Periodically I drive from Austin to Wichita, Kansas to see family who live there. Most of the time it is a nice eight hour drive on interstate from start to end. I’ve made the trip enough times that I know the gas stations with the easy-off and easy-on routes in the refill range of my car and the stations with clean restrooms in the empty range of my bladder.
I really hate public restrooms. I’m a short guy; urinals are rarely at the correct height for me. I either have to stand on my tip-toes or go into a stall which is always risky.
One of the (usually) best restrooms is in a convenience store north of Ft. Worth. It is near the mid-point of the trip, so it is perfect stretching time. One nice thing is that it just has a restroom for one person at a time with the option of the urinal or toilet. A problem of it is that it is a busy place and there is frequently a line waiting for the restroom.
On my way up to Kansas on Saturday, I pushed myself to the very edge – partly because the traffic was going so fast and I didn’t figure the highway patrol would shut down the entire highway with everyone going this fast, but when I pulled into the place, I needed to go and was praying there would not be a line. I made my direct dash toward the rest room and saw another guy doing the same thing – I had to beat him, so I put on the power walk and made it in first.
And then I was trapped.
Someone had left the seat down on the toilet and it was sprinkled all over. The floor in front of the urinal was damp.
Thoughts of David Sedaris ran through my head. His story, “Big Boy” dealt with being caught in a bathroom with a no-win situation. I knew I had to either clean the place or the guy outside was going to think I had bad aim or was totally inconsiderate of other people.
And I had to do it fast or who knows what thoughts would go through his head.
Then I realized that it is a public restroom. I am not responsible to clean it, so I did the tip-toe business, washed my hands quickly, and dashed from the store before the guy could finish and look at me.
I stopped at a different store on the way home.