David Bruce: Bathrooms Anecdotes

Tribe 8 was a lesbian/transgender punk bank from San Francisco. One problem that they ran into while on tour was getting bathroom privileges—sometimes when they went into the women’s room women told them that they were in the wrong bathroom. Their appearance really does sometimes confuse people about their gender. Vocalist Lynn Breedlove says, “Little old ladies will come in the women’s room behind us, and then they’ll pop out and look at the sign on the door.” Once, an old man followed them into the men’s room because he thought that they were men. Ms. Breedlove says, “He jumped out.” Rhythm guitarist Lynn Feather has actually lifted her shirt to show that she has breasts and to prove that she is in the correct bathroom. The band wrote a song about this problem; of course, the song is titled “Wrong Bathroom.”

Comedian Robert Klein’s father never ate vegetables because he thought salad was a dish fit only for cows. As a result, his bowel movements were infrequent. Once, when Robert was young, the urge suddenly came on his father, who dashed for the bathroom. Immediately, he yelled for Robert to bring him an umbrella. Robert did as he was told, and when he opened the door to the bathroom, he saw his father sitting on the throne, and above his father, hanging on a clothesline, were his mother’s dripping undergarments.

As a very young gymnast, Dominique Moceanu trained with Leila Pallardy, whose mother was a nurse who greatly stressed hygiene. At an out-of-state meet, Leila advised Dominique, “Whatever you do, don’t sit on the toilet seat in the airplane and in the rest rooms at the airport.” In their hotel room, Leila noticed that the bathroom was “messy,” so she said, “What the heck? Somebody is not hitting the toilet here.” Dominique replied, “Well, you told me not ever to sit down.”

Saul Bellow and his literary agent, Harriet Wasserman, once had dinner at the home of Allan Bloom, who kept jumping up to get something from the kitchen. Each time he went past a palm tree that Mr. Bellow thought was very ugly, its fronds brushed his backside. Mr. Bellow watched this for a while, then he told Mr. Bloom, “Allan, now I know what that plant’s good for.”

Pope John XXIII once looked over the plans an architect had submitted for a new building that would be built on Vatican grounds, then returned the plans to the architect with this note in Latin: Non sumus angeli (We are not angels). The architect was puzzled by the note—until he realized that the plans for the new building did not include bathrooms.

Gymnasts have different ways of motivating themselves to perform well. Olympic gold medalist Dominique Dawes writes the words “Determination,” “Dedication,” and “Dynamics” on her bathroom mirror to motivate herself before meets. These words make up what she calls her “3-D philosophy” of competition.

The parents of John Waters read the reviews of his controversial films. His mother was extremely angry when Vincent Canby wrote in his New York Times review of Pink Flamingos that Mr. Waters must have suffered from “faulty toilet training” as a youngster. She shouted to her son, “You did NOT! Why can’t they leave me out of it?”

Russian ballet dancer Elena Lukom ran into a problem when she performed in Sweden because audience members laughed when she was introduced. Fortunately, she was able to solve that problem easily. She discovered that in Swedish her last name meant “restroom,” so whenever she toured in Sweden she changed her last name to Lukova.

Author Peg Bracken knows a friend who was bothered by someone who enjoyed snooping in other people’s bathroom cabinets. Therefore, before this particular person came to snoop—er, visit—she placed this sign in her bathroom cabinet: “What is it that you’re looking for? Just let me know, and I’ll be glad to help you find it.”

Years ago, guests on The Mike Douglas Show included pianist Roger Williams and the fashion director of Playboy, Robert L. Green. Mr. Green told Mr. Williams, “Although I have never met you, I’ve heard you tinkling many times.” Mr. Williams replied, “I’ve been tinkling since I was a little child.”

Peg Bracken once heard that it’s worthwhile to know why a person gets up in the morning, so when she was in college reporting for the school newspaper, she interviewed the Dean of Women and asked her why she got up in the morning. The Dean of Women replied, “To go to the bathroom.”

When Quaker humorist Tom Mullins’ daughter, Martha, was being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the speaker droned on and on. Martha found a pad and pencil, wrote on a piece of paper, then handed it to her parents. The note said, “Try not to think about going to the bathroom.”

Quaker pastor Stan Banker knows a Quaker restaurant that is excellent, although he wonders if confusion may someday result because this sign is placed rather too close to the restrooms: “Welcome, Friend, Will Thee Please Wait to be Seated?”

Rev. Timothy W. Ehrlich, took his six-year-old son, Shawn, to church, and told him, “This is God’s house. You must behave in it.” Young Shawn asked, “Daddy, can I use God’s bathroom?”

After staying at the very expensive Hotel Bristol in Paris, Peg Bracken learned that after each guest leaves the hotel, the toilet seat in the guest’s accommodations is removed, scraped, and revarnished.

“After seven years of marriage, I’m sure of two things—first, never wallpaper together, and second, you’ll need two bathrooms … both for her.”—Dennis Miller, The Rants.

Catherine de Medici had two portable toilets—one was decorated with blue velvet, the other with red velvet. When her husband died, she had a third one made—with black velvet.

Actor John Bryans used to engage in a rather peculiar ritual before appearing on TV—he would go into a bathroom and sit on a toilet seat as he recited the names of the actors he most admired.

On the side of the door facing the ladies toilet in a Pennsylvania restaurant appeared the sign: “Please be seated during the whole performance.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved



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Shattered Dreams


A Life Worth Fighting


Forgetting the Past


A New Beginning


Forever Country


Cupcakes are Not a Diet Food



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