Urine Luck | North High School and the Highland Square Theatre

North High School

by Emily Dressler

In the pilot episode of My So-Called Life, Angela Chase is like, “My parents keep asking how school was. It’s like saying, ‘How was that drive-by shooting?’ You don’t care how it was, you’re lucky to get out alive.”

This show and the absolute horrors of high school ran through my head as I used the bathroom at North High School when I was there for a semi-pro basketball game. Go Aviators!

If my high school bathroom were like this one, I might not have gotten out alive. I am serious. It sucks that adults expect students to excel academically or at least, like, care, but then give them a shit pit like this for a bathroom. I mean, come on. If the adults in the room cannot provide a nicer bathroom, then I hope no one complains about high schoolers having a bad attitude. If your workplace bathroom looked like this, would you feel respected?

Most of the stalls have curtains for doors. Thick, green, vinyl curtains. When one door closes, another probably opens because the draft blew it open. Pretty sure that’s how the quote goes. Maybe you were a cool kid in high school, totally confident and sure of yourself, and maybe you would have been just fine with a curtain door. Me? I would have been terrified. I probably would have had UTI after UTI because my fear would have kept me out of the bathroom. People probably would have done things like shove their feet into my face while I was using the bathroom. It’s not like I was a total dork, but if you give high schoolers a bunch of curtain doors and then put some slightly non-cool kids behind those curtains, well, just about anything can happen.

When I told this to my husband, he was surprised that the girl’s stalls in high school even had doors. The boy’s stalls, he claims, did not.

The floors in many of the stalls were wet. I don’t know if this is from people peeing on floors or from leaking toilets. Either way, it sucks. Especially if you have to carry around a book bag. It’s not like you can hang it from the curtain door. So you just put it on the wet and dirty tile and then maybe later tell your teacher that the bathroom ate your homework?

As you wash your hands, be mindful of the exposed pipes by the sinks. The trash can mostly hides this eyesore, so you’re probably fine. Just smile/grimace at your reflection in the mirror and tell yourself that these are the best years of your life.

The one thing that makes this bathroom stomachable is the pervading strength, optimism, and self-preservation instincts of high school girls and women. Scattered about are neon 8×10 pieces of paper with powerful quotes that no one has torn down or defaced. Phrases like “When they go low, we go high” and “I believe in the power of the voice of women.” Me too, ladies, me too.

This bathroom gets ⅕ toilets, but that’s just because of the neon signs.

Emily Dressler has been writing about Akron toilets for the Devil Strip since 2015.

Highland Square Theater

by Marissa Marangoni

You can thank me now or later, because I sat through Aquaman to get this bathroom review. (I guess I could have just checked out the bathroom and left, but the Urine Luck team strongly believes in local patronage, so patron I was.) And, anyway, there is no other theater where you can see a current movie on Saturday night for $5. The various points of applause and cheering throughout the movie were enough to entertain me when the muscled marine marvel Jason Momoa wasn’t enough.

Once the sea people’s lives were restored, I opened the women’s bathroom door and was excited to find what appeared to be some kind of sitting room. While none of the furniture survived in this space, I could easily imagine a velvet sofa between the unplugged lamps, or maybe a floral chaise lounge in the corner. I’m sure some elegant ladies powdered their noses in front of the giant mirror here back in the day.

Through another door is the women’s bathroom. The room is clearly dated and could use some shining, but the marble floors and walls speak volumes about the history of this theater. There are five toilet stalls (toilets included), paper towels, a sink or two (forgive me for not thoroughly documenting), and soap.

While it is a very interesting spot to study, it could really be turned into something to behold with a little elbow grease. The marble is cool but dirty. The carpet in the sitting room has seen better days. Period art (I don’t mean menstrual paintings, people) has a lot of potential to spruce up the walls. However, being that this is a historical water closet, it’s fair to cut the theater some slack. Plus, they have some serious toilet paper receptacles on the backs of the stall doors. I can’t imagine them ever running out of TP, as they are so very large and industrial. Maybe they’re compensating for something.

Something like the shortness of the stall walls.

If a person were to sit down on one of these toilets, the stall walls end so far from the floor that their thighs and behinds would be on full display to the person in the stall beside them. This is an unfortunate situation. Maybe the Highland could add some nice lacy Victorian curtains to the bottom edges of the stalls to prevent this problem.

I have to say, I’ve seen a lot of bathrooms in my day now, but this is the first time I’ve ever run into this unique issue. It almost makes me want to give a higher rating.

Highland Square Theater, your marble and mirrors just can’t outshine the unwanted view from the loo. You get a 2.5/5 toilets.

Marissa has been writing about Akron bathrooms for the Devil Strip since 2015.