Subliminal Men's Room in McDonald's

Just before Labor Day, my wife and I drove our car from New Mexico to Boston to spend time with our family. The ride took four days of horrible traffic and high gas prices.

Another problem associated with driving cross-country is the food. Just about every exit on all the major highways have a collection of greasy burger joints, motels and gas stations. The food is tempting when you have been sitting behind the wheel for hours, but it inevitably leaves you feeling ill and constipated.

By the time we got to Pennsylvania I had eaten my fill of burgers and, well, needed to find a clean place where I could sit down for a while and let nature take it's course.

On route 81 North we found a clean and modern looking super-McDonald's with a large travel center and good size restrooms. I avoided the burgers and went directly into the Men's Room and found a clean stall. It was evening so there was quite a bit of traffic in the restrooms, but I sat comfortably waiting for time and nature to pass.

While I sat there I noticed some background music -- a subtle series of pleasant sounding chimes that played a non-descript tune, over and over. I also heard a man's voice, very quietly repeating something in the background of the music. When the restroom was quiet I could hear the voice saying, in a relaxed but confident manner, "You've had a tough day today... but you got through it."

For almost ten minutes I heard this mantra repeated over and over until I finally finished my business and was at the sink washing my hands. Another gentlemen was there already combing his hair and a second man came from one of the stalls to wash his hands.

"Geez," the man combing his hair said, "I'm glad today is over. I've had a really tough day." I said nothing.

Just then the man washing his hands spoke, "Oh well, you got through it. That's all that really matters."

I tried to explain the irony of this to my wife, but she was just angry that I had taken so long. It was a tough day.

--Barry Kusik

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