----> continued <----
by the time i -- dressed as a ridiculous prom queen in an enormous gown and huge blond wig sporting seventy-two pounds of makeup -- got to the line, a butch pimp, a sleek catwoman and a cute cowgirl were in front of me. all also clearly drunk (harry potter has that power over us), and all also having to pee with the same urgency.
finally the Pimp looks at the Cowgirl and asks, "hey, have you been in line long?"
to which the Cowgirl replies, "a few minutes, yeah."
Pimp: is someone in there?
(this means, "have you knocked on the door?")
Cowgirl: well, it's locked.
(this means, "i tried to get in once and i don't want to be rude. but feel free to do it yourself.")
and since it's clear that Pimp is going to be more vocal than Cowgirl, she steps up and knocks on the door.
there is no answer.
Pimp shrugs and returns to the line. we are all silent again. two more women join me in line (both dressed as slutty schoolgirls**). another three minutes pass.
now there is general unrest. we have all been drinking, we have all been waiting, and we all think the silent woman in the bathroom is an evil bitch.
Pimp: what is she DOING in there?
Cowgirl: i don't know. it's been way too long...
Catwoman: hey, can you guys see through crack at the bottom of the door? is there more than one of them?
me: i hate when they go in as pairs, it always takes longer.
Catwoman: nice wig.
Pimp: fuck this. [she starts knocking really hard on the door] HEY! there is a LONG LINE out here, could you HURRY UP PLEASE! [she puts her ear to the door] i don't even hear anything. [tries to open the door] PLEASE HURRY UP!!!
and when there was still no response we – and by now “we” included about a dozen very concerned, very uncomfortable, very costumed women – started getting angrier and angrier. which is when the shouting began.
slutty schoolgirl #2: WHAT IS GOING ON?
slutty schoolgirl #6: WHO IS IN THERE!?
slutty witch: HEY! GET OUT OF THE BATHROOM! THERE ARE PEOPLE WAITING!!!
and just like that, a coalition had formed. oh yes, me and my sluttily costumed sisterhood were in this together: we all needed to pee, and we all needed to get THAT BITCH out of the bathroom.
and just when our annoyance was reaching its peak, Catwoman did the only thing you can do to ebb the drunken flow of hatred towards a woman taking TOO DAMN LONG in the only ladies’ bathroom*** in a crowded bar. she asked a very good question.
Catwoman: do you think she’s okay?
a hush fell over the sisterhood. and just like that, we went from hating THAT BITCH to fearing for her. because being drunk and sick and feeling like you are going to pass out in a public bathroom is not something you ever want to experience and is something you absolutely need to be rescued from.
Pimp: maybe we should get a manager. do you think she’s okay? god, i hope she’s not passed out.
Cowgirl: we have to get in there.
Catwoman: hey, there is an opening at the top of the door, see! it doesn’t go all the way to the top. i bet you can see over it.
and with that – i swear i am not kidding – several drunken, costumed women (who still really really really had to pee) started jumping. to see if they could see into the stall.
apparently drunken, costumed women who have to pee are very well intentioned but are not so much good with the physics because that door was really friggin' high.
Cowgirl: this isn’t working.
Pimp: i don’t want to get out of line, but someone has to do something.
and it was at about this point that Cowgirl did the most amazing thing i’ve ever seen outside a ladies’ room.
by now Cowgirl had been joined by her girlfriend, and so she handed her girlfriend her drink and got a very serious look in her eye. hey you guys, Cowgirl said to her girlfriend and me and Catwoman and Pimp, help me.
and then she stood up on a bench for leverage and leaned her body into the door frame. she put one hand on either side, and then slowly brought her legs into the frame as well. and then using nothing but her own strength and door frame resistance, she climbed to the top of the door.
let me say that again.
an itty bitty woman, dressed as a cowgirl, actually CLIMBED UP AN ENTIRE DOORWAY. because she had to pee.
having to pee is one damn powerful female force, i tell ya'.
anyway, when she reached the top, she clutched her hands on the door rim and lifted her eyes to the opening.
the entire line of women, in complete awe: uh…can you see anything? is she okay???
and here’s where i wish i could tell you that, thanks to Cowgirl’s heroics, we were able to get to a very sick woman and help her before it was too late.
except i can’t.
because of course what Cowgirl saw when she looked in was even more harrowing.
there was no one in the bathroom.
the sisterhood was collectively stunned.
(well, for like, 3 seconds. then it was collectively pissed off.)
and so Pimp ran and got a manager, who hastily walked past the enormous line of angry, costumed women. apparently, the women's room is used so infrequently that they don't always remember to unlock it.
given the enormous cheer that erupted when the door was opened that night, however, i can't imagine they'll forget anytime soon.
**because half of the women san francisco think it would be fun to dress as a slutty schoolgirl for halloween
***do not suggest to me that we could have used the men's room because the line is shorter; gay men's bathrooms do not work the way other men's bathrooms do