I’ve established three different bicycle routes through the neighborhoods around my house. They go in different directions and vary in length from 9 to 13 miles, round trip, but they all have one thing in common: each route goes by the coffee shop at the corner of Tanque Verde and Catalina Highway, where I like to stop for a break.
The coffee shop is popular with Tucson bicyclists, and every morning I see the same crowd of spandex- and jersey-clad poseurs lined up for skim milk decaf lattes (I dress as a Fred so that no one will mistake me for one of them). But I do have something in common with these people, and it’s not that we all ride bicycles to the coffee shop . . . it’s that we all have to pee after a cup or two.
I’ve been noticing a couple of interesting dynamics developing down at the coffee shop. The first dynamic is that some people use the restrooms to defecate. Since the restrooms, one for men and one for women, are one-toilet affairs with locking doors, lines form when one or the other is being monopolized.
These coffee shop patrons are regulars, who show up every day at set times. Presumably they know before leaving home whether or not defecation is in their near future. I was raised to think that one should take care of business before leaving home. Alas, some people think differently.
The second dynamic I see developing is cross-restrooming. When someone hogs the mens’ room, men use the womens’ room, and vice-versa. This has always been an occasional thing, but now I see it every day and in fact have started doing it myself.
And why not? The restrooms are identical, after all, and since they can only be used by one person at a time, they may as well be unisex. Still, I must admit that when I do duck into the womens’ room, I always rehearse what I’ll say if an irate woman confronts me when I leave: “I’m sorry, but someone was hogging the mens’, and I assure you it wasn’t me who peed on the seat.”
The future is here, and I, for one, welcome our unisex restroom overlords.