Saw the Phantom of the Opera, at the Bass Concert Hall on the University of Texas at Austin campus. My two friends and I try to get us some culture at least once a year, whether we need it or not.

Glad we got that out of the way, and early on in the year, too.

We were seated in the Atrium. That’s another name for the Nosebleed Section. The seats were steep and we weren’t very far from the railing. We all decided that not doing the wave was a good idea, this time around.

We got there an hour early and I visited the ladies room before the show started. And what did I find? A stall with a lock that didn’t work. I got lucky — I guess — because I was able to lean forward and keep the door closed each time it opened up. I didn’t see a disclaimer on the outside of the door, indicating that only women 5’6″ or taller should use that stall. What do shorter women do, when they can’t reach out to keep the door closed?

At intermission, everyone headed for the lobby. I noticed a sign that said that the maximum occupant limit for the Atrium was 440 people. I also noticed that 400 of those “people” were in line for the ladies room. The one ladies room on that floor. The one ladies room on that floor with four stalls.

Only four stalls, with locks that didn’t work. On this my second visit to the ladies room, I discovered that there are things in life that are just as bad as ladies room stalls with locks that won’t lock, and that is a ladies room stall with a lock that won’t unlock.

I turned it and turned it and turned it: left, right, left, right. I jiggled it. I punched it. I thought I was going to have to crawl under the door to get out. I took hold of the top of the door and pulled back and forth.

I finally got out, met by stares of the other women in line, wondering what was taking me so long. Well, good luck to them when they find out.


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