It has been said that time and tide waits for no man. In my highly philosophical journey of life thus far, I’ve also discovered that this same principle holds true for the bulging bladder of the barroom beer drinker. Naturally, this means that I’ve seen my share of saloon lavatories, ranging in swankiness from gold-plate-and-marble fixtures to “Wow, so that’s what diarrhea looks like in the sink?” I’ve seen some gnarly shit in my inebriated restroom travels, and for the most part I could care less. At worst I’ll take my coffee without cream for a few days. But, to this day, there’s one element in any restroom that I just can’t handle.
So, there you are (guys), standing at the urinal, melting ice-cubes or washing porcelain with your mighty stream. All is well. Tension drains out with the rented beer, replaced with relief. And then you feel it…expectant eyes on your backside. You cringe. Not because you are in danger, or about to become a giant, psychopathic man-child’s sexual plaything (Unless you live in Cell Block D). No, the unease is brought about by the fellow sitting patiently on his stool beside the sink, grinning at you warmly as you turn to wash your hands.
The restroom attendant.
His tip jar is full of guilt-soaked ones, and next to it an entire toiletry-aisle worth of untouched crap is spread out: mouthwash, hair gel, combs, floss, cologne bottles, breath mints, aspirin, razors, condoms… everything but the bathroom sink, which of course there is hardly room for amid the mountain of hygiene products you already so foolishly used before leaving the house.
Luckily, all you need to do is wash your hands. But wait…your anxious new friend is prepared and eager to assist you in even this menial task. He holds out a wad of paper towels with a smile. Now what do you do? You didn’t ask him for a paper towel, as you have been capable of executing the tugging motion required to operate the dispenser since the age of five. Do you take the towels, or somehow maneuver around him to get at the blocked dispenser? He smiles on, sending out undulating waves of unjust guilt. You take the towels reluctantly, awkwardly and say thanks. Now, it just so happens that this chap does happen to be a giant, psychopathic man-child, but you’ve a sneaking suspicion that’s part of his shtick. Don’t fall for it. Don’t feel bad. And unless you’ve partaken of his wares, do not feel compelled to stuff money in the tip jar. You went into the bathroom to take a piss. And remember, pissing is always free, unless you do it in front of the cops.
Beer: Sofie (Goose Island)