Archive for May 11, 2012

Pee in the Heart of Texas

May 11, 2012

So for the past three days, I’ve been driving cross country. I did the first leg by myself, from LA to Albuquerque. That was several-teen hours, partly because one of my brand new, less-than-six-month-old tires sprang a leak (in Needles, California), and I had to stop and pay a lot of money for two brand newer ones that will probably leak even sooner. Maybe I’ll write about that saga later, or maybe it’s too boring.

In Albuquerque, I met my mom, who’d been staying there with my aunt, and she accompanied me on the rest of the trip. On our first day driving, we were tooling along in Texas, and I had to pee, but not that bad. I didn’t want to take the time to stop, and when we did stop, I wanted to find a good snack, so I was being picky and passing exits that didn’t look just perfect. Then I got distracted telling a story, until, all of a sudden the “not that bad” turned into, “really damn bad.” So I’d get off at the next exit, no big deal. Except there was no next exit. for miles. and miles. and miles. And then there was one, but it was just some weird farming stuff. Then nothing. I would have pulled off and gone in some bushes, except there were no bushes. The land was so flat, if I’d peed right there, every passing car would have seen my bare ass and/or hoo-ha, and the pee, too, and that’s just too much. So finally there was another exit, at a place called Wild-a-something. It didn’t look too promising, but there were buildings there, and oftentimes buildings have bathrooms, and I couldn’t wait for one more minute.

The first building I stopped at was a motel. I pulled up, hobbled out, went into the office, and dinged the little bell. “Hi!” I said, with as charming a smile as I could muster, given the code-red circumstances. “Do you have a restroom?”

“No, no public restroom,” he said. “That’s why we have the sign.”

Well, I didn’t see any MFing sign, I was too busy not peeingmypants, excuuuuuse me. And I must veer off topic to point out that this man was obviously NOT from Texas or any part of the South, for that matter, or I can guarandamntee you he would have let a lady pee.

“It’s an emergency,” I pleaded, and anyone who looked at my face and the way that I couldn’t walk would have seen the emergence of the situation.

“There’s a gas station a few blocks that way,” he said.

So I hobbled back to the car, slid gingerly into the driver’s seat, and drove down to the gas station. Pulled up. Stopped the car. And saw a sign that said, “Bathroom out of order.”

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” I said in front of my mom.

There was one more building in this ridiculous “town,” and I went there. On the door, there was not one but two signs that said, “Private business. No public restroom. Next exit 7 miles.”


I grabbed the doorknob and entered, having no idea what kind of business this was. Inside, there was a woman behind a desk and two men standing around talking. I looked at the woman with sheer panic, eyes as big as those weird cartoon cats with grossly huge eyes, and these are the words that came out of my mouth, all at once, and really high, yet with intense gravity:

“I know you say no public restroom, and I respect that, but I can’t wait 7 miles.”

“That way, please,” she said, and I almost cried with thanks, hobbled to the bathroom, and for all practical purposes, the saga ended. I didn’t pee my pants.

As another side note, though, I noticed that the water in the sink had been left running, and if I hadn’t turned it off, who knows what that would have done to their water bill.

Would You Like Some Mustard With Your Shower?

May 3, 2012

A funny thing about my apartment is that, for some reason, whatever my downstairs neighbor is cooking, I smell in my bathroom. For the first year that I lived here, I could never figure out why my bathroom smelled like mustard! I’d take out the trash, pour baking soda and vinegar down the sink drain (an earth-friendly and bubbly way to clean out your drains, btw), and scratch my head in wonderment.

Then, we got a new neighbor. And the mustard smell immediately stopped, to be replaced by spaghetti. That was the night I figured it out. “Why does my bathroom smell like spaghetti? Wait, I smelled spaghetti when I walked by downstairs. OHHHHHHH.”

Yes, this new neighbor had a whole different recipe book of kitchen smells. And for the most part, it was an improvement, not to mention an adventure. I’d awake and stumble into the bathroom, greeted by the aromas of coffee and oranges. While I showered, I’d smell bacon frying. As I moisturized, I’d be enveloped with wafts of pancakes and maple syrup. What would my bathroom smell like when I returned home that night, I’d wonder. Croques monsiuer? Chicken Cordon-bleu? Something non-French that I knew how to spell?

Well, this morning I went to take a shower as usual, and was assaulted by an olfactory affront. My bathroom smells right now, unmistakably, of dog food. I had a dog as a child, and I know what a can of Alpo smells like, and that’s what they’re cooking downstairs. I know they don’t have a dog, either.

The moral of this tale, really, is that I know way too much about my neighbor downstairs. If I smell enough bacon in the morning, I’ll slip a bottle of Tums under his welcome mat on my way home from work. No I don’t, that would be crazy.