I do a lot traveling to see friends and family, and as a result I’ve spent more than my fair share of time in rest stop bathrooms – and I’ve become a bit of a connoisseur. Now hold on and bear with me here – it’s not going where you think it is.
Well, maybe it is going exactly where you think it is. If that’s the case, you’re a sick fucking freak and I’d like to represent you as a literary agent.
Anyway, I’ve taken many a bathroom break on my travels far and wide from southeastern Pennsylvania, metropolitan New York, and all points in between. With a pregnant wife that has a cute little parasite doing the Harlem Shake on her bladder 24-seven, it’s rare that we can travel more than an hour straight without having to pull over and make some lemonade at the local Wawa, so the number of public bathrooms I’ve been privy to (see what I did there?) is rather large. As a result, I end up thinking a lot about what it would be like to be trapped in one during a zombie outbreak.
You see, a good many public bathrooms – especially those with multiple stalls and urinals – are pretty much next to useless as a place to barricade yourself due to the fact that most of the time the main entrance is simply indefensible. Usually it’s a free-swinging door with no knob, designed to push or pull open very easily, which is absolutely no help at all in keeping an undead horde at bay. Worse yet are those bathrooms that just have an open doorway, as there’s not even anything to wedge closed with an improvised doorstop; your best bet is to get into a toilet stall and lock the door.
Of course this poses its own problem, as most stalls are open on the top and the bottom. You’d have to jump up on the toilet seat to avoid getting grabbed from underneath, and thanks to he fact that they’re made out of pretty flimsy material, enough pressure (exerted by a handful of zombies pressing their combined weight against it) could easily buckle it, leaving you trapped inside like a human panini. No, your best bet would be to salvage something from the stall to use as an improvised weapon and try to fight your way out to a more defensible location.
If you happen to be in a stall with a traditional toilet, you can always grab the lid to the top tank, as that should serve to take out at least one or two shambling corpses, or at least knock them back enough to get the hell out of dodge. If you’ve got one of those more industrial toilets with the sensor, that’s not really an option, so your next best bet is to choose the handicapped stall. Those stainless steel guide bars that these particular stalls feature – designed to help a wheelchair-bound person lift themselves on to the toilet seat – could make a pretty handy weapon, as they’re designed to handle a fair bit of abuse and also boast a nice few feet of reach, and while they’re usually bolted on pretty tight most bathroom stalls that feature these handicap access bars aren’t maintained well, which means you could probably wiggle a loose one off if you have a few moments (it’s amazing what a great motivator a group of zombies hungry for your brains can be).
Of course, if you happen to stumble into one of those single-occupancy bathrooms with a lock on the door, you’re in much better shape. You have some time to breathe, collect your thoughts, and take better stock of your surroundings. Most of the same strategies detailed above still apply, but you’ve got more time to scavenge and prepare – plus you can catch a breather if you’ve been chased up and down the food court for the past fifteen minutes.
Finally, don’t forget that your goal isn’t to kill every zombie in your way – you just have to get out safe. You can render your run-of-the-mill zombie relatively harmless for a few moments by upending a trash can over its head, which will keep those dangerous chompers from ripping a chunk off your sweet, supple ass and give you an opportunity to get the fuck out of there. Plus you can always just plunger one in the face if they’re getting too up-close and personal. If you’re lucky, maybe the janitor left a mop or something in there.
I need to stop watching The Walking Dead right before bedtime.