There’s No Greater Horror Than Using a Public Bathroom with a Broken Lock

broken lock

Image Courtesy of Cable Storage Fife

I’m at at a dingy bar on the Lower East Side, about to take the stage at a show. Knowing the show is about to begin, I retreat to the restroom one last time before my set.
It’s a little dirty and small, but it’s a single, which is always preferable at bars. Preferable anywhere, really. Who decided going to the bathroom should be a communal activity? Are we going to compare notes when we’re done? “Hey Ron, how was your flow?”

I start peeing and realize I neglected to lock the door behind me. Easily fixed, right? I turn around to do so (like I said, it was small) while continuiing to pee. Only I wasn’t able to lock it. Terror washes over me as I realize…

…the lock…is broken.

I have no idea what to do. Panic sets in as my lack of survival skills bubbles to the surface. Do I stop, hold it in, and waddle to another bar to use the bathroom? That seems unhealthy. That actually seems like it may kill me. No one else was stupid enough to try that before, but I’d be the first person to die from it. “Mike Eltringham was found dead in the Lower East Side of a exploded bladder. Health experts are baffled as they didn’t even know you could die from that. He was found bareass with his jeans around his ankles in the middle of the street. He’s survived by his girlfriend, family, and a urologist he apparently didn’t visit enough.”

I settled on wedging my foot against the door to hold it closed. The door was far enough away from the toilet that it looked like I was an out of shape gymnast attempting the split that sends him into retirement. Like, my coach tried to talk me out of it, knowing it would end me. But like Mickey Rourke at the end of The Wrestler, this is what I wanted to die doing.

I’ve never put more pressure on my foot before. Let me tell you, nothing makes you wish you’d done a few more calf raises at the gym that morning like having your foot be the only thing between you and an invading horde of invaders who have to pee.

I ran through the scenarios of what could happen in my head: a deaf guy knocks and doesn’t hear my yell of “One second!” as he crashes through the door. Some drunken bro is too blitzed off shots of Jaeger to even knock. Or a tough guy bouncer hears me, but big boys by picking me up by my neck and yelling, “Beat it small fry” as he throws me, still peeing, into the hallway.

All I can say is I don’t know what I would have done if it had been a #2 situation. That’s a problem that would have needed science’s greatest minds to remedy.

My trip went off without a problem, but it shouldn’t have made me sweat. Here’s what I’m proposing: there’s a health code for all bars and restaurants, right? If you’re a bar with a single toilet bathroom, you need to have a working lock on the bathroom door or the city shuts you down. No excuses. You know what, that’s not far enough. The shittier the bar is, the stronger the lock has to be. Regular bar? One of those little sliding metal ones you find on the stalls will suffice. Dive bar? We’re going to need 2 deadbolts and 3 padlocks on that bitch. Minimum. After 1 am we may need to put The Club on there.

That, or have a bouncer with really muscular calves stand in there with people keeping his leg wedged against the door.

Don’t lock yourself out of hearing updates about me and my stuff. Sign up for my email list. It’s easier than keeping an unlocked bathroom door shut.


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