Remembering Your Worst Porcelain Nightmare
An anonymous person wrote to me a while back and asked what was the dirtiest bathroom that I held in my memory. Believe it or not the question stumped me. Of all the roadside rest areas, porta-potties, traveling fair field toilets and public restrooms that I've had to use in my life, few stood out as truly filthy disgusting off the top of my head. One of them was the restroom in the now nonexistent Kentucky Fried Chicken in Hermitage, Pennsylvania. To this day I cannot understand how a chain restaurant could get away with having such a dirty bathroom. The floors were wet slimy cement and were covered in toilet paper, and the toilets were porcelain horrors, stained from years of neglect. The stink was, well, it stunk.
There was also a soldier's bathroom in Fort Polk, Louisiana, that stands out in my mind as being particularly nasty. His family had already relocated, and he was being put out for not getting promoted to sergeant in time. I think he'd been a specialist for close to ten years. Since the family was gone he let his housing go to shit. The toilet and surrounding walls were caked with pee sprinkles and watery poop stains. He was truly a gross individual.
And yet, the one bathroom that I think of repeatedly throughout the years is the public restroom in the Sears of the Shenango Valley Mall. The cleanliness level was never the issue; instead, it was the stink of the place. I have visited that store's bathroom over a thirty-five year period, and it has always smelled the same -- like incredibly strong pee-pee. I think that bathroom could be scrubbed from top to bottom with bleach and it would still smell like pee. It's the strongest pee smell that I have ever smelled. It has made me gag, as a matter of fact. And if you've ever been in that bathroom then you know what I'm talking about.
Of course there have been nasty porta-potties and gas station restrooms that I've had to use, but as the years have flown by I've see a change. More and more during trips with Mr. Daphne I will visit a Slurpee Mart bathroom that instead of stinking is downright pristine. The newer fast food restaurants have gorgeous bathrooms. The floor tile is expensive, and the cubicles are lined with it instead of being closed off by standard industrial stall walling. I do not think the nasty public toilet will ever die out, but I do see a new breed of hygeine conscious chain store CEOs who may have sat on a porcelain horror of their own at one time or another, and these corporate big wigs are building better shitters.
I'd like to know what you think about this hypothesis, and if you remember the worst bathroom that you've ever had to use, tell us about it.