Catching a morning TV news blip: “Stay tuned to hear what most people prefer, paper towels or air dryers in public bathrooms.” Slow news day? Maybe – but wait…recent Breaking News was that – drum roll please – the infamous and historic long metal trough urinals are remaining in the Wrigley Field Men’s Rooms. Yea! (Actual focus groups and surveys somehow supported this exciting decision.)
This resulted in a huge sigh of relief from Cubs Guys throughout the entire city and suburbs. These men really, really love their troughs.
Cub’s Fan Guys lined up shoulder to shoulder – peeing in unison into a trough and, here is the phenomenon: talking about the game, the team, the players, raves or Cubs Suck rants, depending on what’s going on. This communal relieving of themselves into the same common tank seems to inspire a sports bonding social “party room” so to speak, where conversation flows…blah blah blah. Or so I have been told.
This does not happen in the women’s room.
I have previously divulged the very Mars and Venus contrasting atmospheres of the Men’s vs. Women’s bathrooms at Soldier Field. (Read this post for more on Ladies Room Revelations.)
Now, I have (accidentally) walked into my fair share of men’s rooms, and sometimes even intentionally (emergency when the line to the Ladies Room is three miles long). However, I would never even want a peak at the Trough Room – scary visual.
In fact, before a recent grandpa/grandson fun outing to the Friendly Confines, the conversation went something like this between me and My Sports Guy Avid Cub Fan and Trough User:
Me: “Honey, I think you should take him (grandson) to the family bathroom”.
Sports Guy: No reply. Blank Stare.
Me: “I think he’s too young for the other right of passage.”
Sports Guy: No reply, but he gives me the “what the hell are you talking about” look.
Me: “You know, the trough line-up.”
Then I received a patronizing pat on the head and a “Don’t worry about it.” And the Boys were off.
Back to the dilemma at hand. As I said, the Ladies Room is not a social gathering place at all.
Currently, here is what goes on:
The ladies wait in line for a bathroom stall. (stalls and troughs…is there a horse theme here somewhere)
They go into the stall and do their thing.
Wash their hands.
Paper or air dry. (Need to see that news report).
Maybe a quick lipstick touchup.
The ladies do not talk about the game. No shoulder to shoulder analysis or grief sharing swear words. No high fives. Nothing. Boring yet efficient.
Why not? One might ask. What’s missing here? Aha. The “trough experience,” of course.
Obviously, for anatomical reasons, the trough would not work for the ladies. As convenient as it might be to stand and pee, this is not an option.
But, I do have another idea, and this will be an addendum to my previous post: Enhancing The Wrigley Field Experience Beyond The Seventh Inning Stretch: My Free Advice To The Cubs
Memo to Tom Ricketts: In your upcoming major $300 Million Wrigley Field renovation, you could cut down the common walls between the Ladies Rooms’ stalls – to maybe a half wall or less – and that way, as we squat over our respective toilets (sitting if there’s a paper liner), we would be looking at our neighbor in her stall. Not quite shoulder to shoulder, but at least eyeball to eyeball.
That might work to inspire some game day enthusiastic small talk, just like the boys do.
Like, “What a game!” Or, “Do you believe how much they are paying Soriano and he struck out twice.” (All the while tinkling.) Or, just a really loud “Go Cubs,” upon flushing. (I am told that guys just yell this out in the Trough Room.)
Now, it might be a little awkward at first, but it works for the boys. Women need to get more in the spirit of things. Think about it. Pretty soon, we would be saying, “Don’t take away our Open View Stalls.” It’s tradition. That’s where we bond.
You know, Mr. Ricketts, sometimes you have to think outside of the box. Run it by the Mrs.
Now, about paper towels or air dryers? That will need another focus group, for sure.