One night in late October my wife and I were in downtown Nashville. We’d gone there for a Nashville Ghost Tour, which is a lot of fun. While we were waiting I felt a sudden sense of urgency. So I ducked into a nearby hotel to see a man about a horse, and also to use the restroom. When I was done I opened the door and there were four women in evening gowns standing there.
“Could we come in there with you?” one of them asked.
There are a lot of ways this story could go. Given the time of year they could have been demons or female vampires who sucked the life force out of nice young men, or schmucks like me, in restrooms. You may know that in many vampire legends a vampire can’t enter an abode—and I assume that would include a commode—without being invited first.
Maybe it’s a dramatic story. Maybe the women are trying to get away from someone, or something, and they’ve spotted the men’s restroom as the ideal hideout.
Or you may think this story could take a completely different turn and if you’re of a certain age you’re wondering why it doesn’t begin “Dear Penthouse…”
This is where I admit I’ve been withholding information from you. The hotel in question is the Hermitage Hotel, a place with a long and storied history. Its famous guests include Rudolph Wanderone, AKA Minnesota Fats, who lived there for several years, shooting pool with tourists in the lobby for a dollar a game. (Because of this I was once given the nickname ‘Minnesota Fats’.)
And its art deco men’s room is a minor tourist destination. Why only the men’s room has been preserved in such splendor is a mystery but some time after my encounter a plaque was entered declaring the place open to all.