I have now officially traveled across the country. We made California yesterday, I had never been further than Mesa, AZ. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we live in the greatest country in the world. The fact that we’re free and get to live in such a stunningly beautiful and diverse place is really more than any of us could ask for.
I think a lot of people have gotten off track from that mode of thought recently, with the rabid political climate we’ve endured and will endure until this stinking election is over. We’re all human beings, regardless of which liar we choose to vote for, and nothing changes the fact that we are stewards of our planet. We all strive for the same things — peace, happiness, prosperity and the ability to worship in the way we see fit. I don’t think there’s anyone out there (in their right mind) who wants anything different. We just have different ideas about how to achieve these things.
That being said, I’d like to adopt the cause of public restroom stewardship. Yes, get over it: I’m going to write about bathrooms again. I’ve become quite the expert on public toiletry, as I’ve showered in almost every state at least once. This probably qualifies me for some kind of award, and also assures my immune system has battled and won against every nasty virus and bacterium known to man.
We use the showers at Loves, TA, and Pilot frequently. I’m personally partial to TA showers. They seem to be the nicest and cleanest. There’s only one state that I know of whose rest areas have showers and facilities for truckers (Ohio, on the Turnpike), so unless we have family or friends where we’re going, we’re stuck doing the truck stop thing. I think the worst job in the world would have to be cleaning showers at a truck stop. It rates right up there with being Charlie Rose’s eyebrow wrangler.
I don’t know why, but some people feel the need to do the most vile things in truck stop bathrooms. I’m sorry if your mother didn’t love you enough to teach you to poop in the toilet and not on the floor, or that not everyone enjoys seeing your poop smeared on the walls. Seriously. If you do this, screw you. Cut it out and go see a therapist or get a damn friend. For real.
I’ve walked by showers in the process of being cleaned that looked like someone was birthing goats in them. How can one person completely destroy an entire room made of tile? And what the hell is in their mind when they do it? These are rhetorical questions. I really don’t want to know what’s in their minds — my own mind is scary enough, but I can assure you I never thought, “Hey, I’m going to poop on the floor right beside the toilet because that would be neat!”
I’m a fastidious showerer. So is my husband. We leave the showers almost as clean as we found them and always leave a tip for the person who has to come in behind us and clean it up. Neither one of us ever uses the towels provided, because we carry our own (good tip for beginners). I make a point to thank the attendant, and let them know how much it means to have a clean place to bathe. On the other hand, if I walk into a shower with enough hair in the drain to make a voodoo doll, I let management know they have a need to post warning signs for possible rabies outbreaks, and should probably get someone else to clean their showers.
It’s the little things out here that mean so much. Clean showers, safe lots, decent food and people with manners who know how to use them. When all those things come together, this is the most awesome experience I’ve ever had. Take a minute to thank a bathroom attendant today, leave a tip when you shower, and for the love of God, hit the toilet when you poop.