Hangin’ in the Men’s WC

Let me tell you about my experiences lurking in men’s washrooms.  Carrying a measuring tape.

First, I have to say that men’s washrooms are (sorry, guys) disgusting.  There’s piss everywhere.  And those urinal pucks with the pubic hairs stuck in them?  Eeeuuw.

You may argue that, as a female, I should stay out of men’s washrooms, and that if I don’t like what I see in there, it’s my own damn fault.  This would be entirely true, if not for the fact that it was part of my job to be in there.  Yeah, with a measuring tape.

This was back in the dark days when I was still attempting to be an interior designer.  I’d gotten a friggin’ bachelor’s degree in it.  Thesis and all.  Trouble was, I sucked at it.  Hard.  The only reason I scraped through with the degree was because I kicked ass in all the academic subjects (the ones that dealt with real, objective facts). 

I couldn’t design my way out of a paper bag.

This wasn’t as much of an impediment as you might think.  I worked for a design firm that specialized in commercial spaces – offices, hotels, restaurants, and so forth.  A very large part of that type of work involves long, tedious hours measuring the sites and doing technical drawings.  I was excellent at that part.  And all the other designers hated it.  It was the perfect symbiotic relationship.

Which leads to me lurking in men’s washrooms carrying a measuring tape.  Because when you’re doing renovations, the whole damn place needs to be measured.

I had a system.

First, I’d hover outside the door for several minutes.  If a guy actually arrived to use the washroom, I’d ask him to scout it out for me.  I really had no desire to catch anybody with their pants down.

But usually, I was on my own.  After a decent interval, I’d knock on the door and call out.  If there was no response, I’d stick a sign on the door, “Temporarily closed – come back in 15 minutes.”

That usually worked.  But every now and then, some preoccupied guy would blow right past the sign and barrel into the washroom.  He’d usually get about half unzipped before he realized I was there.  Then there’d be this frozen deer-in-the-headlights moment, while his gaze darted between my female presence and the partially extended measuring tape in my hand.

We’d lock eyes for a second, both of us with tools half-unfurled.

Then there was usually some embarrassed mumbling, a half-assed explanation, and a hasty retreat on his part.  Sometimes they just fled without a word.  Frankly, that was more entertaining for me.  But I have a nasty streak.

While I’m on the subject, there were a couple of other things that I invariably found entertaining about washrooms.  The first was the colour scheme (excluding piss-yellow, which isn’t entertaining at all).  I was truly amazed by how many places stuck with the tried and true pink-for-girls, blue-for-boys colour scheme.  Really?  For adults?  In a business setting?

But for me, the best part was the condom dispensers.  In those fine establishments that provided this helpful service, it was always the same.  In the men’s, the condoms were always labelled “extra large” or some other turgid (or perhaps I should say tumid) adjective.

In the women’s they were always labelled “slim fit”.

I’m not even gonna go there. 

I’m just sayin’.

Anybody else got bathroom stories?  Ever walked into the wrong one by mistake?  Or on purpose?  Inquiring minds want to know.