After take your child to work day comes take your dad to school day. What I learned on the school’s field trip to Jamestown: Fourth Graders are too cool for the luxury coach toilet.
Until they aren’t.
A few snide remarks went around this morning at the back of the bus. Comments on odor. Nervous laughter about bumps and splashes. Hypothetical moments on the throne made the kids giddy, boys and girls alike.
Nobody was going into that strange place.
As a parent chaperone fighting a 6:45 arrival at school, I took a different view. Mr. Coffee starts my mornings, and I don’t mean just one cup or two. So we’d barely gotten snarled in Beltway traffic when i decided it was time to Christen the loo.
This act of bravery was greeted with references to savagery. I could hardly carry out my faithful duty, so concerned was I for my son’s reputation. His father, for shame, a bus urinator!
No sooner had I returned to my seat, however, a survivor of the bounce and splash, than a new curiosity took hold.
‘I’m next!’ someone called, the same voice that had likened my pass at the lav to an act of savagery.
The tour company should have installed a revolving door on the John. Most of the visitors were mere rubber-neckers, taking their chance to gawk a mobile throne. When everyone had gotten a turn the queuing started all over again. Having laid eyes on the facility and established its bona fides, it was time to get down to business.
The air soon thickened with evidence of its utility.
I learned a lot about pre-Colonial life at Jamestown today. Boy, did those early settlers have it rough. Take the toilet on the Susan Constant, which carried them to the New World. It wasn’t below-decks. It was an open-air joyride, a pitching, bucking ordeal out there on the ship’s head below the bowsprit.
Lots of bouncing. Lots of splashing. No laughing matter, and not many tourists brave enough to gawk.