Sometimes I think I should write a book THE ACE BACKWORDS GUIDE TO SURVIVING THE PUBLIC RESTROOMS OF AMERICA

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As a regular user of public restrooms I probably know more about the bathroom habits of humanity than most people would ever want to know. For example:

There’s a type of public restroom-user that I call “campers.” People who camp out in the restroom stalls for unusually long times. In this particularly restroom on the Berkeley campus there is one guy who is constantly camped out in the same stall. Practically every day. Sometimes for hours.

Naturally, I couldn’t help wondering what he DOES in there. Is he masturbating to internet porn on his cellphone? Is he pounding 40s of malt liquor? Is he doing drugs? Or has it gotten so hideously-congested in the Bay Area that a toilet stall is the only place where he can get a little privacy and four-walls to himself?

So today I finally figured out the mystery of it all. I go in there and the stall is empty (for once). So I go in the stall, and I reach in to grab one of the toilet seat covers, but it jams in the dispenser and rips in half every time I try to pull one out. So I reached into the dispenser to see what was jamming things up. And there’s about a dozen different sections of the local newspaper jammed in there, all folded up to the crossword puzzle, most of which are half-done.

So that explained it. The guy sits there in the toilet stall hour after hour working on the crossword puzzles.

And I figured, he probably works for the University, as a janitor or groundskeeper. And he hides in the stall so the boss won’t know he’s goofing off.

I would have made a good private investigator. I’m always sticking my nose into other people’s business.

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