Saturday, April 02, 2005

Locating the Restroom Has Been Too Easy Thus Far

In this work-a-day world, one can expect instructions to the restroom that are brief, clear and easy-to-follow. The following is typical:

1) Go to the end of the hall.

2) Take a left.

3a) The bathroom is the first door on the right.

3b) It’s the green door.

While this method is efficient and streamlined, it lacks something in the way of sponteneity and confusion. Indeed, upon entering a facility of any kind (e.g. apartment, restaurant, Oriental massage parlor), one can almost surely guesstimate where the restroom is located, and that is, quite frankly, unfortunate.

To rectify this, we propose a new approach to restroom directions, complete with three degrees of difficulty to accommodate any skill level from the novice to the expert.

Level One: The Five Pennies

1) Go to the end of the hall and pass through the red door. You will find yourself in a small courtyard with a fountain.

2) Cross the courtyard, depositing exactly five (5) pennies into the fountain as you pass it on the left side.

3) When you arrive at the other end of the courtyard you will see a very narrow stairway. Climb all the way to the top of the stairs until you see a yellow door with the word DANGER emblazoned on it in deep red paint.

4) Open the door and enter the restroom. If you hear scratching at the door or loud panting while using the restroom, do not open the door. Wait for the sounds to recede before exiting.

Level Two: The Bronze Bell

1) Exit through the main doorway. Cross the street.

2) Enter the gas station and ask for Armand. He will take you to a set of iron stairs hidden behind an apartment building nearby.

3) Go down the stairs and you will enter a small basement storage room. The third stall on the left has a metal ladder attached to its wall, behind the skis.

4) Climb the ladder to the roof of the apartment building. Cross the rooftop until you reach a bronze bell. Ring it three times—twice loudly (but with respect) and once softly (but with intent).

5) If you rang the bell correctly a hatch will open and the man from the third floor apartment will let you use his bathroom.

Level Three: The Third Level

1) Exit through the main doorway. Cross the street.

2) Wait for the Cherry Hill/Crispus Attucks Boulevard bus. Ride the bus until you reach the last stop on the outskirts of town. Exit the bus. Quickly now.

3) Across the street from the stop is a taxi stand. Approach the sole green taxi in the parking lot, achieve solid eye contact with the driver, and wink three times, using the following pattern: Right, Left, Right. (It is imperative that you use this pattern—Left, Right, Left will elicit possible neurotic episodes on the part of the driver, a former stuntman whose credits include work on such movies as They Live!, Rocky IV, and Mona Lisa Smile.) If you do this correctly, the driver will take you to a wide field, vast in its emptiness.

4) Traverse the field until you come to a hill glazed with fresh snow. Halfway up the hill you will come to a small grotto.

5) You can go to the bathroom in the grotto, but you’re advised to first light a substantial fire to fend off the viperous Tshiik Bâ-Ür.

6) When you are finished expelling your solid/liquid waste, locate the magic whistle on the altar within the grotto and blow it using your dominant nostril.

7) A mystical cyclonic wind of vibrant blue will bring you to a small airport in Scranton, Pennsylvania, from which you could catch a flight home, I guess.

Dr. Mark Rinaldi is the acting secretary of PUSA, the Painful Urination Society of America and author of the book
Pain Before Pee: How to Correctly Potty Train Your Child.

Michael Schiavo is a phillumenist and has no medical degrees or training as far as you know. He does, however, have a lot of latex gloves.


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