As a consequence of our chosen profession, that of itinerant merry-makers, my dear Councilman and I pass many hours rolling upon the highway. It is a romantic image, we realize: Two well-dressed men, a minivan full of kazoos and novelty instruments, a can of Sparks Light or two, and a crowd of 12-15 murmuring music lovers waiting down the road to be entertained. Romantic, indeed! But, it is not without its share of adversity. Our evenings are indeed filled with joy, and song, and camaraderie. But, our day-times (and late late nights) alone in the gentlevan, hurtling from town to town are wearying and devoid of thrills. Indeed, in the absence of a scenic vista, the only hiccups in the monotony come when The Councilman determines that he is hungry or in need of a little gentleman’s room. “I am hungry or in need of a little gentleman’s room,” he’ll bellow. And I, as driver, will have little choice but to turn from the interstate in search of a food stand and a little gentleman’s room. Luckily, our nation is peppered with well-lit oases where a gentleman in need can find himself a snack, a Sparks Light, a little gentleman’s room, and, if he requires, some gasoline for his vehicle.
The frequency with which said oases appear along our country’s roadways is a great convenience to me and The Councilman. And the great frequency with which we visit them has given us opportunity to gain a fine sense or proper Gasoline Station etiquette generally, and proper Gasoline Station Restroom etiquette specifically. As always, we are pleased to report that the vast number of Gasoline Station customers we encounter comport themselves with an impressively acceptable helping of decorum. But we have seen, dear friends, enough careless slobbery in our travels to merit this short lesson on the following topic: Proper Etiquette in a Single Occupancy Gas Station Rest Room.
We shall now recount a story about a fellow we encountered late in the evening at a gasoline station. For this lesson, we request that you, dear reader, imagine yourself as this fellow going about his activities as we describe them. As you read, we request that you note, with pen and paper, any of his actions that you deem “improper,” “in need of improvement,” “inappropriate given the circumstances,” etc. Our tale follows presently. Please imagine that…
You are the town drunkard, but you are not the social sort. You tire of the crowds at your local tavern. You prefer to be drunkardly in the privacy of your own home, or while strolling upon the shoulder of a state highway. You would like, on this particular evening, to become more drunkardly. But, wait! You have run out of the drink. You stroll to your local gas station to remedy this. Upon arrival you encounter two finely dressed gentlemen exiting a minivan. You take little notice of them, assuming them to be itinerant merry-makers or lovers. You enter the gas station’s miniature mart. What a fine selection of malt liquors and domestic beer drinks they have! you think to yourself. But, wait! I have need for the little gentleman’s room. You locate and enter said gentleman’s room. You notice that it is single occupancy, yet you neglect to lock the door behind you. Further, for reasons unknown, you choose to position yourself so that you are standing to the side of the toilet receptacle, facing the unlocked door. Finding your denim pants to be burdensome, you push them down to your shins. You are, after all, the only occupant of this single occupancy restroom. You begin to relieve yourself sloppily. What a feeling of relief, you say aloud. But, wait! The door has opened! It is one of the well-dressed gentlemen from the minivan, who has taken an unlocked lavratory door to mean an unoccupied lavratory. You smile. The well dressed gentleman, recognizing the misunderstandin, shuts the door with haste. But not before catching a full and complete glimpse of you smiling, you relieving yourself sloppily, and you embracing your private man-part in a manner that suggests, “Observe! My private man-part!” You complete your business undeterred and emerge several minutes later to encounter the well-dressed gentleman patiently waiting his turn. The gentleman apologies politely for the interruption. Not one to belabor a point or place blame, the gentleman does not mention the unlocked door, etc. You smile, wink at said gentleman in a manner that suggests “Observe! My private man-part!”, and reply “Any time.” The well dressed gentleman begins to laugh. Undeterred, you fetch several cans of King Cobra and a Sparks Plus from the refrigerator and step to the counter. When told of the cost, you inform the cashier “I don’t have any money” and wait for her to bag your items. She does not. After several moments you depart. The End.
An instructive example, is it not? For the sake of comparison, we offer our analysis.
Improper actions – 3 instances
Actions in need of improvement – 2 instances
Dreadfully inappropriate actions – 1 instance
Actions inappropriate given the circumstances, but not necessarily in general – 2 instances
Miscellaneous – 4 instances
We hope you analyzed it similarly and, on your next gas station trip, we hope that you keep this fellow in mind. We, unfortunately, can’t get him out of ours.