I was thinking of that cartoon on the way to work today and it brought back a flood of memories.
Like most kids, we would have basketball practice after school. It was that particular magic time when the halls were empty, voices echoed throughout the building and, pretty much, it was a free-for-all when it came to exploring unknown catacombs of the school such as the cafeteria kitchen, the teacher's lounge and the janitor's closet.
During a break in free throws, we were heading to the water fountain, when one of my fifth-grade chums ran over to the girl's bathroom door, pushed it open and darted inside.
A couple seconds passed before he shot his head out of the door and yelled, "Well, are you coming or not?"
Like a herd of sheep, we ushered into the great unknown abyss known as the girl's bathroom.
As we entered, the first difference I noticed was, of course, was no urinals. Now, at the time, I knew women had different body parts and that they couldn’t stand up and pee (Although this wasn’t the case in college). Hence, no urinals.
Another observation: unlike the boy's room, all the bathroom stalls had doors.
To this day, I never understood the phenomena of no doors on boy’s bathroom stalls.
Although I remember walking in on many kids grunting, groaning and wiping with reams and reams of toilet paper - in my 12 years of school, I never, ever took a shit in a school bathroom. And it was primarily due to the lack of stall doors.
As we delved further into the bathroom, I noticed the pink walls. The color gave the girl’s bathroom an overall comfortable ‘girly’ feel. It was actually very welcoming. Had this option been available to me, I would have more than likely let the turds fly in school. Possibly numerous times per day.
Instead of the zoo-like urine and shit smell found daily in the boy’s bathroom, I remembered a dinstint fresh, fruity smell emitting from the air. Also there were no strands of toilet paper on the ground and the balled-up brown construction-paper towels were placed nicely and neatly in the trash can. Man were these girls clean.
Then, all of a sudden, one of my fellow teammates shrieked...
"What the hell is that!" he yelled pointing to the far wall of the girl's restroom.
It was at that exact moment, we came in contact with the Lost Ark of the Covenant...
Being in fifth grade, I was still a boy. I played kissing games and spin the bottle with girls. I think I even had a psuedo girlfriend or two. In short, I knew girls and boys were different and all that jazz, but I didn’t know we were THAT DIFFERENT.
I would overhear my mom telling people that she was bleeding. I would see the remnants in the trash can, but I just assumed she cut herself. I remember going to the movies and watching The Blue Lagoon. I got freaked out when Brooke Shields had her period in the water. I thought there was a creature under the water biting her.
Suffice to say, I wasn’t educated on the love-making aspect until a little later down the line - a couple years later to be exact. That's when the light went off and I said to myelf, "So that's what that machine was."
So there we were, my buddies and I, our mouths agape as we stared at this machine in awe.
"Man, I wish we had a machine like that in our bathroom," one kid murmured. To be honest, I sort of did too. I was a little jealous that these girls got so many perks. Like the clean bathroom. The pink coloring. Doors on the stalls. And, of course, this mysterious machine.
Boy was I wrong.
In hindight, I liked our little boy’s room. I liked standing by the urinal, pulling my pants all the way down to my ankles and taking a good ol' man piss. I liked the no doors on the stalls. I liked the toilet paper everywhere. Hell, I even liked the poop smell mixed with vomit.
But, you know what I especially like? The fact that I'll never, ever, have a period and/or menstrual cramp as long as I live.
More importantly, I'll never have to use one of those machines. Ever.
Unless, of course, I get shot in the butthole.