There was a story on the Today show about a lady inErin,Tennesseewho went into a restaurant, ‘The Flood Zone,’ to use the bathroom. She was told she could use the bathroom, but did not see the index size card which read, $5 charge for non-customers.’ So, when she was done, she left without paying. She did not know an employee wrote down her license plate and the local sheriff ran her plates. They got her address and sent a bill. When she got the bill she went back to the restaurant to pay the bill. They would not accept her money. So, then she sent a certified money order which they also refused. The restaurant was quoted as saying, “We didn’t want her money. We wanted to make a point.” The sheriff should have arrested them for wasting his time. And they did make a point, but it doesn’t reflect kindly on them.

We’ve all been in situations where we’re in desperate need of a bathroom. Take for example the tourist, inFrance. All morning she walks the streets and takes pictures. Hours later, she is hungry and in dire need of a bathroom. She goes into the first restaurant she sees. The maitre de approaches her and after sizing her up with a disapproving look asks with disdain, “Would you like to eat at the House of Crepes? You can tell by his tone he hopes you will say, “No.” “First I need to use your restroom,” she replies with urgency. He seems hurt and asks, “No crepes?” Now, rubbing her legs together like starting a forest fire, she demands, “Tell me where the bathroom is.” his annoyance matches your urgency and he begins to recite the daily crepe specials. She grabs him by his French collar and starts yelling. The French patrons whip out their cell phones and next thing she knows the video has gone viral. It’s called ‘Another Ugly American inParis.’

Only, sometimes it’s the person who wants to get out of a bathroom rather then get in is the one who can cause a scene. One time I was in a bathroom stall with my then toddler daughter. Well, she decides halfway through what I was doing that she wanted out. She reached for the lock and opened it. She started opening the door. I leaned forward (which was hard in my position) and shut it. Again, she opened it. Again, I shut it. She opened. I shut. Open. Shut. Open. Shut. She starts screaming, “Let me out.” Oh, God, in my mind social services is coming. I don’t want to be arrested in a public bathroom! When we emerge from the stall other mothers and their perfectly behaved children are staring at a child rubbing her tear filled eyes and a mother with her pants at her knees. I’m glad there was no YouTube back then. I can understand perfectly well how some situations can get out of hand.

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