Jack's Experience In the Ladies Room

I have a dysfunctional digestive system. I write about it frequently as I have done here, and here. That probably gives you more information than you wanted, but I am going to continue on and regal you with one of my many tales of the loo.

For those who are interested in my motivation in writing about such things part of this stems from my embarrassment/anger/frustration regarding this little problem. I like to make fun of it because I feel better, and yes Shmata Queen I know that one day I should get a colonoscopy. Frankly I have the exit system down so making it an entrance bothers me greatly.

This particular incident took place a number of years ago. I had been going through a spell in which my stomach had been doing quite well and had been more relaxed and adventurous in what I was willing to eat. On that fateful day I had taken on a chilidog and some coffee. Under the best circumstances it was not a great combination but for me it was even more dire.

Initially I didn't notice anything. I had eaten the food and enjoyed my meal immensely. It was a gastronomic feast that was soon to turn into a gastrointestinal nightmare. {cue horror music now.}

I was minding my own business tooling along the 405 when the attack hit. There was a tickle followed by a gurgle and a rumble. Another gurgle gave proof to the night that soon there would be a mad rush for an exit. I knew that it was going to be similar to the rush for a free sample at Costco.

I was in an unfamiliar part of town but nature smiled upon me and I exited the freeway at breakneck speed and made for the first restaurant I saw. I couldn't tell you the name, but I can tell you that the nice girl up front understood my garbled and frantic gibberish to mean "show me the bathroom now or no one will want to eat here any longer."

I followed her outstretched arm and just managed to avoid knocking over a busboy carrying a bucket of dirty dishes and a waiter armed with three plates of hotfood.

Without looking up I straightarmed the bathroom door and jumped into an empty stall. My fingers fumbled and strained to unhook my belt and pants and at last I was able to engage in the task for which I had come.

If you are easily grossed out than you should hang up your spikes now.

Aside from the almost immediate relief one of the first things I noticed was that the air had grown toxic. I was choking on my own fumes, not to mention that there was an endless supply. I was unnerved to realize that I didn't have any medication on me and had at least 20 miles to go before I would be encased within the refuge of my home.

Lost for a brief moment in thought I hadn't heard the bathroom door open. Footsteps, light footsteps that sounded like a pair of heels made their way in. I stiffened as I realized that the heels were accompanied by what was clearly a pair of feminine voices. In shock and horror I lifted my size 12 Reeboks off of the floor.

In my haste I had entered the wrong bathroom and now I was frantically trying to figure out how to exit. There were a couple of problems with that. First, the rumble and gurgle were in full effect. They and their crew of noisemakers had. not finished playing with me. There was a marching band with a full horn section. It is hard to leave when the band is still playing When the Saints Go Marching In.

It was made worse by the comments of the ladies in there who had any number of suggestions for how and what I should do, talk about catty.

So I sat there and waited for them to leave. As my legs began to go numb and my feet started to tingle I despaired of ever leaving. More women were coming into the bathroom. It felt like there was a steady stream of visitors. The more polite among them entered without being too obvious about the immediate gag reflex, but there were plenty of who coughed.

The situation was summed up well by a little girl who said "mommy, it stinks in here!"

After untold agony and frustration I made up my mind to make a run for it. So I pulled up my pants and massaged feeling back into my legs. I summoned up a ton of attitude and waltzed out the door of the stall and the bathroom to a number of shouts.

The only thing that I remember hearing was this: You didn't wash your hands.


Stacey said...

Hee, hee. I love potty humor.

P.S. Get a colonoscopy.

... Is the Window to Our Soul said...

That really is embarassing. Where I work the buidling is a 90 degree angle. The lay out design is the same for both sides, except for the bathrooms. One side will have the men's room on the right and the other side it will be on the left. I am a freelancer and so usually I work all throughout the building. I can't even tell you how many times I have walked into the men's room, thinking it was the women's restroom. I have never used one...the urinals are usually a dead give away...but it's little awkward to explain why I am in there.

Irina Tsukerman said...

This is hilarious! Will become my official Funniest Bathroom Read! ; )

torontopearl said...

Jack, this particular post is definitely worthy of a reprint in a magazine. Find one appropriate (Esquire or Men's Health)and submit it!

The Misanthrope said...

I am not one for bathroom humor, and if I had seen that scene in a movie I would have rolled my eyes. However, since it was real life, I felt your pain and laughed, then called the wife over to read it.

Maddie said...

I’m sorry about your colon, but I love a good diarrhea story.

ifyouwillit... said...

Great post - the "I went into the wrong bathroom by mistake" stories are usually a great tale.

Jack Steiner said...


You are one hell of a woman, but I'll keep you anyway.


It could be worse, you could have been stuck like me.


Glad to be of service.


I hadn't thought of that, but maybe I'll try it.


But what if it was potty humor involving Bush. ;)


I do what I can.


Always happy to make someone smile.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I was grossed out by was that you didn't wash your hands...by the way, I once went into a men's bathroom by mistake and it wouldn't have been so bad but it was in a bar during a piano/comedy routine and the comic talked about me going into the men's room the entire time I was in there, unfortunately, the comic knew my nickname was "Sam", and when I came out it was to applause and cat calls....

Anonymous said...

First of all - I used to have crazy tummy problems in my pre-kabbalah days - it's almost all gone now. There is an elderly guy from our toronto group who has extreme dietary problems - travels everywhere with his own plastic utensils etc. - he asked if he could bring his own food to our Passover event and was told - no way! He came anyhow - deciding that our seminar would be a good place to die if his ticket was up (that's what he said!) - he got up at the end of the week and told everyone about his big problem - and how he had eaten along with everyone the whole week and never felt better in his whole life!

But even more embarrasing than your story - I was in the shower at my pool when a man accidentally came in with his little kid and started showering him in one of the stalls - boy was he shocked to discover where he was!!!!!

bornfool said...

I have a spastic colon myself , so I can totally identify. I've never used the women's room though, but I would on purpose if pressed. :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Jack,

Why be embarrased? Having the same disorder as you(although the opposite symptoms) i feel your pain. Truth is that after coping so long with this dreaded disorder i'm unable to feel ashamed of it. Too tired to be precisely. It never stops, it's always there like a specter impairing your life. It's so horrible i sometimes contemplate self-surgery but then realize i have no surgical knowledge or equipment at hand. But the thought relaxes, so i'll cling on to it.

Today i just go to the bathroom with a newspaper even if crowds of people are present. What can i say? Life is computing with meat, and unfortunatley nature typed some incorrect programming lines. For me this resulted in a bowel disorder. For others maybe worse things.

I came to the point that instead of seeing it as a problem i just now see it as a fact. A problem insinuates there is a solution for it, which in my case there isn't. Only the comfort of thought. Unfortunately sometimes that's all you have.

Stacey said...

Zeruel, have you tried Zelnorm?

Jack Steiner said...

Hi Z,

That is an old story.

Anonymous said...

"Zeruel, have you tried Zelnorm?"

Didn't that only work in women? I did try SSRI anti-depressants but that didn't work.

"That is an old story."

I know, but as the disorder don't change so do the stories that correlate with it.

Stacey said...

Z, Zelnorm is now approved for use in men. Also, you might want to try biofeedback, which helps pelvic floor dysfunction (which might be compounding your problem).

Anonymous said...

"Colonoscopy's not so bad. You won't remember a thing."

If you have a functional bowel disorder you won't diagnose pathologic physiological diseases. You can have impaired bowel motility without metabolism disorders, infectious agents or structural ailments. When there are digestive complaints without clinical affirmation you have irritable bowel disorder. Which is a diagnosis of exclusion and as broad as it gets. A colonscopy in other words, won't show shit. This problem should be addressed on a genetic level, but considering it's a disorder that isn't life threatening as a result its lacking in research funds. A Pittsburgh study demonstrated that blocking serotonine receptors work in IBS-C patients more than a placebo. Thats theory, but it didn't work for me. But you can always try, SSRI's are present in paroxetine medicine such as seroxat/paxil or new licences such as effexor.

Anonymous said...

"Z, Zelnorm is now approved for use in men."

Well, i can always try. Zelnorm is what, 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 medicine? First i'll have to find the license name under which it is sold here.

PsychoToddler said...

great story. better than my 900-miles-of-diarrhea story.

Jack Steiner said...

"900 miles" is a tough act to beat.

Maddie said...

Wow, check out all these dysfunctional bowel stories. Too bad we live closer, we could start an IBS bowling league.

Jack Steiner said...

It is hard to bowl with your pants around your ankles. ;)

Jack Steiner said...

Hi Darla,

I am glad that you enjoyed it.

Jack Steiner said...

Hi Darla,

I am glad that you enjoyed it.

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