The Potty Papers

If you're a guy, and you're thinking "Yeah, so, your bathroom is under construction, just pee in the yard," you can just move on right now. I am not talking to you. But ladies, I know you feel me here. A girl doesn't work hard her whole life to pee outside, and porta potties are acceptable only at the start of a race (and only if you got there early enough that you are among the first to use it, amiright?). When we are loo-free, we need some bathroom advice. This is a Yelp! for the crossed-leg crowd.

Albertsons: This grocery store has changed names several times in the last few months, so you can imagine how comforting it is that the bathroom hasn't changed a bit. No, I mean not at all. Like the same soap dispenser has been empty the whole time. Two stalls for convenient tandem peeing, this bathroom also offers bumpin' tunes and just the slightest smell of chicken.

Colville Street Patisserie: With jaunty blue walls, one can pretty much imagine one is peeing in Paris. If they have blue bathrooms in Paris. I mean, I don't know, but it feels French to me. As a one-customer-at-a-time bathroom the toilette includes an...um...toilet and a sink all to one's self, and there is a picture of a puppy to ponder. You can also ponder the fact that you will have to walk right by one cooler of vegetables and another of gelato to get out of this bathroom, and wonder how many people actually choose the former.

Walla Walla Cinema: In every single women's room in this place, there is at least one stall with a malfunctioning latch. This is probably not a big deal after a matinee, or any movie starring Adam Sandler, but it could be a serious problem on Tuesday Cheapo Ticket Night.

Walla Walla Clinic: I like their soap. It's really foamy. Were it not for all those sick people dragging down the vibe here, I would totally use it to make little beards and mustaches and then take, like, a million selfies in the mirror. Some bathrooms here have handy little shelves for your purse. Wait, what? Urine samples? Oh.

The YMCA: these are functional bathrooms. They say, "Hey, you didn't come here to pee, young lady, you came here to firm up those flabby ab muscles. So stop sitting around." One completely, totally, wholly, unmistakably egregious element here: all the toilet paper has been put on the spool GOING THE WRONG WAY.  And the holders are LOCKED, so a girl can't even fix it. Over, people, the paper must go over. Think of the children!

The Green Lantern: this bathroom suffers from comparison with its old self. A decade ago the walls were covered with awesomely raunchy graffiti, allowing a girl to weigh in on critical local debates (is Tom an asshole?, in what way is the bartender hot?, and just how does one even do that, could you include an illustration next time?). Now it is a rather dull place--what is this, the Y?!?!--and it kind of smells like bubblegum. The thing about a bar is that a girl ends up having to pee a lot, and she doesn't necessarily want to feel like she's taking a whizz right next to Bazooka Joe.

Rose Street Safeway: Kudos on the festive fall silk flower displays. Way to class up the joint a bit. However, the Jesus brochures didn't go over very well. While I enjoy nothing quite so much as reading about the rapture while sitting on the can, the solemn magnitude of the experience was somewhat marred by having the J. Geils Band's "Freeze Frame" blaring overhead.

Macy's: Early 20th Century department store bathrooms are a marvel. If you need to know how it is that the United States became the best damned country in the world, you just go into an old department store bathroom. They are palaces of marble, with sumptuous fainting couches upholstered in silk, and vanities that stretch as far as the eye can see to hold makeup, and hair brushes, and whatever else fancy ladies use to spruce themselves up. This is not one of those department store bathrooms. This is a sad, sad place. My advice is to hold it until you can get to the Patisserie...oo lah lah!

Starbucks: What, you've never been in a Starbucks bathroom? They're all exactly the same. Exactly. There are no innovations here. There are no nods to creativity, no surprising details. But sometimes you need the comfort of the known entity. This bathroom is the green-bean-casserole-with-canned-cream-of-mushroom-soup-and-those-weird-fried-onions of bathrooms: it isn't very good, but it is somehow comforting in its mediocrity.