Saturday, September 5, 2009
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE RESTROOM KIND
Ah, life, why must you taunt us so with your endless mysteries?
How many of us have not marveled in awe at the wonder that is Stonehenge, the inscrutable Dead Sea Scrolls, the perplexing and annoying three-legged chickens of Pacoima?
Since I have written several extensive volumes on these enigmas in my prize-winning tome, “Great Mysteries of the World: What Up With That?” I will now direct my attention to perhaps the greatest puzzle that has taunted mankind since time began:
Why can’t I find a decent faculty restroom on a public school campus?
Sure, on occasion I strike it lucky with the first restroom I visit. But with God as my witness (and I know He is watching this unfold closely), I often have to enter four or more faculty restrooms before I find one that is acceptable.
I know what you’re thinking, and no, I am not being fussy or particular. I’m just looking for a decent facility so I can drop the kids off at the pool as quickly and safely as possible.
Here’s what happened just the other day as I hunted for a restroom, and trust me, this was not unusual. (Keep in mind that each faculty restroom has only one stall.)
• First Restroom: Sign posted on front door saying “Out of Order.”
• Second Encounter: No sign on door. OK so far, and I open the door as if I’m in a horror movie and anything could appear on the other side. No go: the toilet is clogged up with a bouillabaisse of bowel movements.
•Third: OK, a couple of dead cockroaches, but no live ones and no spiders that may want to pitch a tent in my tuches. But then, alas, no toilet paper. On to the next one.
(Now keep in mind that on a large high school campus, these restrooms are miles apart from each other, so I am clenching my buns and trotting from one corner of the campus to the other, waiting for my sweet release like Rush Limbaugh waiting for his maid to bring his oxycontin or Michael Jackson begging for his injection of propofyl.)
• Fourth Try: All right! This is a newer facility. Even has air-conditioning, instead of a pipe that leads outside directly in front of someone’s leaf blower. As I do my business, I’m feeling like Donald Trump depositing gold bars in one of my tacky hotels. All is well, time to wash my hands, but then: no water from the faucet.
• Fifth Visit: Back to the doody-filled bathroom mentioned in the Second Encounter, where a trickle of water allows me to wash my hands. Finally, mission accomplished, this time with no casualties.
In the past, there have been variations on this quest—no soap, no paper towels, no toilet seat covers—you get the idea. And as far as hot water goes, that’s harder to find than a convincing performance by Jessica Alba.
So, the next time you feel self-conscious when using the facilities at your own place of work, just remember, it could be worse. You could be back at high school.