Potty Training

It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a Jimmy Buffet concert, but I learned a lot of stuff from those I attended.

Lesson #1: I will in fact open my mouth and let you squirt tequila in there from your super-soaker squirt gun.“What if that’s not tequila?” asks a suspicious wife.

If you can’t trust a Parrothead, who can you trust?

My inaugural Buffet concert was where I first saw women standing in line at the men’s rooms because of the much longer line for the women’s rooms.

Even before the show started, one of the ladies in our group opted to hit the bushes rather than wait in line.

Which brings me to Valuable Buffet Concert Lesson #2: People who squat behind the bushes to do their business are way more likely to have embarrassing chigger problems than people patient enough to save the squatting for the restroom.

Just so you’ll know.

Of potential interest, Chigger Girl had just started her new gig as a member of our radio morning show. She was positioned on the other side of the desk from me, and I’ll just say that it was helpful I knew what was going on. Otherwise, there was a lot of under the desk action I would not have understood.

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Having women in the men’s room didn’t bother me. In fact, it made sense. That line into the women’s bathroom never let up.

A recent Facebook post from a friend visiting Portland, Oregon, expressed surprise so many bathrooms there are non-gendered. She clearly wasn’t used to seeing restrooms available to either sex, anyone who might be undecided or someone who might be a little of both.

Makes perfectly good sense to me, though.

For as long as I have been aware that lines into men’s and women’s restrooms are not equal, I’ve wondered why stadiums and concert venues didn’t have twice as many facilities for the ladies.

A woman going into a football stadium restroom at half-time is lucky to be out in time to catch the last half of the 4th quarter.

If nothing else, non-gender bathrooms level the waiting-time playing field. Even if we have different approaches to taking care of business, for the most part, we all are in a restroom for the same reason.

My observation is, Americans run behind Europe on this matter, and perhaps other parts of the world, as well. We’ve been in areas of Europe where you simply didn’t see bathrooms designated for a specific gender. It was just a bathroom; have at it.

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I think I found the only restrooms in all of Italy that were specifically marked. Problem was, by then I was convinced they didn’t exist, and I wasn’t paying attention. I walked out to what appeared to be about an 8-year old girl child giving me quite the stink-eye.

I looked back to notice I had indeed just come from the women’s bathroom. I tried to make light of it. She wasn’t amused.

But we’re losing something with non-gender bathrooms.

Future generations will never know the cleverness of visiting a seafood restaurant and having to decide if they are ‘bouys’ or ‘gulls.’

Or being in a chicken restaurant with one sign saying ‘chicks’ and the other, ‘chick magnets.’

Or visiting a country diner with one sign reading ‘sausage’ and the other ‘eggs,’ then having to figure it out.

Will they know the difference between ‘tomcats’ and ‘kitty cats,’ or will everyone just be a cat?

Yes, the cottage industry of coming up with clever ways to say boys, girls, men and women will fade into obscurity.

Another tradition down the toilet.


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