I Spy With My iPhone: Men’s Bathroom Convenience Store

October 10, 2012


I watched a baseball game last night, or I should say I watched 1/2 a baseball game if we’re being technical. This is of very little importance, but it was the first baseball game I have watched since the baseball game I went to the second week of this season. I’ve watched so little baseball this year it is incredible. I guess if I was rooting for anyone, which I’m not, then I would be pulling for the Nationals and the Orioles to make it to the World Series. Underdogs and all. I don’t really need to worry about rooting for them openly or not because I’ve already met the most diehard Nationals fan of this current season and we all know Kristen Stewart hast the Orioles covered. They’re in good hands to say the least.

I watched the “30 for 30” about Carl Lewis and Ben Johnson last night. It was weird and creepy, which is what everyone should have expected. It also seemed to shed no more light on the situation than there was previously. At the same time, Carl Lewis is the man at sports and the man at being off-putting. He’s the Michael Jackson of track in more ways than one.

“Homeland” was terrific again.

CM Punk has a new DVD out and I watched that until the wee hours of the morning last night. It was quite good. It didn’t really detail too much more than anyone could find out with a google search or two or a reading of his wikipedia page, but it was well done and throughout made you feel that CM Punk loves professional wrestling to an insane degree so much so that he feels it necessary that he needs to save it and that he knows how to do it. It’s kind of like if you were watching a documentary about a politician running for President and they believe they can fix this country if only they were in power, but it’s about pro wrestling.


I’m not entirely sure what is in the women’s bathroom of any bar, restaurant, or in this case a movie theater, but men sometimes have a coin operated mini-convenience store like this one…

From the great people at “Protocol” (?), here is the coin operated convenience store that is in the men’s bathroom at the Headquarters Clearview Cinema in Morristown, New Jersey.

Yes, you can see me in the reflection.

“When life just can’t wait”

That’s the slogan on this machine of 5 items that are generally speaking things you could live an entire life completely without. I have no idea what “when life just can’t wait” means in most circumstances let alone one that involves the purchasing of temporary tattoos (second one from the left), but we’ll get to that later.

I have gone to this movie theater dozens of times now, and I’ve been in several hundred other public bathrooms in my life with similar machines in them and have never purchased a single thing from them ever. Ever. I’ve never used any of these machines. The closest I ever came to buying anything from one of these machines in any recent memory in any lifetime I’ve lived was in Scotland a couple months ago…

If you can read English, those are scotch flavored condoms.

The machine appeared broken and I still attempted to pay it a pound to give me two of these scotch flavored condoms, but I got nothing as I should have expected except it ate my pound. You live and learn with scotch condoms. In reality, I would never have used the scotch condoms I got from the basement bathroom in a pub in Edinburgh, but they would have been a funny nick nack I guess to have around. Or to smell, which is creepy.

Nevertheless… back to “When life just can’t wait”?

There are 5 items to be purchased and only one of them makes any sense while the others make less and less sense. From left to right: Ibuprofen, Body Art temporary tattoos, Sour Drops, cK one cologne, and Ice Drops.

First, what’s the scenario of the person who would even be in standing in front of this machine and ready to put their hard earned quarters into it and buy one of these items?

It’s a movie theater. Generally, people go to a movie theater either with friends, family, a possible sexual partner, or buy themselves? That’s pretty much all the situations one finds themselves in at a movie theater. I think most of these are purchases can be written off under the category “goof purchases”, but is that thinking behind putting these in a movie theater? Hey Joe, I just bought “Sour Drops” from that machine in the bathroom for a buck in quarters. Isn’t that fucking hilarious? Or at least mildly amusing? Remember Sour Drops? heheh… heh… ugh.

That scene seems very plausible, but would that constitute a business model and strategy and then the eventual construction of these machines and pairing with these companies to put these mini convenience stores in men’s bathrooms? All for a “goof”? Nope. I can’t imagine that. What I imagine is that they think people are going to purchase these things in legitimate situations. But why?!

Ibuprofen – This one seems obvious. You’ve got a headache. That is completely possible. I get headaches. I could get headache if I was out with my friends or with my family or on a date or by myself. That’s completely a legitimate product. I would definitely double and triple check and then leer at the ibuprofen package’s expiration date and wonder how often they restock these machines. But this is a perfectly acceptable thing to purchase. I would say though if you are out with women that you should ask them first if they have any ibuprofen, Advil, Tylenol et cetera because women carry bags and those bags could have absolutely anything in them. From an umbrella to mace to an inflatable life raft for all we know. And if you are out on a date and you have a headache from all the yakking that the little lady is doing then I think we’ve all been there! AM I RIGHT?! Bitches love talking. Hahahah… hooo… hmmm… ugh.

Body Art temporary tattoos – This is absolutely the most mysterious of the 5 items. Who would purchase these? And what situation would ever call for buying temporary tattoos from a men’s restroom in a movie theater? Of course, the “goof” category is in play with this particular item. Beyond that, I can only imagine you are in one of two possible situations…

1. You’re a dad and you’re really not trying that hard. You take your kid to go to the bathroom and either you or the kid have the whimsy to bring up the temporary tattoos. Maybe the kid sees them. Maybe the kid has been talking about a $200 remote controlled car that you are not buying said kid, so instead you slap some tribal weave stickers on the kid’s non-existent bicep thinking that will shut it up. Father of the Year.

2. You’re on a date. Listen, just imagine it isn’t going well. You’ve kind of lost her/him at dinner. There’s a chance there won’t be a second date and at the same time you’re about to walk into a movie theater where neither of you will talk for the next 2 hours. You need a game changer. A power move. Maybe they think you’re too nice. Maybe you haven’t shown them you’ve got that unpredictable spark people for whatever reason seem to think is good in a fuck buddy. You go for the temporary tattoo and slap that sucker on. This enters you into a world of 2 possible subset situations.

2A. They notice it and you play it off like you had this ink before and they just couldn’t see it at dinner for whatever reason or you play it off like they’re an idiot and didn’t notice your gleaming and colorful slick new dragon tattoo.

2B. You let them behind the curtain of your madness, and they now see a new side of you that you are impulsive and with that an enigma of sexiness.

Very plausible, right?

Sour Drops – “Goof purchase” all day, every day. When would “sour drops” be an acceptable use of your money? Again, it could be for your shitty kid who you won’t buy a popcorn or candy for, so you get them a bottle of flavored sugar water that comes out a drop at a time and was probably manufactured two decades ago. I had “sour drops” in middle school or I mean other kids did. I honestly never bought a bottle of “sour drops”, but they did exist. Almost nothing that I did in middle school except for fail at attracting the opposite sex exists today. Kids live a completely different life now. Does “sour drops” even register in their lives? If it does, why? You kids have smartphones! Give up on “sour drops”!

Or is this how bad your date is going that “sour drops” might be the only common ground you and the other dirty 30 single can talk about? Or on the other hand, is this date going so fucking amazing that literally anything you do is hilarious, so let’s see if you two also remember “sour drops”?

cK one cologne – One would think that this item kind of makes sense, but it also makes no sense in the world at all. I couldn’t imagine a situation where you are out with family or friends where you would need to purchase colognes from a bathroom and it would be normal. Do you need to wear cologne to hang out with your friends or family? If so, you have more issues than me. I could imagine that this is again for the possible dater who is at the movie theater. But there are a lot of problems that arise when you suddenly come back from a trip to the bathroom and now you smell of a 90’s cologne.

Why do you suddenly have cologne on? You could have purchased the cologne in the bathroom and they know this, which is weird in itself. Why would you need to do that right before the movie? That’s really just a red flag that you either think your date needs you to wear cologne so much so that you are willing to buy it in a bathroom or that you need yourself to wear cologne for your own weird reasons. Neither is particular interesting or acceptable for the date. Public restroom cologne is always public restroom cologne, it’s just not sexy. The other idea, did you do something in that bathroom so awful that you now need to cover that odor up with cologne? Completely possible. What if you had Indian food or ate a 24 ounce steak or maybe you had some left overs for lunch that are not agreeing with all the bourbon you put in yourself at dinner? All likely. All very likely. And again, none of this is sexy.

Lastly, do you tell your date that you put cologne on in the bathroom or do you try to pretend like all of a sudden on hour 2 of a night out you just miraculously start smelling of cK one cologne? If you tell them, all the questions above become a reality. If you don’t tell them, wouldn’t they think it’s weird? All of a sudden you smell of cologne. Either they ask you why or they don’t and forever tell their friends how you tried to pull one over on them with the cologne in the bathroom and no one should ever talk to you again because you’re weird.

Ice Drops – Last, but not least, arguably the worst way to try and freshen your breath – Ice Drops. I have all the same questions concerning Ice Drops as I do with Sour Drops. But there is an alternate universe where you couldn’t possible think of another way to get the garlic breath out of your head before walking into seeing a late night showing of “Looper” that you’re in the bathroom sucking down bottles of “Ice Drops”. Maybe that makes sense? Maybe you’re planning on making out in the movie theater and you want to give him/her that nostalgic experience of tongue kissing a 7th grader in 1995. Part mint, part bubblegumy syrup.

What makes this item even stranger is that it’s random seemingly. There is a chance of 4 flavors. I don’t know how different “IcyMint”, “WinterMint”, and “SpearMint” are, but I would imagine “CinnaMint” is a whole new ball game in the taste department. Not that we’re all carrying around Banaca, but any type of breath freshner is going to taste better than Ice Drops. If I recall correctly, I think Ice Drops also stains your tongue like you’re drinking Gatorade or eating Ring pops. So, you’re on a date, you go to the bathroom, and your date returns from the bathroom with a nauseating mint smell and a blue mouth as if Papa Smurf was on the other end of the glory hole in the men’s room. Sounds delightful.

Those are my opinions. What are yours?


5 Responses to “I Spy With My iPhone: Men’s Bathroom Convenience Store”

  1. If you came out of a men’s bathroom and suddenly smelled of cologne you weren’t previously wearing, I would immediately assume you made the buttsex with a random guy in there. Date over.

  2. Kim said

    And now I’m left wondering what kind of chick would be attracted by the words — “I have scotch-flavored condoms”
    yeah, not a pretty picture

  3. PWG said

    The choices I usually get are menstrually themed. Pad or tampon, lady or the tiger? Give me your quarters. Doesn’t matter, because exactly neither side will ever dispense anything in your moment of need. You might as well just grab a roll of toilet paper, stick it down your pants and cowboy walk out of the theater and to the nearest convenience store.

    Sometimes we get a lotion dispenser on the wall. I can’t imagine a theater putting a lotion dispenser in the men’s bathroom, but maybe they trust you guys not to whack off in there with it.

    I think the next question is what SHOULD they be dispensing in there? I think we can make a case for Tic Tacs, because aside from the breath freshening, I love the clicky sound they make rolling around in the plastic case. And if the movie you’re seeing has any kind of scene that could be improved by a maraca sound, or faux rattlesnake sound, you’re Johnny on the spot.

    Razors. What if the date is going well and you have an emergency shaving need? These things happen.

    Airline liquor bottles. I don’t care what kind of wizardry you have to get up to so the wall thing accepts credit cards or checks ID or whatever. Just make it happen.

  4. NixHaw said

    When I started reading and I saw the convenience machine, I though “Boy, you Americans know how to do it. Painpills in a vending machine? What an excellent idea. I bet the other items are just as well thought… Wait… WHAT?”

    I guess the two types of Drops are classified as candy? And vending machines must have candy? But otherwise I think the object of Protocal here was to fill this machine with the most random things. I’m thinking drinking and a bet may have been involved.

    I do agree with PWG’s airline liquor bottles idea. And possibly band-aids. You never know when you might need a band-aid.

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