“Out and About”

Norm Stutesman

We are all critics in some way, and there are some people who get paid for their critical expertise. We have restaurant and movie critics, to name just two, but I have never heard of a “Restroom Critic.” Now this would be something I might be successful in pursuing. I’m pretty sure this newspaper doesn’t have one.
Our feelings about restrooms might be considered by some as a personal issue. It’s not something one would open a conversation with, and it’s definitely not something you would talk about on a first date. It’s only proper to save that topic for the second or third.
When getting Out and About to visit a new restaurant, or another merchant, I don’t consider my visit complete, or my opinion set, until I visit the establishment’s restroom. If a restaurant’s restroom is dirty, just how clean is the kitchen? There are some businesses that don’t have a public restroom, and I can’t really blame them, because, some patrons ruin it for others by trashing a restroom that has been made available for public use. Then there’s that reputation that goes along with the cleanliness of the restroom at your local gas station.
I’ve done my share of restroom cleaning. I received most of my training while in the Army. You haven’t lived until you’ve cleaned around the faucets of a sink with a toothbrush. To this day, I try to clean up after myself after using a public restroom. After drying my hands with a paper towel, I will wipe up the excess water around the basin. I’ve also been known to use my foot to compact the wastebasket, if it’s available and convenient to do so. It’s amazing how many people refuse to pick up their paper towel if it misses the trash receptacle.
The more I get Out and About, the more I discover things that I just don’t understand. For instance, the other day I visited a local bank. As I was filling out a deposit slip, I realized that the pen I was using had a small chain attached. A good idea, because that way the chances of someone stealing the pen would not be as great. Then when I stepped up to the teller’s window, I noticed that the door to the bank’s vault was wide open. Evidently, that pen is worth more than the contents of the safe. Just another thing to ponder when you have nothing else to think about.
Last Tuesday was “Fat Tuesday,” the last chance to enjoy something delicious before the Lenten season. Bakeries and coffee shops did a big business by selling Paczkis. I was told that these tasty pastries were fat-free as long as you consumed them standing up. I know this to be true, because it was posted on Facebook.
I don’t recall ever having such an outbreak of influenza in this area. Schools have been closed due to this pesky bug. I’m wondering if the above-normal temperatures have anything to do with it, or perhaps it’s because we have warm temperatures one day and below normal temperatures the next. It’s difficult to find someone who agrees with me, that if it is cold outside and you are not properly dressed for the weather, you are more likely to come down with a cold. Besides, it’s a sign of being cool to wear shorts and not a jacket when the outside temperature is in the low thirties. I had a flu shot and still came down with the bug, but it was only for a day, so I figure I was partially protected anyway.
Here’s this week’s bit of useless information you might want to hold on to: A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue.
See you Out and About!
Norm Stutesman resides in Three Rivers with his wife and cat. He receives mail at P.O. Box 103 in Three Rivers.

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