Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Enroute to my Texas-based in-laws the other day, we made one of several pit stops. The routine is pretty straightforward: Pull in to a fast-food joint, locate the restrooms, pee and leave. Sometimes we will purchase a cup of coffee or two, depending on how desperate we are for caffeine and/or Bladder Refillage.

Thus it was that we found ourselves in Shreveport, Louisiana at a McDonald’s hard by I-20. The girls headed off to the Ladies’ Room, I to the Men’s.

I took care of business (in Texan, I “took care of bidnis”), promptly Draining the Lizard, AKA Seeing a Man About a Horse, AKA Emptying the Monster, in the sole available urinal, the other having been draped with polyethylene sheeting in lieu of an “Out Of Order” sign. As I was bellied up to said urinal, two young boys - brothers, by the look of ’em - came in. Seeing that the only functional urinal was occupied, they both went into the stall.

Restroom maintenance at this particular Mickey D’s must not have been up to the usual corporate standard... either that, or someone must have recently taken a wet, messy dump, getting Management Brains (tip o’ th’ Elisson fedora to LeeAnn for that gem) all over the place. The boys’ voices could be heard clearly through the partition: “Ewwwww!” “This place is gross!” But whatever horror awaited them in there, it didn’t disturb them enough to keep them from accomplishing their Pission Mission.

Meanwhile, per my usual procedure, I had washed my hands and was in the process of drying them off with the thoughtfully-provided Hot Air Blower - no paper hand towels being available - when the two little dudes, having finished whatever it was they had come in there to do, made a beeline for the exit. There had been some mumbled discussion about whether they should wash their hands, and Big Brother (all of seven years old, by my estimate) had decided to forgo that important procedure.

Not on my watch.

I uncorked the Voice of Gawd and nailed ’em with it: “Hey! Wash your hands!”

These little guys were not about to argue with the Strange Man in Dark Glasses. They whipped about in a sharp U-turn and headed straight to the sink.

[No need to thank me. It’s what I do.]

And, hey, is it something about Shreveport? Years ago, when SWMBO’s kid brother Morris William lived there, we went to the movies... and during a bathroom break, I could not help but notice that maybe three-quarters of the guys using the facilities walked right out the door after Attending to Business. (All types of Business, if you get my drift.) Is it a cultural thing? Or have these people been raised by wolves? (No offense meant to the wolves.)


Jerry in Texas said...

Thank you for correcting those bathroom urchins.

Bou said...

We're all over the washing of the hands. Bones finally said to me a couple months ago, 'Mom, you can quit asking me if I washed my hands. I'm 11. I do it EVERY time.' Thank God.

I remember when my eldest was 3, we were out in public. My youngest was in a carrier and since I was primary caregiver, my husband was left taking the eldest to the restroom. It was dark and there was a man using the urinal, something my son had never seen (a urinal). He'd never been in a men's restroom. Big as day he yelled at his Dad, like only a 3 year old with no volume can do, "Dad! Why is that man peeing in a sink?!" I thought it was funny. My husband was mortified...

DogsDontPurr said...

In all my years of driving for a living, and stopping at probably every single rest stop between Los Angeles and Seattle, I have experienced many a disgusting ladies room. I have also noticed that very few people wash their hands. (I have though seen, on more than one occasion, someone washing their hair in a gnarly rest stop sink. Ewww!)

So, I figure, washing my hands in the restroom is probably wasted when I touch the door handle on the way out. (Who knows what kind of ick is on that door handle!) Usually, I will grab a paper towel to open the door, then use my own hand sanitizer outside.

So, I am one of the guilty ones not washing my hands....but for sanitary reasons! Thank gawd for hand sanitizer!

Randy Rager said...

Maybe they've been trained not to pee on their hands.

Elisson said...

@Randy - I'm sure you've heard this old chestnut:

A Harvard man and a Yale man are standing side by side in the restroom at the bank of urinals. Harvard man finishes and heads for the door. The Eli calls out after him, "At Yale, they teach us to wash our hands after we urinate!" The Harvard guy shoots back,"At Harvard, they teach us not to piss on our hands!"

(I love that joke... 'cause I went to Princeton.)

Anonymous said...

My Sainted Mother told me at an early age when I asked her what was up with those who didn't wash their hands after availing themselves of the necessary, told me that they'd apparently been raised by sealing them in a hogshead at birth, fed through the bunghole and turned loose at age 21 to fend for themselves in the world. I was instructed to pray for, but keep clear of them.

Please don't saddle wolves with the blame, wolves are clean animals and care lovingly for their young, teaching them the habits of cleanliness from birth.

Gerry N.

Fiona Kathleen Hogan said...

I'd love to hear the Voice of Gawd one day lol. Hilarious story! But a good one!