I never use the handicapped stall. I just can’t. Even after downing a bucket of Wild Cherry Pepsi at a movie, when I really have to pee and there is a long line and it is the only stall available, I won’t use it. What if a legitimately handicapped person comes in right as I’m, um, getting down to business? If I caused someone in a wheelchair to poop their pants because my able-bodied ass was occupying the handicapped stall, the guilt would follow me around my entire life and I wouldn’t even try to argue with St. Peter when he shook his head and turned me away from the Pearly Gates.
There is a lady in my building who always uses the handicapped stall and never shuts the door. You heard that right. She leave the door unlatched. Now, this lady has a handicapped parking tag and sometimes uses a cane, so I am not begrudging her the use of the handicapped stall. But I’ve noticed that her office door is sometimes closed, so she can’t have a disability that would keep her from latching the stall.
Don’t get me wrong; I never close the bathroom door at home and only rarely do I close it at Steve’s (unless I have to see a man about a horse or taking care of some lady business). When I walk in and see the door unlatched and see her feet under the door (of course I look), I start to question myself. Am I being a prude? I mean, it’s not like anyone is going to see anything or even walk past. It’s the last stall. But then I snap back to reality. No, it’s normal to latch the door in public restrooms, just like courtesy flushes or awkward attempts at conversation. As I occupy my stall, I start thinking that maybe it’s a dare. She’s daring me to fling open the door. Or maybe she’s really germophobic, and the merits of latching the door do not outweigh the sheer amount of pathogens that touching the latch would potentially transfer to her hands.
By the time I leave the bathroom, in my mind she has become this passive-aggressive lunatic who goes back to her office to don tissue-box slippers.
She does have that handicapped placard…