Friday, October 17, 2008

Please forgive me, this is about public bathrooms

We had a great time at the NC State Fair.  It was everything a fair is supposed to be.  We looked at the exhibits, admired the animals, rode the rides, saw an awesome fireworks display, and ignored the food while munching pears and apples brought from home.  There are many things I could write about like the woman with the body of a snake, or the parking attendants chanting "Obama, Obama" as we tried to navigate back to the main road.  However I will limit myself to the topic of public restrooms.

A relatively new feature to the state fair is the presence of bathroom attendants.  It was a little weird at first having someone show you to your stall, but considering how the restrooms used to be, I got over it.  Let's go back in time.  Going to the bathroom at the state fair was an adventure in disgusting.  The floor was always wet.  With what, I did not want to know though I had a good idea.  The potties were N.A.S.T.Y.  I wouldn't want my dog near the thing, never mind my backside, so the hover technique was definitely in order.  Of course there was no toilet paper, soap, or paper towels.   And  there was this smell...I would rather go behind a  bush.

My how things have changed.  When you walk in, you are greeted by a nice lady who announces "Pick any stall, there's a clean toilet behind it."  She was right.   The bathroom was clean and smelled faintly of the original Lysol.  Need sanitary supplies?  She had them.  Need some baby wipes?  She had you covered.  Want a refreshing mint?  She had that too.  There was also the ever present tip jar.  Tipping to use the bathroom just seems wrong to me.  My tax dollars help pay for the bathroom.  I shouldn't have to pay extra to use it.  It adds up quick when you have the microbladdered Wild Thing and Sweetie to deal with.  I didn't tip each time.  Sorry.

There was on attendant who took the prize.  All of the bathrooms were pleasantly decorated with fall decor, but this particular bathroom included poetry.  Poetry that would speak to the heart of 11 year old boys.  We were in "The Best Urination Station in the Nation" which is "The Place to Be When You Gotta Pee".  Each stall was numbered with its own little rhyme:  Have some fun in Stall 1, Use stall 2 if you need to poo, You'll feel alive when you use Stall 5.  Then on the back of the door was a reminder to "Be Sweet and Wipe the Seat...Don't Rush, Remember to Flush."  I couldn't help but laugh. 

I asked the Historian about the men's restrooms.  He said there was no interaction, but the attendants clearly expected tips.