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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

FROM: Franko
DATE: Sunday October 14, 2001 -- 1:18:18PM
I hate bathroom guys. For starters, it makes me uncomfortable and a tad embarrased for being the beneficiary of this most subservient of tasks - I mean bathroom guys (and gals?) must rank pretty low on the services totem pole. And it's yet one more marginal service provided where I have to wonder how much tip I'm expected to cough up, all for rendering a service that I would much rather do myself. Finally, to paraphrase "It's a Wonderful Life", I go to the bathroom for one reason and one reason only, and the last thing I need is some characters in there to provide a little atmosphere. Get me?

FROM: Saori
DATE: Sunday October 14, 2001 -- 2:08:53PM
I'm actually intimidated by the bathroom people. It's like they're standing guard over the dish of peppermints. What if they're judging me on how long i wash my hands or how much soap i use? I just want to get out of there as quickly as possible. I'm supposed to tip them???

FROM: Robert
DATE: Sunday October 14, 2001 -- 2:31:59PM
My aunt took me Harry Caray's about ten years ago where we saw some drunks at the bar laughing at Harry calling Royce Clayton, "Rice" Clayton. No reverence at all . . .

I don't remember any bathroom guys, but Harry's was the first bathroom I ever saw with the fancy plastic cover on the toilet seat that changes when you push the big, red button.

One final note: I am willing to bet I'm the only Pinger who ever read Harry's autobio, Holy Cow!.

DATE: Monday October 15, 2001 -- 10:00:33AM
I have to say that I've never been to a bathroom with a bathroom guy in it. And for this, I am thankful. I'm with Franko on this one.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday October 15, 2001 -- 10:44:35AM
Oddly, the only place I've ever seen a bathroom guy was at Tramp's in NYC during CMJ (I think it was even a hip-hop show)...

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday October 15, 2001 -- 12:14:18PM
Ryan--I think that guy was there just to watch you pee.

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 3:42:45 pm

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 3:42:46 pm

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