Episode 77: Bathrooms

E: The transcript for this episode is sponsored by Seamless Docs


K: SeamlessDocs is a e-signature and form automation platform that empowers government to go paperless and deliver better online services to citizens and staff!


(Intro music)


E: Hi, I’m Emily Ladau


K: And I’m Kyle Khachadurian


E: And you’re listening to another episode of The Accessible Stall


K: Emily,  I have one question for you.


E: What is that?


K: Who are you?


E: Yeah I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, how do you podcast?


K: I think this is what  it is


E: Do we talk? Like this?


K: I think so, yes


E: As you can tell, we are out of practice because it’s been awhile since we’ve recorded


K: Like a whole month


E: Actually okay, we should let them in on the secret. We already recorded an episode and then something happened to the file, there was a technical glitch… I don’t understand it. Explain?


K: Everything exploded. 


E: Also, I had my gallbladder removed, Kyle went to Disney World with his girlfriend, you tell me who had the better time


K: I also got a dog!


E: Oh my God, best news ever!


K: Yeah, I definitely had the better time.


E: I know. Actually I have good things happening but I can’t talk about them so… They are all top secret things


K: There all very good.


E: Did not get a dog or go to Disney World though, but it’s fine!


K: It’s up there though!


E: I am now gallbladder free


K: How does that feel?


E: You know, a lot like having a gallbladder except I don’t get nauseous all the time. And the funny thing is, the day that I had my first official gallbladder attack, Kyle and I had gone to a Podcasting class in Brooklyn and then we ate terrible Mexican food and the Mexican Food set off the gallbladder attack, and the rest is history. 


K: So in a way, you don’t have a gallbladder because of me


E: Or because of the podcast


K: They’re both good


E: Yeah, I mean, It’s nice not having a gallbladder, can’t say that I miss it. Although, we should talk about what you got me as a gift (chuckles)


K: You know what’s funny about that is I have other things in my Wish List for you that are gallbladder themed that if you’re ever like mad at me…


E: You’re just gonna send me one?


K: Yeah (Emily laughs) No, I’m dead serious 


E: Well then, I am mad at you, “Grrr.”


K: I guess I’m going to have to send you one then! Yes, what did I get you, Emily? Let’s tell the lovely people.


E: He got me a gallbladder plushie that had a little zipper in the back and when you opened the zipper there were little stones inside that you could pull out!


K: Weren’t they mad?


E: The stones? Like with their little faces?


K: Yeah cause… 


E: Yeah they had little faces. They looked kind of like something out of Ghostbusters, except it was a gallbladder. It was adorable. 


K: Here’s a hot take! I didn’t like that movie


E: Ghostbusters the original or Ghostbusters the remake?


K: I’ve never seen the remake, I did not like the original 


E: I was with you to watch the original!


K I know! And it was so much worse than I remember it. I was like,  “ Oh, you gotta watch it, It’s so good!” and by the end of it I was like, “I am so sorry”


E: What was the other movie that we watched where the guy attacks the fax machine?


K: Office Space? I love Office Space


E: Anyways so gallbladders and fax machines and Disney World Oh My! Anyway, the episode that we talked about that completely bit the dust was about a topic that we honestly should have talked about when we first started the podcast and I do not know how we made it this long without talking about it. So now it’s my turn to ask! What are we gonna talk about today, Kyle?


K: Accessible Stalls (Both laugh) I know right?


E: Like literally, bathrooms. 


K: Yes, very literally bathrooms


E: We’re shit talking today. But for real, we need to talk about bathrooms. So awhile ago, I think it was in August…there was an article that came out in the BBC about a town in Wales that has released plans to design public toilets with all kinds of fancy features that are supposed to deter vandalism and sleeping and sexual activity and I just blew a gasket when I read it.


K: Like more than usual…You know how she is! 


E: Yeah, honestly I’m getting worked up about it again and we’ve already had this conversation!


K: I mean, it’s ridiculous isn’t it? Like, why do you…I’m reading this article again, and I’m somehow more confused than the first time. 


E: Let’s just go over this here. First of all, they want to install weight sensitive floors to ensure one user at a time…If there’s any sort of violent movement it would activate a water jet, automatically open the doors, and sound an alarm! So basically that’s like…I feel like that’s something that would happen in a maximum security prison. 


K: What if you’re like, you know…a hefty person? And you have a disability that causes you to have involuntary spstic movements and so you’re just literally minding your business, and then you have one, and all of a sudden you’re wet, you’re startled and the world can see your junk now! Like…what is? I don’t get it! Why?? Even if you’re none of those things. Can’t we all agree that that’s not good. 


E: Yeah like, or what if you need help in the bathroom? Or what if you’re a wheelchair user and your wheelchair is super heavy? Mine’s like 400 pounds!\


K: Do you think a bathroom like that would even be Accessible?  Actually, you know I say that but in the illustration on the article there is a wheelchair ramp so perhaps they are Accessible Stalls


E: I’m still offended though


K: Oh no, I’m not excusing it, I’m just saying, “Do you think such a thing would be Accessible?” but it turns out the answer is, “Probably, yes.” 


E: But people seem to have this misconception that, “Oh, we stuck a ramp there so it’s Accessible now!” But what people don’t realize is that accessibility takes many forms and…loud alarms sounding with water jets going off and exposing you to the public is, you know… Not super Accessible 


K: That’s sort of a topic for a different day now that I’m thinking about it like how many businesses have we encountered sort of perusing New York, where the business basically buys a portable ramp at Lowes and are just like, “We did it! Cripples can come here now!” And then when it comes time to use that…It either doesn’t work, or you get in and you can’t get anywhere ‘cause the hallways are narrow, or the Accessible bathroom isn’t accessible or there’s a step in the middle of the place. 


E: I mean, that’s a totally good point, it makes me think of this coffee shop that’s in The Village near my house and I showed up right after they had opened and I saw that they didn’t have a ramp. So I called them and I said, “I’d really like to come to your coffee shop, can you get a ramp?” I kid you not, almost a year later, they held onto my phone number and they called me and they said, “We have a ramp now so you can come in!” On the one hand, cool that they held onto my number, on the other hand I don’t know why it took them a year to do that. But nevertheless the point of the story is that I can get into the coffee shop but then there’s another step into a very narrow bathroom. So the moral of that story is that no, it’s not fully accessible to me. But people seem to think that if I can get into an establishment, that that equals full accessibility and that’s just not true. 


K: At the risk of using a potentially ableist sounding expression, that is a very shortsighted view on Accessibility. And it’s one that I mean, it just doesn’t make sense…And maybe it’s because I’m inundated with this and I grew up with like to me, being able to get into the doorway is the absolute barest minimum before you can even think about using that word. Because being able to get into an establishment and then not being able to do whatever it is you’re supposed to do there is pretty much the same thing as not being able to get inside. 


E: Yeah, basically. 


K: Except that you don’t get rained on if it’s raining outside.


E: Right, then you’re inside. But if you’re in this bathroom, you can get rained on on the inside too if you make a violent movement so…


K: That’s true. And violent movements are part of every bathroom visit so I don’t understand why…


E: You should see me when I transfer…You really should 


K: I have..It’s a nightmare. Like I’d actually be curious. And I’m being funny when I call it a “nightmare” I wanna be clear on that but I’d be curious to know…Like we should go there and you should try to get on that toilet and see if that triggers the…


E: So question…Well you would have to come with me to see if it triggers the weight sensitive floors. I feel like if between the two of us and you’re wheelchair if it doesn’t trigger the weight limit I mean, I guess we’re good? 


(Emily laughs)


K: I mean, that’s pretty heavy… that’s a  big number between the three of us. Because you’re wheelchair’s a person


E: Modest proposal here: Can everyone who’s listening to this please send us $500 so that we can go to this little seaside town in Wales? 


K: Oh my God, we should actually start an ironic Go Fund Me and see how far it gets. I’m so down to do that 


E: Let Emily test Accessible Stalls?


K: Yeah. I really wanna try out this bathroom


E: I mean, Accessible Stalls in general are just a point. Going to the bathroom is always an adventure because either the bathroom is not accessible, limited accessibility or you know, the best bathroom in the whole world and then there’s a line of twenty-seven people waiting for it. 


K: Are you even someone’s friend if you haven’t stood in the doorway with your back turned to their bare butt while they try to pee in a restroom that isn’t accessible?


E: Have you done that for me?


K: Yes


E: When? Remind me of this.


K: Have I? I’ve definitely done it. Maybe it wasn’t for you but I’ve definitely done it. 


E: I mean, you have definitely waited outside bathrooms for me. 


K: Yeah but I don’t remember if we ever have to do the door open thing


E: Yeah but there was also falling in the shower with the bare butt situation so butts have occured in this relationship


K: Oh (Sighs) Yeah but that’s a good memory though! So what you were bruised for the rest of our time there


E: I still feel that everyday actually. I wake up and I’m like, “Last year…”


K: In “Who Knows, Virgina”


E: (Chuckles) My gosh, but really bathrooms should not be this complicated. Oh, and also apparently I think you have to pay to use the bathroom? Am I right about that for this…  little town in Wales? Oh yes.


K: Of course you do. Why not?


E: So let’s just limit access even further right?


K: Because homeless people don’t have to pee. You know those people you hate who pee outside in public? Let’s limit their access to bathrooms!


E: Oh my God! Homeless people pee in the elevators, at least in Penn Station and in the DC Metro… is this true everywhere?


K: Is it really a radical idea? I mean, if you’re a business owner and you want your restroom to be for paying customers only I mean, whatever man that’s your business. But if it’s a public restroom are you really gonna charge someone a quarter who has a cup full of change and just wants to pee? Like, are you serious? What’s wrong with you?


E: Maybe just  let everybody pee…


K: It’s better that they pee in a restroom than they pee, not in a restroom


E: Right cause I have been in a position where you cannot find access to a restroom. That’s a terrible position to be in. I was in Philly for a conference and my coworkers and I went to a 119 year old Italian restaurant and it was this tiny little…  place that somehow the entrance was accessible but they didn’t have an Accessible bathroom and so, I had to roll around South Philly until I could find a Starbucks where I could pee. 


K: I feel like that’s a situation that most people genuinely don’t understand. Like most people pretend to know what it’s like to use a wheelchair for five minutes but to imagine being unable to find and then access a bathroom is just removed from people. Which is why they make stupid bathrooms like this where it’s like, “If you’re not doing heroin while having anal sex in the bathroom then surely you won’t mind being sprinkled on!” And it’s like, “No, actually I would, and I don’t do any of that!” 


E: (Laughs)


K: That’s barbaric


E: Yeah, it’s not cool. Let people use bathrooms. I mean, as someone who has to do what’s called “Pee Math” all the time, this is a very common thing among wheelchair users and other people who have mobility related disabilities. Basically, you have to do the math to determine how much you can drink at any given point in time in relation to the next time you’re going to have surefire access to a bathroom and how likely it is that you’re going to find that bathroom that you need. So it’s an equation that you have to do in your head every time you’re going out. Will I be able to pee, How much can I drink in terms of liquid, and how many hours can I reasonably hold my urine before I end up in the emergency room. 


K: Yes…On the semi-related subject of the UK’s misunderstanding of Disability as a whole…Have you checked out “Humans of New York” today?


E: I have not. 


K: Hmm. I’m really glad you said that. I’m about to ruin your night 


E: Is it related to bathrooms?


K: No, it’s related to Disability, but don’t worry we’ll talk about this after we’re done talking about bathrooms, it just triggered a memory.


E: I would like to hear how you’re about to ruin my night. Because you usually ruin my night, so… 


K: Okay. Well, you see on HONY today there was this father and daughter and they’re in London and the father is quoted as saying this…I don’t mean to change the subject but I think this something you need to know and I’m glad that we’re recording now. “I’ve got four other children but Aimee and I are bonded at the hip. She’s my best friend. We live with each other, we’re part of each other. That’s the life with Cerebral Palsy. I do get on her nerves once in awhile but imagine if you’re 36 and still stuck with you’re dad. She makes fun of me a lot, she’s very cheeky, she doesn’t let life get  on top of her even though she’s been dealt a bad set of cards. I want her to be happy and to have everything she wants to achieve. She really wants a relationship. She even wrote a lovely song about it called, “Maybe in My Next Life.” Her mom and I are always here but that’s a different thing. I know she’d love to have somebody to look after. She’s got so much to give, so much to love, and so much to share.” And then in a separate quote which I guess is Amy speaking now there’s the words, “Plus a woman has her needs!” 


E: It’s really too bad the microphone can’t pick up my rapid blinking.


K: She is processing what I just said. I did not make this up and when I saw this it made me think of our episode on disability and privacy, although in this instance it would be sort of parental over-reach but MY GOODNESS! Get your sh*t together U.K. Jesus!


E: I mean, look…No disrespect for living with your parents at all, no disrespect for needing help


K: No, I’m not saying that!


E: But you know, maybe think about what you’re disclosing to the world. I don’t know, wow! Alright, so bathrooms and sex, that was kind of related.


K: Have you ever had sex in a bathroom?


E: Oh my God, my Grandma listens to this Kyle!


K: So the answer is yes? Because I haven’t. My grandma listens too and I haven’t! Are you…Can you not answer that?!


E: (Chuckles) I mean… Can I answer by omission?


K: Yes 


E: (Laughs) Um okay, multiple times, yes. And Grandma, if you’re listening I am so sorry. 


K: Genuinely I was expecting you to say, “No.” I wouldn’t have asked you if I thought for a minute that you would have said “Yes!” 


E: (Laughing) The answer is very much yes! The answer is Yes for you too!


K: No!


E: Yes!


K: Oh my God you’re right! I totally forgot! Holy Sh*t!  Literally. You’re absolutely right. Oh man, i have painted myself into a corner, I am sorry now. 


E: (Cackles) Ha! Can we even release this? This is not safe for my Grandma. (Laughs)


K: You know it’s funny I was gonna say, “Who in their right mind would do such a thing?” Turns out, we would!


E: Oh boy!


K: Whoops!


E: Whoo! So…Bathrooms!


K:  Okay well Have you ever been Fire Alarm sprinkled on in the bathroom. That sounds like a move!


E: 100% No! Although I have big news to share. I peed in an airplane bathroom for the first time recently 


K: Oh my actual God! They’re terrible right?


E: Terrible! So awful! The whole process was a mess. So basically we were delayed and sitting on the runway and that was making me nervous and the more concerned that I got, the more I had to go to the bathroom. And I was like, “Oh my God is this the time where I’m actually gonna have to figure out how to go to the bathroom on an airplane? Or should I just jump out the window now?” So I asked them if they had a wheelchair on board that I could use to get to the bathroom which they did!” It was such a circus to get me there, we practically formed a conga line down the aisle of the airplane to get me to the bathroom. And my shoe fell off and my seatmate had to put my shoe back on and the bathroom was so small that I was having trouble doing my little wiggle wobble to pull my pants up and (sighs) I was sweating and I was stressed out and that was a horrible experience and for the love of all things holy, why can’t you make airplane bathrooms bigger?


K: Did you know your seatmate?


E: No


K: So a complete stranger out your shoe back on? 


E: It was a little bit like Cinderella. 


K: That…is so great. I am so sorry that happened to you. 


E: I wish I knew his name. It was very romantic. 


K: Actually yeah, that is super romantic. 


E: (Chuckles) My boyfriend doesn’t listen to the podcast. I can say that. My grandma does, but my boyfriend doesn’t!


K: I feel like he would understand


E: Oh, he totally would.


K: I feel like I don’t know if I could put on someone’s shoe on in an airplane. That’s a very intimate… 


E: He puts my shoes on all the time.


K: Your boyfriend, not a rando on an airplane!


E: (Chuckles) I mean, if someone needed help and I could help them, I would. 


K: I don’t know about shoes though. Maybe. I like to think I’m a good enough person to do that but… 


E: What if my shoe fell off? 


K: I would put your shoe on in any sort of context. I don’t care if we were underwater skydiving! I don’t even know if that’s physically possible but if it was I would do it!


E: What if you skydived into water?


K: I feel like that would hurt. 


E: Or it would be a gentle landing


K: Oh you’d have a parachute right?


(Both laugh) 


K: You would just hit the water


E: Guys we don’t know what this episode is!


K: It’s about how you shouldn’t make bathrooms harder to use! It’s like not even about Disability, it just makes it harder for us. Let’s pretend that we’re two people with microphones, kay? That’s every other podcast–this is still stupid!


Emily laughs


K: Why would you make bathrooms difficult to use? That’s the one thing in the world that should be easy to use is a toilet. 


E: I mean, yes but also in this country we have to capitalize on everything and shut people out on everything


K: It’s not this country. But I mean, yeah. 


E: Did I say this country


K: You did. But you’re right. 

E: This world. The entire world has a potty problem.


K: Whatever person came up with that is like the CEO of Nestle when he was like, “We need to own all the fresh water and privatize it and sell it!” Can someone take him behind the barn and deal with that please? Because it’s just not…what’s wrong with you? Let people pee where they want! Especially if that place is in a bathroom, you should not make that difficult!


E: Okay, so here’s something we should talk about. When you have a visible disability and you’re waiting for the accessible stall and you see people ahead of you and you have to pee really bad, what happens then? Because I have had to train myself not to assume that people using the accessible stall don’t have a disability that I can’t see. 


K: I am one of those people. I also try not to use the accessible stall. I mean I will if it’s there but I try not to because I know I don’t need it as much as like, you. I used to have a friend who told me a story about how he needed to pee once and the person that he was with made the person in the accessible stall leave, like he rushed the guy. That’s not really a feasible solution, right? I could totally see you knocking on the door like, “Hello, I’m in a wheelchair!”  and like totally embarrassing somebody who’s like trying to do their business. But I also don’t think it’s a feasible option most of the time


E: But what if that person also needs the bathroom?


K: Well then you’re just wrong. But I feel like most people wouldn’t… Most people just like to be in there. It’s usually the nicest, cleanest one so I don’t blame them in that sense. 


E: Disagree


K: That’s because you use the bathroom in Penn Station. I can’t do that. I have higher standards.


E: Do you want to know a little known fun fact 


K: Yes


E: Well you know this already.. The accessible stall sign in our logo is actually the sign on the Penn Station  accessible bathroom in the Women’s Room. 


K: That is amazing. Oh it’s inside the Women’s Room? I thought it was on the outside of it. 


E: Yeah! You knew this!


K:  Whatever, well it’s from the most disgusting bathroom in the world. Well, except for Port Authority!


E: Bathrooms


K: Look, I’m just saying one time I was in Port Authority and I had to use the bathroom and some homeless man yelled at me to get out of his house!


(Emily laughs)


K: Now if this man was in Wales. I want him to pee in a bathroom, I want everyone to pee in a bathroom, I just don’t understand. I’m stuck on that. Like I know that it’s ableist because you might have to have a companion with you… Look, I don’t want people to have sex in restrooms either but it’s a risk I’m willing to take if it means more people can pee in there! Who like slowly took the oxygen out of the room where this meeting took place? You know what would be good? Check this out! You know how a bathroom is like super easy to use? What if it wasn’t? 


(Emily laughs)


K: What if you have to pay like 50 cents, we only took pennies and… Oh! You know what would be really funny? If we made the weight limit like right below what the overweight threshold is in this country? And and, if they move too much? We like squirt with water. And then the whole rest of the meeting room is like (Snaps fingers) “That is the greatest idea we’ve ever heard!” 


E: It’s kind of like a fat-phobic all around bidet. 


K: Everywhere but your butt!


(Emily laughs)


K: Cleans the rest of you! “Take a shower you disgusting freak!”


E: (Laughs) I mean honestly someone would be like, “Ooh! A shower! For 25 cents!”


K: I would actually mind that less if someone went in there knowing what would happen to them then to be like… Like what if you’re drunk?  Right if you’re drunk and you left the bar and you forgot to pee and the bar’s too far away and you already walked away from it. And you have a quarter and you put it in the thing and you pull your business out and you start going and you get wet because you pull your business out a little too fast…Like, I don’t understand.


E: That would sober you up real fast!


K: Sure. And good, maybe you need it if you can’t figure out how to pull out your business. And I’m just saying it’s just the weirdest…Can you imagine such a thing here? If there was a bathroom with a weight limit here people would just throw trash in it until there wasn’t anymore


Emily chuckles


K: That’s how New Yorkers protest


E: The politics of bathrooms


K: There shouldn’t be politics… Do people who write these laws have they ever peed? Have they ever used a bathroom?


E: This also makes me think of the laws for using bathrooms of your assigned gender. LIke, come on! 


K: I know


E: Gender neutral bathrooms benefit everybody! Why did it take me so long to say this in this episode?  I don’t know!


K: If you are a Trans person or even a cis-gendered person with an assistant of the opposite sex of the opposite gender or opposite sex or what have you, which bathroom do you go into if you’re in a place with such a law in the books? Is it yours? Is it theirs? Who knows? Nobody, that’s who! I mean I’m sure there’s some sort of line in there but like, who cares where somebody pees? I really don’t!


E: No, I do care. I really prefer it not be in an elevator. 


K: Oh sorry, yes. I meant “Who cares which bathroom somebody pees in?” I apologize for the ambiguity, you’re right. 


E: I would prefer everybody have access to the bathroom. 


K: Uh-huh


E: Everybody. Honestly, I know how cheesy this is gonna sound, but that’s why we call this show, “The Accessible Stall” because we want everyone to join us in that big, ol’ Accessible bathroom and have a good time. 


K: Yeah. I mean, cheesy as it is, it’s true. I just…I don’t get it. 


E: Listen, I just remembered this just now. There is a musical called Urinetown and it’s literally about this weird dystopian future where people have to pay to use the bathroom. An entire musical.

K: Can we see it?


E: It’s an old musical. Yeah! We can see it, it’s super depressing. 


K: Okay. I’d really like to see it. Anyway, it’s about time we wrap it up. If you are a disabled person don’t pee in these bathrooms because they don’t want you. But we believe that you should be able to pee in whatever bathroom you want!


E: Pee freedom? Peedom?


K: Peedom. Peeeeedom!!


E: (Chuckles) I just want to apologize to everyone for this episode. 


K: I also would like to apologize if you’ve listened this far, we love you. But like, can’t we all agree though that you should use a bathroom without like, boobly traps in it? (both laugh). Like, can’t we just agree that not every fuc*ing bathroom has to be an Indiana Jones like, scene?


E: Yeah, that would be great except if you’re me and every bathroom comes with a trap always.


K: That’s true, I had not considered what if everyone were Emily. What if everyone were Emily? If everyone were you, the world would be a much better place. A louder place, but a better place. 


E: Aw. Thanks I think. What’s you’re final takeaway? 


K: My final takeaway is that these bathrooms are complete nonsense and if they happen I hope to whatever God the listener believes in, that it does not set a precedent for the rest of the world. Because…no. And I’m not even …I’m never gonna set off a weight limit, I might do sudden movements and almost none of this applies to me and I hate it! I don’t like things that limit people’s ability to pee, man. It’s just not good. 


E: I propose that we rewrite The Pledge of Allegiance so that it says, “For liberty and access to bathrooms for all.”


K: Oh, I thought you were gonna say, “Peedom for all!” 


E: I had to drop the Peedom ‘cause it’s pretty terrible.


K: Yeah well, what’s your Final Takeaway


E: That was my Final Takeaway


K: Alright well that about wraps it up for this episode of The Accessible Stall


E: Peedom for everyone! I said I wasn’t gonna do it and I did it


K: #peedom. #feminism.


E: (Laughs) Said I wasn’t gonna do it and I did it! I would honestly understand if you revoked your Patreon donations to us. If you feel like giving us a Patreon donation how can you do that?


K: You can go to www.Patreon.com/theaccessiblestall where you can hear episodes like this, early most of the time just $1 a month keeps The Accessible Stall accessible because our transcriber cannot eat their computer. They have to buy food, with money, that we give to her. 


E: She’s a really great person guys


K: And she’s disabled so if you’re a disabled person who’s all like #KeepitintheFamily you will be if you support us


E: Peedom! Peedom! (laughs)


K: Might we say that you look great today.


E: Thanks so much for listening. 


K: See ya next time


E: Bye!


K: Auf Wietersen. (To Emily) Oh, I almost hung up on you instead of… I’m keeping that!


(Emily laughs)