Once in an English pub I asked the bartender where the bathroom was and he sarcastically replied, “Why? Do you need to take a bath?” And I was quick enough to snap, “Well I just might, but in the meantime can you direct me to the loo?” I was reminded of that when I was passing through Music City Central, the downtown bus depot, which is currently being renovated and part of that is they’ve shut down the loos, the heads, the johns, the throne rooms, and also the bathrooms with plans to make them nicer. I can understand that. Although I’d only been through the men’s room–or “the gent’s” as that English publican might say–it wasn’t much more than a narrow corridor with openings at either end that didn’t leave much in the way of privacy which must have been tough for anyone with a shy bladder or the “rari nantes in gurgite vasto” from Virgil’s Aeneid. Still there’s gotta be something. One of the nicer features of the depot is a donut and coffee shop, but what are riders supposed to do when they need to get rid of that coffee? Back when all the buses gathered on 4th Avenue TPAC was just a block away, or, for anyone who wanted something more elegant, they could go to the Hermitage where the loo is a bona fide tourist destination, but that’s another story.I’m not worried about the drivers since they can stop almost anywhere. It’s not like the bus is going to go off and leave without them. For a while the regular driver on my route would always stop at a McDonald’s and chat with people at the register and get a 99 ounce drink, even if she was running late–and she was always running late–and you don’t take in that much liquid unless you’re really confident that you’ll be able to get to a place where you can recycle it.
Anyway I’m kind of curious to see what the renovated restrooms will be like. Maybe they’ll even put in something where you could take a bath.