It is true that your average pub is a microcosm of life; from changing attitudes and fashions, customs of the locality, a barometer of the economy and you can meet sports buffs, bar-room lawyers, and stand-up comedians – barely able to stand; and watch a dating venue in progress. You can observe all of life passing by a bar counter – especially from the inside.
I have learned much in bars, hotels and clubs over the years, but my observations have also unearthed the odd puzzle it has failed me to find an answer to.
There is one mystery in particular that if some knowledgeable reader can again stump up with an answer, well then this column may well have solved the eighth wonder of the world. We shall come back to the six-mark ceist in a moment.
First of all, let us get the obvious out of the way; there is a difference between men and women!! Neither gender superior to the other, we hasten to add – just different! So, viva le difference! You can therefore take it that nobody has to shout at the last user for leaving the toilet seat up at the location of this week’s piece of ground-breaking investigative journalism. So, let’s cut right to the chase – and you will see the word ‘chase’ used again further down.
Surely one of the greatest mysteries of human kind is why do ladies have to go to the bathroom together? A lone woman heading off to powder her nose without back-up is as scarce as a hypochondriac at a Covid confraternity.
The sisters will invite each other to go with them; pairs, threes and often the whole table – the entire shebang will head off as one. In all honesty now, have you ever heard a guy in the bar turn to his male buddy and ask are you going to the washroom?
No, we men go when we have to perform a necessary bodily function: We don’t announce it beforehand and when we do get in there we don’t spend so long in it that someone at the table is wondering if they said something wrong. Men don’t divulge intimate little tit-bits about themselves while straightening their trousers or washing the hands.
Not only do the sisters go to the toilet in pairs, but why do they have to go so often and what are they really at in there?
Years ago at dances, I could see the reasoning behind the ladies rush to the washroom, (escape!) but there is no excuse for spending half the night in there now. In the bad old days for the girls, they lined up on one side of the hall with us young bucks on the other side. There we were, eyeing up the most perfect specimens of womanhood.
The signal for our charge across the dance floor was the band leader’s announcement of the next dance. A slow-foxtrot or a slow waltz would be the preferred choice getting on in the night.
Sometimes the unexpected would happen; the band might call for a Siege of Ennis. Then simultaneously as we rushed the line of women the line broke as at least half our first choices went into full retreat and charged into the ladies washroom – the only safe place for a woman.
How can 50 women fit into a 5’x4’ toilet; that thought strikes me now … but they did! No doubt, self-preservation being the strongest instinct – anything is possible.
But back to the big burning question as to why, in this more enlightened age, do the ladies still chose to go to the washroom in pairs or groups. Am I right or am I wrong? All we want is an answer here.
Anybody who hasn’t noticed this difference between men and women can go and check it out for themselves. Lord, lads, could it be that the sisters retreat to the washroom to regroup and talk about the poor ‘divels’ outside in the bar? Or maybe they only ask each other how they look?
Questions can be asked in there – even off total strangers that could never be brought up in conversation anywhere else. Lads, can you imagine asking the guy working the urinal beside you as to how your hair looks; or where did he come across that gorgeous pair of shoes? No way!
We men adhere to a strict, unwritten code of ethics when we visit the men’s room. For a start, when we are going for a pee we don’t ask another guy to come with us. We don’t make eye-contact, socially converse – other than about the match on TV while we are in there and we don’t hang around after the job is done.
Above all, we never glance near anyone doing his business, as we pretend to read something on the wall – even a blank wall. Our mission is to get in, get the job done and get out. Unlike the sisters we don’t turn our place into a telephone exchange either.
It has just occurred to me that perhaps the clever girls head off in groups so that there is none left behind to talk about the others when they’re gone? A lot of stuff must go on in there, lads, because the women are always telling me that they are better at multi-tasking than we are.
Hoteliers and publicans are as never before facilitating this habit by lavishly furnishing their ladies washrooms like French Boudoirs.
This shows how much time the sisters are prepared to spend in there. Don’t get me wrong, this column is not objecting – we would just like to know what’s going on!?
Most women have a terrible memory – they remember everything!