Fumkin Parts

Kinda drunk in a relatively terrible local brew pub in the city of Newport (yea every city in the entire state has port jammed into it somehow, even Eugeneport). I'm stumble-wondering how the idea of hazelnut beer and hazelnut rum could have sounded attractive, and stumble-deciding on the silver lining: at least I (now) know two things that should never be flavored with hazelnut.

The back hallway has two doors.

-Hops- -Barleys- no other symbols. Which is which? My mind strains. I imagine other drinking establishments (Skippers, Mermaids) and languages (Damen, Herren) but nothing clicks except that the word 'men' is shorter than the word 'women'; that couldn't be it, could it? What-the-fuck were they thinking? A waitress says, in a 187th-time-today tone: you're hops.

Inside, I dry my hands on paper towels from a jack-in-the-box-crank dispenser. Haven't seen one of these in a decade or three.

Two days later—after a wonderful bakery-lunch in Corvallisport—I enter the back hallway and recognize the two bathrooms are marked only with: restroom. I assume this restaurant has chosen to go the unisex/first-available route.

I join a small line and quickly learn there's a hitch in the giddy-up.

One of the doors has an apologetic sign reserving it only for Barleys. (And later, after comparing notes with my paramour, I learn they're both identical inside: one toilet, one sink, nothing else.) Women can use either. Men can only use one.

I can only come up with one reason for this: The women who run this establishment don't want to get man-cooties but believe it's OK for men to get women-cooties - or - think women don't have cooties. I suspect these assumptions are specious, so I'm open for alternatives (because I vividly remember learning at recess that women have cooties and men can get them).

On a more artistic note, this is a wonderful camera mistake. The design is perfectly weighted. The visual movement is dynamic. And it hardly matters that the person standing on a country roadside, twirling a pizza-company placard (miles from any business, let alone that pizza place) was not properly snapshotted.

Photographs alter and enlarge our notions of what is worth looking at and what we have a right to observe. — Susan Sontag

No comments: