October 21, 2002

I Don't Need Help During

I Don't Need Help During toilet Time

It's a funny thing about going to the bathroom. Ever since I solidified my expertise with the bowl, I haven't really sought out the assistance of others. Of all the hygiene activities I like to perform alone, going to the bathroom and washing up afterwards is top among them.

I've relieved myself in an assortment of venues, both clean and not so clean. Truck stop bathrooms are usually among the worst; battered enclaves with stall doors that look like they were attacked by ogres intent on depositing their last 15 meals in one, um, sitting. Seriously, why are the doors of so many men's room stalls so beat up? How bad does the average trucker have to shit that he has to, apparently, lower a shoulder and assault his way to defacatory release?

TRUCKER: Oh God, oh God, oh God!! For the love of all that's pure and holy, let me in this stall so I can dispose of the the $18 Taco Bell meal I ingested last night! Open damn you!! Open!! *punch* *kick* *shoulder* *head butt*

Well, anyway, my gripe this time is not with those bathrooms that look as though they suffered a direct cruise missile attack. Nay, my gripe this evening lies with those bathrooms that look as though they're used by royalty, bedecked with an atmosphere more suited to ballroom dancing than digestive expulsion.

Saturday night, after a lengthy, and I might add frustrating, search for an eating establishment in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, my girlfriend and I ended up at the Mall of America, that eating Mecca of the culinary world. Why did we go there? Because, we were forced there due to an insane traffic jam on our way to a nice place called the Red Stone. Now, the Mall of America is great if you want to people watch and peruse astronomically priced merchandise, but as far as eating goes, you'd be better off gnawing on an old boot. Your choices are usually deep fried things or batter fried things.

A little known fact about me: when I get seriously hungry, as in 24 hours since my last morsel, I tend to get surly. Melissa sensed my irritation, primarily because I cut off four cars and burned rubber at a stoplight on my way into the parking lot of the Mall of America. I then proceeded to hate everyone we walked past, because they looked full and content, whilst I sustained myself on only the acids my stomach produced.

Mel, desperate to alleviate my sour mood, steered me toward a place called Jillians, a bar/grill/arcade. It's also an annoying place to go if you're hungry. I was so irritable, I could only grunt. I think I actually felt my cranium protruding and desiring a bumpy club in my right hand with which to bludgeon game. I was that hungry.

We sat down and, despite a cacophony of noise, ordered chips and salsa and margaritas. I then made my way to the bathroom, fully expecting a nice, clean, non-intrusive bathroom-going experience. What I encountered was a haze of burning incense and a young man who thought he deserved a tip for spritzing hands with soap and handing out folded pieces of paper towel.

Don't ge me wrong. I've known since I was quite young that there are bathrooms in the world that sport such opulence. But, why in the world would you want one in a sports bar, in the Mall of America, in Minnesota (state motto: leave me alone, especially in the bathroom)?

So, I walk into the bathroom, absorb the aura of burning incense, acknowledge the gentleman awaiting a tip for doing nothing at the counter, and realize that I'm already too far into the experience to back out. There I was, in the bathroom. I couldn't just slink out and pretend I didn't know why I was in there. I had to tinkle. So I did.

But now, I had an audience. I couldn't just leave, not after holding onto my own wang as I urinated, without washing my hands. I'm usually diligent about washing my hands after a bathroom-going experience, but I don't usually have an expectant attendant eager to douse my hands in Dove for a tip. I didn't want his attention, but neither did I want to go back out with unwashed hands and eat chips and salsa with my girlfriend.

I went up to the sink counter, careful to select the sink furthest away from the attendant (maybe he's lazy, I thought). Unperturbed, he hustled over and asked me to extend my hands so he could slather them with soap. I accepted. Then, he hurried over with a mat of folded paper towel, and I dried my hands with it. As I dabbed my hands, I noticed a wicker basket of cash, consisting of $1s, $5s, $10s and, yes, $20s. Oh, puh-lease! If I had known I was going to be sent on a guilt trip, I would have packed more. So, I pulled out my wallet, made a gesture like I was going to fish out some cash, and opted simply put it back in my pocket. I then left, throwing the towel in the trash, my hands clean and dry.

So I'm ass. Sue me.

Posted by Ryan at October 21, 2002 12:19 AM
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