Asparagus Pee and Other Bathroom Musings

There is a fine line.
Wondering if I crossed it…
Or just nudged it some.

————————————————

Not sure why, and not sure I really want to delve into why, but every time lately when I enter a bathroom I begin studying what is happening rather intently. My own habits, the habits of others, where things are placed, how we behave towards each other while in there, etc. I have come to realize several rather startling things. So of course, I’m going to tell you about them now.

1. I wonder what cavemen thought when, after eating asparagus, their pee smelled funny.  Personally, I wondered once when it happened many years ago, Google’d it and learned all about it. Now when it happens I just nod in understanding. How odd to have it happen to you 20,000 years ago and not understand. “Ugh… ugh ugh… UGGGHHH!” I would love to see that cave drawing…

File:Asparagus image.jpg

image from Wikipedia

2. Do you ever want to apologize when you are at work and have to go #2 and it is the most appalling smell ever and someone comes in the bathroom? I have so been tempted to say something like “I’m sorry, something died in my colon… they aren’t sure what it is but they said it would eventually stop.” or the more fun version ” Boy, howdy! What in the good lord’s name did I eat? That’s the last time I have Skyline Chili with a White Castle chaser!” Like I said, very tempting…

3. Point 2 is made all the worse when there are only two stalls. At least when there are three stalls I feel a little better that the person can get away.

4.   But then when there are 3 stalls (and point 2 above is still in play), and I’m politely ensconced in the end stall… why in blazes does the newcomer take the middle stall? My god, can’t you smell that? Get away!!

5. Are you a stall skipper or fill-er-in-er? In point 4, and assuming a normal circumstance, would you leave a polite gap between you and the other person or sidle up nice and close? I’m a skipper.

6. Do you have a favorite stall?

7. I read an article once that the cleanest public toilet seat is the toilet closest to the door. No one wants to pick the first stall because they assume everyone picks it, but for just that reason, it IS the cleanest. Who does this testing? And what does that mean about the stall furthest from the door? Ewww.

8. Why haven’t those little garbage cans evolved even the slightest in the last 50 years?  I’ve seen the versions in other countries – they are cool. But we get these WWI leftovers for some reason.

9. Do you think urinal cakes, like their edible cousins, are now being replaced by urinal cupcakes?

10.  What is it about public toilet door construction that they can’t manufacture it with a smaller gap? While out today at an art fair, the gap was thicker than my palm.  I leaned to the side, somehow convincing myself that if I couldn’t see them, they couldn’t see me. (Beevis & Butthead moment… art fair…. fart air…. heh heh, heh heh…)

11. No matter what, while walking past a bathroom at work at the exact moment someone opens the door to exit it, I have to look at them. What am I expecting to see?  I even do it when it is a men’s room. It is mortifying… almost a reflex. I really have to concentrate when it happens to not lift my gaze. Weird.

12. I brought in a can of air freshener for one of the bathrooms at work. And now I’m totally creeped out to pick it up. Do you wash your hands first and then spray it? Or try to quickly cover your tracks and wash second. And regardless of what you do, what did the person before you do? I’ve stopped using that particular bathroom now…

Not at all sure how to wrap this up. Crumple or fold…

Road Trip! Our Time in the Car

Doritos cheese prints
dot the windows, evidence
of too long car trips

—————————————————-

It’s spring break time, and so we find ourselves driving 10 hours to see grandmamma and granddad. Yes, I said driving. And yes for those of you keeping score, I have a 9-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy.

You might ask why we don’t fly instead. I will usually reply with some lame reason like “well by the time we get to the airport 2 hours early, get checked in, catch the flight, arrive, and then drive to my parent’s house, it takes almost as long to drive… plus it’s way cheaper”.

The real truth is when you travel by air there are witnesses. When you travel by car… no one really pays attention to what you say or do. If you have small/medium kids like I do, you understand what I mean. In the airport, when your kid asks you for the 379th  time “when will the plane get heeeerrrreeee” and you narrow your eyes and talk raspily through your teeth, replying “it will never get here and I’ll sell you to that sweaty man in the next row if you don’t stop asking”, well, undoubtedly someone will hear you and report it to security. However, in the car, well bwah hah hah…

Thankfully, our road trips have evolved to be not too terrible journeys.  The kids are old enough now to independently operate movie devices, milk cartons and hamburger wrappers. Nevertheless, our trips are marked by some regular features that make me wonder why we keep doing them.

Characteristics of Our Typical Car Trips

  1. Bottomless pit syndrome. This is where the adults and the kids find it impossible to fill up.  It has nothing to do with the fact that we are eating food with the nutritional value of lead paint, I’m sure. There is just something about driving that causes tremendous calorie expenditures that must be offset. (Point in fact: 5 minutes after departure for this trip, the kids started asking for snacks.)
  2. Shotgun car sicknesses. When you aren’t driving, you are in charge food, drink and electronics, meaning you spend a spectacularly large amount of time turned backward interacting with the kids. When this happens, there is some bizarre worm-hole-parallel-universe the car enters where all the roads are twisty and the driver (Frank) suddenly has a seizure which renders him incapable of steering smoothly.  It never fails; bring on the nausea. Eight times out of ten, I drive 100% of the time in these journeys for precisely this reason.
  3. Mis-timed cravings (the evil companion of #1).  The only time I ever want a DQ Blizzard (Oreo is best) is right after we pass the only exit in 120 miles where there is a DQ.  I look over just in time to see those red letters mock me from the sign of the combo truck stop/adult bookstore/fireworks store/Dairy Queen, but we are already past the ramp. Dammit! I spend the next 120 miles scanning each exit ramp “ood sign hoping beyond hope to see those two letters again…
  4. Slow Leak Affliction. This is something I suffer from. It usually only strikes when I’m a passenger. The symptoms are as follows: hand up in the universal symbol for stop, other hand gripping something and a sharp intake of air through gritted teeth (thus the “slow leak” name). It isn’t pretty… I’m not proud… and there is no cure.
  5. I don’t like that movie anymore disease. We have two devices where we have loaded the kids’ favorite movies for their driving enjoyment. However, about 2 hours into the road trip the kids usually declare that they no longer like ANY of these movies and they want something new. This is where the anonymity of a car ride is critical, because what shotgunner does next is usually best not witnessed.  
  6. Inopportune Sleepiness Disorder.  We tend to start the southbound trip after school, so that the kids spend as much of the time sleeping as possible.  I usually don’t have trouble staying alert while driving, but there are times, about 8 hours in, when no matter how much fresh air or cruise-control-enabled tap dancing I do, I can’t say awake. So we pull over, Frank gets a caffeinated beverage and I settle into the passenger seat, so very ready for sleep.  And I wait… and wait… and wait… and almost never, ever am I able to sleep. Why is it just 15 minutes ago I was a poster child of risky behavior behind the wheel and now I am as awake as a toddler after Halloween? Happens every time.
  7. The ob-NOXIOUS passenger. Someone always wants to stop at White Castle or Krystals to fill said bottomless pit. Always. And this “someone” proceeds to, a few hours later, try to kill us all via his own brand of chemical warfare. Oh my god. I don’t mind the occasional crop dusting this “someone” does while meandering around the house. But to dutch oven so-called loved-ones while encased in a metal machine doing 75 mph in the rain, well, that’s just unkind. 

Happy road trip everyone!

%d bloggers like this: