I confess. I don’t sit on public toilets.
For those who do, fear not, I won’t dribble on your seat. I’ll spare you the details, but after decades of dealing with this ridiculous phobia—I say ridiculous, because we all know there are more germs on the doorknob than the toilet seat, but that’s beside the point) –I’m somewhat of an expert.
I learned the “no porcelain contact” MoRuS (Mom’s Rules for Survival) right after I mastered potty training. My mother was adamant. “No ifs, ands, or butts on the seat.” No exceptions.
The MoRus was severely tested a short time later at a basketball game. My twin aunts were the court queens in my small (miniscule is a more apt description) town, and we never missed a game. This was many, many years ago—long before the WMBA came into vogue, so women’s basketball, at least in the deep South, had not evolved into a sport. Games were more like the cast of Hairspray shoots hoops.
I had to “go.” My mom was engrossed in the dribble and shoot. She was probably the only one in the gymnasium paying attention–the coach was talking to the janitor. So she didn’t object when friends of my aunts agreed to take me to the bathroom.
I was thrilled. At four years’ old, hanging out with teenagers was the equivalent of eating dinner with Bon Jovi.
At least I was all jiggidy until we reached the stall. Up until this point, my mother had always “held” me above the germ-ridden bowl, while I did my business. Those formerly cool teenagers were having no part of that.
“Just go.” Teenager Number One insisted.
After several minutes (and a lot of squirming), Teenager Number Two had an idea. I could just climb on the toilet and squat. I could do that, right?
Did I mention I wore patent leather shoes? And a frilly petticoat? Don’t ask me why I was so dressed up for a basketball game. I was four, not a fashionista.
Anyway, since I really had to “go” at that point, I complied. After much slipping and sliding, I climbed atop the throne. And went.
So there I was—spraying like a rotating sprinkler. The teenaged girls were braying like hyenas. Thank goodness there were no cell phones in those days. The YouTube video would have gone viral.
I’m not sure any liquid ever filled the bowl, but my bladder felt better so I climbed down with a sense of accomplishment. Until my patent leather encased foot contacted the puddle on the concrete floor. I slid forward colliding into Teenager Number One (who’d laughed the loudest). She fell on her derriere, her long teenaged leg landing in the overflow. (Talk about your pee-itic justice).
The tale was retold and repeated and became the stuff of legend—the little girl who peed all over the bathroom. Thank goodness, there was no YouTube in those days—the toilet seat incident would have gone viral. To my knowledge, only the teenagers and my mom knew it was really me (although like reality TV, after this blog everyone might know).
What about you? Did your mama tell you not to sit on public toilets?
Author of Blue Ridge Fear