Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

When it comes to airports, the best feelings often come when you leave them.

Few are hospitable. Few lift up the heart, rather than send it to the subway stop just past Hell.

Occasionally, though, you can end up in an airport that allows you to sit, breathe and be yourself.

I offer this preamble merely because an award has just been announced.

It's an award of which I hadn't been aware: America's best bathroom.

It seems there really are judges who sit and sit and sit until they conclude that certain restrooms are worthy resting places for human bodies and souls.

And so it is that this year's award has actually gone to a bathroom in an airport.

This must, to many a traveler, seem strange.

Airport bathrooms tend to be soulless places, where self-centered executives leave their roller bags lying around while they attend to nature's call.

Airport bathrooms tend not to be blessed with the finest of odors nor the most cleanly of stalls.

Yet, in the 15th annual America's Best Restroom Contest, sponsored by Cintas, the renovated restrooms at Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport have flushed out all opposition.

Somewhere in your mind, I suspect, there's a memory of this airport's restrooms.

It's probably the association with Republican Senator Larry Craig of Idaho who was arrested after an incident in a Minneapolis Airport stall in 2007. He pleaded guilty to, um, disorderly conduct.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then.

I will pause for a quite memorable quote from Alan Howell, who is the Senior Airport Architect in the Airport Development Department of the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

"We are thrilled to be honored with this award for our efforts to improve the esthetics of our restrooms and make the customer experience memorable," he said.

If there's one thing everyone desperately desires from a visit to a restroom, it's that it stays in the memory.

Days later, you want to still remember the precise experience you enjoyed while fulfilling your body's demands.

Perhaps that's why these new Minneapolis Airport restrooms feature little niches for those pesky rolling bags, as well as, gosh, doors that swing outward.

Then there's the art.

Yes, these restrooms allow your mind to fly over works that lift the spirits while perhaps relaxing you so much that your business becomes easier to do. As it were.

"The experience is even better than the photos," said Howell. Which is so delicious a quote that it transports the mind to areas of thought more exotic than the personal proclivities of all the members of the Senate put together.

It seems that these restrooms are so restful that they never give you the bum's rush.

They stimulate as they soothe. They elevate as you evacuate.

This is intellectual thought, art and architecture of the very highest order.

It's almost worth re-routing your next cross-country journey just to try them.

Published on: Nov 26, 2016