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Electric Eye Restrooms in Oz

June 24, 2013

What was the state of the art restroom in 1990 was now next to impossible to use in 1991. Everything was automated; only the sinks actually worked. In the women’s room, however, Aubrey had to cut the pipes with her sword. The hand dryers had a tiny slot where one’s hands would likely unsanitarily hit the sides, particularly since they did not work.

Bone fragments lay all over the main pavilion, onto which the restrooms exited. Not only bone fragments, but modelling hair, stuffing, papier-maché, and various sundry sculch was scattered about.

“The vending machines are upstairs,” said Tip.

“I don’t think we should stay here–it looks dangerous,” Polychrome suggested.

“It’s been almost a year and survived a fire-bombing,” enunciated Tip. “It’s not going anywhere.”

Aubrey slammed her sword right through the plexiglass front, the fragments falling into the service bay.

“They actually have real food in here!” she exclaimed.

“Do you really think you should be vandalizing that machine?” asked Gregory.

“There’s nothing wrong with pillaging a permanently abandoned disaster area.

“Oh, crap. Most of the good stuff is spoiled. I guess we’ll have the Frito-Lay breakfast.” She tossed a corned beef sandwich out at Tip.

“Oh sick!” he shouted, dropping it to the floor. It had expired early in the year. The chips were stale. They were, however, edible. The soda machine, being plastic, was easier to slice open, and its potables were still good.

After acquiring these materials, they evacuated the building through the main entrance. Most of what lay beyond to the left of the entry (and to the right of them) was debris from the computer labs which were all but obliterated. It did not look much different from the inside, except here it could be seen around.

Today at the Brooklyn College Library first floor men’s room, my first to attempts to put a seat cover on the toilet were met with immediate flushes.  By the third try, I managed to trick it into not flushing.

The friend who helped me load my storage unit in January 2012 accompanied me to it Friday and helped me rearrange everything.  I found the 3.5 inch floppy that contains one copy of the Tip of Oz manuscript.  I remembered writing an elaborate scene dealing with a non-working electric eye restroom.  It turns out that it was merely a succinct paragraph, so I included some additional material above about trying to get food out of vending machines with no electricity.  It was to be explained in a later book that all this modern commercial machinery in the western Quadling Country was part of an insidious plot by Ruggedo, no longer a cactus, to conquer Oz by a different method than he had hitherto used.  In the second book, Nikidik in Oz, Aubrey would lead what she thought was a preemptive strike against the Nome Kingdom (using now-defunct Nerf Blast-a-Matics loaded with eggs and a chainsaw for purposes of ostentation), only to learn what had been going on and her role in  it.  Queen Aubrey, though an Elf, and as tall as Tolkien Elves, is antithetical to the back-to-nature lifestyle of that culture, and routinely travels to the Great Outside World using the Silver Shoes that she discovered.  (I had the Tin Woodman find them in the desert and then be forced to abandon them in Oz not far from the desert in an earlier story.  I explained that they didn’t fall off of her, unlike Dorothy, because she is magical by nature and was able to retain them.  When Aubrey goes to the outside world, one of her ideas of playfulness is to disturb the peace by intentionally falling from 2-4 stories and landing unharmed as a result of her immortal nature.  Someone once claimed I was being heretical (a term Steven J. Teller has attached to books in Baum Bugle articles as far back as the late 1980s that are severely inconsistent with the 40 canonical Oz books, such as many of March Laumer’s books, Philip José Farmer’s A Barnstormer in Oz, Gregory Maguire’s Wicked and its sequels, and anything that bases its conception of Oz an the 1939 MGM film) by having Aubrey claim to hate Ozma while not truly being a villain because we are told in the canon that everyone loves Ozma.  They don’t seem to get that Aubrey doesn’t really hate Ozma, but is simply anti-authoritarian and snarky, and that if Ozma seriously thought Aubrey hated her or was a threat, she would unseat her from her little Elvish kingdom in the Quadling Country and probably make her drink the Water of Oblivion and cause her to forget everything she ever knew.

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