The Fabric Store is a paradise for a man's man like me! They don't just have fabric. They have fabric and crafts! And it's not just fabric and crafts. It's fabric and crafts and knick-knacky stuff!!! It's every man's dream store!
[The preceding paragraph was brought to you by sarcasm.]
We were on a family shopping excursion, and we made a stop at The Fabric Store. (Not its real name. I don't need any lawsuits.) Unfortunately, earlier in the day we had eaten at a restaurant that serves all-you-can-eat breadsticks, and I suddenly realized I was going to have to spend some time in one of the loneliest places in the known world: The Men's Room at The Fabric Store!
I wondered, for a brief moment, if they even had a men's room at The Fabric Store. Well, of course they do. But, does anyone ever go in there? As I approached, I imagined a pristine, sparkly-clean, never-been-used place.
I was wrong.
I opened the door to find a large, filthy, stinky room. I was surprised how big it was. It easily had room for two or three stalls and another three or four urinals. But instead, there was just a toilet and a sink in the corner, and a lot of open space. Since there was only one toilet inside, I was forced to lock the door behind me. (Don't want anyone walking in on me while I'm seated. It would be even more awkward than usual with all that extra space in the room.)
I walked over to the toilet and was pleased (there's that sarcasm again!) to see the toilet seat covered with another man's urine. (I've said before that I thought "Another Man's Urine" would make a really good name for a really bad rock band. Either that or the title for the next novella by Stephen King.) So, before I could sit down to do my business I had to clean off the seat.
Having cleaned the seat to the best of my ability, I sat to take care of the things I went into that room to take care of. All was fine until two minutes later when the room went completely dark. Motion lights!
There are times and places where motion lights can and should be utilized. Up until my experiences of that day, I would have thought the men's room at The Fabric Store would have been a perfectly acceptable place for motion lights. I would have been wrong. There are no windows in the men's room at The Fabric Store. It gets very dark, very quickly. And, no amount of waving my hands while sitting on the toilet would persuade the motion lights to light back on. I was in the dark.
And that, of course, is when I found that the men's room at The Fabric Store is not the loneliest place in the world. Because that is when someone came to the door and wiggled the handle, trying to get in. I wondered if they could see from the crack at the bottom of the door that it was dark inside. What kind of weirdo would lock himself into the men's room at The Fabric Store in complete darkness? I worried that they might try to go find a manager to open this locked, "empty," men's restroom.
Finally, after finishing up on the toilet and doing a few jumping jacks in the vast expanse of the room, I was able to convince the motion lights that yes, indeed, the room was occupied and that the lights should be on. I was positive that my experience in the men's room at The Fabric Store couldn't get any worse. And then it did.
I turned on the sink, rinsed my hands, and reached for the soap dispenser. There was no soap in the soap dispenser. I pushed and pushed and pushed, but no soap would come out. Okay, I could deal with that. I rinsed and soaked my hands in the hot water. (Hey, at least the water did get hot. And it wasn't a motion sensor sink.)
I then turned off the water and reached for a paper towel. Yes, you guessed it, no paper towels! Not even an ineffective hand dryer blower. Just an empty paper towel dispenser. So, I was forced to do the hand hokey pokey (you put your right hand in and you shake it all about) with both of my hands to shake as much of the water off as I could. Then I used my pants legs as towel stand-ins. (I was grateful that I wasn't wearing shorts.)
As I finally escaped the men's room at The Fabric Store, I wondered what the women's room was like. Surely they took better care of it than they did the men's room, right? Did they, like me, think that no one would ever use the men's room at The Fabric Store? Is that why it was in such a state of disrepair? I'm just not sure. The only thing I am sure of is that never again will I go to The Fabric Store after having all-you-can-eat breadsticks.
Edited from a post originally published on 4/11/13.