Posted by Mark Weiss on July 24, 2012
I remember a couple. I can go back years—all the way to that gas station bathroom in Tennessee in the summer of 1976, after my dad almost got a speeding ticket on Interstate 75 South for rushing his colitis son to the nearest exit. I was all of NINE years old when I used it, and I can’t give you many details, but if it was 35+ years ago and I still now remember that it was bad, well, it must have been bad.
DATELINE: Hershey, PA, Spring 2003. (How funny is it that this took place in HERSHEY, PA? I mean, you know, with all of the “Hershey squirt” jokes and such? This is just a coincidence; I promise).
Hershey Park, to be more precise. I gotta go. I REALLY gotta go. My no-colon just can’t stand it any more.
Hershey Park must have been built in the 1930s or something, because there just weren't a lot of bathrooms available. After an intense search, I FINALLY found a bathroom. I entered. And I thought: WHO DOES THIS? WHO DOES THIS? Yes, I thought in all caps.
Who is the guy who doesn’t LIFT the toilet seat to pee? REALLY? Why do I remember THIS particular incident, THIS particular Alcatraz Bathroom? Because it was like some guy took a pee hose and sprayed the whole stall! It’s like he PLANNED to render the bathroom unusable for any civilized man or beast.
Now, I can make do with almost any Alcatraz Bathroom. (I can’t stop laughing. I’ve been sitting on that one for MONTHS. Get it? “Sitting on that one”? “I can make DO(O)!” I didn’t know when I’d drop that one on you. Get it? “DROP THAT ONE ON YOU!” Should have said, “DROP THAT TWO ON YOU!” Get it? I mean, where can you go for this kind of highbrow humor?)
But I absolutely could NOT make do(o) with this Alcatraz Bathroom. I’m usually flexible. A drop of pee here, a poo remnant on the toilet seat there. I can wipe and clean, I can double or triple layer the toilet seat cover/toilet paper. I’ve got options, you know? But I had nowhere to go this time.
Sela couldn’t believe that I wouldn’t use the toilet. My recollection is that she tried to sell me some kind of explanation that “pee is sterile” and that I should “make do(o).” She was, of course, aware of (had been taken along for) my mad search for a bathroom.
I DON’T CARE IF SOMEBODY ELSE’S PEE IS THE CLEANEST, MOST STERILE, HEALTHIEST LIQUID IN THE UNIVERSE. I DON'T CARE IF YOU TELL ME THAT I COULD DRINK IT! I AIN’T SITTING ON IT, AND I DEFINITELY AIN'T DRINKING IT. Sorry, that’s just how I roll.
And thus ends the story of one of the WORST Alcatraz Bathroom experiences of my life.
In the end, I continued to hold it. I can’t recall where I finally relieved myself—whether it was in another bathroom at Hershey Park, at an Alcatraz Bathroom on the way to our next destination, or in my pants. OK, I know it wasn’t in my pants. THAT, I’d remember. Like that time in Israel. . .but that’s another story for another day.