Trials, tribulations and toilets
I know you’ve all had this thought. “Seriously? The toilet won’t flush? And it just HAD to be today?” Yeah. That might have happened a few times on our school’s Peace Trip. Just maybe.
It all started one fateful day that we left on a bus for D.C. Paul, the bus driver, told us the rules. He started with “Rule No. 2.” Not No. 1. Because that’s how we count in English. Rule No. 2 was: You may use the bathroom on this bus. However, if you are a boy, you may not use the toilet standing up (in case of sudden stops). There was instantly this strange picture in my mind of the bus stopping and tinkle going all over the place. I was scarred. One thing he forgot to mention was that we were not supposed to do Number 2 in the toilet on the bus. I wish we had learned that earlier. The last two days were ripe.
The next day, at Fontainebleau State Park in Louisiana, we had another toilet trial. The pipe was blocked in one of the girls’ cabins, and the toilet overflowed. There happened to be a hole in the wall, and the water flowed into the bedroom.
The next malfunctioning toilet was the next day at Mary’s Southern Cooking. There was a long line of girls waiting, and it got clogged. Mary herself came and unclogged the toilet.
When the bus dropped us off at Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham, Ala., a group of us wandered around for awhile until we came upon someone who knew the owner of a barber shop The owner was nice and let us use the bathroom, even though there was only one unisex bathroom with no toilet paper. At least there were napkins, and we had this long strange conversation about accidentally flushing random things down the toilet.
After all that, it was meaningful to think, more seriously, that we were in Birmingham, where there had been segregated bathrooms for way too long. I realized that we take so much for granted, including that there will always be a place for us to do our business.
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