a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Barman, can we have a bathroom chat?

By Amanda Gillooly

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Sometimes I wonder exactly what kind of girl Scott “Scooterlicious” Beveridge  thinks I am.

Believe me when I tell you there were truly bizarre moments at my 30th birthday party a few weeks ago – but my favorite was when he emerged from the men’s restroom at the River City Inn with a look of sheer incredulity.

“Have you been in there yet?” he asked.



“Have I been in…the men’s restroom?” I asked him back by way of confirmation after I glanced over both shoulders to see there was some other dude my beer-addled mind hadn’t recognized with any formal conversation that he was REALLY asking.

“Yes,” he said – launching into an unlikely description of the men’s facilities at my favorite bar, located in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.

After ignoring the obvious question: “Scott, why would you think I was hanging out in the men’s bathroom?” I asked the obligatory one: “Scott, are you messing with me?”

But indeed, he was not. 

Like a true gentleman, he didn’t wait for me to march in there and check it out for myself. Instead, he showed me the photo, above, – which conjures up some unpleasant thoughts of its own.

1.  I’ve been a regular at that bar since I was old enough to drink legally. In my experience there (and that dates back to college – a vast wasteland of shots and beers), I’ve never known any of my fellow patrons to need an assist in the pisser.

So, when I noticed the chair sitting creepily close to the commode in there, I wondered if, perhaps, the new RCI owner had engaged the services of an overzealous bathroom attendant – one who sits perversely near his clients and reads them British satire or impromptu haikus. In my mind he wore a corduroy jacket with leather patches on the elbows like all real asses do.

But then I thought about some of the guy’s I’d downed drinks with at the place, and I couldn’t see any literature being philosophized in that men’s room without eventual police intervention and subsequent restraining orders.

2.  I never got a chance to further ponder the mysterious origin of the ill-advised chair when Scott showed me a second photo: A side view of the commode showing not one or two – but four toilet paper roll fixtures.

I wrote that scene off by suggesting it was a “safety in numbers” thing (the staff wouldn’t have to worry about running in every time a single roll ran out) but Scooter suggested the whole thing smacked of poor interior design.

When it comes to bathroom savvy, I’m afraid the man might be right. The women’s room, while adequate, has a few too many artificial flowers. And by comparison, a poor toilet paper showing.

But hey, don’t judge a bar by the bathroom, right?


Anonymous said...

Amanda, this one had me laughing out loud (although quietly, quietly, in my cube at work, here).

Thank you for writing about Scott's observances (is that a word?) about the men's room.

The scooter's cuz,


MJ said...

If I was the bar owner, I would worry about the drunks picking the wrong seat in the bathroom.