Mistakes almost made

August 21, 2008

At my current workplace, I face a nigh daily delimma. When nature calls, the restroom closest to my desk presents a peculiar conundrum. Having been designed and constructed by what I can only assume were Soviet architects on an exchange program during the mid-70’s, the room has all the charm and comfort of a Komodo dragon. But that’s not the problem, really; you expect this sort of sterile brutalism from large corporate buildings of that era.

The problem is the fixtures. Any man who ever visited the Astrodome or any similarly-sized venue is no doubt familiar with the trough-style urinals that typify structures designed to hold tens of thousands of bladders. Upon entering the aforementioned restroom, you are immediately confronted with two rows of stainless steel troughs, separated by a concrete wall, and hung about 30″ above the floor. To a man with an overwhelming urge to take care of business, the obvious final destination has become clear.

But lo! Just as you reach a certain point in your preparations, a horrifying series of realizations begins. First, you notice your own reflection: there is a mirror, equal in length to the urinal trough, immediately in front of you. That’s not typical, is it? It is then that you notice the faucets, all six or so of them. Finally, in the mirror, you see (behind you) a row of sorta-gleaming porcelain urinals.

Panic panic panic!

You check your peripheral vision to ensure that no one sees that you’ve almost desecrated the place where people wash their hands, and quickly whip around to face the correct instruments. Unseen and finally in the right place, your deep sigh replaces the ice cold chill that ran through your veins upon the realization.  You scurry back to your desk after washing your hands, not in the urinal, but in the trough-sink

The sad thing about this is that as many times as I’ve visited this particular restroom, I’m always somewhat drawn to the sink.  It just looks right: in a brief flash of childhood Astros fan nostalgia, I fully expect to emerge from this restroom, Narnia-like, into the 1988 Astrodome, ready to watch Glenn Davis and Billy Doran. Alas, exiting this bathroom only returns me to the cold hallway where it’s always been and back to the daily grind of the workday.

I’m not sure where I was really headed with any of this, so I’ll close with an old joke.   A couple from Philly are traveling through the Deep South and stop for the evening at a motel in Kentucky.  The room that they rent is dingy, mildewed, and smells like Salem Lights.  Upon entering the bathroom to brush his teeth for the evening, the hot water handle comes off in the husband’s hand.  Already flustered, he calls the front desk.  “I’ve got a leak in the sink!” he says.  The drawled reply comes back, “Well, go ahead.”




  2. Nice.

  3. I once peed in someone’s sink. True story.

    (and no, I won’t tell you if it was you!)

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