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October 14th, 2001

Bathroom Guys

Two years ago, for my birthday, my friends took me out to Harry Caray’s restaurant in downtown Chicago. I’ve never been a Cubs fan, but I have been a Harry fan. The restaurant includes a bar, which is where we sat, but instead of the usual bar food one can choose from the normal restaurant menu… great, great Italian food. It’s odd to see genuinely good eats in a bar setting, though.

When I went to the bathroom, though, I got to experience the best bathroom guy in Chicago. I don’t know his name, but I remember his face and his deep voice. When I finished my bathroom duties, he did everything a bathroom guy should do: he turned the faucet on for me, and assisted me with a paper towel. But then… then he offered me some cologne or aftershave.

It didn’t stop there. He picked out a cologne and told me, “This is the stuff you want. It’s what your father used, and your father’s father, and probably his father too.” It did smell rather nice, so I splashed some on. “You use that stuff, and you’ll be havin’ a good time tonight!” he said, with a smile. We struck up conversation, talking about his aunt’s house in Mississippi. A big old house, one that he loved to work on… to be outside painting in the hot, hazy weather. Drinking a beer on break. Enjoying the view. He told me the story, but more than that, he helped me live part of it.

I walked out of that bathroom so very happy. When my friends suggested returning to Harry’s last year, I was anxious to see if my bathroom guy was there – and he was! We talked about sports this time out, but he remembered me, which struck me as remarkable. Plus, I got some good cologne.

Yesterday was our 3rd trip out to Harry Caray’s for my birthday, and more than anything, I was looking forward to talking with the bathroom guy. But, this year, he wasn’t there. The man there was polite and did what he was supposed to do, but there were no stories. There was little interaction.

A good bathroom guy is really hard to find. -pm

Posted in Everyday Life

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