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Rant #108
(published November 14, 2002)
The New Gender Politics of Draining the Lizard
by Terence S. Hawkins

It's time somebody spoke out about this and goddamn it yet again as usual it's me.

So yesterday the wife's out of town and I say well what the hell let's paint the town red. Wait, wait, I know what you're thinking: Out yourself to someone who cares, Terry. Or Jesus Christ, man, don't talk about the strippers, she may read this shit for a change.

No. Not at all. I get on the train and I go to New York and I get off at Grand Central and I do the logical first thing and take a leak, which I have to tell you these days is a lot more pleasant than back in the old days where you had to elbow through crowds of hunchbacked dwarves jerking off in urinals to the tune of Uncle John's Band which only they could hear anyway. And being an observant fellow, at least one who likes to make the same observation to himself over and over again, usually out loud, I see the line for the ladies' room and say, ah God, I'm glad I'm a man, no waiting on line.

So I get to SoHo and I walk down to Chinatown and get onto the Manhattan Bridge and hoof it across the East River to and as I'm balanced in uneasy equipoise over this mother of waters I start thinking hmm, that three dollar French roast I bought in the station is just now screaming I want to be free, hmm, maybe it would be cool to just lean against the railings and hose down a realtor's yacht but then I think, no, no, whoever arrests me might be a Giuliani hire and I really don't want to take the 9.07 back to New Haven with a suction cup sticking out my asshole and a plunger top out my throat. So I hurry and descend into Brooklyn and see the mimes and street musicians and all the usual crap that goes with art festivals and know I'm where I want to be, sort of, except for the fact that nowhere do I see the distinctive robins egg blue of a port-a-pee. Yes, at this point I'm thinking about flipping open a lid over a sea of turds and tampons slapping from side to side in a surf of antiseptic royal blue. To play sink the battleship with the end result of someone else's Saturday night pizza.

Whimpering like a dog at a door I see a Genuine Olde-Tyme European Pub and elbow my way past the hostess and knock over a couple of microwaves and open the wrong door and send a bunch of Equadoreans scurrying because I'm a white guy with gray hair in a hurry so I must be Immigration and I finally find an archway with about five buzz cut willowy blonde babes waiting patiently to throw up brunch and I think, no no no, please tell me this isn't one of those painfully hip joints where the girls and the boys use the same john, but I see that one door says men and the other says women so I say, Monongahela, let me through.

So I go into the men's room, which is designated "men's room" even though from all appearances it might a well be the women's room down to the Frieda Kahlo print on the wall and I guess what happened next was my fault because as I left zipping up patting my belt buckle with many a glad cry of "Ahh," one of the buzz cut babes hissed just loud enough to be heard over the East River where Chinese matrons were pawing over turtles and puppies for that night's dinner, "Uhh—-there was a line."

Now I wish I could tell you that I spun to face her with one or more of the following witty retorts:

"Yeah— but not for people with dicks."

"Yeah— for the crapper with the Cosmo."

"Yeah— and if you can piss standing up I apologize."

But of course I didn't. Instead I crept away like a beaten dog nuzzling to my bosom the great wrong done to me and all men by these crazy girls these days who insist on squatting on toilet seats we've sprayed like golden retrievers.

Because men, listen up. Maybe the rot hasn't reached you yet. It hasn't quite hit New Haven Connecticut but I'm here to tell you that in the great city of NewYork women piss in the men's room all the time.

And I'm not talking about the one-holers where it really doesn't make that much of a difference who's there except when you're the next one in you say hey, what the fuck, who left the toilet seat down. I'm talking about three guys standing side by side looking anywhere but right or left, eyes focused on the vacu-breaker plunger handle dead ahead, sphincters clenching in mid stream when some Goldman Sachs intern bursts in giggling to seize a stall, drop her Vicky's Secret panties around her fuck-me pumps and spray down three days' worth of sodden Marlboro butts.

But ladies. Leave that aside. Stop and think. You live ten years longer than us. You spend those ten years waiting to grab a squat. What do you think is going to happen when you don't have to wait anymore?

Right. Exactly. You live longer than us but you spend every one of those extra minutes waiting in line to pee. And you are now literally pissing away that demographic edge.

At the present rate, as I calculate it, by 2020 women in their late sixties and early seventies will be dropping like flies from heart disease and stroke. As well as the odd utterly inexplicable case of prostate cancer. At least in major metropolitan areas.

So look. It's your call. Don't say I didn't warn you.

But please. If you decide to take the chance, could you at least leave the seat up?

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