Friday, August 26, 2016

Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe

Thought for the day:  It's easy to make a decision when there are no choices.


True. There weren't a heckuva lot of choices for me to make as a kid. Nothing important, anyway. There were the silly eenie meenie kinda decisions we neighborhood kids made when playing games, but around our house, my choice was generally to do what I was told.

However, there was one memorable occasion, when I was no more than ten years old, when I had to make a decision on my own. It wasn't the right decision, mind you, but it was a decision.

Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn't make up their minds.

You have to understand, where we grew up, lots of people hung out in bars. It was like... a hobby. Well, it just so happens that my parents, aunts and uncles happened to enjoy this particular hobby very much, and we kids... some of my cousins and I... were often given the choice to go with them. Oh, it wasn't so bad. Some of the places were located on the waterfront, so we kids were allowed to go out on the pier to fish, crab, or just dangle our feet in the water. We got to dance in some of the places, sing in some of the others, played lots of shuffleboard and pinball machines, ate all kinds of barroom junk food, and there was always a copious amount of either Yoo Hoo or Squirt to guzzle throughout the day. Which is what led to my momentous decision one Sunday afternoon.

As anyone knows, what goes in must come out, and after numerous bottles of Yoo Hoo, something most definitely wanted to come out. I was directed to go through the back room, past the dance floor, and I'd find the rest rooms against the back wall. Yep, I did all that, and there they were. The problem was, I didn't know which one to use. See, instead of the helpful men and women signs to which I was accustomed, this bar tried to be clever. So there I stood, in considerable discomfort, dancing back and forth from foot to foot, while trying to choose between the two doors, each of which bore a picture of a dog. Yeah, a dog. I kid you not. One was an Irish setter, and the other, a pointer. Yeah, yeah, I know what it means now,  but it was a very important and difficult decision for a little girl in serious danger of wetting her pants.

Matz's maxim: A conclusion is the place where you get tired of thinking. 

So I just picked one. Didn't even go eenie, meenie. Just yanked open the pointer door and ran in. When I got back to the table, I told everybody about the bathrooms, and said I thought I might have picked the wrong one... because there was a cigar butt lying on the floor.

Trust me, the family teased me about that for years.

With all of the hoopla that's been in the news for the past few months about who can use which bathroom, I got to thinking about those ambiguous toilet signs from so long ago. (Ambiguous to me, anyway.) As it turns out, there are a lot of clever toilet signs to be found these days, and I'm guessing they'd be just as confusing to a ten-year old today as those dog signs were to me back then. But... some of these signs really are clever. Wanta see? (As if you had a choice... HA!)


















I'm considerably older than ten now, but that last one is still a bit confusing. Can you imagine a couple of gals chatting as they walked to the rest room together... blah, blah, blah, blah, etc... and just seeing the word women? Tricky, tricky, tricky.

                               For some reason, I suddenly have the urge to...

                      Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


70 comments:

  1. Oh dear.
    As a young 'un, my chances of getting the right one that time would have been 50:50. Now? If there is a queue that is the one I am 'supposed' to use.

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    1. I know what you mean about the long lines outside of ladies' rooms, but I've also seen women revolt against those long lines. Instead of waiting in line forever while the men's rooms is largely unused, one gal stands guard, while the other ladies put the gent's room to good use.

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  2. I once saw doors that were labelled Pants (men) and Skirts (women)and wondered about women who wore slacks, which did they use? Can't remember where it was now.
    It would have been handy for you if a person had come out of either one while you were waiting.
    These days, if there is a queue for the ladies and the disabled toilet is empty, I'll go there if I can't wait.

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    1. Those Pants and Skirts signs would reeeeally be confusing if they were in Scotland. (Does a cross-dressing Scotsman wear pants???)

      Yep, when you've gotta go, you've gotta go. I've done the same thing.

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  3. Setter or pointer? I'd still be flummoxed. It is my experience that the men's lavatory is customarily situated left of the women's. My reliance on this tradition grows less certain in the presence of ambiguous door signs and urgency. I found this post delightful and will carry a cigar butt to throw down as evidence to excuse any errors I may make.

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    1. Hmmm, I never noticed that about men's rooms being on the left, but I'll start paying more attention. Which is probably a good idea, anyway, as my friends and I HAVE accidentally gone into the wrong one. Less yakking, and more paying attention is definitely in order.

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  4. LOL, these are hilarious! I don't think I've ever come across any clever restroom signs in real life. (Probably a good thing, since I can imagine being tripped up by some of 'em!)

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    1. I'm glad they tickled your funny bone. Well if you encounter confusing signs when you've gotta go... just pick one, and hope for the best. :)

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  5. Hi Susan - those are amazing ... and decisions, decisions: in those circumstances - it's best to get on with it: 1) disaster is averted, 2) you might have got away with it!

    Great signs though .. and yes I quite understand your dilemma ... even finding my way to those necessity blocks, or pans - the change of lighting, the twists and turns of corridors - or even stairs to negotiate - makes it not easy at all ... what fun and I bet they never forgot: nor have you, now nor will we! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi-ya, Hilary.

      Yep. Better to get on with it, as you say, than to risk having an accident.

      Cheers back atcha.

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  6. Oh my these are funny Susan ... I can imagine a 10 year old being highly confused by many of them. I'm just so glad no one was in the bathroom when you chose the wrong one.. those wrong choices end up being funny years later xox ♡♡♡

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    1. And the funniest thing about those dog signs is that they were in a BAR, where people were drinking alcohol. Something tells me I may not have been the only one who didn't have any idea what those pictures meant, and just picked one arbitrarily.

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  7. Love that last one. Ha! And I finally get pointer and setter. It took me a minute. Duh!

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    1. HA! Now, that makes me feel better for not getting it as a kid. :)

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  8. I went to a bar in Alaska that had the pointer and setter signs on the restrooms. When I went into the setter, there was a man in there! I told everyone he must have had to sit. :)

    Funny pictures, though. I'll have to pay more attention to the signs from now on.

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    1. Really? How cool! I'm thrilled to hear someone else has encountered those rest room setter and pointer signs. And, uh, yeah... depending on his intentions, I reckon a man could rightfully take his pick! HA

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  9. Wow, there really are a lot of confusing bathroom options. I think that last one is the only one that would really throw me now, as a child I would have been stumped by all of them.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that last one is a little confusing to you, too.

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  10. I still get confused at some of the pictures or if stuff is listed in Spanish (lots of that in TX). Don't want to have to think too much when it comes to las banos! Funny post. Have a great weekend

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    1. Luckily, if the signs are written in Spanish here (or in some other language) they're also written in English. (Thank goodness! We have LOTS of Oriental signs here.)

      You have a super weekend, too.

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  11. Took me a LONG time to figure out setter and pointer. And if I had to identify their breed solely by the picture? I'd be doomed even now. Great pictures, and I'm really not sure about that last one.

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    1. Phew! That makes me feel a lot better about picking the wrong room as a kid. :)

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  12. lol I almost spit my water out at a few. That bla one is so spot on. What? lol The last one could be confusing on first glass. Never came to a bathroom like any of these.

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    1. I'm glad they tickled your funny bone. The BLA one is my favorite, too.

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  13. You might be interested in this old post of mine: http://fishducky.blogspot.com/2013/04/ode-to-porcelain-throne.html

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    1. You're right! I just checked it out, and it's a hoot!

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  14. We used to frequent a restaurant where the restrooms were marked "Lady" and "Man."

    These signs are a riot!

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    1. Just ONE lady... and ONE Man... Sounds like those rooms were pretty darned exclusive, eh?

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  15. I'm a little older than ten, but the dog signs would still confuse me....

    The photos are really amusing, but I'm wondering how many confused drunks have wandered into the wrong rest rooms.

    I'm late with my comment - thanks to Google. Your post didn't show up on my Blogger thingie until very recently.

    ("Thingie" is a technical term)

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    1. You're still younger than ten in dog years. :)

      My guess is a LOT of drunks have gone into the wrong rest room.

      Google DOES like to mess with you, doesn't it?

      But of course! "Thingie" is a perfectly acceptable technical term.

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  16. Super funny post. You always find the best photos ! I rather liked the beer one.
    I have been to a bathroom that was hens and turkeys ! very long time ago.

    Now I guess if you are a man, the pointer type but think you are a woman it will be doubly hard to chose one bathroom. You have the equipment for one but the desire to sit down ? Too many choices.
    Usually I try not to use public bathrooms. Sometimes way too stinky and dirty.

    You had some great comments today.
    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

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    1. Yeah, that beer one is pretty funny, but my favorite is the BLA one... because there's so much truth to it. :)

      Just selecting between two clear choices is enough for me; I don't envy people with all of those other muddled up things to consider.

      Cheers back atcha! Have a super weekend.

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  17. And, coming soon to an establishment near you, all inclusive bathrooms. Wonder what the picdtorial will be for that?????

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    1. Woo HOO! Welcome back. We've really missed you.

      Thought you could fool me with a new name, did ya? I recognize your "picture"... sorta...

      I think the new bathroom pic will be like the one in the header... "Whatever."

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    2. ohhhhhhhhhhh I love the whatever one !

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  18. The bathroom doors are too funny!

    I was in Germany once with my youngest son when he was just old enough to be able to read some. In a restaurant, he had to go to the bathroom, so I pointed and sent him on his way (through a door, up the stairs...). He came back, looking frustrated. "There were no signs on the doors, just words. The word on one door started with a D, the one on the other with an H. Which door do I use?" Poor kid, my sisters and I had to laugh first before I was able to tell him to use the "H" door.

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    1. HA! Poor kid. You should have taught him German!

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  19. The signs are funny and clever, but who wants to think when you have pressing matters to deal with.

    As a kid, I would have gone in the right room only because we had an Irish Setter.

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    1. Bingo! When time's a-wastin', there's no time to figure out a puzzle!

      You smartie. :)

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  20. I went to a restaurant with clever signs, but I can't remember exactly what they were. I think they involved peppers or hats. I would've been confused by the dogs.

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    1. If you can't remember what they were, they must not have been all that clever. :)

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  21. Cute story about the setter and pointer. I wouldn't have understood which was which either. Some people are so clever with their signs.

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    1. Clever is good, but not so good if people don't quickly "get" what they mean.

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  22. I'm so relieved to know I wasn't the only one to 'get' the difference between Setter and Pointer. :)

    Sure, and some of those proprietors must get a kick out-witting the next guy ... I laughed, too. But I fear it won't be funny when some overly testosterone-fueled chap physically confronts another for using the 'wrong' facility his little girl is occupying. Sigh...

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    1. Yeah, you've got a good point about some guy potentially going ballistic if another guy accidentally walks in on his daughter. :(

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  23. Interesting and funny post.
    I've always wondered why over there you call it the John. Who's John?
    Over here there's a sign sometimes on the wall in the Gents which says 'We aim to please. You aim too, please'.

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    1. Maybe the fella who invented it was named John? (I'd rather call it Jim, so I can honestly say I have never missed a day of going to the Jim...)

      So why do you guys call it a loo?

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    2. No-one is sure about the origins of 'loo'.
      Some think it comes from the French for water, which is l'eau.
      Others think that Waterloo was a make of cistern.
      Take your pick.

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    3. l'eau makes more sense since loos were originally called water closets, which is why you'll sometimes see the toilet space labelled WC on old buildings plans.

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  24. Replies
    1. I think every mother of young boys would like one of those signs. :)

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  25. Grest story! my fav sign is the beer one. Haha!

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  26. You brought warm memories of the bar my father kept in business, back in Brooklyn. Shirley Temples, handicapping horses for the old men, the beaten up cat named Whiskey. The gang sent a horseshoe wreath to his funeral. Turned out my father ran numbers between the bars. Great memories. Thanks for bring it up- and the bathroom humor!
    x

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    1. I'm glad the post brought back some good memories for you. Most people I know are appalled at the idea of children hanging out in a bar, so it's good to know you "get" it. I imagine the bars in Brooklyn were a lot like the ones in Baltimore. They were... family bars, usually owned by families with children, and most of the time, they all lived in an attached apartment. Everybody knew everybody, and it was considered an acceptable way to socialize. (But just between you and me? I don't miss it one bit!)

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  27. Ha! Those are awesome. I love clever restroom signs like that... unless I've been drinking, and I have to think REALLY hard which one is the right one. It's not suddenly so crystal clear after you've had a beer or five.

    Also, my dad used to tell me about how my grandpa was a bartender, and my dad and his brother would often go hang out at the bar with my grandpa while he worked. My dad would drink sodas, and play pool, and this was totally normal for kids back then. He and his brother weren't the only kids, and they always had a ton of fun. Also, none of the adults were annoyed by their presence. Funny how that's completely changed now.

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    1. Yeah, clever bathroom signs aren't too cool when the ol' brain cells are getting pickled. :)

      You're right. Kids spending time in bars with their families was somewhat "normal" in the '50s, at least in the blue-collar community where I grew up, but we were still in the minority. Most kids never stepped foot in one. But I'll betcha SOME people were annoyed by the presence of children, even back then.

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  28. Haha...I had fun reading through these comments!

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  29. Wacky and quirky signs. Fun post. Thanks Susan!

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  30. Too funny! When my grandfather stopped at the bar, he left us in the car. His was a quick in and out, but grandma always knew. :)
    A few of those signs were confusing, well, almost! A child would never figure them out. LOL

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    1. HA! It's tough to fool a smart grandmother. :)

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  31. Very clever, sometimes confusing, and soon to be obsolete. These days it appears everyone gets to choose their own restroom, regardless of the signs. Or maybe it will lead to some really creative new signs.

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    1. HA! Yeah, maybe there will be a coin provided, so everyone can just give it a flip to decide where to go. Literally. :)

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    ReplyDelete