Thoughts from the Publisher | July 28

Last week, Steve and I had the opportunity to take two of our young neighbor boys to see “Marvel Universe Live! Age of Heroes” at the Honda Center. Although my male companions were quite excited about the event, I was just sure that I would be bored to tears. I was wrong. It was a marvelously creative show complete with starring roles for such well known super heroes as Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Panther, Hulk and Black Widow. I loved the amazing special effects, live-action acrobatics, aerial stunts and constantly changing video-projected backdrops.

As would be expected, during intermission, accompanied by Steve, my two young friends took their leave for a short while to “powder their noses.” Fortunately, I didn’t need to visit the bathroom, and, boy, was I grateful. Although the males of our species are equipped with plumbing that allows them to take care of business in a flash, we ladies are not as lucky. With our less than practical anatomy, our visits to public latrines almost always leads to long lines that do not lend themselves to accommodating our needs to quickly get the job done.

While waiting for the boys to return to their seats– a short wait– I remembered a bathroom-related column that I wrote back in 2007 that included a very funny essay sent to me by a gal pal trying to brighten my day. That she did. I was able to find the file of that original column and have included it below. Enjoy!

As a woman, when you need to visit a public bathroom, you resign yourself to the long line ahead. Once it’s your turn, you wait for a stall door to open, then rush in, practically knocking down the woman exiting the small enclosure. You enter and discover the door won’t latch. It makes no difference; the wait has been so long, you can’t worry about such trivial matters.

The dispenser for the seat covers is empty. No time to worry about that, either.

You go to hang your purse on the door hook that isn’t there – knowing the floor is a no-no, you quickly drape it around your neck, yank down your pants and assume “the stance.”

To take your mind off your vulnerable position– and to move the situation along– you reach for what turns out to be the inevitably empty toilet paper dispenser. A-ha! You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday– the one that’s still in your purse– around your neck.

Just about that time, a lady in need pushes the door open because, after all, the latch doesn’t work. The door hits your head, hurling your purse into your chest, and you topple backwards against the tank of the toilet. You scream, “Someone’s in here!” While reaching for the door, you drop your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether and slide down directly onto the un-gasketed toilet seat. It is wet, of course. You bolt up, even though you know 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. You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you’re certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, “Frankly, dear, you just don’t know what kind of diseases you could get.”

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 against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab on to the empty toilet-paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.
At this point, you give up. 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 finally manage to figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors and wash your hands, only to find that the paper-towel dispenser is empty.
You dry your hands on the back of your pants and walk past the line of women still waiting. You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out 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 into the woman’s hand and tell her warmly, “Here, you just might need this.”

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men’s restroom. Annoyed, he asks,“What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?”

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with public restrooms. (Rest? You’ve got to be kidding!) It finally explains to the men in our lives what really does take us so long in there. It also answers their other commonly asked question about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It’s so the other gal can hold the door, hang on to your purse and hand you Kleenex under the door!

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