Writing Workshop Wipe-Out

I really just wanted to head into the bathroom to snap a quick pic. That’s all. In and Out.

The working space of the TechArtista building on Washington Ave. in the CWE is urban-creative: exposed ventilation and pipes, murals in black and white, flashy colors on other walls, checker-patterned acoustic tiles. Y’know, hip. Cool. I thought that, with all of this cool decor, the bathroom would knock me out.

It almost totally did.

Big Idea (something that we were told to headline with at the writing workshop I was attending):  If There Is a Big Step Leading Into the Restroom Right as the Door Opens, WARN ME!!! I opened the door, and moved forward, phone in hand…and promptly wiped the fuck out. Like, face flat, phone skittering across the floor, check-the-pants-for- knee-rips wipe out. Just another clumsy moment? A flipped flip-flop? Nope. There was a BIG step up from the open door. There was no sign indicating this design faux-pas, and I traveled in with nary a thought to my fate. This missing signage pretty much spoiled the experience. If my reviews included strikes, this was like getting hit by the ball: just move forward to the next base.

When I walk into a loo, I like to find the best vantage point to take my header shot. I don’t like to catch myself in the mirror, so it often involves a bit of contortion. Head throbbing (ahem. wiped the fuck OUT on that floor), I reached in, scooted my body back – minding the step – and snapped my shot.

Something caught my eye in the bottom left of the shot, so I moved in to investigate. A basket of little bottles of Scope Mouthwash. “That’s a new one!” Other than that…and the shower stall at the far end of the room, the restroom was unremarkable. But with the shower stall and the mouthwash? Quite intimate. Do people live at the TechArtista building?

The colors of the walls were bright, with pictures in contrasting frames. Not quite as hipster-funk as the working space of the building, but a colorful room that aimed to please. (it could have been cooler) … (says the old-time hipster cat-grandma) …

Two stalls, stocked. A mirrored washup area with the classic ‘here’s the towels but where is the trash can?’ phenomenon. And Q-tips. Again: Do people LIVE here?

I only had a quick mo’. No time to go – I am in the midst of a writing workshop while writing this, after all – so I took my pic, and took my leave…and remembered…

Big. Step. Down.

Papier de Toilette pour tout le Monde!

loosely translated: Zut alors! There’s Toilet Paper EVERYwhere…for EVERYONE!

When I entered this stall at the First Watch in Des Peres, MO… I couldn’t help but laugh. I mean, I had to GO, sure. But, wow!

I wished, I mean really really wished for a patron in the next stall to beg for some paper to be passed under. And I could beg off, giggling. Not in a mean way. OK, maybe, but with good-natured meanness. Honestly, you see 6 rolls that are visible. That does not count the four wrapped rolls that were in <—that corner of the stall. Clearly, the employee in charge of stocking the restroom thought that some serious shit was going down. Ahem.

But my bottom wouldn’t be the cleanest surface in this loo. I’ve got to say, whoever was in charge of this restroom on this particular day performed admirably. No drips and dribbles from soap to sink to towels. No stray paper on the floor. The floor itself, freshly mopped. The decor was low-key, the earth-tones mellow and inviting.

This bathroom really was perfection. I’ve experienced a loo at just about every First Watch in the immediate area, and this one was the best of the lot.

Plus…if I ever need to TP someone’s house…I know where to go to stock up!

I said that I wouldn’t. However, I did some cleaning…

The loo of the Girl. ‘Tis my own. Now there may be some beard clippings from my dear Jason around and about the sink. Notice that that is out of frame. Only the top of a clean toilet is shown, with a shelf above housing less-than-half of my nail polish collection. (some women are purses…some are shoes…I’m a polish fetishist.)

You may be noticing the bottle of Poo-Pourri upon the toilet, and I did promise a review. I’ve only used it once, and I was in a bit of a hurry, so just a few spritzes made it to the water (the bottle recommends a shake and 5 or 6 spritzes). Perhaps that is why it didn’t really do much. I plan on further trials, but for now…the bottle is a rather hipster decoration. All the cool kids are spritzing. Why shouldn’t I?

Four essential books top my toilet. For some reason, I simply cannot play on my phone while on the pot. I can, however, read Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. The books are set up to where you can browse longer sections for more extensive sittings, or just a page or two for a quick stop, drop, and go. Every time I personally use the Bathroom Reader, I open to a random page and read what I find. A little bit of  History lessons, famous quotes, and the occasional mini-fact that will get you through your next Trivia Night. I’ve rarely read the same passage twice. If you don’t have a Bathroom Reader, I highly recommend them for passing the time in the loo. They are sold at most major bookstores, and of course can be found in the leading internet superstore.

There’s not much to review about my restroom. The soap is near the faucet and the towels are near the sink, so rarely a dribble from drip to dry. I seldom use the hand towels above the toilet (as Jason uses them to wipe up beard clippings from the sink…and I hate getting those stuck to my wet hands). I reach behind myself to the body towels. It’s a small bathroom, so it’s not a far reach. But a drip may hit the floor. Tsk Tsk.

I have more public loos to review, and they will be rolling in quite soon. However, it’s always nice to see where one rests their rumps. It’s not unusual to take a peek into a friend’s restroom and pass just a little bit of judgement. Go on…admit it…


Well, I’ll keep the reviews coming anyway. You never know when I’ll find a kindred soul, ones who love the loo and what’s in it, too.

May your Flushes be Powerful and Complete!

EDIT….I noticed that the picture is cropped so that my nail polish collection is not visible on the page, and you can only see one of the Bathroom Readers. I will work on further editing techniques. Because you’ve GOT to see the full picture!


I Smell the Smelly Smell of Something that Smells Smelly!

I’m not gonna lie, the first time I saw this on a late-night TV ad, I wanted a bottle so badly! Just to see if it worked. I was so curious. I’m not a big fan of adding extra smells to the restroom (see previous post), but if it worked…well, that would be super-cool.

See, you take the spray (“with natural essential oils”!!), shake it up, and spritz a couple of spritzes onto the surface of the water. THEN, and only then, do you do your business. The Poo-pourri is said to encapsulate the No. 2, trapping any offensive odors IN the toilet. Other odor-masking sprays just, well, mask the odor. It’s still there, but now it just smells like you’ve been arranging flowers in an outhouse. So if there were a natural scent-trapper, one that flushed with the flushings…that’s very exciting. To me. And maybe a few other people. Like my Grandma.

Because she HAD a bottle of the Poo-pourri IN HER BATHROOM! I happened to pop into the loo for a quick moment, and saw this bottle of “Heaven Scent.” I, of course, had to snap a picture! Here was a real-life bottle of the stuff I had been so curious about. So I rush out of the restroom…”You have this! I’ve been looking for this!” It turns out that, while I am strong in the face of late-night shopping temptation (now I am, anyway. I think I bought one of those crazy Gazelle exercise machines in the middle of the night. and some BeachBody workout DVDs.), my dear grandmother is not. She is quick with the credit card in the wee hours. Not only did she have this one bottle in her possession, she had several! And said I could TAKE ONE! I chose the Potty Potion which is composed mostly of lavender oil. She also had a Christmas-themed one, something about cookies and vanilla, but I thought I’d start with something less food-centric.

It’s home with me now, this treasure of the late-night loo lover. Does it work?

Stay tuned…

Something Smelleth in the Land of London…

OK, so I try not to judge a place by its restroom, but….oh, who am I kidding?? I totally DO!

This one was a doo-zie.

So, Jason had finished his soup and sausage-croissant-thingie, and I was picking at my scone. We were waiting and waiting for our tea to be delivered, so I decided to to try the “restaurant trick” of going to the restroom to bring on the tea. For some reason, this always does the trick. Leave the table, *poof* food/tea appears. Besides, I needed a picture, and I wanted to see what cute decor The London Tea Room would dress their loo with.

I am so glad that I didn’t actually have to use the restroom.

It had the essentials. A sink. Towel dispenser. Toilet. This toilet was most assuredly escential. See that ledge? Not just a smelly candle, no. Not even an oil and lavender diffuser would do. A can of Febreeze for good measure, and, I should point out that the shadow on the far right of the frame…yep…another spray for smells. May I say that all of these accoutrements did nothing? Wow. Not only did the last person to attend this restroom left in much too much of a hurry to replace the toilet paper properly (HUGE pet peeve), they couldn’t give the bowl a little brush afterwards to, erm, freshen its smell. Or its appearance. I would not have even squatted my bottom over this toilet. That bad. That part’s out of frame, to preserve the squeaky-cleanliness of my readers’ eyes.

I bared barely a glance at the cute decor that was a simple sign that said “Cambridge,” the only bit of English propriety on this side of the door. I took the picture, and I was out.

And, wouldn’t you know it, the tea had arrived at our table!

I managed to finish my scone, with some generous assistance. Perhaps I should have said something to a staff member. In retrospect I do feel as if a word or two would have been appropriate.

All in all, our experience at the Tea Room was fair. I’m hoping that a staff member took a peek into the loo at some point soon after my departure and put one of those smell-masking devices into good use. One can hope. And if nothing else…they could put the toilet paper on the holder.

It’s only proper.

That Ain’t OJ, Folks

Something a little different for you today, luvvies. I refuse to take a picture of my own loo. It’s pretty abysmal in there, beard clippings all about, tumbleweeds of graying curls. But, today (because I’m feeling especially sardonic), I thought I’d share what went on in my restroom all day. Yup, that definitely isn’t orange juice to the left of the gallon of water that we just fill over and over from the tap.

It’s pee. Nearly 24 hours of pee. It’s mixed with an acid so volatile that it must be refrigerated so it doesn’t combust or something ridiculous like that.

Why must I collect all of this kidney juice? What it comes down to…and I’m only whining a bit (don’t want to turn away new readers with some real damned feelings. oops.), my doctors have thrown nearly everything but the sink at my abdominal pain and various gut issues. My main GI, who’s like my 15th or so lifetime, says “Perhaps it’s some rare disease called Porphyria. Collect your urine for 24 hours, bring it in and we’ll have a look. After that, I’m not sure what else I can do for your case.”

I won’t get in to how that makes me feel. This isn’t that type of blog.

Showing you this picture reminds me to remind you to pay attention to what goes on in the loo for me and you. We often don’t think about it until we must collect a specimen. Then, our leavings become some strange Magic 8 Ball, foretelling our medical future (or insisting that it looks cloudy and we may have to ask later).

So, while I love to snap a pic or two of the public john and pop them up on Instagram #notorangejuice, even I get a little weary of staring at the towel rack. You should’ve caught me for colonoscopy prep last week! Whew! That was a 7-hour adventure that goes well beyond this rather respectable post.

Until next time, DON’T drink from the bright orange bottle. I’d also like to do a book plug here. Should you get a chance, read GULP by Mary Roach. The book travels all up and down the alimentary tract. You’ll never look at mastication the same way again.