Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mars and Venus

Fortunately when I was a young pup, my parents taught me the value of reading along with eating so with every Pop Tart consumed, also too was a paragraph on high fructose syrup and preservatives. I soon developed a rather extensive vocabulary in all the ingredients crammed into Lucky Charms beyond the oats to make them ‘magically delicious’.  This early education came in handy later when I finally ventured out on my own in the world by 50 years of age looking for things to read, eat, and eliminate all at the same time.

Naturally at least part of this skill has proven helpful in navigating the ways of the world especially when I travel. No it is not often I find a full place setting in restrooms or an edible morsel that has not already been passed over by vermin, but frequently in foreign lands it is important to read and enter the correct gender door to the toilet. With this in mind, why then is it so difficult to mark doors properly and legibly so that anyone - blind, dumb, or confused (or all three like me), can determine their gender and choose an appropriate loo to lounge in?

While I have accepted the dull lanky stick figure form of the male, and equally uncreative female stick icon in a dress as the representative placard for restrooms in America, it is not necessarily so overseas. Other countries prefer to reflect the fact that people often have tiny heads in comparison to their bloated bodies, and depending on how much spicy curry slurry they’ve consumed they might be in a blurry hurry to find the right water closet fast. So if this is true, why are their icons so confusing to my uncreative mind. Is the restroom for males the ‘fat running blob in a hat’ or is it the ‘jumping blob with a sack’ – and who knows which room is outfitted for babies since by definition all babies look like blobs?

Forget this Mars and Venus stuff since nobody really knows the gender of any planet. I don’t really care what the RIGHT symbols look like as long as if we can just agree on choosing ONE universal standard to read that applies to the appropriate gender in question. I’m not really worried though if I wander into the wrong toilet as I reach advanced age as long as I only travel in Spanish speaking countries. Because at least there nobody’s offended if we geezers misread the signs between the Senor or Senores, because when you gotta’ go any port in a storm is OK, when you have a ‘SENIOR movement' !


  1. Re your visits to European Restrooms - -
    Just 'hold it' and watch for whichever sex goes in or
    comes out. I thought "DAMEN" in German meant
    "Da MEN," like our Easterners or gangsters say it.
    ...Hope you showed that real Americans are not like
    our action movies they see. Because we're really
    more like our CARTOONS.

  2. Universal symbols for some simple things are hard to come up with. I still can't figure out most on/off symbols.

  3. Yes. One problem with male and femaile symbols
    for restrooms is that they show BOTH sexes
    standing up!
    Ladies, Please don't try that.