This bathroom thing’s getting’ out of hand.

Illustration of standard male and female restroom figures, both crossing their legs and holding because they have to pee. Male is wearing blind man shades.In case I haven’t shared this before, I usually use the women’s room. No, not because I identify as such, or am considering the transgender thing, but, because being blind, I have a choice. Either Pam guides me into the men’s room (not exactly the most comfortable of situations for anyone concerned), or, since I can’t see anything, she leads me into the women’s room. In 14 years of sightlessness, this has never been a big deal.

Thursday, we’re out having lunch, and nature calls. The place (a popular chain I won’t name) is pretty slow, but as always, Pam checks, waits for the bathroom to be empty, and we go in. Moments later, a manager enters, telling her I can’t be in there. Pam explains that I’m totally blind and need assistance. The woman says, “I’m just explaining our policy. He can’t be in here.” So, Pam asks, “Should I take him into the men’s room? Is that what you want?” To which the manager says, “No, you can’t be in there.”

Now, I’m in the stall already, about 45 seconds into what’s usually about a 90 second pit stop. Still, I did think about calling out, “No problem. I’ll just go into the dining room and piss on the floor.” Better judgment prevailed, though, and so I finished up, Pam led me out, and the manager finally left, after staring Pam down the entire time. I did wonder, had I simply told her, “This is how I identify. Ignore the goatee and moustache, call me Laverne. I’m covered whichever toilet I pick now, right?” But then, making the news wasn’t on the agenda. Because, I had no agenda. I just wanted to empty my bladder.

Before leaving, we got the place’s phone number to call someone more senior and to get a clarification on rest room policy for the handicapped. Pam posted on Facebook, and got a slew of responses. Everything from folks wanting us to give out the chain’s name so they could torch ’em to considering a campaign to try and take it viral, to folks suggesting we sue. (What for, I don’t exactly know, wasn’t like there were any damages, per se, but I guess that’s kinda the way folks think nowadays. Have an issue, even a minor one? Find an attorney.

So, we called up the next day, spoke to the manager-manager, who was tremendously apologetic, and promised that someone from even higher up the chain would be in touch. Sure enough, few hours later, my phone rings. Someone from corporate. Also, terribly apologetic. Aware of the whole situation, had already addressed this with the staff-particularly the mgmt team in question. And, as I’d suspected, barring assistance for the disabled is not their policy, and that point had been made clear to those who work there.

You know, I get it. This whole LGBTU thing has made a lot of folks jumpy. If you don’t have a unisex or family rest room, you may run into a situation from time to time. I wasn’t terribly bothered by anything about the incident, save for the fact that Pam was made to feel uncomfortable while I took a leak, and the situation was handled poorly. Mishandled, truth be told, but then, so be it. I know what I would think if I were working somewhere and saw a couple heading into the can without one obviously needing assistance/being handicapped. “Damn. Floor’s gonna be really sticky now.” I used to go to a club in Miami where you couldn’t even get into the john without seeing a tryst of some sort going on in one of the stalls. So I understand where the manager was coming from. But.c’mon. You can’t just expect a blind guy to go into an unfamiliar bathroom and start guessing. Plus, I’ve been in places where there’s been a sign on the stall door saying: Out Of Order. But – how would I know? If I’m in there, guess what? Out of order or not, I’m gonna use it, and then, well, the consequences? Your fault, not mine.

The woman from corporate? Sure seemed to be relieved that I wasn’t calling to bitch, or threaten, or talk lawsuit. I was just calling to be sure that, should I need to use the facilities at this particular restaurant in the future, everyone was on board with Pam leading me in there. And, the woman I spoke with went above and beyond in promising me that would be the case. So, tomorrow, Pam and I plan on going back, and having sex like greased weasels in the handicapped stall.

No, just kidding. But, sure is a relief to know I won’t have to whip it out on the side of the building and pee on a bush.

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Currently listening to: “Miss Construction theme” (Dance) by Miss Construction

You guys like playing victim, don’t you?

Racist. Sexist. Misogynist. Can’t go a day, it seems, without seeing some negative IST word trending on Twitter or being thrown around on Facebook. And, I barely do anything but post to FB so if your latest isn’t on page 1 where I find my announcements? I didn’t see it.

Couple years ago in an online forum, I got into a discussion about some failures of the current President. Someone challenged me to name them. I did. One that I threw out: Closing Gitmo. First executive order, never did it, despite having the majority in both houses. The response?

You’re a racist.

For years, I would hear from time-to-time, “You what?! You work in porn?! That’s sexist!” This, despite getting e-mail and snail mail submissions all the time from women showing off-naked-to see if they could get into the mags I worked on. Know what never happened when I was working in the adult biz? No guy ever came up to me and said: “You ran a boy-girl shoot? That’s sexist!” In fact, the same women I tended to meet who found pictorials of nude women sexist, couldn’t seem to figure out how to accuse me of sexism if there was a man involved.

I got a nasty note from someone who’d seen a comment of mine which referred to the old Wheaties box. You know, the one from way back, with Bruce Jenner busting through the tape with his arms raised. The criticism? “That’s Caitlyn Jenner-not Bruce!”

1976 Wheaties Box featuring Bruce Jenner

1976 Wheaties Box

Uh, no, it isn’t. And, while I have no problem referring to Caitlyn Jenner as Caitlyn/she/Ms. Jenner *now*, in the present tense, Caitlyn Jenner never competed in the Olympics. Back then, it was Bruce Jenner winning the decathlon, no one else. His own mom admitted she’s going to be calling Caitlyn Bruce for a while. And, I can’t blame her. After 88 years, might take a while to start addressing your child by a different name, no? I’m pretty sure that it took more than 15 minutes for Mrs. Leach to go from calling her son Archibald to Cary, which was the stage name Archibald Leach took when he became slightly more famous as Cary Grant. Clearly, his mom hadn’t had “Cary” in mind. And so, while I have no problem calling the newly-introduced Ms. Jenner Caitlyn, if I’m talking about a cereal box from the ’70s? Yeah, that was Bruce Jenner, not Caitlyn.

Which doesn’t make me anti-transgender. Doesn’t make me anything IST or OBIC. It makes me accurate. And, when I see people getting torched for tweeting/posting things like, “I’ll always remember him as Bruce.” it turns my stomach. As well, I don’t believe anyone should be punished for sentiments like that. I spent decades seeing Bruce Jenner at sporting events. Cashing in on his post-Olympics success. Commentating at track and field events. On the Wheaties box. Heard him interviewed more times than I would’ve imagined possible the past couple of years because of his time on the Kardashians reality show. And, for all those years, he was Bruce. He was a he. So now, in a week or two, the whole planet is supposed to forget Bruce ever existed, not refer to Caitlyn as the former-Bruce Jenner, and <<gasp!>> never, not once, even inadvertently or accidentally refer to Caitlyn as “him” lest they be labeled a bigot, or anti-trans, or somethingaphobic? Really?

Sick of people (and I’m not including Jenner in this, I’m speaking more about the folks who fly into a rage about anything they smell a hint of ISM or OBIA about-attacking folks who really don’t owe you a damned thing. The person who got in a huff because I correctly denoted that it was Bruce on the front of my Wheaties box growing up? I told to go pound sand. I made a post on FB today referring to that incident, requesting that if anyone following me felt the same, to please send their own message so I could unfriend them because I don’t mind doing the work. What I do mind is being mislabeled. Guess what? When Obama won, my Dad was in realty. I rooted hard for the Prez to succeed. I rooted hard for a quick economic turnaround so my Dad could sell more properties. But a couple of years later, when I criticized him for his failure to do the very first thing he promised to do-and made a big deal of in a photo op Day 1 in office – suddenly, I had become a racist. Total BS, of course, but that’s what these mouth-breathing knee-jerkers cry. Because they love to play the victim. “You work at a place where they publish photos of nude women – you must be a sexist!” Oh yeah, dumb-ass? Why? Did I force her to send me nude test shots, then track her down and make her strip for a photographer against her will? No? Then was it because I was the one okaying the checks for $500 (or more) for 4 hours worth of work on her schedule and at her convenience? Tell me, which part of that was actually sexist to you?

Victim-victim-victim. That’s all these people want to know. Victimhood. Don’t agree with the PC Police? You’re a hater. You need to be forced to apologize on TV. You need to resign. You need to be fired from your job. You need to be boycotted. Not famous enough on your own or a public figure? Well, then, you need to be ostracized and condemned with the most bitter vitriol possible.

Y’know, like Bruce Jenner’s-oops, I mean Caitlyn Jenner’s-mother. Right, fellowhood-of-victims?