Friday, December 10, 2010

The Road Tripper's Handbook to Loos

Finally home and loving the freedom of being here. Its funny the things you miss when away from home. For me, it was a long list. You, my own personalized princess and the pea bed, the freedom to be messy and toss my clothing to and fro, wi-fi, lounging in my PJ's, no need to make awkward conversation with barely related relatives, and most of all: our toilet. Go on, make that face all you want, but it's the truth, baby! Allow me to illuminate:

When spending the weekend on a road-trip and staying at my grandmum's house, toilets become memorable events. These are the classic case toilets encountered on a road trip (not for the faint of heart!):

This is, was, and forever shall be your home toilet. It is dependable, private, and a safe-haven in the scary world of pluming. It accepts you and will never hold a grudge, even after your Great-Great-Great Uncle Philly came to visit.

One of the SICO's inside jokes for quite awhile now has been the Zen/Zere ordeal. If you don't know this story, just ask one of us. Anyway, this is a toilet that could be perfect except for it's one, very important Achille's heel: You cannot read the sign. For the life of you, you cannot figure out which door leads to the men's loo and which leads to the woman's loo. Maybe it is a themed joint and you are lost due to not knowing the different names for a male and female armadillo, or maybe the artist who designed the little Man and Woman pictures is a 5 ear old, either way you have to make a decision. Either you hold it and linger in a creep fashion to see which door other people use, or you take the plunge and choose blindly; the consequences be what may.

This bathroom is the stuff of nightmares. You can tell, just from walking in, that this is going to haunt you for years. Your first clue is the dangly strips oftoilet paper, sticking to the floor, walls, toilet, and ceiling. Puddles of unanurally colored soap have leaked out of their jammed dispensers, lying in wait for your wayward foot. Some prankster has switched the hot and cold knobs. Some other prankster, more logical in their scheming ways, flat out stole the sink. The stalls are a repulsive color and the vandal's facebook. Everything from "Jenny Loves Jimmy" to bad poetry has been carved into the plastic partitions. I would go on to describe the toilet, but I don't want to pay your psychiatrist bills later in life.

It has been a long, weary and toilet deprived day on the interstate. Sick of hearing your sibling's favorite Donut Man tape for the 45th time that day, you enter the gritty rest stop or fast food joint's bathroom, expecting to meet the uglier cousin of the loo you encountered at the rest stop two states back, a glorious surprise awaits you! Like a pearl of plumbing and hgenie, the bathroom is shining and fully stocked. You nearly cry as you admire the tastefull wallpaper, gasp in delight at the assortment of soaps and hand towels, surely hear an angelic choir sing out as you admire the shining throne of gold itself. Fainting may ensue depending on whether or not the toilet is really gold.(This has happened to me before.)

It looks innocent enough. There is daisy wallpaper, it looks fairly clean, and the building it's in isn't too questionable. You are just about to leave when you notice that what you had thought to be a travel size soap wall dispenser is meant to dispense a variety of other things. And are those really daises? Everything seems questionable now. You leave the bathroom a little more world-wise than you intended on entering.

You love your Gran to death, she really is the sweetest, kindest, most loving woman in the world. Her toilet, though? Don't trust it as far as you can throw a McDonald's mechanically separated "chicken" nugget. First of all, it has no door. It is more of a floor to ceiling shutter with wooden slats and no handle, making a sliding barrier that isn't sound proof or little sibling proof in the least. Second, you can't touch anything. Everything being as ancient as it is, you are justifiable afraid of touching, and thus breaking, anthing. You tiptoe, breath in shallow breaths, and only touch the light switch if you dare. The only window has a lovely, personal view of her neighbor's living room, spoiling their dinner and making for awkward encounters. The worst part, of course, is the loo itself. It isn't as much a toilet as it is a "water closet". A similar model was used in King Henry the 8th's castle, pretty sure. Flushing the toilet is a dangerous ordeal as well. You have to press lightly enough not to break it, hard enough to actually flush, and in just the right place or else tough luck. 5 times out of 10, assistance is necessary.

This is just a light sampling of the vast family of toilets. Gross, disturbing, and crude as it is, any hard core road tripper will testify to the afore-mentioned. Plus, whats the fun of seeing such terrible sights if you can't gross out your friends with the grim details? ;)
Green Eggs and Ham,