Tag Archives: ohio university

Read the Restroom Door

I went to Ohio University this past weekend.  I graduated from there twenty years ago.  Twenty!  For those of you who may be reading this while still in your college years, I have this advice.  Stay in school as long as possible!  Declare a new major just before finishing your current one.  Consider getting a Master’s degree in anything.  Perhaps everything.

Those years were the best.  You get to make friends with people who will be in your life forever-there-after.  You get to hold almost no responsibility (aside from class work, but trust me, it’s far easier than the real world).  You get watch your university appointed freshman self destructing roommate drink and drug his life away, eventually drop out, and then land a job as the chief supervisor of camper village at Disneyland.  They wouldn’t even let him work inside the park.  I never felt like more of a success story than I did the day I spotted his picture on the vacation brochure.  Way to go, Captain Success!

When I was visiting my old stomping grounds, I had a vivid flashback.  There was this bar located uptown that my friends and I would frequent, frequently.  It was there that I learned the valuable lesson of “double check which bathroom you’re heading into before entering.”  You see, as you approach this particular set of bathrooms, the woman’s room is next to the men’s room, but recessed a bit further back.  Due to this odd architecture, as you approach the bathroom clearly labeled “WOMEN”, the wall blocks the first part of the word.  If you are not paying attention, you will only see the “MEN” part of the label.  Furthermore, if the men’s room has a group of people standing in front of it, it is easy to overlook.  Perhaps the fact that I had a little bit of alcohol in me was a contributing factor in this oversight.  Naw, probably not.  I took a picture to help visualize this scenario even more than my crystal clear verbal description has done.

Looks like two men’s rooms to me

So I pushed right in with no hesitation.  Why would you hesitate if you believe your heading into the men’s room and are opting out of double checking prior to crossing the threshold?  Luckily, there was no one inside as I entered.  I remember thinking to myself, “Odd.  They took out urinals and put in two more toilets since the last time I was here.”  …because that happens all the time.

So I’m doing what men do in a bathroom (sparing your brain the visually descriptive image), when a girl comes in.  I look over my shoulder and scoff a bit.  She lets out an apology, “Oh!  I’m sorry!” and leaves quickly.  Surprisingly, I still didn’t put it together.  I’m thinking about what a fool that girl was for entering the men’s room.

Upon exiting I got to experience a large round of applause.  The girl that “entered the wrong bathroom” put together a good size crowd to ensure that I understood who was actually in the wrong.  I put it together—finally.  It was a long walk back to my friends (an extremely long walk) as I was subjected to a line of woman cheering and clapping for me.  I felt like a football playing running through a tunnel of cheer leaders.  Only, I wasn’t so pumped up to be there.

With my face turning red I rejoined my friends who were just catching on to what happened.  However, to this group of guys, what I just did was awesome!  I breached the woman’s room!  I got a round of high-fives as they joined the applause and patted me on the back.  And then I really did feel like that star football player!

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Sure, I’ll Slow Dance

I would love to keep my blog entries current.  But, sometimes days will go by without anything amusing to write about.  That is not to say that my life is currently boring.  There are just good days and then there are very odd days.  Please don’t worry about my state of mind.  All is well.

You’re not worried about me, are you?  No?  Fine.

Ok.  I thought I would dig deep and bring to you story from my college years.  About twenty years ago.  Crap, I got old.

I went to school at Ohio University.  Note that the word “the” does not appear in the previous statement.  OU!  Home of the Bobcats.  Harvard on the Hocking.  Beautiful chunk of our country–rolling hills, green campus, no need for city buses, etc.  Hey, that is the description of an old guy reflecting upon his college years.  As a student back then, I didn’t really care or even notice the hills, unless I was lugging a backpack of books up them.  As a student, I would gladly tell you about the awesome engineering school that can be found there, or perhaps the uptown bar scene, where, back in the early 90’s, they would let anyone drink regardless of age.  Total non-discrimination.

There was this one particular bar called (back then) “The Greenery”.  This was a bar that looked the other way when checking your ID at the door.  The act of handing your ID to the so-called bouncer was just a show for… for who?  No one was watching?  Clearly this was a great place for freshmen to gather in order to discuss the finer points of the theories presented in the last experiment conducted in the physics lab earlier that week.  A place to develop student friendships.  A social gathering point to bond lifelong relationships.

Or maybe it was just a place to drink many pitchers of Brain Stoppers.  Man, they were yummy.

I remember the first time I attempted to enter this reputable place of business.  I handed my ID to the guy at the door and actually told him that I was underage.  I explained that I just wanted to see what the inside of this place looks like.  He said, “Sure.  Come on in!”  And then he marked my hand with that “approved to drink whatever” stamp.  Good times.  Stupid times.

There was an upstairs floor to this bar.  Up there music would be cranking out sounds of the late 80’s over the dance floor.  Young adults (too young to be there, but I wasn’t complaining) would be dancing, jumping, screaming, wiggling, and barfing to the beat of the tunes.  The smell of spilled Brain Stoppers filled the air—both serve and post-consumed.  The dance floor occupied a small area of the upstairs and a full mirrored wall made the place look like there were hundreds of students jammed in and having fun.

A little background about myself.  I am a Caucasian American.  You know the type, the non-dancing kind.  I’m also a tall guy.  I’m just under six foot five.  My dancing skills were never honed at all.  I was typically seen biting my lower lip and flailing my arms like I was trying to get a bathroom light sensor to turn the lights back on while trapped in a stall.  (Sound familiar?)

But it didn’t matter that I couldn’t dance well.  It’s not like this place was packed full of Footloose stars.  The likes of Kevin Bacon were nowhere to be seen.  So I’m out there with all my friends having the time of my life when I noticed this guy jumping around like a fool, waving his drink in the air, standing a good foot taller than everyone else on the dance floor.  What a dork!

Now, I’m not one to judge him based on the level of my own dancing skills, but that guy should go sit down.  He doesn’t realize that he is embarrassing himself.  Then a thought occurred to me and I froze.  I probably look just as dumb as him.  And then it was confirmed as I realized that I was looking at my own reflection in that mirrored wall.  That was my last fast dance.  Ever.

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