Tuesday, November 22

What's Your Sign?

My wife and I were at a restaurant having dinner with Nelson, my nemesis, and his lovely wife Nini.

After ordering I excused myself to go to the men's room. Regular readers of this effort will recall that I have had my problems with restaurant facilities in the past but I haven't let that deter me from continuing to avail myself.

This particular establishment was one of those sports-themed eateries that feature pennants, archival newspaper photos, sports equipment, and, so help me, athletic shoes hanging on the walls. Generally I find it unseemly to have large, cleated footwear looming a foot from my head as I'm slurping my French Onion Soup, but the food is good and the price is right.

As I headed down a small corridor toward the restrooms I noticed that the two doors did not identify themselves as "Men" and "Women" or "Guys" and "Dolls" or even "Buoys" and "Gulls" (which you find in some seafood palaces). Rather each door had a grainy, black and white photograph of a baseball team on it. The problem was I couldn't tell which picture was the men's team and which picture was the women's team. They both featured a grim looking group of players, with unsmiling, defiant faces. In each photo all wore baseball hats. There were two rows of players, but the front row was cut off at the waist and the lower part of the back row was covered by the front row so I couldn't see if either team was wearing skirts or shorts or bobby sox or some other form of gender indicative apparel.

I was glancing back and forth in befuddled amusement, examining the photos, looking for some sort of clue, when I heard Nelson's voice from behind me.

"What’s the matter, Jim? Can't decide whether to use the little boy’s or the little girl's?"

"I, I, I,...I was just admiring these pictures. I wonder who they are?"

"What, you don't recognize the Topeka Tootsies?" he said, pointing to one of the photos which featured what looked to me like a rather masculine "T" on all the hats. "Or," he added, pointing to the other photo, "the Binghamton Bull Wrestlers?" Then he pushed the door and went in.

I tentatively followed him and was relieved to see a row of sparkling white urinals lining the wall.

It was comforting to know that I was in the Men's Room.

Where the Men go.

To do the Men things.

Like Men.

Eat your hearts out, Topeka Tootsies!

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