By Savanah Mandeville

 

Everybody poops.

Most of us prefer to do it in the privacy of our homes, but sometimes nature calls when we’re on the go. While I salute those among us who shamelessly let it rip in public bathrooms, I tend to avoid going #2 in public at all costs. And I suspect most of you do as well. But, sadly, sometimes it’s a necessary evil in life. As a lifelong defecator and Joplin resident, I have discovered which public restrooms are the best for when you have to drop a stealthy deuce … and which ones are best to avoid. It is my distinct honor and privilege to share my findings with you.

The following bathrooms have been scored based on the following criteria:

Privacy

Availability

Cleanliness

Special Features

 

Without futher ado, here are the best places for a public poo:

Jimmy Johns, 3030 S. Main

Privacy – 10/10

Availability – 9/10

Cleanliness – 10/10

Special Features – Depends (no pun intended)

Total: 29+

This bathroom is the grand daddy of public pooping. I discovered its charms in 2016 when I worked there. First, it’s sparkling clean. I can vouch for that because Jimmy Johns requires its employees to clean it 100x a day, whether it has been used or not, and customers frequently complimented us on its cleanliness. It’s a single toilet floorplan. If you park in the back and go in the back door, you can slip in the bathroom undetected by employees so you don’t have to buy anything. As for special features … the men’s room has funny comics on the walls. The women’s room has nothing. I find this rude. But everything else is top notch.

 

CVS, 112 E. 32nd St.

Privacy – 10/10

Availability – 9/10

Cleanliness – 9/10

Special Features – 0/10

Total: 28

This one is a champion. Single stall. Located at the back of the store. Rarely used. Always clean. It’s purely functional with zero frills.

 

Target Family Bathroom, 3151 E. 7th St.

Privacy – 7/10

Availability – 7/10

Cleanliness – 8/10

Special Features – Depends

Total: 22+

The Target family bathroom is located right next to the regular bathrooms. Blink and you’ll miss it. This is a single toilet room with a changing table. It’s meant for parents with children in tow, but it works double duty (pun intended) as a private place to poo. Points off for availability because you should probably get in and get out so it’s available for families. So don’t get too comfortable. If you do have a baby with you who has also done a public #2, the changing table counts as a special feature.

 

Joplin Avenue Coffee Company, 506 S. Joplin Ave.

Privacy – 6/10

Availability – 8/10

Cleanliness – 10/10

Special Features – 10/10

Total: 34

This bathroom has a rarely-seen feature: stall doors that reach from floor to ceiling. And they aren’t those flimsy partitions either – they are solid walls. You will feel safe in your own little fortress. This bathroom has 4 stalls but there aren’t usually other people in there. And if there are, you won’t know because you can’t see their feet. Ignorance is bliss. This bathroom also offers mouth wash for coffee breath, so that’s kind of cool.

 

Casey’s, 5869 North Main St. and 403 N Main St.

Privacy – 9/10

Availability – 8/10

Cleanliness – 8/10

Special Features – 0/10

Total: 25

The bathrooms at both North Main Casey’s locations have similar benefits as CVS. Single stall, relatively clean, and you don’t have to be a customer to use them (…I mean, maybe you do, but I have never gotten in trouble for not buying anything). They’re a little busier than CVS, so you might have to wait your turn. And again, minimalist décor.

 

Walgreens – 2001 S. Main St.

Privacy – 8/10

Availability – 10/10

Cleanliness – 9/10

Special Features – 0/10

Total: 27

Similar to CVS and Casey’s, but please note the address! The 20th and Main location is the only Walgreens where you don’t have to ask the cashier for a key. There’s nothing worse than running to the bathroom only to realize you’re locked out. This is a two-stall situation, but most people don’t know it exists so you’re good.

 

Sears – Northpark Mall

Privacy – 8/10

Availability – 9/10

Cleanliness – 9/10

Special Features – 1/10

Total: 27

This restroom has several stalls but most people don’t know it exists – it’s tucked behind the abandoned Sears Photo Studio (near Lawn and Garden). It’s a bit of a walk to get to it though. It has a full length mirror, which is rare for a public bathroom.

 

Starbucks – 323 S. Rangeline Rd. and 3324 S. Rangeline Rd.

Privacy – 8/10

Availability – 5/10

Cleanliness – 5/10

Special Features – 5/10

Total: 23

Both Starbucks locations have two gender neutral, single toilet restrooms. Not only are gender neutral bathrooms inclusive, they cut your wait time in half. Starbucks in this town is like Grand Central Station, so don’t expect them to be clean. You also run the risk of not having enough toilet paper. Getting in and out without buying anything is easier at the South Rangeline location.

 

Downstream Casino, 69300 E Nee Rd, Quapaw, OK

Privacy – 6/10

Availability – 4/10

Cleanliness – 8/10

Special Features – 9/10

Total: 27

I know what you’re thinking. Multiple stalls! But hear me out. The Downstream bathrooms have so many stalls that you’re concealed by way of camouflage. These bathrooms are fancy, clean, and have mood lighting. They also have vertical insertion hand dryers. Very nice. It loses points for availability because Downstream is kind of out of the way. But if you’re already there for whatever reason, rest assured you can potty in peace.

 

Honorable Mention

Books a Million, 423 S. Rangeline Rd.

This bathroom has seen better days, but it has a special place in my heart. Even though half the time the locks don’t work, a stall is out of order, or the hand dryer is broken, it’s there for you when you need it. Which is every single time you’re at Books a Million. Idk what it is about bookstores, but they make you need to poop. It’s a scientifically proven fact. The BAM bathroom is at the back of the store and is usually empty.

 

Public bathrooms to avoid at all costs:

  1. Northpark Mall Hall of Veterans Bathroom – This is the most disgusting bathroom in Joplin. Stay away.
  2. All Discount Smokes & Liquor locations – Like everything about DSL, these bathrooms are terrifying.
  3. Murphy USAs (the gas stations at Walmart) – The entrance is on the outside of the building and you have to get a key. This means you’re trying to not crap your pants while fumbling with a key in broad daylight in a busy parking lot. Not fun. A murder has occurred in every single one of these restrooms.
  4. Redings Mill Inn – Redings Mill Inn is a fun place with great food. But if you’re walking the trails at Wildcat Park, you’re better off to shit in the woods than trek up to Redings Mill Inn. What this bathroom lacks in privacy, it makes up for in weirdness. First of all, it doesn’t have stalls – just a small divider (about the size and width of a posterboard) between the two toilets. Not okay. Second, I’m pretty sure the hand drying situation is that reusable pull-down towel thing. I thought those were outlawed in 1998, but I could be wrong.
  5. The Bruncheonette – I am a loyal superfan of The Bruncheonette, but I must say, it’s a terrible place to poop. The bathroom is front and center so going in is akin to stepping on a stage. If you so much as fart in this tiny restaurant, everyone’s going to hear it and you won’t be able to escape unnoticed.

 

With the above addresses safely programmed in your GPS, be prepared to usher in the next chapter of your life – a chapter free of public pooping anxiety! May we all unloose the caboose in peace! Amen.

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