“Commandeering the men’s room”


Commandeering the men’s room

By Joanie Buettgen

Copyright 2010

Writing workshops are full of surprises. But, did you ever think it would involve the men’s biffy?

The Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, #EBWW, was held recently on April 15-17 at the University of Dayton. There were more than 300 women, and fewer than 20 men in attendance.

Friday morning was the first of many concurrent sessions with well known writers such as: Wade Rouse, Craig Wilson, Tracy Beckerman, and Nettie Hartsock, just to name a few.

Our day started at 7:30 a.m. A continental breakfast greeted us as we entered the packed room. The carafes of coffee were filled to the brim, and the sweet rolls were divine. As we all know, writers always need a “cup of Joe” to get the juices flowing.

Today was no exception.

After finishing the feast, it was time to hit the ladies room before we attended our classes. As we approached the lavatory we noticed a long line spilling out and into the hallway.

A crowd of ladies stopped short and looked for an opening; with frantic looks we crossed our legs.

Then, we threw together a plan to attack the men’s room.

We noticed, one gray haired gentleman exiting the restroom. He stopped short, in his tracks, as we approached him.

“We need to go! I shouted.

Well, he took one long look at the four of us women and said, “Well, there about four men still using the stalls, one’s at the urinal…let me see what I can do.”

We all looked at each other and thanked him.

Now, at the same time other women were still waiting their turn and over heard our plea.

“They really should make these bathrooms uni-sex,” said all of us.

After a five minute wait, the gray-haired man cautiously peeked out the door, “Well, the coast is clear.”

Then, the four of us slowly crept in, while this kind-hearted man kept watch, and he redirected the male traffic to another location.

I don’t know who our kind friend was but here’s a big thank you from your stall friends.

Just another columnist trying out this new stuff.

Published: Minnesota Moments Magazine, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, and the National Barn Alliance.

Memberships: National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Toastmaster’s, Minnesota Newspaper Association, Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop attendee.

Social Networking: Blog:https://joanie19.wordpress.com, http://twitter.com/joaniebuettgen, www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.


3 responses »

  1. Hi Joanie:

    I’m the gray-haired gentleman who exited the restroom
    at the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop in April.
    My wife (boreal_owl) spotted your post and brought it
    to my attention. We both enjoyed it. Thanks.
    I stopped short when I saw the group of you because
    I was taken aback by four women heading straight for
    me and the men’s room door. I’m glad to have been of


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