Tag Archives: vault toilet

Line for the Restroom

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It turned out to be an unusually busy Monday at the Mercantile. The Fourth of July was two days away, and lots of people must have taken vacation time and left the city to visit our mountain. The other store clerk was about to leave for the day, so I took one more bathroom break.

This photo shows the restroom building the women were lined up outside of. The lined formed on the left, outside the door marked “women.”

When I stepped onto the Mercantile’s porch, I saw quite a line of women outside one of the restrooms, but not a single person standing in front of the other one. Those particular restrooms still had signs labeling the one on the right for men and the one on the left for women, but in reality, the restrooms are identical. Each has a hole in the floor leading to a lined pit in the ground. Over the hole in the floor sits a tall plastic toilet that provides a seat and a lid and some distance from what’s in the hole in the ground. Any person of any gender can pull down pants or lift up skirt, sit on the seat, and deposit waste material into the pit. When the pit is full of waste material, a pumper truck (like those that clean out porta-potties) comes up the mountain, pumps out the waste material, and hauls it away.

I’ve never been one for strict restroom segregation, especially when the restroom consists of one toilet behind a door that locks. While I would not saunter into a men’s room with a row of urinals and multiple stalls, if I’m alone with the toilet, what difference does the sign on the door make? Yep, I’m the gal at the bar who’d go to the deserted men’s room if there was a line in front of the ladies’. I’m not going to pee my pants in order to help uphold some made-up gender norms.

So I walked out of the Mercantile and saw that line of women and girls in front of one restroom and not a single person in front of the other restroom. I knew which one I’d be using despite the designation on the door.

As I walked out of the Mercantile, a grown woman was yelling through the closed restroom door to the person who’d just gone in, Don’t sit on the seat! Don’t sit on the seat!

By the time I approached the little building housing the two pit toilets, a little girl had walked up to the still closed restroom door and was screeching, Hurry up Savannah! Do you know there are seven people in line, Savannah?

I bypassed the entire group, and I approached the restroom which had no line. I knocked on the door and received no response, so I pulled it open. The room was empty and not even dirty! I locked the door and did what needed to be done.

Savannah may have exited the other restroom by the time I came out, but at least one more woman had joined the line. Still there was no one waiting for the restroom I was exiting. Apparently these ladies needed specific permission to throw off their gender shackles and use the unoccupied restroom. I would be the superhero to give them their permission.

There’s no waiting in that one, I said to the line of woman and tossed my head to indicate the empty restroom.

But…that’s…we thought…one of the adult women stammered.

It’s all the same hole, I said matter-of-factly as I strode toward the Mercantile.

When I looked back the adult woman who didn’t believe in sitting on the seat and several of the girls had formed a line in front of the restroom I’d just used. I’m proud to have helped them make their gender shackles just a little weaker.

I took the photo in this post.

Guess What I Did…

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Guess what I did this morning before breakfast.

Go on, guess.

Ok, I’ll tell you.

This morning before breakfast, I cleaned human feces off restroom walls.

Unless you are extremely squeamish, go ahead and keep reading. I won’t get too graphic, and there are no photos. It’s really not that big of a deal, except it was my first time, and you know, the first time’s always special.

It was before 6:30 this morning when I went to clean the restrooms. It should have just been a sweep and hang (the “hang” referring to adding full rolls of toilet paper to the holder), but when I lifted the lid of the first toilet, I found evidence that someone had experienced some gastrointestinal distress in the night. Bummer. I was going to have to do a little more work than I’d expected, but no huge big deal.

So I swept the floor and put out a new roll of toilet paper. Then I collected cleaners and hauled a bucket of water from the tank on my campsite. I cleaned everything up and moved on.

One might think a camper would have only one bout of explosive diarrhea in one night. One might think that if a camper had more than one bout of explosive diarrhea in one night, the camper would try to keep the mess contained and stick to using one toilet. One would be wrong.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

When I went into the second restroom, I found signs of gastrointestinal distress on the floor, on the outside of the toilet, on the two walls closest to the toilet. Gag!

But I did my job and cleaned everything all spic and span.

If the person was sick last night, I have sincere sympathy and hope s/he gets better soon.

If the person was drunk, I hope s/he has a hell of a hangover.

Of course, this situation could be karmic retribution for something I (or someone in my party) left behind in a restroom for a camp host to clean up.

My co-worker says I’ve been initiated, and I’m a real camp host now.

(Written June 21, 2015)