Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Romancing Plymouth: How the Mayflower Compact Did Not Negotiate Restrooms in the Promised Land

I was warned that Plymouth, heretofore referred to as the Land of the One-Finger Salute, was tourist-y, but who can resist stepping aboard a not-the-Mayflower-not-even-close reproduction of this maiden voyage in our nation's history? Apparently, not the geriatric tour bus lines.

At the North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts, I had stood my ground against these most formidable opponents in camel-colored housecoats and waterproof babushkas. I claimed victory over the two-stall woman's restroom line long before I began popping Metamucil and discussing gout with perfect strangers. Bladder be damned!

But the perfect storm brewed over Land of the One-Finger Salute Harbor: Five Coach-Line Buses, T-shirt shops with signs lauding "No Public Restroom," the witching hour of post-lunch bladder capacity. Our forefathers could not have predicted the injustice of women outnumbering men eighty to one. Did men not give a hang about the Mayflower? Was there a poker tourney with free lager on one of the private yachts out to Provincetown? Oh, wait. Here's one.

Were these sparse loos meant to evoke the true trans-Atlantic experience? If so, then ballyhoo! If it was merely an oversight by The Mayflower Society, then I urge you to take but a pittance from my admission fee for a restroom attendant with a bullhorn directing traffic. "Bwoop! Bwoop! Time's Up, Bea Arthur!" "Step Away From the Mirror, Ma'am. The Mayflower smelled more like what you left behind than the fru juice you're spritzing on now. We're going for authentic here, people!"

Alas, relief was finally mine. Freedom from the tyranny of pre-paid tour lines. Freedom from the stench of a thousand modern-day Pilgrims hoarding toilet paper. Freedom from the woman on the pier below grousing into her cell phone about how steep the plank was. This isn't a Celebrity Fun Ship and there's no Canasta on the poop deck.

Though I'd have given anything to find out how to catch that party yacht.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I remember touring one of these old sailing ships in Florida once. It was eye opening concerning the lives of those early sailors