Our local high school has a no-smoking campus, which means no one – students, teachers, staff, visitors – is permitted to smoke in the building or anywhere on school grounds. When I sit in the carpool line after school to pick up my daughter, inevitably the same two students rush out of the building each day and scurry across the street to light up, no doubt suffering from severe nicotine deprivation.
The school, built in the 1950’s, is in the midst of a major renovation, so it’s not unusual to see the construction workers also hanging out across the street from the school, getting their nicotine fix. Oddly enough, some of the construction workers don’t cross the street to smoke. Instead, they head for one of the two port-a-potties that are sitting next to the construction area, on school grounds. These must be the very same guys who used to duck into the school bathroom to smoke, back when you could get away with that sort of thing. Once a rebel, always a rebel, I guess.
It wasn’t just the boys, of course. Rebel girls also used to duck into the school bathrooms to smoke. In my high school, a group of them used to sit on the floor of the bathroom, eating their lunches and smoking. Disgusting? Yes indeed.
Because of those young ladies, I avoided the school bathrooms at all costs. Each morning, I steeled myself for the bladder marathon ahead, holding it in for the entire school day until I could rush to the smoke-free haven of our very own pink-tiled bathroom at 3:15 p.m. I suspect there were many of us in the hold-it-all-day club, peeved at the rebel girls (pun intended) and yet envious of their empty bladders.
All of which brings me back to the construction workers. Dude, the port-a-potty? Have a little self-respect!