Great Moments in (My) Men’s Room History

Yes. It really does happen.

Men’s room stage fright has been a running personal joke in my life. Though I suspect that it’s a bigger problem that many males will not admit to.
I started taking the Metro bus downtown at a fairly young age-like 12. I remember one Sunday making the trek to the old AM&A’s store to the fifth floor toy department. Lo and behold, they had the coolest toy soldiers I had ever seen (Airfix British Gurkhas in 1/32 scale, to be exact). I had a little bit of allowance funds on me. The problem was, if I bought them, I would be short money for the return journey. So I did what any practical 12 year old kid would do: I bought the box and prepared myself for the long, potentially perilous journey home on foot. (The Old First Ward is no picnic.) But first a pit stop at the Yankee Doodle men’s room. (The Yankee Doodle Room was a restaurant on AM&A’s 8th floor.)
When I walked in, there was a 20-30 something African American male with an unkempt afro who looked much like Eddie Murphy’s portrayal of an adult Buckwheat. He was hunched over the lone sink, staring in the mirror with empty, bloodshot eyes and drooling. As I entered, he mumbled “Three”, without losing his gaze. My eyes immediately shot to the floor to briefly search for the quarter I had never lost, then promptly walked out. Damn! I really had to go. Luckily, there was also Kleinhan’s basement restroom, with multiple urinals, stalls, AND sinks…
I often wondered: What number would he be one had I re-entered an hour later? Two hours? Three?

Anyway, the long walk home was a drab, wet one. I was kept dry by my (Gorton’s Fisherman) yellow rubber raincoat, whose pockets housed 15 toy soldiers each that day. I made it back safely, just in time to serve 4 o’clock mass.

Now, I realize that restroom stage fright is an irrational fear. Deep down I know that the last thing on the guy’s mind next to me at the stadium trough is my penis. It’s likely he’s thinking of getting to the concession stand before the Bills get within field goal range or whether he’s going to “get some” after the game. It’s more likely he’s trying to concentrate on emptying his beer-filled bladder, just like me. Regardless, my abdominal muscles are slow to cooperate, especially in the absence of dividers. And squeezing into the mass of men at the stadium “trough” at halftime is a trauma in itself. (“Troughma”? A new sniglet, perhaps?)

Alas, one fateful night at a battle of the bands, all thoughts of NOT being watched were dashed when a dwarf drummer next to me in the men’s room uttered these five thunderous words, “Well, at least you tried”. This comment came after I had stood at the adjacent urinal for a good 45 seconds without producing a drop. The truth be told, I’m over it now. But guys, sometimes other guys DO watch.

Some years later, one fellow college partier made his condition known to a packed men’s room at drink and drown night at Mister Goodbar. The line to the 4-man wide trough was out the door to the dance floor. The unfortunate drunken fellow in question was sort of hovering against the back wall, apparently waiting for the coast to clear. It was obvious in his quarter/draft haze that he had no idea that the coast would not clear likely for the rest of the night. As a friend in line crossed the threshold of the entrance, he called out to his friend and asked what he was doing just standing there. His response?

“I gotta go… Too many fags watching me.” We were all embarrassed for him. I was thankful that it was not him who had stood next to the diminutive drummer years before. Surely he would have still been traumatized into middle age…

While I’m at it, some memorable men’s room graffiti:

1) On the (doorless) stall wall in the Buff State Student Union: “Shitting in the bathroom with no stall door is a lesson in humility”

2) On the stall wall, just above the toilet paper dispenser in UB’s Lockwood Library basement: “UB diplomas. Please take one.”

3) This one you’ll find everywhere: “Why are you looking up here? The joke is in your hand.”

4) “Geddy Lee is a c*%k sucking witch” Poor Geddy: While I have no idea what his sexual preferences might be, he DOES look a lot like a witch…

One Comment on “Great Moments in (My) Men’s Room History”

  1. Oh relax, open stalls or urinals are nothing odd…however when coming across the border from Juarez to El Paso I went to use the toilet…and discovered they had no doors….or partitions at all…just five toilets along one wall and 4 urinials and two sinks. and a dozen men using or waiting to use the facilities..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

four × 1 =