18. Customers Only Bathrooms

My kidneys are assholes. They’re super efficient and process the shit out of waste quickly, but they don’t have any humility about it. whatsoever. “Oh look Thad, I already flew through that entire Gatorade he drank thirty minutes ago!” the left one says. “My my Reginald, do throw it into his bladder posthaste! He’s on the highway! He won’t find a bathroom for a fortnight!” giggles the right. In my imagination, my kidneys are twin Cockney fops from the 19th Century. Like Oscar Wilde but even bitchier.

Long story short, I have to urinate often. As such, I get to experience one of the great human frustrations of Really Having To Piss When There’s Nowhere To Piss on a weekly basis. It’s something that I’ve turned into a scientific theory:

Albaugh’s Depleated Bathroom Theorem:The higher your need to urinate, the lower your chances are for actually locating a bathroom.

One of the most frustrating versions of this scenario is when I am wandering around a crowded urban landscape when the urge strikes me. I look at the vast array of businesses around me and think, naively “Oh, I can pee anywhere. It’ll be fine. This is America, after all.” Little do I know that most urban businesses, perhaps in fear that unlimited use of a bathroom is the first step toward Socialism, have enacted a policy that their own bathrooms cannot be used if you are not a paying customer.

What is the purpose behind this? Is there a fear that I may lock myself in there and make methamphetamine? How dare you deny my very human right to pee? Sometimes, in desperation, I oblige. I pay for whatever the cheapest thing I can find (often a novelty lighter or a kazoo) and then finally gain access to a commode, but still feel dirty afterwards. Otherwise, I take my chances are go back into the scary world and find a place that’s more charitable.

My rage is often multiplied by the throbbing pain in my bladder. One day, I am convinced that I will ignore whatever shoddy Magic-Marker written sign may read and smash through the door with my head. In the throes of my victory, I will lose control of my bladder and cover myself and a ten foot radium in pee. A small local sensation will blossom as the business becomes known as the Store Where Someone Pee’d All Over. The business then takes a dive in popularity.  Maybe then those bastards will learn their lesson.


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