Reclaiming Rest Area Rest Rooms . . .
MORE REST ROOM SCENES . . .
There you are. Travelling down the interstate. In the picturesque state of Arizona. In your Mercedes convertible. Yeah, you are having one 'whale of a time'--listening to your favorite rock and roll oldies FM station. You are waiting for "Take It Easy," by the Eagles. Your all-time favorite song. You are laid-back. RayBan's in place. Hair looking good. Blowing in the wind. One hand on the wheel. Single. Almost living in a euphoric state. To you, Mr. Average Citizen, life is sweet.
. . .please let me expound . You have a girl in Tucson, your hometown. But you also have a hottie in San Diego, where you are going. Her name is "Muffy." Your girl's name in Tucson is "Jan." Jan likes Country Rock music. Beer. And shrimp. Muffy likes Jack Daniels #7 shots. Van Halen. And skimpy salads. You're almost buzzed with happiness bubbling up inside you like a can of Seven-Up, that's been shaken vigorously. Could your life get any better?
Then, without a calling card. Phone call. Or friendly 'heads up,' it hits you. 'That' time. Those seven Miller Lite's, and three large iced teas you had way at that off-ramp restaurant, Gary's Gulp-O-Rama, are 'demanding payment.' Yeah, Mother Nature is never late. Didn't you learn this in your remedial health class in grade school? Or were you too carried away with Mary Louise Decker, who was, as we will say for decency's sake, 'advanced in her development,' for her age. Either way. You are going to have to stop at the nearest rest room. Or be faced with a 'redneck solution,' of parking your car off the side of the highway, running into the thick, wooded area. And 'doing your business'--while fearing that some trucker. Biker. Or church bus filled with impressionable teens will see you and ask "Bro. Samuel," the driver, "what was that man doing in the woods? He had a scary look on his face and his Docker slacks were unzipped." Funny how sharp teen's eyes are.
Isn't it strange. Like a car that runs great when you are going to trade it in. That rest rooms are never close when you travel our magnificent interstate highway system? But when you are relaxed. Not a care in the world. Rest rooms are in abundance. Too many to use. This is not one of those times.
Now, all you see on billboards along the interstate are ads about swimming in the clear waterfalls of Bermuda. Drinking the pure water of Arkansas, that make you want to relieve yourself even worse. But until you find a roadside, rest area rest room, you are forced to stall for time. Trying desperately to fool your body into believing that your kidneys do not need to act. And this works. For a little while. Your mental game of "Oriental Mental Discipline," you happened to see on The Learning Channel last week almost paid off. Your bladder is now burning like molten lava. Your hands shake. Sweat pops out on your head. Neck. Face. You are not that religious, but you pray harder than any priest for God to magically place a rest room. Or even a port-a-potty (abandoned by state workers) in the next quarter mile.
Then, like a prayer answered, there she sits. An interstate rest area. With a sign that to you is more valuable than the Mona Lisa, for it reads: Clean Rest Rooms Inside. You let out a sigh of relief. And thank God that you didn't wet your brand-new Docker slacks that your mom gave you on your birthday last week. What great timing you have. You could have been a great poker player. Now you are 'all in.' Ready to use this interstate rest room that you are glad wasn't an 'interstate mirage.'
After parking your car, you walk inside the rest area building where you see various pamphlets on why you should "See Rock City," "Billy Goat Caverns," or why you should "Visit Hillbilly Mountain," in the state-approved pamphlet table. And road maps by the score. But these attractions can wait. Now, main goal is finding the men's room. Now. Ahhh. Pay dirt. You push the steel door open that's bent from someone's fist in a drug-induced rage. Walk inside. And then bombarded with an aroma that would equal the high-tech weapon of World War II, Mustard Gas. Actually it's the combination of ammonia, bleach, and those round plastic, hockey-puck look alike's the rest area employees place in the urinals. But you do not complain. You are grateful to find this rest room. Or are you?
As you are 'doing your business,' you cannot help but notice just how under-funded this state is in relation to their rest area rest rooms. Deplorable. Awful. And drab. Down-right depressing. Female dogs have given birth to their babies here. Vulgar graffiti. Gang symbols everywhere. Phone numbers of 'friendly' girls, that you do jot down for you never know when loneliness will strike. And enough profanities to make even the roughest Marine blush with embarrassment. Something has to be done, you think to yourself as you zip up your Dockers. Something good. And something needful to save one of our national treasures: our interstate rest rooms.
You make your trip to see "Muffy," your other girlfriend in San Diego, short. She gets in a snit at you leaving. She had planned on you meeting her parents, two retired professors from UCLA, but this was a 'marital warning sign' to you, so you vamoosed. (That means left quickly). You can't waste your time on martial things. Meeting "Tom" and "Judith," the retired prof's from UCLA. You got a mission to accomplish. A mission that may take its toll on your health. Public image. And mental state.
You just have to get to Washington, D.C., to meet with President Barack Obama to bring this urgent matter to his attention. The condition of interstate rest area restrooms. An area that our presidents, their administrations and the numerous elected and reelected congressmen and senators have blatantly forgotten.
This is sad, the terrible conditions of interstate rest area rest rooms, you think to yourself as you get on the turnpike that runs parallel to Muffy's front yard. A tear slowly makes it way down your cheek. Somehow you will miss Muffy. But not her parents. And certainly not being her husband. 'civil crusaders,' like you, cannot afford to be tied down. Settled. And tamed.
You need your freedom to right this wrong. Muffy, as attractive as she is, will meet another guy, you rationalize. Then continue your trip back to your hometown, Tucson, Arizona, where Jan, your steady girl waits for you. Jan will realize something has changed about you since he saw you last. Something has turned you from being laid-back. Cool. Suave. To a fiery-eyed. Man who cares for the needs of others. She is so happy that she dare not ask you to explain.
And you know, "I" can agree with our 'civil crusader." The interstate rest area rest rooms I've ever used are like the ones that our hero used. Deplorable. Less-than-adequate. Far-below average. Not even close to being the clean. Shiny symbols of pride that made visitors to their states feel a sense of comfort. Ease. And security.
I think I can explain this guy's concern. And it's really very simple. If you have ever watched those Federal Government Budget Reports shown on CNN, Fox News, and other news networks, you never hear Barack Obama, or any president discuss funding for our fifty-states' interstate rest area rest rooms, do you? I've never heard anything from our president, current or past, about how our interstate rest area rest rooms can be upgraded to facilities that dedicated travelers can be proud of.
Instead, you see (and hear) bickering about what to cut. What not to cut from our Federal Budget. And how states will have to 'suck it up,' as some Washington legislators say under their breath. But what about our interstate rest area rest rooms? Aren't they as important as "some" of the "pork barrel legislation," that gets funded by our government? "Important" projects such as a "Study of The Sex Life of Elderly Alligators," to the tune of $560,000; "Why Birds Fly South," costing $500,767. And a grant of $1.5 million dollars to find out "Why Sand is Heavier When Wet," you know. Projects that will surely impact our lives in America. It's happening. And happens all the time in Washington. Why do these "enlightened" legislators start cutting the budget with these asinine studies?
I could easily make the argument for upgrading every one of the fifty states interstate rest area rest rooms on the following points alone. Mind you, I am not talking about any changes to your household bathrooms. Just the ones in our rest areas off interstate highways in our country.
Upgrading Interstate Rest Area Rest Rooms Would Produce . . .
- Happier people - When road-weary travelers see how nice. Clean. And good-smelling the newly-upraded rest area rest rooms are, they leave happier. Drive more carefully. Fact is, a happier person pays more attention to the road. Thus, a drastic fall in auto accidents on the interstate highways.
- Less Violence - interstate rest area's are sometimes used for gang violence. Drug deals. And more shady activities. With a huge upgrade, new security lights could be installed along with giving our glorious fifty states cleaner. Nicer rest rooms. No gang member wants to be seen in a well-lighted rest area. And certainly not be in a clean-smelling rest room. His gang buddies would laugh at him for having that "nice" aroma on him and ultimately tell him to leave the gang. You see? Another problem solved. Gangs and the drugs they peddle at rest areas.
- More Jobs - in this new federal government Interstate Rest Room Upgrade Budget, I would ask for additional monies to hire more personnel for rest areas. The employees I've actually seen at the rest areas I've visited, are all minimum-wage earners. Not happy at their work. Depressed at wearing some shabby. Outdated state unform. Give these employees a nice uniform. A uniform that makes the wearer proud of his job as a Rest Area Custodian and Rest Room Observer. And with a good raise to boot. Better working conditions. Better pay. Equals less stress. Tension. And domestic violence.
Real Rest Room Comfort - "my" ideas for interstate rest area rest rooms would be:
a nicer. More-comfortable color than the drab color of gray that is used in today's rest area rest rooms. Bring on the green. Light brown. Something that's easy on the eyes. Maybe a painting of a meadow with prancing deer. Birds flying. Yeah, that sounds great.
soft music, maybe some soothing sounds of nature, flooding your senses when you visit a rest area rest room. Soft music makes one relax. Eases tension. No telling at the "family feuds" this would stop. The ladies' rest rooms would be in a soft pastel color and have huge, gold-framed mirrors--both full-length and regular. And complimentary make-up on the counters.
safer stalls make for safer rest room times . No one really wants to "do their business," in a rest area rest room when they are in fear of someone smashing down the door and mugging them for whatever money and credit cards they have. Rest room time is a personal time. Designed to be relaxing. Restful. I suggest a heavier door that goes all the way to the floor, not halfway like they are now. And install dead-bolt locks on the inside, and then you have the near-perfect rest area rest room.
reading materials for men and women. In each stall, there would be a current selection of Sports Illustrated, Field and Stream and Mechanics Illustrated, for the guys. And for the ladies, Cosmo, Red book, and Chicken Soup for The Soul, to read in total-comfort. And relaxation. This idea would further relax the rest room user giving him or her a safer ride down the road.
complimentary air freshener and breath spray for rest room users to take with them down the road. It's the little niceties that would make "my" rest area rest rooms a lot better than they are now.
a place to relax , namely a soft-but-sturdy cot with a comfy mattress to lounge on if you need that extra nap and rest before continuing down the interstate to your Aunt Jessie or Grandma Katherine's house. This inexpensive addition would be in a secure room to the side of both men's and women's restrooms.
to make the ladies feel special , I'd have the rest area attendants place a bouquet of red roses in the ladies' rest rooms to make them feel extra special. This idea can't lose.
free cold drinks in an automated cooler outside the rest rooms with the latest drinks, non-alcoholic of course, to refresh. Uplift. And recharge our road-weary travelers before they 'hit the highway' again.
My final item would be to re-educate, or educate, the rest area manager and attendants, to enable them to answer most every question conceivable by any tourist visiting their state. This would eliminate frustration. And confusion one-hundred percent. Remember the old saying, "an educated traveler is a happy traveler," and soon, word-of-mouth talk would spread from the satisfied. Happy travelers about great the rest rooms are. How educated the rest area employees at knowing 'their stuff,' about that state, and before you know it, more people with spending money would travel to that state. Thus helping that state's economy.
You see, Mr. President. Okay, you told me to call you Barack. How much better our country would be with this one simple step. To upgrade, to the finest level possible, every rest area rest room in the United States.
And just look at the new jobs this one bill would create. Both Democrats and Republicans would agree on this part of my revolutionary rest area rest room reclaimation act.
People would be so grateful that they would be visiting other states just to use their rest rooms.
OKAY. SO THIS HUB
IS ABOUT REST AREA REST ROOMS
one of the needed-places that we all have to visit when we travel our beautiful United States. But have you taken the time to really look at how deplorable some of our rest area rest rooms are, by way of looks. Condition. And overall image? Horrible.
If visitors to our country judge us Americans by the condition of our rest area rest rooms, then we are in deep trouble. I personally think that "image is everything," and cleaner. Nicer rest area rest rooms would lead to more-friendly relations with those countries who aren't so friendly with us now in 2012.
Think about it.