Independence Gained and Lost In One Trip To The Bathroom

We have been on the road this past week and have stopped frequently along the way to grab a quick meal.

This was our first time to make the round-trip from California to Oregon by car, which included overnight stays.  

Driving has its advantages and disadvantages and because I’ll do anything to get out of flying, the plan worked well for me.  (Yes, I’m one of those white-knuckler flyers, positive every flight is going down.)

Anyway, we’ve now eaten at different restaurants three times a day for what seems like a million years.  I am now officially done eating out and can’t wait for home cooked meals.

For us, the hardest part about being away is the littlest hooligan, who is a picky, picky, eater.  So when we travel we agree to go to McDonald’s for some meals since he loves their chicken nuggets.  He’s part of the family too, so I guess it’s only fair.

I know, I know, you thought I wouldn’t go to McDonald’s again after my last rant.  This new incident happened at a McDonald’s IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!  Somewhere very close to the California and Oregon border where there’s not a lot going on. 

On this particular trip the Wild Boar and I decided to let our eight year old go to the bathroom by himself.

We would never let him go to the bathroom by himself in an airport or department store or a place where we were not right there…but we have been to a lot of small restaurants on this adventure where we can see the bathroom door and see who’s going in and out etc. 

This has worked out well; he feels a little independent and we feel comfortable knowing he’s not going to disappear.  This was a big step for all of us because we tend to be protective parents.  It has also been great because this child refuses to go into the ladies room with me and the Wild Boar is not always there to go into the bathroom with him.

So today at a McDonald’s…in officially Nowheresville, California, where they didn’t have trays to take food to the table, drink holders for cups going to the car and soft serve cones half the size as every other McDonald’s (but I’m not complaining about that) the Wild Boar took the hooligans to the bathroom.

Thank gawd the boys did not go alone.

We had a two hour drive in front of us and everyone needed to use the restroom.  I had already gone and was waiting at a table close to the bathroom doors.

The Wild Boar and the hooligans go in…and soon after the door flys open and the Wild Boar is pushing shuffling the boys out with a look of complete disgust on his face.

My six year old in his very, very loud and piercing voice is asking, “Daddy, what were they doing in there?  Why can’t we wait for them to get out? Why, WHY, WHY?”

I look at the Wild Boar, he mouths to me that there are two guys in one stall…(there is only one stall)…and they are….yep, keep your mind in the gutter…doing something nasty. 


My mouth drops open…I am so grossed out.  The boys are confused and have too many questions.

I sit there paralyzed…a minute goes by and out comes the first male…oh great he’s the young guy who just made our French Fries, the friendly McDonald’s employee…Yuck…I am so disgusted.   

He smiles at us and heads back to his post as the French Fry guy.  Lovely.

Next, the second male exits the bathroom, a small, fortyish-looking man.  He leaves out the back door (no pun intended).  He does not glance our way. 

Oh bee-geez-us.

And this is why my child has now lost his short-lived bathroom independence by no fault of his own.

Thank goodness the Wild Boar went in there with them THIS time.  If he hadn’t, who knows what they would have seen.  Those two boys would have had no problem asking those two men what they were doing, especially my younger one.

Interestingly, I have heard of recent police arrests at rest stops due to this type of behavior taking place. 

This McDonald’s was coincidently near a rest stop.  I wonder if the “rest stop activity” has moved its way over to new locations.

Great huh?

Post a Comment


  1. Oh, that is just disgusting!!!!
    I believe I would have had to have a pow wow with the manager.
    Poor kids! Poor mom and dad!!
    Those boys will never forget that! I am so sorry they had to witness something like that! We try to protect our children. I believe I would have had to give those two men a standing ovation as they came out of the bathroom. Just to embarrass the crap out of them. Maybe, even told the rest of the patrons to join in. If there were any. Maybe they’ll think twice about where they MEET UP again. Just DISGUSTING!!!

  2. Philly 2

    I would of sooooo approached them in the bathroom and made a scene and then asked for a free meal .


  3. OK, that’s gross. Did you see him wash his hands? Actually that’s irrelevant.

    Reason #2,445,678 why I don’t ever go to McDonald’s.

    The only good thing I can think of is it will be a funny / disgusting story to tell your boys at their 21st birthday party ;)

  4. *gasp!*

    Cathy! Please tell me you are reporting this to someone somehwere?

    To each his own- I’m not judging. But AT A MCDONALDS!

    That is horrifying.

    I’m so sorry. And it sucks that your big guy lost a little independence because of it, but, ugh! Just… ugh!

  5. Carolyn 5

    Disgusting. I would definitely send an e-mail to McDonalds corporate headquarters. Sorry your family had to go through that. I have trouble letting my 11 year olds go to the bathroom unattended (and they don’t very often). Now I know I’m justified in my paranoia.

  6. First off, I have to admit that I was laughing at the end of the post. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I pictured it more of a National Lampoon’s Summer Vacation scene than something more sinister and dark. Although I don’t envy you, I do think it will be a story you will be telling for the rest of your existence, while your children will most likely forget it by the end of next week. Funny how children have a wonderful priority filter, always wanting focus on something and exciting than old and passe :-)

    That said, you may enjoy an equally “disturbing” story that happened to me in a public park in Spain. link to

  7. Oh yuck! Men/Men, Men/Women, Women/Women, I don’t give a rat’s ass, but keep your indiscretions away from the public where my kid could walk in.

    How traumatizing!

  8. Oh my. I also watch the doors like a hawk (and stand a little too close sometimes), but how on earth do you protect from that?! That’s disgusting.

  9. HoneyB 9

    The employee should be FIRED. Why can’t people keep their sexual escapades in private places rather than public places. Makes me ill.

  10. Eww! In a public restroom? I know there’s the added rush of possibly getting caught in the act but please – kids use these bathrooms! Your poor sons who will now not be allowed to go unescorted to the bathroom until they are 21!

    I know the desire to get back to home cooked meals. Eating out three times a day loses its elan very quickly for me.

  11. No matter what you think about homosexual sex, that is just disgusting and wrong. It’s wrong on so many levels. A heterosexual sex act in the workplace would get an employee fired, even more so while on the clock. The way you described it, it sounds like the fry guy was moonlighting anyway. The restaurant should be told about this–for the good of its future customers. I would probablly go so far as to write corporate about it.

    We have always let our kids go to the bathroom on their own starting at around age 6–as long as we were close and could keep an eye on things and felt safe about the place. Some friends did have an incident which made us re-think that decision. While at an event at the Wichita Boat House, they sent their 8yo to the bathroom alone since they were standing nearby. He came out very confused about the lady peeing at the urinal. Ugh.

  12. OMG–I just recently let my younger boys start going to the public bathrooms alone–totally rethinking this now!! Why must these things go on in dirty bathroom stalls?? Just, eeeeewwwww!

  13. I have no issues with whodunit, it’s what. Time and a place folks and in a stall at Mc D’s is not it. Yikes!

  14. Marcy 14

    a restroom. In a public place. OMG!!!
    Thank GOD wild boar went with them! I kow there is a reason I absoutelyhate mickie D’s… not too mention a good friend of mine – her grandson got salmonella poisoning from undercooked chicken nuggetts at a mickie d’s somewhere in new mexico!

  15. mitchsmom 15


  16. sharon 16

    Seriously…what a trip! So glad the boys did not venture in on their own. ick!

  17. and this is why I will NEVER eat fast food again. OH MY GRACIOUS!

    link to

  18. Karly 18

    It’s so hard being a parent of the opposite sex of your child! I make my son go in the bathroom and then come back out and tell me if there is anyone in there. I’m not sure what good that does, but it makes me feel better. ;) I also stand at the door and watch whoever walks in. If they look creepy, I do not hesitate to politely ask them to wait until my son leaves the restroom.

  19. amanda 19

    Maybe the bigger lesson is to NOT eat at McCrappy’s. I think that is what the universe is telling you!

  20. Words are failing me right now. Seriously. I have no idea what I would have done or said if I had been in your situation. I know I definitely would have needed a shower…that’s for sure.

  21. Julena Jo 21

    This has nothing to do with McDonalds and everything to do with inappropriate behavior in public. The employee should have been reported immediately since it was at work. What those individuals did was against the law in a public place. Has nothing to do with gender or anything other than that some things should be private. I know you probably did not report the kid, but I definitely would have.
    The hooligans can’t go to the bathroom alone till they are old enough to know to walk out immediately if they notice something isn’t right. Sorry. I was lenient about stuff like that. Thank God nothing ever happened. My eyes have been opened. First thing in the a.m. here, too. Ugh.

  22. Oh. My. Say it ain’t so! Thank God they didn’t go in by themselves! I would definitely report the french fry guy. It probably wasn’t the first time he utilized the facilities for that and probably won’t be the last. I just changed Maddie’s date of independence to 18.

  23. I am so sorry this happened to your family. It’s just awful.

    I’m now rethinking the freedom I’ve given my 10 year old son. This post is a real wake-up call. Thank you.

  24. Alisa 24

    Uck!! People are so messed up these days.

  25. CJ 25

    Cathy, please tell me you reported this.

    I have a mind so open you can drive several tractor trailers through it. I’m the mom all the other kids wish was their mom because I’m not overprotective, I understand and I don’t judge. I’m the parent all the other parents aren’t crazy about because they think I have no rules. lol

    But for Pete’s sake – there are some rules of decency and sex in any public restroom transcends them.

  26. WHAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!!!!!!! Oh my HOLY HECK!!!! Oh sweet Jesus, please let noble pig be kidding!!!

    Well, in the wonderful state of Colorado we had a little bill GO THROUGH stating that people can decide for themselves which gendered bathroom they can choose. That is so the HUGE percentage of gender confused persons can use the bathroom of the gender they think they are. Meaning… a guy who says he’s really a girl can use the girl’s restroom… yeah. And vice versa. Hmmmm… so what’s to stop a perved out guy from going into the women’s room and lying in wait for a victim?

    I’m 41 and I don’t think I want to go into the bathroom alone anymore.

    In McDonalds???? I think the time is drawing near to head out into the hills and live in a cave by the river.

  27. Molly 27

    Why, why, why, must people do things like this that ruin everything for the rest of us. Like so many others, I don’t care who or what, it is not for any public place, much less a disgusting bathroom. I mean, I don’t even like to pee in public bathrooms, much less have sex in one. It is truly base behavior. ick!

  28. I hope you reported this to a manager or are at least writing corporate about their employee’s actions.
    This crap doesn’t just happen in Mickey D’s or with gays. One time we were on a trip to Cedar Point in Ohio and stopped at a rest area so my eight year old daughter could use the restroom well we didn’t make it to the rest room because beside the building were a man and a woman and the woman was on her knees, Um Yeah, explain that to a little girl. I sent her back to the car with her Dad waiting and after she got in the car, I totally embarrassed that man and woman with profanities that should not be written here. Pisses me off still today and shes 28 now.

  29. ALF 29

    Oh. My. God. Your poor children. What is wrong with people?

  30. Alan 30

    Being a flippant sort of chap, I tried to think of something funny to say about this. Alas, there’s nothing amusing in the situation at all.

    Has the world changed? when I was a small boy 50 years ago, nothing like this ever happened to me or any of my friends and we had such freedo to go where we liked, whenever we wished and no one ever worried about us.

  31. Lennie 31

    I don’t even know what to say. Nowheresville California needs motel rooms, methinks. And I do think the manager needs to know his fry guy is turning tricks on his breaks. Yeesh!!!

  32. Cathy C 32

    Ouch that is disgusting. McDonalds is a family place… Where in their brains did they think that nobody would walk in or notice…Did the word “public restroom” not register.

    Glad someone was with them or the scene could have played out very different.


  33. Elle 33

    I hope you reported it! Not that they’ll do anything, but still…ugh. In a place that caters to children, this shouldn’t be happening.

  34. Flea 34

    Ew! Ew! Ew! You poor, poor things! Gross!!!

  35. Jules 35

    I am totally grossed out. I am so glad that the Wild Boar was with the boys.

  36. McDonalds and rest stops, never a good combo! I usually let my kids go to the restroom alone, but I may rethink any restrooms near rest stops from now on!

  37. Julena Jo 37

    lol I’m 51, and I ain’t goin’ IN THERE! hahahah Made me laugh.

  38. krysta 38

    I think that’s the funniest thing I have ever heard, scary and a little freaky, but funny. You’ll be telling this story for years.

  39. Speechless. And that is something. Just ask my husband.

  40. This is why I’m thankful for two boys and an empty Gatorade bottle in the car.

    Sorry your boys had to be witness to this.

  41. Oh no!! Maybe, in the future, you could have the Wild Boar do a spot check of the bathroom and then let your son go by himself…that way, he doesn’t lose all of his independence and you can have your peace of mind.

    And, not that it matters, but this could happen in any bathroom, so don’t beat yourself up about being at the McD’s…

    And, the completely naughty part of my brain has all kinds of inappropriate jokes bouncing around in my head about special sauce and just how many people have been served. Ick. Sorry!

    Still…how disturbing.

  42. Ruthanne (in Seattle) 42

    oh Cathy – I am so sorry this happened for your family. . .ick! Good thing you listened to your gut and had the wild boar go with them. Hope the rest of your trip home is uneventful and that home cooking is delicious – even for the littlest hooligan!

  43. Misty 43

    I am mortified! How horrible! I am so glad your husband went with them! I would have had a talk with the manager. I am sure glad they didn’t know what was going on!

  44. Two men, a man and a woman…how irresponsible. The fact that it was done where people could easily come in and see is pathetic. McDonald’s is more of a family place but that didn’t seem to be enough of a deterrent to those two dopes.
    Let’s hope it flies out of the kids’ minds soon enough.
    You might want to find some chicken nuggets elsewhere ;)

  45. Well THAT was certainly different! I’m with Asthma Girl on this on: There’s a time and a place for nearly everything…just as surely as there is never a time for something like that to happen in a place like a McDonald’s – or any other public – bathroom, regardless of the proclivities of the participants.
    So very happy for you the WB was there to steer your hoolie’s quickly clear!

    Do hope this was the only major blip!

  46. rachel 46

    Oh mah hell.
    How. What. In a Public Restroom!
    2 guys, 2 girls, or boy and girl. Just EEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWW. Bathrooms are so dirty. Glad that W.B. went in with them. Yikes.
    I hope you reported it to a manager or wrote a letter to corporate. That’s just awful.

  47. Tipper 47

    Dear Lord!

  48. Ktidyrn 48

    OMG – ok… I’ve been letting my 6 year old go into restaurant bathrooms alone with me standing right outside the door and peeking in if need be. So much for that! Eeeeeeek.

    My second thought was exactly Christie’s about washing hands. lol!

  49. Shirley 49

    I have to echo Mitch’s Mom’s comment. OMFG (Had not heard that expression–I love it.) Sheesh, I am sorry Cathy. You want to think your kids are safe, but yuck. And, I don’t care about who’s with who either, but that’s not the place. Thank goodness your DH was with them.

  50. Cathy that is truly disgusting! I really think French Fry boy needs to be reported! Even if he is young he needs to learn that there are major consequences for that type of behavoir. One of my son’s friends was let go from the local yogurt store for xeroxing his johnson and leaving the crumpled xerox in the trash!! Young men are pretty stupid – but they have to learn. Hmmm I hope the rest of the trip goes well.

  51. dlyn 51

    Oh no – how gross! Get a friggin room for pete’s sake!

  52. Ruth 52

    i know someone who worked briefly in a mcdonalds… i later heard a bit of gossip, saying he was fired for being caught doing something similarly inappreopriate in the storeroom …on his own. at least there was no chance of any children walking in….

  53. Egghead 53

    McDonalds isn’t really the issue here. What has gotten into people? It is such a sad day that we can’t let our children even use a restroom without exposing them to inappropriate behavior in a public place. Disgusting. I would have opened my big mouth and said something to those two guys as they entered the back into the room in front of everyone in there. They need a wakeup call.

  54. Those two have no clue that there are others around who don’t want to see what should be private. I am sorry for your children.

  55. Erin 55

    Oh. My. Goodness. This is my first time at your blog and what a story. That is just truly horrifying.

  56. Oh.My.God. I officially have the heebie-jeebies. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. The FRENCH FRY DUDE??? I am so skeeved…

    Just occurred to me – Mc Donald’s probably doesn’t pay enough? He’s got to make a little on the side?

  57. ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwhttp://www…gross
    hope you guys have recovered and the Hooligans have stopped the inquisition.
    this, i would think, would be the hardest part of parenthood!!!

  58. Sassy 58

    I never eat at Mcdonalds, but that is beside the point, this could happen anywhere. I WAS hungry before i came to visit you. lol

  59. grace 59

    how appalling. frankly, i’m at a loss for words. add this to the list of reasons to avoid mickey d’s.

  60. giz 60

    Would you want this employee working for you? The company should receive an incident report.

  61. Liz C. 61

    I’m so completely disgusted. I hope you’re going to contact the MacDonalds corporate office and report this place. Hell, while you’re at it, report the other one too. Jezuz!

  62. And my visits to McDonalds are so dull.

  63. melissa 63

    Uhh ummm… O_o


  64. Maria 64

    Not true unfortunately. There were never any “good old days.” You were just lucky probably. Someone I know, who’s 70 now, has seen and been subjected to some pretty awful things out there, many many years ago when he was about 7.

  65. that is horrible. unbelievably horrible. have people become like animals relieving an itch in a public bathroom stall? ON THE JOB no less?

  66. I was going to comment about how I always had chicken nuggets when going to McDonalds too, but now chicken nuggets seems like, well, nuggets, in comparison to the bathroom escapades.

    I’ve only recently learned about how common these bathroom hookups are. There are entire websites devoted to rating bathrooms across North America and setting up “meetings”.

    Pretty bold of the McDonald’s employee to hookup in the bathroom at work.

  67. good lord, was this before or after you purchased the french fries?

  68. Cameron 68

    I love you.

  69. Lea Ann 69

    ohforgoodnesssake!!!!!! Awful. I go to McDonalds about once every six months just for the fries. I’ll never be able to order them again. I think you just did me a favor! :-)

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