and then, even at work, some guy walks in the bathroom
with me, and chooses to pee in a stall behind a closed door.
bathrooms at the workplace is an entirely different phenomenon. Where I
work, it's actually pretty well accepted to bring reading material into
the john. Everything from The Sports Page of the newspaper, to interesting
stories printed off the internet are handily tucked above the toilet paper
rack for folks to read. Some people are pretty uptight about it being
unsanitary, but it never bothered me. In fact, unless I've actually got a
hunk of crap on my finger, I never even wash my hands, unless someone else
sees me in there, to keep up appearances. You don't want to be known as
"that guy who doesn't wash" when it's time for company potlucks.
The big terror of workplace bathrooms is being identified as the guy who
took a monster size noisy smelly shit. If your shoes look anonymous enough
under the stall, and nobody saw you walk in, you're usually safe. But
lord help you if someone sees you walk out after gassing up the place with
a deathly fecal fog.
bugs me when people talk to me while I'm sitting on the toilet. I don't
know why but it really creeps the hell out of me. Not too long ago, I was
taking a shit, and didn't realize there was a guy sitting in the next
stall over. He shouted, "Hey man, I'm right here with ya!" This was kind
of freaky, as I didn't recognize the voice, and was truly weirded out by
his attempt at bathroom camaraderie. I remained silent, and slightly
scared as he added, "Yep...it's a helluva day!". Not knowing what to even
say, I remained quiet as he went on and on about other nonsensical things,
until I finally figured out that the dude was actually talking on his cell
phone why he was taking a dump!
I mean, it's bad enough seeing people walking around stores and driving
with cell phones, but who the hell calls up their friends while they're
taking a shit, at work? At this point, the evil side of me emerged, and I
groaned loudly like I just passed an elephant through my sphincter and
flushed the toilet 3 times in a row, just to make sure that whoever this
guy was talking to, would realize where the call was really coming from.
And then there's the utter pandemonium of the men's room at a big concert
or sporting event, where you've got the new pitfall of puke covered
toilets to avoid. In addition, brave women, sickened by the impossibly
long and slow lines in their bathroom are in there with you! And forget
about washing your hands in those sinks, there's about as much piss in
those as the urinals.
Of course, once you're married and have kids, any shred of bathroom
decency goes out the door. In fact, it's as if there's no door at all.
You know you've got the right woman when she can walk in and brush her
teeth while you're taking a crap, and not blink an eye.
quit talking to me, I'm trying to pee.