#970 Using hotel lobby bathrooms when you’re out walking around

Cleans your hands better

Anyone else out there have a bladder the size of a walnut? One that fills up after a few spoons of soup and is on attention, ready to drain any time of the day? If you’re afraid of getting a drink before the movie or having a glass of water anytime after 6pm, then you’re with me. My small and weak-bladdered brothers and sisters of the world, unite!

See, we got issues, me and you. We’re terrible on airplanes. We never get to experience the 7-11 Super Big Gulp. And maybe worst of all, we’re always forcing our friends to help us find public washrooms when we’re walking or driving anywhere, which really drives them crazy. Sorry, friends.

If you’re with me on this one, then you know these searches for decent public washrooms really are a fine art. That perfect place to unzip and drip is always out there, but you really need to be careful. With that warning, let me present to you the Top 5 Places To Pee When You’re Out Somewhere:

  • Brought to you by the richest company in the world#5 Gas stations. Gas stations know they are easy prey for the worst kind of fly-by urinators — those who don’t live nearby, give their name, or plan on ever coming back. Those kind of people do not respect bathroom facilities — that we know from the racist scrawls on bathroom walls and the obvious mistaking of floors for toilets. Bad ones smell rancid. Good ones smell like a flatbed truck full of urinal pucks sitting on a garbage dump. But hey, sometimes gas stations appear like toilet mirages on the horizon, and at least you know they’re almost always open, and almost always have a toilet. So we give you Number 5, gas stations. Thanks for coming out.
  • #4 Bus or train stations. Bus or train station bathrooms are just like gas stations, but with one key difference: maintenance. Whereas gas stations are usually being run by individual owner-operators or a couple of teenagers working the midnight shift who employ the use of a key on a big piece of wood instead of a toilet brush and mop, bus or train stations are generally run by formal transit authorities or city governments who employ people just to clean the place up, because otherwise they’d look bad and maybe get kicked off the board or something. The other plus to bus or train stations is size. They usually have rows of stalls or urinals instead of one. Very little chance of having to wait. So thanks, bus or train station bathroom. You’re there when we need you.
  • 3. Restaurants. Next, restaurants! Okay, we’re starting to get into decent bathroom territory now. Here there’s maybe an extra ply on the toilet paper and perhaps a sports section or Far Side comic pinned up over the urinal. Restaurant bathrooms are much better, but they are a little hard to get at — you’ve either got to sit down and buy something, or pretend you’re looking for someone before running to the back of the place. Care and delicacy is required. Not for the full or faint of heart.
  • Time for some Toilet Duck2. Somebody’s nearby house – Always great for a pit stop when you’re driving. This is where you make the mid-trip pit stop at a local friend’s apartment or house. They don’t necessarily have to be hanging out with you at the time. Just buzzing their place and asking if you can use the can is completely fine. Once you get in you’ll be living large with thick toilet paper, some fancy tangerine-pomegranate cream soap maybe, and occasionally a stack of dog-eared magazines. Try not to judge them based on all that hair in the sink, the bath towel laying on the floor, or the bright, glowing toilet bowl ring staring up at you like the eye of Sauron. Don’t judge, just enjoy and get out.
  • 1. Hotel lobby bathrooms – Now we finally reach the cream of the crop, the cherry on the sundae, the top of the roller coaster. Yes, the spacious, luxurious, over-the-top hotel lobby bathrooms really are magical when you’ve been walking around all day, sweating under a backpack and blazing sun, just searching for a place to lighten your load. Hotel bathrooms are great because they are so sinful and wasteful. Really, nothing in there is necessary! In a hotel bathroom you can pretend you’re the Emperor of Toilets, commander over a vast plumbing empire, ruler of all faucets and mirrors for miles around. Hotel lobby bathrooms treat us street-walking folks like uppity business class travelers. I mean, who likes to dry their hands with face cloths anyway? Who needs chairs or couches in the bathroom for that post-dump lounge? And who really wants one of those bathroom butlers sneakily wedged into a corner wearing a tux, holding out cologne and towels for you? Who needs this?

Well us, that’s who! We thimble-bladdered folk need this once in a while. I’m sorry but we need it. A little pampering and comforting for our terrible genetic sins. So thank you, hotel lobby bathrooms for treating us with grace and dignity amongst a world of people who don’t like to hang out with us.


Unnecessary yet amazing

57 thoughts on “#970 Using hotel lobby bathrooms when you’re out walking around

  1. You missed a key one – Barnes and Noble! Man, that store is like gold when you’ve really gotta go. Not only are they kept clean and easy to get into, but they provide plenty of reading material if you’re going to take awhile.

  2. “Good ones smell like a flatbed truck full of urinal pucks sitting on a garbage dump. ”

    You know, I’ve always been hard-pressed to accurately describe the “good” gas station bathrooms, but the above statement now is sufficient. Good work, sir.

  3. The 2 best places to use the restroom are 1: Public libraries. They are usually open during business hours and weekends, the restrooms are clean, and you don’t have to buy or sign up for anything. But the absolute best place? Starbucks. They all have bathrooms, they are always clean, and they are EVERYWHERE.

  4. Too funny!
    My husband just knows to be ready for a “pit stop” at any given time when we are on the road so I could really relate to this post.
    Thanks for the smiles!

    Is it ok if I add your blog to my favorites?


  5. To add a challenge: use public restrooms in hotels or restaurants that you are massively underdressed for. This is especially fun in snobbier places like Paris or NYC. Just walk right in there confidently, like you’re headed for the elevator, then make a quick dash down the hall / stairs to the bathrooms. On the way out, ask the conceirge for directions to something.

  6. LOL….I just thought of something else:
    How many of you feel obligated to BUY something if you use a convenience store’s bathroom?
    Ever notice how the store is completely empty when you come out and try to make your get-a-way? :-):-):-) I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of money I’ve spent on those calorie-laden “snacks” that are conveniently located between the direct glare of the clerk and the exit doors after you’ve just used their restroom.

  7. lawl this blog is hilarious! and dont worry folks, america is covered in cracker barrels. in our employee training it actually said something about making sure that travelers can use the bathrooms without feeling pressured into buying a shitty kenny rogers cd or food they could make at home with a box of bisquick.

  8. What about the mall bathroom. I would rank that one in between the restaurant and train/bus station. But I have been in some pretty nice ones as well.

  9. Casino bathrooms are awesome. I don’t know if the Grand Casino in Biloxi was resotred after Katrina, but their ladies’ room downstairs in the non-smoking section used to be a work of art…..Flocked wallpaper, roomy stalls with soft tp, a very nice matron who handed you soft paper towels. A table containing mouthwas and cups, sewing supplies, feminine supplies, expensive perfumes and hand lotions to use….

  10. ‘Yes! Oh, yes!’ on this one.

    I live in a seaside town, and while I could go to the dank-whole, junkie dwelling public loos; it doesn’t quite possess the magic of using the spotless, upmarket department store ones…without buying anything.

    And it was blissful. And it was awesome.

  11. I agree with the mall bathrooms. If you really gotta go, hit up a Neiman Marcus or Saks. You would be amazed at how nice those bathrooms are, in a mall!!!

  12. To this day the most notable bowel movement of my life occured in a life saving hotel bathroom that glistened in the distance like Cinderalla’s Castle at Disney World.

  13. A friend of mine is one of these tiny-bladdered people, and we both studied abroad in London. When we would pregame before a night out, she couldn’t make it from our flat to the nearest Tube station without stopping in one of the very nice hotels in the VERY nice neighborhood where we lived. That’s peeing in the lap of luxury.

  14. This really made my day. It’s like you know me!

    I had a particularly memorable bathroom stop in a fancy hotel in Dublin last year while travelling around Europe. I was with 2 friends and headed from the city to the airport on a bus, which I knew would be at least a 45 minute ride, when, some 10 minutes into the trip, that terrible feeling hit and I said “we need to get off… now.” The next stop was in front of a huge, swanky hotel and no other place in sight seemed like a potty-possibility so we went inside in our grubby jeans and tee-shirts and giant backpacks and my gracious friends bravely camped out in the lobby for some 15-20 minutes while I made sure I had gotten my bladder as empty as possible before they convinced me that we HAD to catch the next bus to the airport or we would miss our flight.

    If backpacking in Europe isn’t adventurous enough, doing so with an exceptionally small bladder will sure make it interesting!

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  17. So true! I drove from LA to Phoenix with friends last weekend and our first stop to use the restroom was a gas station. And let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty at all. Then a couple of hours later we stopped at a hotel to use their bathroom facilities. And that made the trip a WHOLE lot better. Those bathrooms are heavenly sent. Thank you hotels for your much needed bathrooms on road trips!

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  19. i can totally relate, neil. i have a tiny, tiny pea- (pun intended, oh yes!) sized bladder. so yes. this is an out of the ballpark hit. barnes and noble is great–office bathrooms are great!–and did you know that forever 21 megastores have bathrooms? hmmm? i rely big time on airport bathrooms when i travel…and of course i HAVE to have the aisle seat. i may actually get a panic attack otherwise!

  20. My mom is one of those people you mentioned with the walnut-sized bladder. With her I’ve experienced some very interesting bathrooms, including the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

  21. I went into a Bookmans Used once…. nicest bathroom ever! I was so shocked! the stores was kinda bleh… but man was the bathroom nice.

  22. Great simple pleasure….first thing I do after checking in & unloading luggage into my room is check out the lobby rest room. Next morning, armed with hotel newspaper & coffee, I’m off to the “library”. My morning “sit down” one of the most relaxing times, plus the added benefit of not grossing out the wife by ruining the room.

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  28. i thinks you may have missed a couple here (dependent on gender). first, this can rank between 4th and 2nd but requires nerves of steel, the strangers bathroom. That’s right, walking up to an unknown house ringing the doorbell and asking to use the toilet. resulting in one of the greatest rewards of desperate urination, a big mistake in character of the occupant’s hygiene or rejection. finally this only applies to males, obviously, and its the right to pee wherever we want to, the world is our toilet.

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