The ladies restroom

There must be a cultural milieu that explains some of the strange behavior of those who use the ladies’ restrooms. As I am not one of that particular herd, I can only imagine the carryings-on when they congregate out of sight, doing their things. The rare events described here, presumably, occurred in such a restroom, and were told to me verbally by a collection of the participants, although I must accept its veracity on faith. I am certain that most ladies do not go to the restroom to make up unbelievable stories, but to do their business. This simple fact lends credibility to the strange tale that follows.

blackbassThe setting was the Black Bass Hotel, a historic remnant from about 1740 on the west bank of the Delaware River. As a shelter for traders and trappers, and a refuge from less than friendly Indians, the structure undoubtedly has witnessed every conceivable human drama. Yet there always seems to be one more episode that somehow was overlooked. The hotel’s front elevation and the picturesque walkway across the river to the rear are nicely displayed on the hotel’s website at


While we were on the Pennsylvania side of the river, the story’s main character might have slipped into the state from across the river in New Jersey. In doing so, she brought her distinctive persona with her, and most everyone in the hotel acknowledged her distinctiveness.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning in early November. A sizeable collection of church-goers, locals, and stray tourists had gathered at the hotel for a magnificent buffet brunch. Most were still in their dressy attire for a gourmet celebration. Our main character, who we will call Jezebel, most likely was still wearing the street clothes she was sporting from the night before. All the gentlemen immediately noticed the incredibly short skirt and the tightly stretched sweater with a low-cut neckline designed to enhance a generous view of her substantial endowment. Her many other glitzy accessories and her extremely short, boxed blonde peroxide hair perhaps drew the eye in her direction. She stood out from the rest of the crowd, and was accompanied by an older, burly gentleman, who one might guess was a biker.

The ladies present were mostly mature, anticipated a gourmet meal, and were showing the effects of gourmet meals over several years. By contrast, Jezebel remained trim and shapely though generously rounded, and was probably 20 years younger than her many onlookers. The ladies probably were somewhat jealous of her youth and energy, yet they shared a single notion about Jezebel’s splashy attire. The men admired her qualities from a distance as they all passed back and forth from the buffet. Clearly she was an attention getter, as one couple at a neighboring table discussed her outlandish outfit for a full five minutes, although small boys at our table prevented much open dialog.

After a considerable period of relaxing over the champagne portion of the brunch, visiting the ladies’ room is the inevitable consequence. It was only in the restroom that some interesting details of Jezebel’s lifestyle were confirmed.

Given the age of the hotel, finding space for an elegantly appointed ladies’ room was out of the question. In an area no larger than a walk-in closet there were two cozy booths, a vanity with a single sink, and standing room for two people, shoulder to shoulder. The idea of having any privacy would not fit into the diminutive restroom without inflicting serious damage to its historic proportions. The restroom and all its inhabitants were forced into intimate personal space, not a comfortable notion while doing ones business.

In the restroom, Maude, an 83 year old grandma, was doing her business in one stall when Lois and Marcie, a mother-daughter pair arrived. Lois entered the second stall, while Marcie waited just inside the door. Jezebel was the last to arrive. Each of these persons contributed a unique piece to a comic skit, which was finally fully cast.

Exactly what-all kinds of tricks Jezebel had in her bag is not really known, but from her conduct, she attacked the business at hand like she was killing snakes. Without saying a word, Jezebel slipped past Marcie, and went straight to the sink. She immediately pumped a handful of liquid soap into her palm. Then she smeared it around her face and inside her mouth, using her fingers as the instrument of choice to cleanse her mouth and teeth. The vigor with which she embraced the soap was startling.

Starting a conversation with a person with a mouth full of soap and finger is a little awkward, but Marcie’s curiosity overcame her, and she broke the silence.

“Wow, I have never seen anyone use liquid hand-soap in such a manner. I will certainly remember this!” Marcie said to Jezebel, the only other visible person in the restroom.

“I just have to wash my mouth, I just have to wash my mouth,” Jezebel insisted through the soap and her fingers.

“I heard about getting your mouth washed out with soap as a kid, but I have never seen anyone wash out their own mouth with soap. How is the soap?” Marcie asked.

Without addressing the question, Jezebel continued;

“There is a guy out there. If he leaves me will you give me a ride home?”

“I saw the guy you are with and I am sure he has no intention of leaving you here,” Marcie replied, hoping to get herself off the hook for transportation. Marcie also contemplated what her husband, elderly father and three sons would think if she offered Jezebel a ride home. Her mother is in the stall within touching distance, and has heard the conversation to this point, but did not realize that the person Marcie was talking to was the same Jezebel recognized earlier in the restaurant.

At this point, Maude emerged from her booth, putting three people in the space that was marginal for only two. Marcie squeezed into the booth, leaving Jezebel in the company of a fresh new companion, with one sink to share.

Maude undoubtedly heard the conversation from the booth. On emerging and seeing the outfit, she may have been startled, and did not quite know what to say to Jezebel.

“It is important to be clean,” Maude said, and while looking straight at Jezebel she added;

“You have the prettiest eyes.”

Jezebel was thrown off balance by such flattery, and some reinforcement for this flattery was inevitable.

“You are just so sweet,” Jezebel said to Maude, a complete stranger until seconds before.

At this moment Lois emerged from her booth, and was startled to see Jezebel grab Maude assertively in a bear-hug, and plant a kiss straight on her mouth, soapsuds and all.

Maude struggled from the bear-hug, eventually broke loose, and started sputtering immediately.

“What are you doing? What did you do that for? You got soap all over me and in my mouth,” Maude protested.

Continuing to spit and sputter, Maude nudged Jezebel away from the sink. She turned on the fresh water, bent over, and began splashing water onto her face and in her mouth to wash off the soap, and help wash away the experience.

Perceiving that she may have offended Maude, Jezebel changed course again, immediately.

“That’s good. Wash it all off,” Jezebel said. “Let me help you,” she added.

With that, Jezebel reached around Maude and into the running water, and with soap and saliva still covering her own hands, splashed more soap and water up into Maude’s face to assist with the cleansing process.

Maude had received quite enough attention from Jezebel by this time, and after a quick dry, left the restroom in a huff spitting and muttering to herself. She was desperately in need of consolation and a sympathetic ear for the trauma she had just experienced in the restroom.

With Marcie and Jezebel still in the restroom, Lois finished her business and left. She noticed that Maude had found her elderly husband, and was bending his ear about what had just happened to her in the ladies’ room.

“This fluzzie was washing her own mouth out with soap, and she just grabbed me, and kissed me on the lips getting soap in my mouth. Then she reached around me and started splashing water in my face to help me wash it off,” Maude added.

“You don’t expect me to believe this, do you?” Maude’s husband replied.

Lois heard enough of Maude’s conversation to understand her husband’s skepticism. She intervened, and assured Maude’s husband that the story from the ladies’ restroom was true in every detail.

As Marcie left the restaurant she left Jezebel still occupying space in the little restroom and still scrubbing her mouth and teeth. Outside she noticed Jezebel’s companion standing patiently on the curb, wondering whether or not she was going to come out. Marcie could not miss the opportunity, or risk becoming Jezebel’s backup transportation.

“Jezebel is really something else, a piece of work!” Marcie said.

“Yes she is,” he replied.

“I’m sure she’ll be right out….nice lady!”

With that, Marcie hustled across the road to join her family for the ride home.

Like putting the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle together, it appears to be something of a mess until the last piece fits in. Neither Lois nor Maude saw the aggressive soap dispensing and the initial mouth and tooth scrubbing, although they heard the commotion and the conversation. Marcie did not see the bear-hug and the kiss, but she heard the commotion and conversation from the booth. Had Lois not seen the bear-hug and the kiss, the husband, who did not see anything at all, might well have believed that Maude’s story from the restroom was simply too incredible to be true!! Who could possibly make up a story like this from scratch?

After assembling the entire story, some wagers are for certain:

Not a man in the restaurant noticed Jezebel’s pretty eyes.

Next time Maude sees a Jezebel in the ladies’ restroom, she will keep her mouth shut.

Jezebel must have done something right! Her companion was waiting for her when she left the ladies’ room, and she did not need to solicit another ride home.

What a marvelous brunch!

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