Ever been on a stroll downtown when that sudden urge hits you? I don’t mean shoppin’, either. You know what I’m talking about. When this urge hits you away from home, you can get feverish and panicky.
Palms, brow and ass all start sweating nervously at the same time. It’s like MJ turning into that zombie in Thriller.
I’m talking about poopin’.
It’s ok, it’s ok; this is a safe space here at “The Kids…”.
So what to do when you’ve got to do-do? If you’re like me, you’re skeeved at the idea of doing such a sacred deed in most public places. I’m not dropping “knowledge” just anywhere, kids.
And I don’t go for that “desperate times call for desperate measures” bullshit. When I go, I like to feel relaxed, like I’m sitting at home.
I don’t want to feel clenched and tense like I’m standing nightwatch in ‘Nam, or feeling like contact with the seat will mean taking a tomato bath when I get home.
Well, if you’re in the Philly or DC area, you’re in luck! I’ve got two choice places to handle your business and not get harrassed by security, staff, homeless dudes or pervs.
The criteria is: Cleanliness, Remoteness (so people don’t automatically see you), Access and Privacy. That spells C.R.A.P.
Let’s do this.
Try Hotel Sofitel located on 17th and Samson Sts. This place is awesome for getting the job done. Hotel Sofitel wins points for the following:
- Cleanliness: It’s one of the few places I’ve gone and contemplated not using the “ass bib” provided in most places. +8
- Remoteness: The bathroom’s located in the far right-hand corner of the lobby floor, just past the stairs. It’s so easy to miss, meaning that most people won’t know you’re there blowing up the joint; they’ll think it’s the restaurant. But, I have had wait staff knock on the door. Oops. +6
- Access: With its “no muss, no fuss” entrance in the front, you can waltz right on through the front door, across the lobby and past the bar. Your butt can breathe a sigh of relief as soon as you see Hotel Sofitel. Hell, I’ve even walked in with a book or magazine I’ve just bought at Barnes&Noble once or twice! +10
- Privacy: The bathroom is for single-service only, meaning it’s you and only you in there to take a load off. Be as loud and stinky as you want, soldier; no need to put your butt on “silencer” in here! It’s the “balloon test”; you know, slowly “letting out the air” because there’s someone else around. Usually this causes more noise and awkwardness for all involved. So you can let’er rip at the Sofitel, but of course, if anyone’s waiting next, they know who to blame. +8
- Total C.R.A.P. Score: 32
And now for my D.C. pick.
Find yourself in Georgetown feelin’ a little “brown”?
Allow me to suggest the Georgetown Inn, located on 1310 Wisconsin Ave NW.
The Georgetown Inn is a venerable mainstay from my early C.R.A.P. days living and woking in the DC-MD area. Tried and true, the Georgetown Inn offers the following for the pedestrian pooper looking for some relief:
- Cleanliness: The Georgetown Inn offers relatively clean bathroom facilities. I definitely used the “ass bib” there, but I was completely at ease once I laid it down. Still, the sinks are prone to be a excessively wet on the counters and the hand soap has the smell and consistency that I always associate with another bodily function. +6
- Remoteness: Well, the bathroom is located to the left as soon as you enter the lobby (nicely located beneath street level for quickly ducking away), but is also the common bathroom as it is shared with the adjoining restaurant patrons. Plus, it’s right next to pay phones and the elevators and the front desk, so half of Capitol Hill knows you’re about to go and “pork barrel” the toilet. It’s a narrow hallway, but still…+4
- Access: A bit of another sticking point. If you’ve been shopping already, you’ve got bags with you, and the front desk staff is keen on not letting anyone who isn’t checking in or about to eat at the restaurant use the bathroom. I’ve had to fake them out using a couple of rather ridiculous maneuvers: 1) Pretending I’m meeting someone there for a meal. This move requires “asking how long the wait will be” to sell the idea of eating there and then pretending to get a call a few minutes later saying that they can’t make it. “Darn; better take a shit since my date’s just shat on me.” 2) Pretending to wait for someone who’s staying at the hotel. This move means sitting in the lobby, pretending to wait…looking at your watch….flipping through a magazine…and then shrugging and saying, “Hell, might as well take a dump I guess”. Extra points for you if you manage to take the magazine to the bathroom with you. Obviously, the Georgetown Inn experience isn’t for one in a rush, but offers a bit of subterfuge and role-playing that makes the reward all the sweeter. Think of it as foreplay. +8
- Privacy: Well, there are several stalls in this place–no solo-Sofitel-ing it here, I’m afraid. But, as an added bonus, each stall is equipped with cool thick brown doors with slats that resemble some venetian blinds on a tropical island bungalow. This is great for two reasons: it offers an extremely intimate, dark and cozy climate for dumping while also offering a discrete peek-a-boo view for figuring out when it’s safe to leave and who might be hearing you toot. But really, the stall is constructed in a fashion that it almost takes you to another place while you’re crapping. Sit back and order a mojito; you’re on vacation! +8
- Total C.R.A.P. Score: 26
More places to come. Stay tuned.