Search For Public Restroom An Epic Ordeal Of Alienation, Humiliation, Human Cruelty

Top Headlines


Man Praying Interviewer Doesn’t Ask Any Questions

MINNEAPOLIS—His mouth going dry and his palms growing sweaty as he arrived at the offices of Regent Advertising Partners to interview for an open account manager position, local man Devin McKee reportedly prayed Thursday that the hiring manager wouldn’t ask him any questions during their meeting.

Man Had No Idea Cough Was Going To Be Wet One

MUSKEGON, MI—Caught completely off guard by the viscous lump of sputum that was dislodged and sent rocketing upward from his lower respiratory tract, area man Luke Reese confirmed Wednesday he had no idea his impending cough was going to be a wet one.

Area Man A Staunch Single-Gender Voter

JOHNSTOWN, PA—Saying it was the only factor he considered when deciding who to cast his ballot for, local man William Swanson, 44, told reporters Thursday he is strictly a single-gender voter.

Weird Relative At Family Reunion Knows How Everyone Related To Each Other

WELDON SPRING, MO—Saying she possessed a seemingly limitless wealth of information on various cousins, step-siblings, and in-laws, sources at the 2016 Webb family reunion this past weekend confirmed that weird relative Susan Amos, 73, exhibited a strikingly intricate knowledge of how everyone was related to each other.

Woman Worried She Doing Bad Job Enjoying Massage

MALVERN, PA—Silently wondering throughout the hour-long appointment if there was anything she could be doing to enhance the experience, local woman Caitlyn Leigh reportedly worried Wednesday that she was doing a bad job enjoying the full-body massage she was receiving.

Cyclist Clearly Loves Signaling Turns

MILWAUKEE—Judging by the firm outward thrust of the woman’s arm and the length of times she held the gestures, witnesses confirmed Wednesday that a local bicycle rider clearly loves signaling turns.

Mom On Vacation Marveling At Time Difference Compared To Home

SAN DIEGO—Having already pointed out when everyone back home was getting off work and when the local nightly news was starting, area mother Pam Westin spent much of the first day of her family’s week-long California vacation marveling at the time difference compared to where they lived, sources confirmed Tuesday.

Relaxing Tea Better Fucking Work

SMYRNA, DE—Saying he needed to be transported to a tranquil, untroubled state of calmness pronto, local man Pete McCartin, 29, told reporters Thursday that a fresh-brewed mug of purportedly relaxation-promoting tea had better fucking work.

Parents Into New Snack Now

BALLSTON, NY—Noticing they had both a Lightly Salted and a Tomato Basil version of the previously unknown product in their cupboard upon arriving for a visit home this past weekend, Jared Randall, 26, confirmed Wednesday that his parents are into a new snack now.

Mom Declares Garage Her Next Big Project

DES MOINES, IA—Announcing to family members it was getting “just about impossible” to find anything out there, local mother Pam Westin, 53, declared Friday that the garage is her next big project, sources confirmed.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Search For Public Restroom An Epic Ordeal Of Alienation, Humiliation, Human Cruelty

AMES, IA—A local resident's search for a public bathroom became an epic odyssey of alienation, humiliation, and human cruelty Monday.

Webster revisits one of the many establishments to reject him during his harrowing ordeal.

"You have no idea what I've been through," said Pete Webster, 27, recovering from the harrowing ordeal in his apartment. "From endless 'Bathroom For Paying Customers Only' signs to toilets so disgusting they're unsuitable for vomiting, I saw it all."

Webster's bathroom search began at approximately 1:15 a.m., 30 minutes after leaving Burrito Bob's, where he consumed a double enchilada platter and a 32-ounce Pepsi. Though he felt fine upon exiting the popular late-night eatery, he soon felt an overwhelming need to defecate.

"I should've gone at Burrito Bob's," said Webster, who had spent the night barhopping with friends. "But I didn't have to go when I left. Besides, I figured I could always just dart into a gas station or some 24-hour restaurant and do the deed."

"What I failed to factor in," Webster continued, "is the unfathomable darkness of the human soul."

Rather than head back to his west-side apartment, a 25-minute walk from the downtown area, Webster made the fateful decision to search for a public restroom. His first stop was the Rite-Aid 24-hour pharmacy on West Gentry Street. Asking for the bathroom, he was told by a cashier that the facilities were for employee use only.

"I offered to buy a candy bar or something, but this bitch cashier said that wouldn't make any difference," Webster said. "How could a drugstore not have a public bathroom? Explain that one to me. Isn't public health in the interest of a drugstore? What's a more basic public-health issue than having to take a shit?"

The pressure on his bowels steadily building, Webster was able to obtain the key to the men's room of an Amoco gas station on Kellogg Avenue at 1:50 a.m. But an unspeakable horror awaited him.

"The toilet was backed up, and sewage had slopped over the lid of the toilet onto the floor," Webster said. "There was no toilet paper, no soap, no paper towels, and no stall door. Still, I decided to go for it."

The alienated Webster stands on the outside, looking in.

Gingerly attempting to hover above the bowl without making contact, Webster stopped himself when he was suddenly overcome by a fear of splashback. He promptly returned the key to the gas-station attendant.

"I told the guy the restroom was unusable," Webster said. "He gave me this look, like I was acting like some sort of diva."

Unable to find a place to defecate, Webster decided to give himself partial relief by urinating. Even this effort, however, brought nothing but torment and pain.

"I snuck behind a tree to piss, but I couldn't get the piss going without the rest coming out, too," Webster said. "Sometimes, I can take a piss when I actually have to do more, but this time it would've been too much to hold back."

At 2:10 a.m., Webster encountered a group of Iowa State University students, who directed him to the school's student union.

"They said, 'Oh, yeah, there's a bunch of bathrooms in [the union]. Just head a few blocks down Marston and take a right at 12th Street, you can't miss it,'" Webster said. "When I got there, the whole place was lit up. I can't tell you how happy I was running up the steps of that building."

The building was locked, closed since midnight.

"When I saw the union was closed, I started thinking about that one guy who was having a hard time keeping a straight face while the other rattled off the directions," Webster said. "I guess they decided to have a little fun at my expense. I didn't know them, and they didn't know me. It was just a bit of senseless, cruel fun. I guess they didn't realize they were toying with a broken, desperate man."

The student-union episode was followed by several more spirit-crushing glimpses into the howling void. Webster encountered a Port-A-Potty in a local park which turned out to be padlocked, was denied restroom access by the acerbic employees of a bail-bonds office, and came across a convenience-store restroom dubiously declared "out of order" by a makeshift sign scrawled on notebook paper.

Finally, at 2:45 a.m., Webster decided to accept defeat and begin the 25-minute walk home. Within moments of opening the apartment door, relief was his.

"In retrospect, I should've just gone home right at the start," Webster said. "But I really thought it'd be faster to find a place downtown than to walk home. Even when I hit the one-hour mark, I still thought I'd find one any second. That's the thing about bathroom searches: No matter how bad it's going, you still think some mythical golden stall with a clean seat and a fresh roll of paper is just around the corner."

The ordeal has given Webster new perspective on society's treatment of outsiders.

"Before last night, I never realized what second-class citizens people without ready access to toilets are," Webster said. "I'll tell you one thing: If I ever encounter someone in that situation, I will not put them through this. I'll let them use my own toilet, or personally drive them around until we find a halfway-decent crapper."


Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close