Saturday, September 6

A Token for your Thoughts

Last night, after spending an evening at a friend's house, Marilee said she needed a fountain drink, so we decided on stopping at a McDonald's. Specifically the one on 5th South in downtown Salt Lake City.

Stopping off at this restaurant afforded me something else - a restroom.

Put plainly, I needed to whiz. Soon.

Upon entering the famed billions served establishment, the damn restroom door wouldn't open. There, near the edge of the door, there was a locking mechanism. WTF?

I'd seen these things in the past, waaaay in the past, around the '60s. And my dad'd mentioned them in a variant of Old Man Talk thusly:

"Here I sit
Broken hearted
Paid a nickel
Only farted."

Since my Dad was born in 1910, I have no idea, decade-wise, when the saying originated - but I can guess that whenever it was, a nickel really meant something.

[Interesting afterthought to this entry - Nik-O-Lock started in 1910, and judging by the name, started out using nickels!]

Since this particular McDonald's is in a part of town frequented by, uh, transients, I'm sure this aforementioned pay device is there for a very good reason.

If you want to use the restroom, you need to buy something. Fountain drinks, ironically, came under that heading. So after embarrassingly asking for a token, I was able to do my business, but not before shooing away the urchin children huddled around the restroom door who weren't tall enough to read the text on the lock.

Upon exiting the restroom, there stood the kids. Turning tail and running towards their mother, they actually said "The door opened!".


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