As a pregnant lady, I have the unique opportunity to take an occasional daily pastime and turn it into a regular, hourly hobby: going to the bathroom. Because of this hobby, I feel as if I spent more of my 2 months in the U.S. touring various bathrooms than being with friends and family. After all, I was transient, and usually only at the place we were staying at night, so that gave me ample opportunity to view the facilities at a variety of shopping centers, restaurants, gas stations, and even a law firm. I can’t keep this wealth of observations and knowledge to myself in a selfishly selfy way, so I am writing a post on bathrooms. Just so you know, I’m aware that the terms “lady-like,” “appropriate,” and “socially acceptable” cannot be applied to this post. I also know it’s stinkin’ long. Feel free to print it out and stash it in the bathroom for later reading.

Best Bathroom to Try and Use Your Foot or Knee to Dispense the Paper Towels: CABC in Waco. This trick was taught to me by an employee who shall remain anonymous. It’s not as easy as it sounds! The dispenser was at eye level and required a form of drill team/ninja kick. In the end, I was unsuccessful at this venture. But the anonymous employee is a pro. I think this is what she does for stress relief.

Most Girl-Friendly Bathroom: Tito’s Law Offices. I know T can’t brag on this aspect of his law firm since he hasn’t been to the ladies’ room (or so we all sincerely hope). This bathroom, although outdated, was very clean. Either the women who work with T are very concerned with nice smells in the restroom or they’re trying to hide their gas troubles, but I counted at least 3 cans of air freshener within reach of my stall. Next to the sink were 5 different types of lotions in a variety of scents. I was going to use some, but then I had a thought: What if all the women buy their own lotion and leave it there for their personal use? And what if they have some secret mark on the side so they know when someone else has used their lotion? And then what if I happen to use the lotion of some fierce lady lawyer who will review the security tapes and take my fingerprints and sue me for a new bottle of St. Ives Swiss Vanilla Moisture Therapy Lotion? She’ll certainly know it was me because I’ll be the one with fragrant and fresh hands that feel silky smooth. Maybe she walks around the office shaking hands with other women to see if they used her lotion or if they picked another type. Therefore, I decided to leave the lotions alone.

Best Place to Stop on the Road: Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas. Always clean, always nice, never farty. After taking care of business, get a 10 cent cup of coffee and some really great cookies. I am particularly fond of the butter cookies with the raspberry jam in the center. Somehow each time we passed this place, I suddenly had to go to the bathroom. Honest. It wasn’t just for the cookies.

Stinkiest Bathroom: Freebirds in Dallas. Come on guys, did you expect anything different from a place that sells only burritos? Let’s just say that this tiny, one-toilet ladies’ room smelled like it beheld the aftermath of some fraternity-hazing, all-you-can-eat group burrito-fest.

Scariest Moment While Going to the Bathroom: Since this took place at a friend’s house, I’ll have to keep the location a secret. But, I’ll give you the story. My friends live in a nice, new apartment complex with a nicely sized bathroom. The bathtub is a huge garden tub that would be spectacular for a bubble bath. One night, as I was rising from the throne, I saw something move out of the corner of my eye. Ever vigilant for ninjas or other creatures that might sneak up behind me, with cat-like reflexes I quickly turned around to see what could be there. I saw no ninjas, no drill team high-kickers, no bugs, nor anything else that didn’t belong in a bathroom. Instead, I was met with a horrifying sight. My friends’ mirror extended from one wall to the shower and took up the space immediately above the toilet tank. The result: I was mooning myself.

Now, I’m pretty sure that no one wants to look directly at their own butt, regardless of whether or not it is clothed. When women try on swimsuits, they barely turn from side to side, afraid to see too much chubble bubble hanging out from the back. Many women follow my theory of swimsuit buying: Get a granny one with shorts or a skirt. (I see it as my public duty.) This is the reason that three-way mirrors are only three-way. With a four-way mirror, you would be faced with the reality of your own bootie. It’s something that should not be attempted without preparation. It’s something that requires nerves of steel and at least 5 minutes of mentally psyching yourself out. It is not something that you want to turn around and suddenly see live, in color, and without anything, well, “clouding the full moon” shall we say?

I was so mentally disturbed that I nearly screamed. And, I’ve had to let go of the delusion that pregnancy and a profusion of American junk food has only altered my belly.

So, there you have it. The mabBlab has gone where you thought this blog would not dare to go. The most likely result of this post is that all normal and decent people will quit reading and will leave behind only those who can recognize their inner 6th-grader and still giggle when anyone says “poot.” Maybe it’s the jet lag, maybe it’s just insanity, but I’m willing to post this and risk my sad little readership plummeting to the depths. It certainly won’t be the scariest sight I’ve seen this year.