Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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Toilet Rage!

November 25, 2016

Mrs. Chatterbox was upset when she returned from shopping at a Christmas bazaar. She explained that the bazaar had unisex restrooms, and when a man exited he’d left the seat up. She was enraged that this fellow had been so impolite as to not lower the seat himself, leaving it for her to do.

 

We’ve explored this topic before. It’s always bothered me that at public venues women are forced to wait in long lines to use the restroom while men can saunter into a men’s room and be out in a matter of minutes. Biology has a lot to do with this, but it still doesn’t seem fair. I think ALL bathrooms should be unisex to make it more equitable. Of course women need to feel safe, so all restrooms should have privacy and locking doors.

 

Mrs. C. has always disagreed with my contention that ALL restrooms be unisex, and this time was no different. I asked, “Wouldn’t you rather have a lockable, single stall bathroom you could use, without a long line in front of it?”

 

“Not if it means I follow men. Men are messy in public restrooms.”

 

Years ago I worked as a janitor in a department store where I was required to clean ladies’ rooms, so I know women can be slobs also, but I refrained from commenting on this and only said, “You’d rather wait in a long line in front of a ladies’ room?”

 

She nodded.

 

Seems wrong to me, but I’m a guy so what do I know. Well, one thing I know is that a country as smart as the good ol’ USA should have solved this “PEE” issue long before now. I understand certain states are going to court to resolve the transgender restroom issue. Really? This is a topic worthy of our consideration?

 

I don’t think so. If there’s ever been a bathroom incident involving a transgender person, I’m unaware of it. I think this is much ado about nothing, and I couldn’t care less if a transgender person is in the stall next to me in the men’s room.

 

As for Mrs. C., she’ll continue to wait impatiently in the long lines in front of ladies’ rooms while I’m in and out of men’s rooms in a matter of minutes.

 

What do you think? Should all restrooms be unisex? Should transgender individuals get to choose where they go or should the state make this decision? I wish I was a greater defender of women’s rights but it’s hard to be a champion with a full bladder.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

29 Comments
The transgender thing was just a smokescreen, like Trump's wall. Ironically I think the NC governor who signed one of those laws was defeated in the election. I try to remember to put the seat down and to wipe up any drops I might have left behind, but I know other people are not so courteous. I really don't care who uses the bathroom so long as they don't bother me while I'm doing my business. When I'm using the urinal is not when I want to have a conversation.
By: PT Dilloway on November 25, 2016
"... itâs hard to be a champion with a full bladder"... this could be my motto; I think I'll embroider it and hang it on the wall :) Seriously, people are people regardless of gender. Some are neat; some are messy. And transgender people should be able to use whatever the heck bathroom they feel comfortable in. Unisex single bathrooms are an excellent idea to circumvent problems.
By: on November 25, 2016
That was me who left the unsigned comment above. And while I'm back in the comment box, just let me say that I've never understood why men should have to put the toilet seat down when they are done - I've never seen a woman yet who puts the toilet seat UP when she's done!! It's the exact same principle!! I am female, BTW :)
By: jenny_o on November 25, 2016
I haven't been in too many public ladies restrooms but the public mens are quite disgusting. If I only teach Kyle one thing it's to never wear flip flops to a public restroom. Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.
By: Mr. Shife on November 25, 2016
I remember my first experience with a unisex rest room. It was in France and as I opened the door a woman came out. Startled me but what was worse was the simple hole in the floor.
By: Catalyst on November 25, 2016
oh goody- what I want is easy access to a bathroom- I have been known to enter a men's bathroom saying "Sorry guys, I have to pee and the ladies line is too long" So far I have not been asked to leave. Happy days to all!
By: Kathe W. on November 25, 2016
I saw an all gender restroom sign that read, "Whatever--just wash your hands"~!!
By: fishducky on November 25, 2016
I just think there should be twice as many restrooms for women as for men. same amount of space but just a different distribution. Obviously if there are only 2 restrooms this doesn't apply - in that case I think I'd go for unisex. Women can be VERY slobby.
By: Jenny on November 25, 2016
Bathrooms should be for anyone who needs them. After all, nothing stops a man from walking into the ladies' room. No security guard stands at the door. BUT we need to get rid of those stupid stalls that eliminate privacy. You can see under those doors from the front or from the side, and through the opening on the door where the "lock" is. Put in real floor-length doors. No openings with visibility. When one turns the lock, which must be a working lock, a little "occupied" sign pops up. I don't care if a man is in the bathroom as long as he's behind his locked door and I'm behind mine. And give me a clean place to wash my hands. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on November 25, 2016
Loved Fishducky's comment about gender. However given my druthers, I'll wait in line. The only men's room I was ever in when the women's was broken was purely nasty.
By: Arkansas Patti on November 25, 2016
I've heard other people discuss that women are actually the bigger mess-makers in public bathrooms. I agree with the comments on full-length doors without the gaps for anyone to peeks through, and I won't care who sits or stands or squats in the stall next to me. Just wash your hands afterwards!
By: Pixel Peeper on November 25, 2016
Maybe we should convert to Asian squat toilets, then there is no seat to leave up or down. If you are up for a challenge, you can suggest this to your wife, but don't blame me for your black eye and other injuries. .
By: Sage on November 25, 2016
They could cram toilets in a ladies room almost the same as urinals in the mens room but women demand more privacy (this an assumpition, I don't think I've ever been in a ladies room. As for the Transgender thing, first rule in the bathroom regardless of gender is don't be creepy.
By: cranky on November 25, 2016
The restrooms could be unisex if all men went by the rule that you stand at a urinal and sit on a toilet. There wouldn't be a seat up or down problem then. It's not going to happen. As for the transgender thing, if you go in the restroom, go in a stall, lock it, do your business, adjust your clothing, come out, wash your hands and leave, and you didn't do anything creepy or rude, i think you should simply use the restroom you want.
By: messymimi on November 25, 2016
Didn't men as a rule sat and squatted for all there business needs. Thus reducing the splatter problem? Personal hygiene should be the only concern. Share!
By: Daniel LaFrance on November 25, 2016
I caught a trout on a crawfish once :) Don't throw me in that briar patch.
By: Rick Watson on November 25, 2016
I prefer ladies only in the ladies room. Maybe because on two separate occasions, men have decided that I needed to see their private parts. Yes. They took "it" out. If some of them do that in a public place in broad daylight, what might they do in a more secluded area like a ladies room? This has nothing to do with the transgender issue. Only with pervy pervs. I don't think most guys would care if a woman exposed herself to them. In fact, my husband would probably cheer and carry on like Homer Simpson. So he wouldn't care who used which restroom. But I do.
By: Val on November 25, 2016
I actually prefer separate men's and women's restrooms, but the transgender thing is a big nothing. I can't believe we waste time arguing about it when we have so many other important things to discuss.
By: scott park on November 25, 2016
Yes, the transgender issue is stupid. But I kind of agree with your wife. I don't know why, but using the same stall after a man seems creepy to me. Sorry, there is no logic! I did it in France because I had to catch a boat and the other line was too long.
By: Tabor on November 26, 2016
My partner has said that very often the women's toilets are not used and treated with respect for those that follow.. Whether it is male, female or whoever uses the loo a little consideration goes a long way and then perhaps unisex toilets may be an option.
By: John Gibson on November 26, 2016
I don't like using public toilets to begin with, so I am in and out quickly. All sexes have messy pee-ers. That's all I got to say about that. And don't get me started on those who hang their rear over the pot and spray the toilet lid down because they think they are gonna get a durn germ sitting down. The only time I do that is at public toilets at parks that are just holes in the ground. Now you really gotta keep a distance from the seat because who knows what creepy crawly, stinging, slimy, snake, rat or gater will pop up out of there. :)
By: Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines on November 26, 2016
Just in case you miss this- I finally got your giveaway on my blog! Cheers-hope I win! http://katheworsley.blogspot.com/2016/11/chubby-chatterboxs-giveaway-plus-six.html
By: Kathe W. on November 26, 2016
I'm OK with unisex bathrooms. I've even gone into men's bathrooms when I didn't want to wait and had a door that locked. as for transgender, there has not been a single instance reported of a transsexual woman molesting another woman. they are more likely to share make-up tips. and personally I don't see what the big deal is that the toilet seat is up. men have to lift it up, why shouldn't women put it down. and as long as I'm on the subject, it takes no more time for a woman to drop her panites if she's wearing a dress than it does a man to unzip so I really don't get why it takes women so much longer. maybe it's because we're all wearing pants these days.
By: Ellen Abbott on November 26, 2016
I agree with you in all regards. Especially that both women and men CAN be slobs.
By: Al Penwasser on November 26, 2016
Although I must admit to feeling sorry for women. Long lines, to be sure. But, also, porta potties. They either have to sit (ewwwww) or hover uncomfortably.
By: Al Penwasser on November 26, 2016
That's a real tough one. I feel more secure in a bathroom for women only IF it's got a row of sinks that are out of sight from the main hallway. Men could lurk in that room. If there's just one lockable room with toilet and sink, then it's fine if it's unisex--no one can lurk anywhere. Transgender people deserve the right to go in any bathroom they choose, but I've seen a few news reports of men in drag lurking in women's restrooms. They claim they're transgender but are just pervs wearing a wig, living as men in their normal lives. But how can the police know unless they require info about hormone therapy, etc. and that invasion of privacy feels illegal.
By: Lexa Cain on November 27, 2016
I've been told by many women that women's restrooms tend to be filthy -- so I guess it's not all to do with we men aiming badly when we pee. But I'm not so sure about unisex bathrooms either. While Mrs. C and many women complain that we don't put the seat down, I resent the fact that I have to put it UP!
By: Mitchell Is Moving on November 28, 2016
Ideal to me would be to have both designated restrooms for genders and some unisex ones as well. Personally, I don't care who uses the bathroom next to me. I'm usually lost in my own thoughts anyway.
By: Charles Gramlich on November 28, 2016
Totally agree the transgender issue is an irrelevance, no doubt fuelled by bigotry. Also agree about women also being messy in the restroom - Mrs Jones's theory is that a lot of women don't like to sit on a (messy) seat so they squat over the toilet and often miss the target - ironically making the seat messier than it was to begin with.
By: Bryan Jones on December 2, 2016

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