Still remember when public restrooms switched from single roll holders to big locked canisters with the serrated edge. That serrated edge used to be metal. I have a scar to prove it.
Bathroom technology and improvements have flushed my life with dirty water. Take the restroom in an upscale Dallas, Texas, restaurant. Sat down to relieve myself. Stress, not relief. Every time I moved on the seat, water spewed upward, hitting every exposed part and wetting the back of my skirt. Toilet water wet clothing. Am I alone in thinking this is not amusing? When I yanked the paper, I cut myself on the serrated edge (not badly this time – it was plastic – no scar). The paper stuck to my bleeding hand. With used toilet paper in the bowl, the auto-flush suddenly decided I had used my quota of flushes. It would flush no more – not even when I bounced up and down on the seat. With embarrassment, I exited the stall. The next person in line shot me a dirty glare when she saw the wet toilet seat and unflushed paper.
Set my purse on the counter so I could wash my hands. Couldn’t figure out how to get soap out of the dispenser. Couldn’t figure out how to turn on the water. Every time I moved, the automatic paper towel dispenser reeled out yards of paper towel. More dirty looks from upscale Dallas residents who would never dream of wasting paper.
Hearing a hum, I looked in horror to see soap filling up my purse and spilling over the top. How could a country girl from Bandera, “Cowboy Capital of the World,” be expected to know that everything in fancy Dallas restrooms was automated!
I grabbed my purse and ran. Soap bubbles burped out of the top. Paper towels streamed after me like drab kite tails. My purse was so slippery that I dropped it three times before I could stash it under the posh table with the posh dinner settings – brightly colored cloth napkins blooming out of stemmed wine glasses like rose bouquets and more knives, forks and spoons than anyone could use at one meal. My posh host looked over the gilt edge of his menu at me. Nothing worse could happen to ruin the evening, so I pulled a Miz Mike from Bridge to Nowhere. With a bright smile, I announced to the horrified waiter, “I’ll just have a burger, fries and ice tea.”
Less stress – but no less danger – is involved in going to the bathroom here in Scotland. At least now that I know that “WC” on a building stands for Water Closet, which means Public Restroom…although you sometimes have to pay. The restrooms are usually old and since many of them are solid rock buildings, no effort has been made to hide the plumbing. The hardware is usually metal, stiff and much painted over, and the stalls go from floor to ceiling. Suffice it to say that I never lock myself in and the few times I’ve tried…you guessed it. Injuries.
Loved visiting one of the islands and finding a real water closet. Even if it was a bit confusing to find a WC in a building that was labeled “Restroom.”