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Bathrooms That Freak People Out

So last night, we took my Dad to dinner for Father’s Day at Logan’s Roadhouse, which is one of those places with peanut shells all over the floor, very-American music (a new genre I just coined that consists of three sub-genres: country, western, and Bruce Springsteen) and yeast rolls that act like heroin in your body and you want (no, you NEED) to eat twenty of them. I swear those rolls turn you into a crazy person constantly searching the room for your waitress so you can all but scream at her that FOR THE LOVE OF GOD YOU NEED MORE ROLLS.

Logan’s Roadhouse is also one of those places that thinks it’s funny to freak the customers out when they go to the bathroom. I walked into the Ladies room just fine, but when I reached for the door to walk out, I saw this:

logans roadhouse bathroom door

Haha. Yes, I’m walking out of the men’s room, very funny. Now I’ve seen this before by the likes of Macaroni Grill (who at least makes up for it by providing Italian language lessons as you sit on the can), but for the uninitiated it can be terribly disturbing, and Macaroni Grill back then gave me a small heart attack with their attempt at potty humor.

I think it brings back that frightening memory of when I was a teenager (circa 1980) and I really did walk into a men’s restroom somewhere in Seattle and proceeded right into a stall. I was already seated with my pants down when I heard two approaching male voices. It took some time to register what happened as I went through the whole what-are-two-guys-doing-coming-into-the-ladies-room-i-mean-really-and-…..-oh thing. I sat frozen in place and waited for them to leave.

The thing is, my mom’s friend had walked into the bathroom with me and she was standing near the sinks when the guys walked in, must have seen my mom’s friend, did not point out that we were in the men’s room, did their thing and walked out. It wasn’t until after they walked out, that one of us said to the other: “uhhh……..” and the other one said, “yeah” and then we couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Yanking my pants back up in the stall, I was all, “Don’t leave me!” And she was all, “But I’m in the men’s room!” and I was all, “I know! Don’t leave me!” Very traumatic.

So for people in their tender middle-age like myself, I don’t know if it’s a good idea to freak people out like that. I mean in America, we sue over EVERYTHING, including if you make us wet our pants even though we just went.

Of course, this does not include those occasions we walk into a men’s room intentionally. And should you ever choose to do so, ladies, may I recommend the men’s bathroom at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo in central California. Not only is the men’s room better than the women’s room, it rocks. Literally.

madonna inn mens bathroomImage source:

I was much more logistic about entering this one, you know, with a bunch of yelling and warning and having a guy make sure the coast was clear before waltzing in as if it were nothing, but you can do what you want, just don’t mention my name, and don’t sue anybody because this is what is commonly referred to as “entering at your own risk”. It’s also premeditated gender-bending and good luck convincing a jury otherwise.

frilly pink panties

Promo for virtual wine tasting

Hey, have you ever been to a virtual wine tasting? You have? Well, aren’t you the worldly and sophisticated one. The reason I ask is because the Sacramento Bee is hosting such a shindig by way of a live blog. Here are the deets:

bee live promo


Join The Bee’s wine writer, Chris Macias, in our virtual tasting room to sample three California State Fair wine competition winners.

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Mark your calendar now: 6 p.m., June 30.

Find Chris:
On Twitter: @chris_macias
Check out the California State Fair Wine Competition winners:

Related Posts with Thumbnails


  1. Cashier says:

    Ugh, I would have freaked out if I had seen 'Men's'. Why do restaurants do that?? Bathroom mix-ups are not pleasant!

  2. britt says:

    First of all, the men's room trick? AWESOME! Secondly, you nearly tricked me into thinking you had found a place on the internet that could dispense wine. I was already to buy a tap with a USB port.

    1. Oh but it IS an internet wine dispensary. You just need to buy the $4,000
      adapter. Unless, of course, you already have one.

      (slurp slurp slurp, swish swish swish, sip sip sip) Hmmm, this wine tastes a

  3. Jb says:

    I've never seen that prank! It's pretty funny…as long as it's someone else that is the victim!
    Is that stone structure the urinal??? Do the men just pee onto the floor area of the stone structure??? That's the way our bathroom needs to be set up (with a separate bathroom for me, of course). I've got three males in the house…you know what I'm talkin' about!

    1. It is indeed the urinal. And I can't imagine how it doesn't stink – you'd think it would never get clean, but then I haven't smelled it lately. (Thank you for the Retweet, by the way!)

  4. That is SO FUNNY…. at least you are done with your business before you see the men's sign. I haven't seen that done before. Cause I think if I wasn't done with my business, well, YOU KNOW!

    That Madonna men's bathroom is pretty cool but you know what, having two teen boys the first thing I thought was, “I bet those rocks STINK!” πŸ˜‰

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nanny Goats, Homemaker's Pensieve. Homemaker's Pensieve said: RT @nannygoats Bathrooms That Freak People Out […]

  6. Wow … that urinal is almost too nice to pee in. Almost.

  7. joannmannix says:

    There is a pub in New York City, in fact the oldest pub in town, called McSorley's Old Ale House. It used to be in its oldest days, for men only and it still has that man feel to the place. They do this thing there. The bathrooms are unmarked and when a lady, and yes I have been their victim, goes to use the bathroom and looks questioningly at both doors, the entire bar points to one door. And yes, you walk in and there is always someone standing their pissing at the urinal. Ha, Ha, Freakin' Ha. What is so funny about watching men pee? I don't get it.

    1. Pee is always funny to twelve-year-olds. πŸ™‚

  8. OMG!! That was extremely funny and completely mortifying at the same time ~ Thankfully, I have never walked into any men's room!

  9. Liz says:

    I'm not sure what I think about the Rock Wall of Piss. Hmmm… The only time I've gone in the wrong bathroom was in a bar, after a bit to drink. πŸ™‚

    1. The Rock Wall of Piss. Sounds like a monument. No wonder people take pictures of it.

  10. VetTech says:

    This made me think of the unisex bathroom on Ally McBeal! All I know is men's room are never as crowded ..but also never as clean.

    1. Yes! And we had unisex bathrooms (including showers) in our college dorms. I can't help but wonder if they're still like that. It seems more unusual now than it did then.

  11. I live in that part of the country where bars and restaurants (usually the same thing) like to liven things up by calling their bathrooms something different like Gulls and Bouys, Pointers and Setters, Beavers and any other animal that one might find in the woods. Luckily for me I have since learned that most of the time the women's room is on the right and the men's is on the left. Most of the mens bathrooms have stalls anyway so if you do end up in the wrong one no one notices.

    1. This is crass, but I'm assuming beavers would be the ladies room?

      Told you it was crass.

  12. Haven't done the men's room yet– I'm going to try to keep it that way πŸ˜‰

    1. If you can go your whole life without slipping up, I think you get an automatic free pass to Heaven. Don't quote me on that or anything, though.

  13. Nance says:

    I'm currently testing out–right here at home, while blogging!–which California sauvignon blanc is cheap enough for a victim of the recession and without tasting like goat piss. You can get away with really cheap pinot gris, but sauvignon blanc is the ultimate test. I'll get back to you.

    1. heh – you said “goat piss”.
      Oh, you're a wine snob? Awesome. I could use a wine snob to help me figure out some stuff. I'm such an amateur.

  14. Muse says:

    love the way the bathrooms segway into wine…LOL

    1. And shouldn't everything segue into wine, really? Not just grapes.

  15. Jenny says:

    All I have to say is that at our old church, someone got the bright idea one day to switch the men's and ladies rooms … men used to be on the right as you walked into the foyer and ladies on the left, but they reversed it and totally redecorated both. So even though there were big signs on the half-wall leading to each facility correctly identifying the gender-specificity of the separate sides, mistakes were bound to be made due to force of habit … especially by those who were no longer, shall we say, spring chickens. So it was that one day I walked into the ladies room to encounter a very elderly gentleman washing his hands, looking into the oval mirror with ribbons at the top and surrounded by B&BW hand lotion and hairspray and even feminine items. I backed out as fast as I could … he later apologized to me and I told him not to think a blessed thing of it but to this day he has a hard time looking me in the eye. I just saw him at the Pickin' Parlor in West Columbia the other night.

    1. Why on earth would someone even try to switch bathrooms like that? I would think people could walk into the wrong bathroom for YEARS afterward. Especially for those long-term-no-spring-chickens. I mean after walking into one door for years and then to switch it on them? The poor old fellas!

      1. Jenny says:

        I know, right? It makes even less sense when you consider that the church nursery — just one room, actually — is now on the same side as the men's room! And only ladies take care of the kids in the nursery. Of course the nursery has its own potty, but still. Weird.

  16. Nicky says:

    We've got a very trendy bar/cigar lounge here called the Whiskey CafΓ©. It's famous for the waterfall urinal in the men's room, and a ladies urinal in the women's! I've seen both (but never tried either) and they are quite something!

    1. I'm trying to imagine how a woman could even use a urinal without, you know….peeing down her leg, for lack of a euphemism.

      1. Nicky says:

        Well, I'll try to explain as best I can: think of a funnel with a long flexible tube that leads to a drain. You take the funnel, position it and think of waterfalls!

        1. ACK! OK, this is where the germaphobe in me comes out. You grab the funnel
          that has been all over everybody's else “area”? That doesn't sound very
          hygenic. Unless you bring your own funnel. Oh great, now we have to carry
          funnels around in our purses. As if we don't have to carry around enough.
          And that's one MORE thing to come flying out at the grocery store cash
          register for everyone to see.

  17. Teri C says:

    Yeah! That Madonna Inn, all the ladies room has is a bunch of chairs and mirrors in red if I remember correctly! It is a right of Central California girl's passage to run into that bathroom snickering and hilarious laughtering yourself down the halls.
    How about those rooms. We stayed one for a sixteen year old party there and we got to watch the cavewoman lock out the caveman from their room in the middle of the night. In costume.
    Good laughs that place.

    1. I remember the Caveman room, it's one of their more famous rooms, right? They had a SHOW???? How crazy is that. πŸ™‚

  18. Owen says:

    When I was a little kid (a boy, not a goat !) we were travelling in Russia, and were told to stay near our tour guide, a lady, and not wander off. So when she went to use the ladies room at a museum we were visiting, I followed her in to the ladies room… was I ever embarrassed when I saw everyone laughing when I came back out of there a few seconds after going in, after realizing that wasn't part of the tour…

    PS Saw some goats recently around Paris, will have to send you a link soon… it's been a little while…

    1. Oops! Oh, your poor little boy self! I wonder if it's even worse in a foreign country where people can respond differently. Or if they laugh it off, depending on what country you're from. We Americans can be awfully uptight about such things. But it sounds like it was something you didn't forget! Parisian goats! That would be fun to see. Le Baa-aaa!

  19. SueAnn says:

    Gee! I have never done the men's room thing. Have I been missing out? HA!

    1. Yes, Sue Ann. You've been missing out. On a ton of embarrassment! So thank your lucky stars and keep paying attention, because clearly, the rest of us haven't.

  20. Pricilla says:

    We goats don't worry about these issues. We just squat and go.
    It's very freeing.

    1. Ha! Yes, I guess the world is your toilet, really.

  21. OMG The Madonna Inn! That place was hysterical! Loved it! In several fairly upscale places in SF, they have gone to Unisex toilets. They have attendants keeping everything pristine for you and actually, it makes perfect sense. On the other end of the scale is Sam Wo's in Chinatown where the waiters scream at you when you walk out of the bathroom, “Go back and wash your hands” or “Did you flush this time?” This is my son's favorite place.

    1. OMG – You make Sam Wo's sound intriguing and I now must see this place. How's the food? Although, I guess if you say it's your son's favorite place, I'm assuming it's because the food is good?

      1. I think he just likes it for the shock value. The customers are yelled at if they ask for water or anything to drink and told “Go to a bar you want drinks! Or bring your own Stupid!” For whatever reason, John thinks this is the funnest place on earth! (He always walks in with his little ice chest with beer too.)

  22. mommytime says:

    I'm sorry; is that a fireplace in the men's room? If so, where is the chimney? If not, it is a rocky nook to hold the urinals? If so, ewwwww for the inability to clean non-smooth surfaces very thoroughly. If not, what is it? A cuddling nook? (Where's the comfy couch?) A rock-climbing wall in case you are bored or don't really want to go back to your date very quickly? I am apparently completely dumb today. Can you explain?

    1. Ha! It's a urinal all right and I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks, “but how do you clean that thing?”

  23. Janiss says:

    My dad lives near San Luis Obsipo, and my fiance and I took him to the Madonna Inn for his 9oth birthday last year! Yes, that men's room is legendary. The food isn't, although it's not bad. And I've never had the urge to stay there, although I always get a hotel room when I visit for more than an evening (my dad does not have internet. Did I mention he's 90?). For the kind of money they charge for rooms, I want luxury, not kitsch.

    1. Don't they have some fancy pink drinks there?
      Which room did you stay in? Do you have a favorite?

      1. Janiss says:

        Oh, I don't stay at the Madonna Inn – I stay at the Embassy Suites or Quality Inn Suites. I need a little sanity when I'm up there!

        My boyfriend is sober and my dad's not into drinking, so I didn't get to try any fun beverages over dinner. It's just not festive to be the only one at the table drinking.

  24. Erin says:

    I most recently used the men's room at Coachella Music Fest. The whole bathroom situation was gross anyway, so the lack of a line at the men's luxury flush port-a-potties was sheer heaven. Funny thing is that, no matter where, the men never seem to care that a woman is using their bathroom. They just smile and keep peeing.

    1. I know, what is wrong with them? If it was reversed, women would be heard screaming for miles.

  25. debbie_suburbsanity says:

    That is a bathroom? Talk about a man cave.

  26. When I was very young, I was on holiday in France and went into the toilets. I strolled in, and stood facing two men. I nearly died thinking I'd walked into the men's toilets, when a woman came out from one of the loos. It was a mixed sex toilet! It was very unnerving.

    More recently, I went to a social function and needed the loo. I walked in to what looked like a toilet room that was being renovated. It was rather dirty looking and there was a large, shallow hole in the middle of the room with a door to the left. I did my business, and went to the wash basin. It looked brand new, as if it had never been used. When I came out I was told that it was the men's room. The large, shallow hole was the communal urinal! I thought about that wash basin – dry and not used, and didn't want to dance with another man at that function!

    1. We had co-ed restrooms in our dorms in college. At the time it wasn't a super big deal, but now when I think of it, I can't believe it. Surely they don't do that now! Or do they, I wonder. Because we're talking bathroom stalls, wash basins, and showers! Then again, it was at UC Berkeley so maybe they do still do that.

  27. I've never seen a sign like that leaving the restroom – I love that idea! When we were on our cruise my dad was in the men's room and two little old ladies toddled in and started talking and didn't even realize where they were until my dad went to wash his hands LOL

    I love the Italian lessons at Macaroni Grill πŸ™‚

    1. You what would be funny is if the Italian lessons said things like, “You are in the men's restroom…” and then you see the sign and it all sinks in and blammo – heart attack.

      1. OMG – you have to send that idea to Macaroni Grill headquarters! That would be hilarious!

  28. Irish Gumbo says:

    At a Baltimore Orioles game, once, I was in a hurry after the obligatory 3 beers/3 innings indulgence, marched into what I thought was a mens' toilet room, went straight into a stall…then I heard some female voices, and realized what I had done. Miraculously, no one noticed, even when I left the stall and made a beeline for the nearest door. I sure did surprise the two ladies coming in, though!

    Even funnier, I recall thinking as I was making my way to the stall “That's odd, there's no urinals in here”…yet, I kept right on going πŸ™‚

    1. HA! And the problem is, women might not think ha-ha that 's funny. They'll think you're a perv doing it on purpose. Which makes it even more difficult for you. Luckily at a baseball game, it's not likely you'll run into them again.

  29. janegassner says:

    You missed the public bathrooms at the hotel in Chicago for BlogHer'08: two way mirror between the ladies and the gents. Now that has all the possibilities of the Grand Overshare.

    1. What? So you could see each other? How are you supposed to do anything? I went to one in Manhattan where the stall doors were see-thru. You could see out, but they couldn't see in. Supposedly. I still am not sure. That was freaky too.

  30. Tara says:

    When I was in high school at an away basketball game, I accidentally walked into the boys restroom. Two middle-aged men were outside the door, watched me go in, and waited for me to come out so they could laugh at me. Bastards.

    Not too long ago I watched as my seven-year-old marched into the men's restroom while pulling pants and underwear down around his mid-thighs. Privates were flopping in the breeze as he made his way in, and some poor man was trying to come out at the same time. Naturally, I pretended not to know the boy.

    1. That is awesome. The second story. Not the first. OK, no, the first one is awesome too. I mean now. Not then. Maybe now you can laugh at it, but at the time, I'm sure it was just a travesty of embarrassment. But that second story — you have described it so well, I can so picture it in my head and I'm cracking up.

  31. Jayne says:

    The men's room at The Madonna Inn is like the 8th wonder of the world. I've been there. Except I've yet to see anyone actually pee. Maybe because I was there — with my camera. Ya think?

    No virtual wine tour for me. I live in the middle of Santa Barbara County wine country. I've got to have the real thing. πŸ˜‰

    1. I've never been to a virtual wine tasting before, it should prove interesting. And yes, I don't see how men are supposed to be able to actually USE the bathroom with the parade of women checking it out.

  32. JunkDrawer says:

    I love Logan's sense of humor. That's awesome. Never saw anyone do that before. Excellent freak-out for the uninitiated. I probably would have screamed.

    1. I should have asked them how often they have called 911 or heard such screaming as you describe.

  33. I always use the mens restroom if the women's is busy. They (everyone) need to make female restrooms larger!! More of them too. If we could just whip it out and go….there wouldn't be any lines to wait in!!

    I do love a clean bathroom. The cleanest one I've used in a restaurant was the one at Ravenous Cafe…and they only have one but I've never had to wait..and it is spotless!

    1. Ravenous Cafe, aren't they super healthy or vegan or something?

      And YES! Men are clearly the ones doing the bathroom architecture, because everyone should know that until the men have to wait just as long as the women to use the facilities when there is a line, then the women's restroom is still too small.

  34. I do not think a urinal should be made of any substance with nooks and crannies.

    I have 5 boys, so nothing in a public restroom phases me except this one time when some stranger child requested I hold her hand while she was squeezing one out. That was a bit uncomfortable. But I did it, because we all need a hand every know and then, you know?

    1. Except that now you know the mother of that stranger child is the one who taught her that and if the mother ever asks you to grab her hand, say, next to you on the bus, you may want to pass.