Royal Flush

Today’s commentary comes to us from Ben.

It’s always fun to go into a new restaurant and see what the bathrooms are like. Some are very nice, some are small and rather “quaint” and some barely qualify as up to code.

I was in a hotel that had black mold on the shower tile and that one still qualifies as the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed at.

There’s a business I get to a few times per year and the mens bathroom there has had a broken fluorescent light fixture leaning in the corner for several years and one urinal has had a bag over it just as long.  And I have no idea what the womens bathroom is like. Not even sure where it is to be honest; it’s not right next to the mens anyway. I keep thinking there must be a nicer bathroom for employees someplace. Or maybe that’s just a ploy by the owner to be sure no one spends too much time in there.

I had to take pictures.  Here are the signs on the four stalls:

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And the fun didn’t stop there:

Oh my….

Our townhall still has an outhouse. It’s insured for $500.00. Mens and womens side. Two hole-er on each! But no lights… plan accordingly.

What’s the worst bathroom you’ve used?



36 thoughts on “Royal Flush”

  1. I suppose the worst was in France at the Taize Monastery in 1979. There was no toilet, only a hole in the tiled floor. One felt like a catcher in a baseball game.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The most entertaining, which is top of mind after hearing about your town hall, is an outhouse at a friend’s cabin. It is also a two-seater. Inside is covered with postcards of the “groaner pun” and other silliness variety – a few with actual vistas and points of interest. But the best part is that it is wired for light. But behold – when you turn on that switch, what lights up is a chandelier. A truly wonderful chandelier. The switch also turns on the local country/western radio station on the little radio in there…which can also be entertaining in its own way (usually not when music is playing). Best. Outhouse. Ever.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Rise and, well, Nevermind, Baboons,

    The worst toilet I experienced was similar to the one noted by Renee–it must be a European thing. It was at the Coliseum in Rome, and it was much as Renee described–a porcelain hole, with two porcelain feet marked on which to station your feet, then squat. Once I recovered from that surprise, I then noticed that none of the restroom was all that clean or odor free. But we had been walking around the Coliseum and the adjoining ruins for hours, so things were getting urgent and it was the best option. The Rome McDonalds where I often headed for relief was at the other end of Nationale Blvd and just not possible. So there I was. And I made do. I have a picture somewhere, but that trip occurred at the cusp (or at least MY cusp)of the changes between digital photography, film photography, and rapidly changing storage options of photos, so I don’t know where the picture is.

    I generally find modern portable potties more disgusting than the old fashioned outhouse. This was brought home to me after trailing in my a car a leaky tanker truck which was clear meant to pump out the pora-potties. Revolting. The stories of disgusting outhouses are legion, but none as entertaining as Anna’s example above.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Oh, god, yes, portapotties can be so disgusting. One day I was walking around Lake-Calhoun-that-was and need to use a portapottie. It was right after a three-day weekend and there was s*** everywhere. I quickly decided that I really could wait to use the bathroom until I found one that was a little cleaner.


      1. I had a similar experience with a portapotty somewhere along the trail at The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Someone had clearly had a major emergency in there, and there was s*** everywhere.


  4. As someone whose former job involved bumbling around in lightly populated regions, I’ve probably experienced more disgusting toilets than any other Baboon. You know you’re in a backwoods region when all the men’s rooms feature sinks with the hot water faucet removed and capped (so customers can’t use expensive hot water). Walk around the urinals in such places and your shoes might keep sticking to the floor.

    One of the worst jobs I ever had was being the janitor for the women’s bathroom in one of my dad’s factories. Part of the problem was too many women using a tiny bathroom. I won’t describe what that place looked (or smelled) like. I was a dreamy, romantic kid when I took that job, someone who idealized women. Cleaning up that room pretty much knocked that out of me.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. When my parents had a small cabin in northeastern Wisconsin, it still had an old outhouse for a while from when the place was originally built. It was old, decrepit, smelly, full of spiders and other unmentionable insects. The bathroom inside the cabin was quite small, and even though it had a shower we could rarely use it as the water was limited. Even flushing the toilet was a major occurrence as that would start the pump running. Once the pump was running, you weren’t supposed to use the water. Nevertheless, it was a charming, rustic place — especially once Dad and brothers-in-laws put in an addition that doubled the space so we could spread out and relax inside. I have a lot of fond memories from that cabin growing up.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve encountered those hole in the floors that you need to squat over in Switzerland and China as well; in China with the additional complication of no toilet paper. Public toilets in China were consistently disgusting, even when they did have a commode. Traveling in both China and Mexico I learned that it’s wise to carry your own supply of toilet paper as public facilities often don’t provide it.

    Probably the most disgusting toilet I’ve ever encountered was in Guaymas, Mexico. It’s painful to even think about it. Suffice it to say that there was no sink and water, so no place to wash your hands.I didn’t discover till after I had used the facility that there was no water to flush the toilet either.

    A close second would be the giant open-air outhouse, if you will, at the public beach on the Moskva River on the outskirts of Moscow. It was a long, deep trench over which a couple of long boards – with holes at regular intervals – were suspended. The fence surrounding the whole thing provided some privacy from the multitudes on the beach, but once you were inside that fence, it was the most public and stinkiest of toilets I’ve ever encountered.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I was 4 years old when my parents tore down the old house and had the new house built in the same place. We lived in the machine shed that summer. It’s a mixed blessing I don’t remember much about that summer. but I’ve heard the stories.
    We had an outhouse. And took showers down in the barn, in the milk house, because that’s where we had hot water.
    And I can almost imagine my folks discussing this for a few months ahead of time; the planning, the figuring, the preparing… I need to ask my siblings how it was told to them– about living in the shed for the summer.
    The best story is my youngest sisters boyfriend came out. His first visit to the family. The first serious boyfriend in the family and mom and Dad were fairy protective of her. And he shows up and there’s no house and a ramshackle looking shed and the family comes pouring out of there… he thought we were a backwoods family for sure.
    At four years old it must have all been an adventure!

    My only real memory of the outhouse is that my dog Pal died behind it.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Like PJ and Renee, I have also had to use holes in the floor in China. And brought my own toilet paper. The biggest issue with holes in the ground is if you are a woman and wearing pants, you pretty much have to completely disrobe from the waist down. So my second trip to China, when I went to pick up my treasure, I took all sun dresses and skirts and no pants.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Our friends, Jim and Tuula, have a tiny cabin in the woods near Grand Rapids, MN. Tuula is a Finn, and has an incredible sense of space and design. She designed the tiny two room cabin with a sleeping loft, and Jim built it. It has no indoor plumbing or electricity. You’re truly in the woods when you visit them there. So, of course, they have an outhouse. A tiny, immaculately clean and odor free outhouse where you can sit and listen to the sounds of nature. Of course they a have a sauna. What self respecting Finn doesn’t? Water for the sauna is hauled up from a babbling creek that winds it’s way through the property about fifty feet away. It’s a lovely, serene place, seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I really would prefer using a good outhouse, as PJ et al. have described above, to some of the poorly kept “bathrooms” I’ve been in. Have visited many cabins that, even after they had indoor plumbing, kept the outhouse in good shape for when there was a lot of company.

    Worst bathroom experience, though, was at an in-laws not long after I was married – joker b-I-l had hooked up one of those gags so that when you sat down, this loud voice announces “Hey, we’re working down here!” Of course, I had to play Good Sport and laugh about it, but I never felt the same about going to their house.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Used”?
    How about remodeled? The men’s room at The Bismarck Tavern on Broadway in Fargo. Multiple layers of sheet flooring covering a wood subfloor; all of them urine soaked. One of the guys enter it in a radio worst job contest which he won hands down.

    Liked by 7 people

  12. One fun latrine experience was in the boundary waters with an outhouse with no door, walls, or roof, just a raised platform like you would find in an outhouse on which to sit. The views were lovely.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. On Green River, Utah river rafting trips, we took “smile” breaks in the river while rafting. When on shore, the crew set up a yellow tent kind of close to camp, which no one used because of the smell and the flies. They also set up a “throne” away from camp. It was actually a rectangular metal box (with a liner) and a toilet seat on top – called the Groover. Before toilet seats were available, the user would sit on the box itself and get grooves from the edges of the box. No smell, very few flies, and grand views. You just had to be on the lookout for critters great and small. On my Grand Canyon rafting trip, smile breaks were not possible – in 46 degree temp water, it is nearly impossible to pee! So on shore, we were instructed to find wet sand near the river for #1 (couldn’t do #2 until we were in camp) – ladies to the right, guys to the left. You pretty much lose you modesty on trips like these.

        Liked by 4 people

    1. I suppose latrine would be a more accurate word for the facility I described at the beach near Moscow. I also didn’t have a roof. Can’t imagine how much stinker it would have been if it did.


  13. At the risk of saying too much, ladies, you may not be aware that sometimes the men’s room urinal is really just a trough. In my experience, the more red-neck the bar, the higher the chance of trough.
    They take me back to my youth and the county fair. The 4H building bathroom had a trough.
    I know of another place with a trough and they have put a Green Bay Packers stick down in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some recent restrooms have a trough-style sink with multiple faucets. At one of these I noted that there was a sign reminding us that this was a sink…which made me wonder what prompted the need to post the sign…

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I remembered this; the Target Center (I think it’s the Target Center) mens rooms have troughs too… I guess it’s a ‘maximum volume usage’ thing.


  14. The nicest restroom I’ve seen was in a posh bar in the old warehouse district of Minneapolis. I forget the name. The restroom was swoopy and modern and elegant. The wall between the restroom and the rest of the bar was glass, one-way glass. People couldn’t look in, but you could look out, and it was disconcerting to do what you went in to do while watching strangers milling around just a few feet away.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I forget the name of the restaurant, but it was in Butler Square, to the right just as you entered. I’ll admit that my recollection of it was that it was people on the outside who could look in, and the people on the inside who saw their own reflection in a mirror.


  15. My most unique bathroom experience didn’t even involve a bathroom. We were on safari in the Serengeti, watching part of the Wildebeest migration, and a couple hours from any sort of facilities. My friend and I both needed to pee. So our guide waited until the animals has passed and then had each of us go behind the safari vehicle (while he stood guard for wildlife and other safari vehicles) and mark our territory. I wonder what the local wildlife thought of our scent?

    Liked by 6 people

  16. I’ve also been in a couple of REALLY nice bathrooms – the ones with high ceilings, fancy lighting, huge sinks, actual towels for drying your hands and attendants!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. A favorite ladies’ room was the art deco lounge in the downtown Minneapolis Dayton’s, on the fourth floor, near the lingerie department. Classic.

    A pet peeve of mine about restrooms is that there are millions of restroom stalls with those old metal doors that had a hook where you could hang a purse or shopping bag. Invariably the hook would disappear, leaving a couple of empty screw holes and an impression on the metal showing where the hook should be. When I encounter one of those, I always wonder what happened to that hook. I’m convinced there are brigades of women toting bags with anvils in them, intent upon determining what the exact weight limit of the hook is. Hang a two-hundred pound anvil from the hook, it fails, and you have those empty screw holes for all eternity. No one ever replaces the lost hook.


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