The first time I ever visited, well the only other time I’ve ever visited San Francisco I was about 14… a freshman in high school and still bordering on that awkward phase that lasted from birth to about 15. I was one of the lucky ones.
I remember wearing jeans that were much too short, a lack of makeup and some styling white tennis shoes. Hard to resist, right? I went with my Mom and sister (probably around 12 at the time) and left knowing that it would forever be one of my favorite cities. The strongest memories from that trip, though, revolve around food (shocker, I know) and the pay to use public restrooms. One specific story stands out. And here is goes:
We were in line for the trolley (the real San Francisco treat) and the line was wrapped around one block and making it’s way, very quickly, up the next. It was going to be a LONG haul. We probably could have walked, but we were bound and determined to make our way through the city on that specific tram. Well if you have never visited San Fran or seen one of the corner “pay to pee’s”, then you’ll know what I’m talking about, but if you haven’t… then try to envision an oblong structure standing on the corner. It’s green and covered in billboards, but rather clean. Once you insert your money, the electric door opens and produces a toilet and sink set up. All very normal.
Well, here’s where the story gets good. We’ve been in line for what seems next to for-e-ver. Sarah (my independent and pig-headed little sister) decided that paying to use the potty was over-rated. She’d just sneak in after someone, pee, and come back out. No prob bob. We went along with it because, well, what could go wrong? It’s a port-o-potty right?
She slyly snuck in behind the last toilet customer, the door slid shut and things seemed to be just in order. Then, thirty seconds later, the door slams open and water comes gushing out. We and our 100 new San Fran friends turn and gawk. Out comes Sarah covered in cleaning/toilet water. Please imagine this. Take a minute because it may take that long to fully absorb the pain, anguish, and embarrassment of the moment. Then please imagine what it feels like to be 12, wet, and in line for another hour with those close 100 friends that witnessed you one, being and idiot and two, being what we would call thrifty. Other’s may call it cheap, but whose keeping track.
So, we’re back in this great city, eating and cavorting (more on that later) when we stumble across one of those wondrous pit stops. Couldn’t resist taking a picture and wetting our pants laughing at the memory. So here you go. My sister all grown up, and a little happier and drier that the last time around.