Where To Go

There's one aspect of rideshare driving that escapes the notice of everyone who isn't a driver. Bluntly, the fact that you become a remarkable expert at where you should use a public restroom, and where you should not.

I've been doing this hustle for so long, wiping down all surfaces has become second nature, and it's nearly on auto pilot.

So without further ado, my rankings for the central NJ area, from best to worst.

1) Casinos.

There's almost nothing to dislike about a casino bathroom. You get secure and free parking, a scrupulously maintained facility, working wi-fi (yes, I'm checking my email here, and you would as well), and the special thrill of walking into a place where nearly everyone but you is losing money. Plus, once you are done and back to the car, there's a very solid chance of your next fare being close by. It's a win all around, assuming you don't make the mistake of stopping to play games or eat overpriced food.

2) Costco.

You don't need to be a member to buy gas, eat the cheapest food court food on the planet, and use well-maintained bathrooms that also have quality Costco toilet paper in abundance. What keeps this from the top spot is that the hours are limited, some locations are definitely better than others, and the wi-fi doesn't work in the stalls.

3) Wawa.

The region's best convenience stores are all over the place, open 24 hours, and have a surprising amount of healthy food options (that you probably won't eat) that are low cost. You are fighting for stall space with their gas station attendants, and locations vary on cleanliness. Also, a Wawa worker once told me that in the smaller places, where the stall is closer to the sink, that's where you get your best drug user traffic. Oy.

4) Starbucks.

They don't restrict for purchase anymore, and the facilities are usually clean, but hours are limited and parking is usually a mess. I confess, I'm a fan of just using their facilities without paying for anything, ever since Howard Schultz dallied around with an idiotic independent run for the Presidency.

5) The Home Depot.

It's usually a good long schlep to get to the room, but parking is ample and the place is usually clean, especially in better neighborhoods. The bonus here is that the room is usually outfitted with their best materials and plumbing as a way to subtly show off their wares.

6) Target.

Better than Wal-Mart, and usually OK. But not always. Aim for better areas.

7) McDonald's.

You are starting to step down into unacceptable levels here, but the nice thing about McD's now is that due to the growing use of touch screens to order, fewer people will give you the hairy eyeball for just running in and out and not buying anything. (I usually buy something. But not always, especially if the day isn't going great.)

7) Wendy's.

Somehow always a little off, but mostly acceptable.

8) The side of the road.

Yeah, no, I don't do this, but it still ranks higher than...

9) Burger King

I'm not sue what's wrong with this franchise, but I've never been in one of their bathrooms and felt even a little good about the experience. Even in an emergency.

10) Taco Bell

Like Burger King, but with a much greater chance of a clogged toilet with someone's recent bad digestion issue. Even if you aren't using a stall, the smell alone has left it's mark on me.

11) Wal-Mart

I'm not sure what prompts the socially challenged people of the area to go to their local Wal-Mart to break the fixtures, carve messages into the walls and generally make you reconsider whether Thanos had a point, but, um, yeah. I've driven further in pain rather than take this option.

12) Airport Port A Potty

They have these for rideshare drivers, and yes, they are always Hellmouths. Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

Feel free to add your two cents below....

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