Chuckle of the Day – What Took You So Long?

by Sherry Riter in Chuckle

public restroom stalls
When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place at the back of the line. Once it’s your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall. You get into the stall, turn around and find that the door won’t latch. You decide that it doesn’t matter. The wait has been so long and you are about to wet your pants!

The dispenser for the modern “seat covers” (invented by someone’s Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty.

You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there was one, but there isn’t – so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants and assume “The Stance.”

In this position, your aging, toneless (I should have gone to the gym!!!) thigh muscles begin to shake. You’d love to sit down, but you certainly hadn’t taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold “The Stance”.

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother’s voice saying, “Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!

Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday – the one that’s still in your purse. (Oh yeah, the purse around your neck, that now, you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That will have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It’s still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn’t work. The door hits your purse which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest. You and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet.

“Occupied!” you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor. Then you lose your footing altogether and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT.

It is wet of course.

You bolt up, knowing all too well that it’s too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper – not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.

You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because you’re certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, “You just don’t KNOW what kind of diseases you could get.”

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too!

At this point, you give up. You’re soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat.
You’re e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can’t figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting.

You are no longer able to smile politely to them.

A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman’s hand and tell her warmly, “Here, you just might need this.”

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used, washed, and left the men’s restroom. Annoyed, he asks,”What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?”

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with a public restrooms (rest??? you’ve GOT to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It’s so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse, and hand you Kleenex under the door!

This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Skip_D May 5, 2012 at 1:22 am

Not sure I’d call that cautionary tale a “chuckle”! Yikes!

Thanks for sharing… I think! 🙂


2 The Redhead Riter May 5, 2012 at 1:23 am

LOL Skip, maybe it is so funny to women because it is so true!!! The perils of being a woman are endless. LOL


3 mom May 5, 2012 at 2:02 am

I am laughing so hard it hurts!!!

Learn to listen to your mom——In my purse is a zip lock bag with Huggie wipes and a small case of Kleenex! Hang your purse on the handle or knob that locks the door or over the toilet paper holder!! I have a few paper towels folded just in case for the toilet seat! “Be ye therefore prepared in all things,” the Lord said and that was over 2000 years ago. He knew this would happen—–lol


4 The Redhead Riter May 5, 2012 at 3:09 am

I can hear you laughing, Mom. I knew you would get a kick out of it. The clincher for me was the toilet paper on her foot!


5 Joan May 5, 2012 at 6:01 am

LMBO at the purse around the neck! How often have I had my purse around my neck in a public restroom because there was no hook to hold it on while I was holding the stance! This was LOL funny, but Skip_D — I think you have to be a woman to truly appreciate how true and funny this post really is! (I think all of our mothers taught us the stance for public restrooms!) 🙂


6 The Redhead Riter May 5, 2012 at 6:05 am

Yeah, “The Stance” is definitely something handed down from generation to generation. Of course, Skip can’t even fathom the complications because he just has to…well, you know. LOL


7 Susanne May 5, 2012 at 6:08 am

I should not have been taking a sip of my coffee as I was reading this…lol. Thanks for starting my day with a laugh. Any tips for how best to clean coffee out of a laptop’s keyboard? Have a great weekend.


8 The Redhead Riter May 5, 2012 at 7:12 am

LOL Whoops, Susanne!


9 Clare Davidson May 5, 2012 at 9:05 am

It really is much faster for men to go to the toilet and there’s never any queues in the men’s! Now imagine all that hassle but with a toddler in tow.

Thanks for a chuckle on a Saturday afternoon 🙂


10 The Redhead Riter May 5, 2012 at 9:15 am

Teaching a little girl to go to the potty in public is a nightmare!!!! LOL


11 Kristi May 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

Yes, this — sadly — is a quite common tale in the ladies’ restroom.
Cheap toilet paper so thin you could read through it, consequently one needs to use way more paper than would have been necessary. Then those high-efficiency toilets that nearly suck the life out of you WON’T flush down a simple wad of toilet paper. The automatic flushing systems cannot figure out if you’re done or not–especially if you choose not to sit. Then you get to the sink and discover no soap or the water dispensers require you to wave your hands back and forth a thousand times just to get a few measly drops of water. If one manages to get through the ordeal of the stall and the sink, you might think the end is near. Noooooo! You get to the paper towels and discover there is some secret code to getting the automatic paper dispenser to release the paper to you. Pretty Please? Maybe if I wave my hands in front of it?? Oh, I spot a hand dryer a few feet away. I’ll try that instead…. Walk over to the hand dryer and try to figure out how to turn that on. Hmmm. Do I wave at this one too? I finally figure out how to turn on the hand dryer only to discover I’ve suddenly been transported into a wind tunnel. Goodness gracious!! Restrooms had to be designed by IT People of the Male Persuasion.


12 The Redhead Riter May 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Oh my goodness, Kristi! I can so relate!!!! You’re right about the design team for women’s restrooms. They MUST be designed by IT men!!! That would explain it all!!!


13 Skip_D May 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I beg to differ! While some visits to a public restroom are less traumatic for men, it’s only relative. There are what I shall call “foul wetnesses” beneath urinals, polluted sinks with fouled faucets, empty towel dispensers, unimaginably nasty door handles for doors that almost invariably must be pulled open to permit exit – & then there are those times when one has to use one of the toilets, in those same ill-equipped stalls with unidentifiable liquids on floor & seat. In such circumstances, men also have to assume “the stance” while trying to prevent trousers from “the fall.” Oh, & I’m not even considering some of the literal holes in the floor I’ve encountered on my travels that can only be described as paved latrines!

In no way am I denying that women have it worse, but don’t dismiss the men’s room as a pleasant stopover – unless you’re one of those brave, adventurous, or impatient women who will bypass the interminable lines to the women’s room by slipping in with the guys! 😀


14 The Redhead Riter May 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm

LOL Skip! Um…I don’t think I will go into the men’s restroom either, but thanks for the suggestion! LOL LOL LOL


15 meg May 5, 2012 at 8:08 pm

You did forget all of the disapproving looks from all the other women standing in line. And don’t forget, Never touch the restroom door handle! Ha Ha Ha. We have all been to that “restroom”. Lots of smiles!


16 The Redhead Riter May 5, 2012 at 9:14 pm


WHY do women give those looks to us in the restroom? I haven’t figured it out!


17 Cheryl May 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm

OMG I am laughing so hard I am crying! Well done.. well said… something everyone needs to know! 🙂


18 The Redhead Riter May 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Hit home, Cheryl? LOL LOL LOL


19 Donna George May 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm

This is SO true! And don’t forget that the weird paradox in which, if there are 4,000 women needing to use the restroom, there are 4 stalls, and if 4 women need to go, there are 4000 toilets.


20 The Redhead Riter May 6, 2012 at 2:08 pm

You are sooooooooooooooo right, Donna!!!! LOL


21 Susanne May 6, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Here’s to William E. Rothschild. I’m having that flash right now and it most certainly beats the flashes of the past few months!


22 The Redhead Riter May 6, 2012 at 8:00 pm

LOL LOL LOL Susanne!


23 meg May 7, 2012 at 8:02 am

This is usually the moment when my cell phone rings too. And I will also have shopping bags with me. It’s all too true!


24 The Redhead Riter May 7, 2012 at 8:10 am

You are so right, Meg! LOL


25 Beduwen August 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm

This brought a well-needed chuckle at the end of my day! I just recently realized that the public toilets in Germany are brilliant – you have to pay to use them but they are clean and there is ALWAYS toilet paper (albeit not the softest ever) AND hooks. SO worth the money!


26 Sherry Riter August 18, 2013 at 11:38 am

LOLOLOL Toilet paper is priceless especially when you are in a stall in a public restroom and you’re the ONLY one in there! LOL


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