Opinion » Maxed Out

Where to go, or not to go...why all the fuss?



Root, root, root for the home team.

Quite a few years ago, when I had a home team and for a brief, shining moment they were worth rooting for, I found myself at the old ball game at the not-so-old ball park. Not just any ball park but Toronto's SkyDome, back when it was just called the SkyDome and hadn't yet gotten some corporate brand slapped on it in exchange for a tax dodge.

It was late in the season and the Blue Jays were well on their way to clinching their division. It was the year they'd go on to win the World Series. The one where Joe Carter brought the house down with his walk-off home run.

It wasn't like I'd never been to the SkyDome before; I attended fairly frequently thanks to the generousity of a client who purchased season tickets — another write-offable business expense — and didn't particularly like baseball. His seats were pretty great, first base, sixth row aisle.

But those seats I got when the season just amounted to foreplay. Now that we were reaching climax time, I found myself, courtesy of another client, somewhere in the second tier in right field. Terra incognita, for me. Not that I was complaining. The client had taken me to dinner — write-off — gotten me more than well on the way to inebriated, kept the adult beverages flowing once we'd taken our seats in the stadium, and was actually a guy I didn't mind hanging out with, a rarity among clients.

The problem was, I didn't really know that section of the SkyDome. Now, if you're anything like me — and for your sake you should be thinking, "I'M NOT!" in caps, shouting — you might think, so what? A modern sports stadium is a modern sports stadium; they're all alike; it's not like wandering through wilderness.

And you'd be right... mostly.

Inevitably, the cocktails, wine, beer and excitement conspired and I found myself, courtesy of an extended pitch count on the batter who ultimately made the third out in an inning I'd already lost track of, with what can only be called a pressing need to get to the men's room. I dashed out the ramp, turned right and stopped myself before elbowing a woman out of the way to enter a ladies' room before she did. Whoops.

I kept hustling in the direction I was going and, sure enough, the next comfort station was a gent's toilet. Ahhhhh....

Fast forward to the next inning. Now the beverages are really catching up with me and I make a dash for it again. Thinking, "There's a ladies' room to the right; I'll go left," I went left. With no one blocking the door, I rushed into the toilet, looked to my right, didn't see a urinal, thought they were at the other end of the room, didn't want to push my luck and ducked into the nearest stall with an open door.

Ahhhhh... except this time, in mid ahhhh, a thought crept into the reptilian part of my brain, the part still pretending to work. "Didn't see a urinal. There's a receptacle on the wall of this stall I'm unfamiliar with. Can't read what it says on it."

At roughly the same millisecond those thoughts were beginning to jell in my mind and I was thinking, "Am I in the ladies' bathroom? Naw, can't be," a very feminine voice from somewhere outside my little world said, "I think somebody's in the wrong bathroom."


I mumbled something about life and death, averting my eyes — after I was finished needing them for accuracy — and heartfelt apologies, I quickly slunk out of, yes, the ladies' bathroom. Didn't even stick around to wash my hands.

All I could think was, "What kind of sadist designs a sports stadium with ladies' washrooms on both sides of the ramp?" I mean, I was in default mode. If there was a ladies' to the right there must be a gent's to the left. Right? Of course.

Fast forward a summer. I've made what was for several years an annual pilgrimage to a concert venue in Pittsburgh for Jimmy Buffett's yearly Parrothead Party. If the Skydome was generously over-ladies'-roomed, this place was a virtually bathroom desert. With tailgate parties in full swing several hours before the concert, by the time the music started the line-up for the ladies' room was so long it looked like they might be giving something away for free.

Being both generous and, let's just say, tipsy, I informed several of the women that, not surprisingly, the stalls in the gent's room weren't being used. I didn't tell them several guys were peeing in the sink. So they left the line and struck a blow for equality by walking into the men's room.

Without even mentioning mixed use, unsexed portapotties or the joys of unisex washrooms on airplanes, I am truly befuddled over the culture wars playing out south of the border over who pees where, depending on how they perceive their gender orientation. I assume the battle over where trans people relieve themselves is just another symptom of whatever social disease has given rise to the raging Orangutan leading the Republican Party's bid for the presidency.

But I don't get it.

I was always under the impression men and women had separate toilet facilities for the protection of women. Let's face it, if I was a women, I wouldn't want men using my toilet. Men are pigs. Considering a toilet is: (a) a stationary target and (b) less than three feet away, many men's abysmal aim raises questions about exactly why males were the hunters in hunter-gather societies. That's why urinals were invented. Not because men could hit them with any greater accuracy but because in most institutional washrooms janitors can simply hose them down at day's end. Men pee standing up because it's hard to dribble the last few drops down the front of your pants if you sit to pee.

I don't understand the uproar. As a man I don't feel threatened by a trans wo-Man using the men's room. I feel more threatened by closeted Republican congressmen, frankly, there having been more incidents of them being predatory in public toilets.

And if I was a woman, I'm sure I'd have more pressing concerns than a trans Wo-man quietly helping herself to an available stall. Having stumbled into the aforementioned ladies' room, I can assure any pervs who'd want to go to the trouble of crossdressing just to sneak into a one, there ain't much to see.

I may be mistaken but it seems like there are more serious issues to discuss. Let us just go in peace.


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