Archie Bunker in his TV show “All In The Family” used to say something had “Gone Down the Terlet” and of course he meant “toilet.” Now you can say this column has gone down the toilet because of today’s Cameo. Recently Teddy Allen wrote about Toilet Training for children. If he could get away with that in the Shreveport Times perhaps I can get away with this column.
With children so many things are associated with the bathroom, and often these are the funny memories in a mother’s heart. I’d like to share a few with you. Some are my own experiences and others are ones I know about.
Our minister of education while I worked at the First Baptist Church told a staff meeting of this experience. He and his family visited a Baptist Church while on a trip. Soon after being wedged into a pew that was almost too filled with worshipers, his young son announced that he HAD to use the bathroom. The father got up, ushered the little boy over the peoples’ feet, stepping on some with his Number 14 shoes. The lady next to him glared at him. He apologized.
Then it was back over the feet again, and again the lady glared at him. In the next twenty minutes the son declared he HAD to go again. And that meant going back over that lady’s feet. He wouldn’t look at her face since he could imagine her anger.
As they came back it was the same tight squeeze getting back to sit down. As they passed over the same lady’s feet, the little boy with his angelic smile looked up at the lady and announced “Daddy had to use the bathroom too this time.”
Our Minister of Education said he did not dare look to see what that bit of information did to the lady.
Years before that, our minister of music had a 4-year-old son. Just before worship service was about to begin he carried him back to the bathroom and hurried back to begin the music service.
He took his place behind the altar with the hymnbook resting on the altar and led the congregational singing. All went well until it was time for the choir special.
He turned to the choir and raised his hands for us to begin. As he beat out the tempo, his arms went up and down. At each down-beat the fly on his pants gaped open and white underwear was visible. The pants were not zipped. In his hurry to get his son back to the auditorium he had neglected to zip his own pants.
The choir did not know what to do. It was more than funny and we tried to sing. It was not the best performance we had ever made, in fact, it was almost a disaster. it is hard to try and sing and laugh at the same time.
Eventually one of the choir members passed him a note and a red-faced man zipped up his pants. We never mentioned it but felt sorry for him.
I went to pick up a child following Bible School. They were lined up outside one bathroom door. Boys and girls were using the same bathroom.
The little 3-year-old girl announced they were waiting until that boy got through. No one had noticed that they had all gotten in line to one bathroom.
At an office where I worked here in town a lady told of visiting a recreation area in Southern Arkansas where the bathrooms were unisex, which meant both ladies and men used the same bathrooms.
My friend and her sister were shocked but they decided on a plan. One would watch to see if any men were coming to use the bathroom and would warn the other to come out.
When they got there one stood at the door and said “I’ll watch and then you can watch.”
Immediately a man came out of a stall, flew past trying to get his pants zipped. He did not know what they meant by watching, but he made sure it was not him they would be watching.
All these make the kaleidoscope of memories, some that are funny and some that still make us mad. Is it alright that I told you my bathroom stories? Did you have a similar experience?
Juanita Agan submitted a weekly column to the Press-Herald for more than 15 years until her death in 2008. She was a resident of Minden since 1935. The Press-Herald is republishing select articles from Mrs. Agan’s Cameos column every Wednesday.