Thursday, June 18, 2009

HNT - Prelude To A Pee

A few weeks ago, I was at a CCRA meeting in Montreal. It took place at the Novotel Montreal.

The meeting rooms were top notch and the meetings were, as always, intense and jam-packed with no shortage of agenda items and issues to talk through.

So when I went to the men's restroom off the main lobby, the one closest to the bar/restaurant, I was a little distracted.

When I walk into restrooms I like things to be simple and part of the regular script. That way I don't have to think too hard. The first "off script" item was the sign on the front of the door indicating "Men" (to ensure I got the right room) -- I like those simple -- ie "Men/Women" or that universal black and white stick figure -- or even the sometimes cute variances I've seen based on theme. And, being in Quebec, I would even have expected "Hommes"

There was a not too familiar symbol on the door indicating "Men" -- not enough to confuse me badly, but enough to jar that subconscious way we usually go about our restroom activity. (IE, again, not a lot of thought required for the basic functions - and I'm okay with that)

Then I walked into the washroom. It was pretty swanky. Frosted glass vanity countertop directly across from the door, darker lighting, fresh smelling scent. There were two small stalls on the right side, and across from them on a wall was a beautiful waterfall about four feet across, where the water cascaded down over more frosted glass that fed into a trough filled with ice.

I've seen many restrooms fill their urinals with ice so I figured this must be the urinal.

As I stood in front of the urinal I marvelled at how unique this particular one was. But as I was starting to relieve myself, a thought suddenly struck me. This work of art was simply too nice for me to be peeing on. What if I'd made a mistake? What if this wasn't the restroom? What if someone walked in an yelled at me for peeing into this waterfall display? What if this was just here to help facilitate the flow of the kidneys or to calm down stressed out minds while people used the stalls across from them? What if this was just there to create a background noise to mask the grunts, groans, splashes and other not so pretty noises that sometimes come from the stalls?

I started looking over my shoulder in a bit of a panic. Nobody had walked in and yelled at me. Well then, I thought, maybe there was a hidden camera. Montreal was the home of the "Just for Laughs" festival after all -- and the French do have a wicked sense of humour, after all. Maybe that was what it was. They wanted to see how business travelers reacted to this strange situation.

But no. Nobody came in and yelled at me for peeing on their precious arty display. Similarly, nobody told me I was on some sort of hidden or candid camera type show.

I relieved myself, went to the sink to wash my hands. (A bit more careful than I normally am when washing my hands -- the sink top and counter were, after all, quite stunning), then went back to my meeting.

But it was the most bizarre and interesting (and beautiful) urinal I have ever seen. So I couldn't resist pulling out my cellphone and snapping a few shots of it. (After I'd washed my hands, of course)

In case you're wondering, NO I'm not peeing in this picture.
I do, after all, need both hands for that.


misterbuny said...

I can't believe that you took a picture of yourself in front of an urinal - just think of all that pee splashing on you from the waterfall!!

misterbuny said...

PS Your hair looks better longer or maybe it is the swanky lighting!

lime said...

ice filled urinals is a norm? wow, the things i learn on the internet....

S said...

Well, now I have seen some confusing bathrooms in my day, sneaking into dead shows and all, but this is really confusing.
Did you find out if it was really a urinal?

S said...

..I meant sneaking into mens rooms at Dead shows because their bathrooms were emptier!

Mark Leslie said...

Fran, you among all people should know I have no shame when it comes to taking pictures of myself. :)

Ice in urinals isn't the norm, Lime. But it's sometimes used to "cool" the pee and reduce the smell. I just use it as a chance to try to write my name in the ice.

And Susie, no, I never found out if it really was a urinal . . . (and I just imagined you sneaking into a washroom during a dead concert) - the mens room was likely empty because the guys were just peeing wherever they wanted, right?

LeFleur said...

One of my favorite place to "go" in North America, lol! When you went did you happen to notice the cute messages written in lipstick on the vanity mirrors? "You look marvelous...."

Mark Leslie said...

LeFlur - no, I didn't happen to notice the cute messages. I'll be back in Montreal in October and will have to go back there to have a look. Thanks for the tip. :)

JesusArnoldSisters said...
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M Arnold said...

I can confirm that it IS a urinal. I used to take hotel students there while our hotel school was undergoing renovations several years ago. One of the cleaning staff went regularly to refresh the ice. They also added fresh citrus slices and wedges. I have to agree with Mark. The first time I went to the restroom I was a somewhat taken aback. I don't remember what kind of signage was on the door. Incidentally, the bathroom was designed by one of the previous owners (M. Gourdon) who was from France. It IS stunning and the hotel is very nice also!

Mark Leslie said...

Thanks for the confirmation, M Arnold. Yes, agree that the hotel and restroom were both stunning!