Thursday, October 27, 2005

Handi-crapped

Never let it be said that I'm afraid of being a little politically incorrect.

I was just thinking that while often we curse handicapped people for the fact that they get all the best parking spots, and often require the entire remodelling of old buildings to make them wheelchair accessible, we should always think first to thank them. In this case, thank them for handicapped stalls in the bathroom.

If not for those often luxurious bathroom stalls, some of us would have to get to used to being packed in there like cattle. Think about it. The average handicapped stall is what? two, three times the size of a regular stall. Sometimes it takes up the whole end wall of the bathroom. I love going in there to take care of business. You've got lots of room to take off any coats, jackets, backpacks you might be wearing, instead of having to awkwardly stradle the commode as you'd have to in a regulation stall. No being so close to the next person over that you have to hear every minor detail of their own travails, poor saps who for some reason got stuck in the tiny stall. They also have those hand rails which come in handy for draping your newspaper or any other reading material you've brought with you over. Some handicapped stalls even have their own sink included. Its as close as you can get to homestyle waste elimination on the road.

And in contrast with handicapped parking stalls, there's no restriction on us regular folk using them. If only there were a way to work out parking the same way. But until then, I'll continue to handle my public restroom business in the big stall on the end.

2 comments:

Smartie said...

Very nice and well stated as usual, though, something exists in the culture of the male restroom that I do not understand (ie: urinals??).

How would you feel about this: Once I was at some event where the women's line for the restroom was extremely long (name any event because that always happens), and I waited my turn and the next open stall was the handicapped one. Great. I take my turn and came out and someone in a wheelchair was waiting for me. She'd been bumped up in the line, as is commonly accepted. Yet, when she got to the front, her stall was occupado. And while you say that "anyone" can use this stall, I did feel awkward about it. A healthy person using the ONLY stall in the restroom that this nice lady could fit in to. I felt ashamed.

Does that experience stop me from using the larger stall? Absolutely not! Especially at the airport when I have the kitchen sink in my carryon bag. Never enough space for a person and her luggage in the regular stall.

j said...

To be honest, I've never seen a handicapped person in a public restroom. Never in my entire life. So I think I would probably feel a bit awkward in that situation as well, but it wasn't like you cut ahead in line to use the handicapped stall. It would have been silly for there to be tons of people standing in line, but no one using the handicapped stall.

As for urinals...thats probably why you never see those huge bathroom lines at the mens room like you do at a womens room. Even at the Utah game, I can go the men's room and get through in under 5 minutes probably. Even with upwards of 50 guys in there waiting.

I had another comment, but I'm worried that already I've said too much.