By John Sammon
I had to play a joke on the maid at a hotel where I was staying. You know that little paper wrapper they place over the toilet seat, that thin paper band that is supposed to convince you that the facility is clean. You normally take the paper band off and throw it away when you go to use the john. Instead, I saved mine and each morning before leaving the room slipped it back on the toilet seat, giving the impression I never used it.
After day five of this I could only imagine the maidís reaction.
Staring, she said, ďWhat are you, some kind of a lizard?Ē
To me, bathrooms are like Greek temples, made of stone and cool marble, reassuring, serene, little worlds of their own, a place of refuge, shut away from the world and its problems.
Such places thus earn the more dignified name of ďrest room.Ē
For example, if you hate your dead-end job, and you share a communal bathroom down the hall with the employees of other companies in the building, chances are youíll spend more time here than you should, away from a threatening, dishonest boss, ringing phones and mountains of paperwork.
I admit Iím selfish. When I use the communal john, I want it all to myself---alone.
I also donít want my imitation Greek temple sullied. Therefore, I never perform major bodily functions here (the only time I ever did I was sick).
Thereís this guy. Every morning at 8:45 a.m. heís seated on the throne. Now, I fully know this is not a common subject for a column, and I donít want you to think Iím strange. But Iím truly curious about this guy, perplexed, baffled, whatever.
Since itís only 8:45 in the morning, he canít have been at work very long, not much more than an hour. Why canít he hold it longer? Why canít he do his disgusting business at home before he comes to work?
What does he do, process food like a goose?
Now, we all drink coffee, which I admit goes through you pretty fast. So Iím not against use of the john for small calls of nature. But Iím thinking of posting a sign, which reads, ďThis Facility Used for Minimal Body Functions Only.Ē
Donít foul my Greek temple with your digesting bowels.
More bathroom palacial.
Bathrooms like restaurants should be rated in travel books as to how good they are. For instance, weíve all seen gas station bathrooms in truck stops on Labor Day where the unflushed facility hasnít been cleaned and the globs of stuff in there are so putrid you think they may reach out and grab you.
Such places assign us lower on the scale of evolution.
Then there are bathrooms like the one I saw at Pebble Beach Resort. The heart soars. You could eat off the floor. Little, moist cloth towels hanging from silver trays for cleaning your hands. Embossed toilet paper. Gleaming brass and silver fixtures.
A dream come true.
I was in tears.
© Copyright 2004 by SammonSays.com
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About the author:
John Sammon is the author of two books and writes a weekly humor column you may access at Sammonsays.com