• Larkyn Simony

My Epic Bathroom Fail

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

My trip to the restroom was not restful

The story I am about to relate to you is true, I swear it. You may not believe me, but I promise it is. And it all started like this…

It was humid and sunny that late May afternoon. My family had just eaten dinner. All nestled in my dad's enormous white Chevy Suburban, we were on our way to a small outdoor venue for a concert. I don't remember what the show was, but I know it was an oldies concert. You know, where groups from the fifties and sixties reunite and go on tour, playing music your parents remember from their youth.

I think the concert was sixties psychedelic music. I cannot remember which bands played. You see, the night was indelibly seared into my memory not because of the unforgettable music, but because of what happened in the public restroom.

It was maybe a third of the way through the concert when the urge to go to the bathroom hit me. I know it can't have been too far into the show, because it was still light out. And it was stinkin' hot. It was the kind of hot where even your butt sweats, which is never a good thing. I made my way through the crowd to the women's restroom and discovered (surprise!) that there was a line.

Ladies, I ask you, has there ever been a women's public restroom without a line in all history of human civilization? I mean, I am sure that even cavewomen had to stand in line somewhere for 15 hours to pee in a little cave, while the cavemen just zoomed on by them, peeing in a bush or behind a tree. Then they went back out to hunt saber-toothed tigers or wooly mammoths as the women glared at them. Clearly, in matters of urination, men have the upper hand.

The public restroom was not very big. It contained maybe eight stalls, one of which was a vast handicapped-accessible stall with its own sink and hand dryer. Now, let's be honest. I think that, if given a choice of any stall in the bathroom, we would all choose the handicapped stall. First, there is a lot more room, allowing you to comfortably and freely move about. Second, there is so much more space to store your stuff! And if you, like me, have given up any pretense of carrying a proper purse because of your crafting addiction, and have just started carrying your knitting bag around everywhere with your wallet shoved in on one side; well, you appreciate the space even more!

Carrying my knitting bag everywhere may prove a problem if I ever go on a date again. Though, I suppose if I knitted under the table at dinner, my date might not even notice! Anyway, I always choose the handicapped stall in public bathrooms if it's available unless there is someone in there already.

So, that fateful night, when my turn in the bathroom line came, the available stall happened to be the handicapped stall. I smiled inwardly at my luck and hung my colossal bag on the hook on the back of the door. I wouldn't be peeing in a stall built for a fetus with my face stuck to the side of my bag! The excitement of this revelation alone would have made me pee myself, so it's a good thing I was in a bathroom!

Sometimes, you literally cannot move an inch in those smaller stalls, and death by way of knitting bag asphyxiation was not my idea of the best way to go. After my death, the authorities would seize the knitting bag, pending a complete investigation of circumstances. This would make it impossible for the yarn and knitted items inside to be immediately passed on to craft-loving relatives who would cherish them.

And, if I have to die in a public and very visible way, I want it to be because I was doing something awesome, like leaping across the Grand Canyon on the back of a winged Pegasus who has poor depth perception. Or, by trying to save an elderly lady from being hit by a car by throwing myself in front of her and shooting a force field out of my hand, only the force field fails because I haven't learned how to control my force field-making powers just yet. I surely don't want to die with my face adhered to the side of a Vera Bradley bag so large it could comfortably house a family of four.

I entered the handicapped stall and went about my business, admiring the clear, free space that surrounded me. I was also pleased by the way my large knitting bag looked like a tiny island in the middle of a clear-blue ocean as it hung on the back of the door. After about a minute, I heard a banging sound. It was a quiet banging at first, but then it became louder. I was almost done. It was almost time to wash my hands! I ignored the banging. It was probably just a kid kicking something outside the stall.

The banging grew more insistent and was suddenly accompanied by a deep voice—like James Earl Jones, only female. The voice bellowed, "Come out now! Don't you know there are people here who really need to go to the bathroom? You shouldn't even be in there! Come out!"

It took me a minute, but I realized the banging was coming from just outside my stall door, and the deep-voiced yeller was addressing me! I quickly finished up so I could see what was going on.

I tentatively poked my head out of the stall, like Punxsutawney Phil on February second. Outside my stall sat a haggard-looking woman with one broken leg. She was perched in a wheelchair and had one crutch outstretched to bang on the door. A little bit frightened, I tried to shimmy by her, but she wasn't going to let me leave so quickly.

"What were you doing in there!?" she shouted. "Don't you know there are real handicapped people out here who need to go to the bathroom!? You are so rude!" Mortified, and under the gaze of a dozen women who needed to pee, I slunk away.

Yes, I was actually using the handicapped bathroom stall when a woman in a wheelchair came in and needed to use it! What are the odds that at that exact moment, I would be in that stall? Probably about as good as the odds of Anthony Weiner not sending an inappropriate text message. I don't quite understand the woman's need to yell about it and bang on the door, though.

While I don't know her whole situation, it appeared she just had a broken leg, which, while painful and unfortunate, in my opinion, doesn't exactly qualify her as "handicapped people." A broken leg in a cast is usually temporary!

But, when you are in the middle of the public restroom at a packed outdoor concert venue, in front of a bladder-challenged audience, having a crutch waved in your face by a screaming woman with a baritone to rival the Big Bopper, it is not the time to quibble about semantics!

Well, folks, there's the true story of my epic bathroom fail. If you take nothing else away from reading this post, please remember that a little discomfort can save you from a much larger misery, like having an O.K. Corral-type showdown in the public lavatory. So, carry a small purse, and squeeze on into that tiny stall. Better safe than sorry.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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