Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Loo(sers)

Okay people. I know we have discussed this before, but apparently some of you weren't listening. Because I still see you making the same mistakes you made before, and there is no reason for that. We have been over this and over this, and I expect better from all of you.

I am speaking, of course, of public bathroom etiquette. Many people have written about the unwritten rules of public restrooms, which means that the rules are no longer unwritten, which means the must be followed!

Rule 1: Wash your hands, especially if you use the stall. I'm fairly certain that was never an unwritten rule. In fact, it shouldn't even have to be a rule. A) it's courteous and 2) it's just common-freaking-sense. This goes further than thinking your S doesn't stink - not washing your hands means you think your S isn't even S. If you are going No. 1, you should wash your hands as well, but if you don't, we will not look at you with the same level of disgust as when you don't wash your hands after using the stall.

Rule 2: If you are going No. 1 while in a stall, and you happen to have a little splatter, clean it up. Again, shouldn't even be a rule. A) it's courteous and 2) it's common-freaking-sense.

Rule 3: Flush. Fairly simple concept. Also shouldn't even be a rule, because A) it's courteous and 2) it's common-freaking-sense.

Rule 4: If possible, when using a urinal make sure you give yourself at least one urinal between you and anyone else using a urinal. If not possible, make sure you keep eyes either on the wall or looking into the urinal.

Rule 4(a): Rule 2 also applies when using a stall. Whenever possible, make sure one empty stall is between you and another stall-user. This applies to both men and women.

NOTE: My wife, who is a woman, assures me that this rule is more often than not followed by her sex.

Rule 5: There is never a reason to be on your cell phone while using urinal or stall. In fact, cell phones should never be used while at the urinal. The only time a cell phone can be used in a public restroom is if you are in a stall, and that is only for playing video games and/or using the internet.

You would think the use of a cell phone in a public restroom would never happen, but sadly, it does. Quite often, as it turns out. What possible conversation is so important that you can't tell the other person that you need to take a break? Do you tell the other person what you are doing? Why even take or make a phone call if you know that you have to use the bathroom shortly?

Rule 6: Use your hands to guide the stream while using a urinal. You might think that you can go "look ma, no hands" style, but I assure you, your aim isn't as good as you think it is.

Rule 7: Talking incessantly to other people in the restroom while using urinal or in stall is frowned upon. If you decide to disregard this rule, understand that the other person is allowed to answer in grunts and/or one-word sentences.

Rule 8: Make sure the paper towels you use to dry yourself are placed in the trash can. Not on the floor, not in the sink, not on the counter top - in the trash can. If you want to pretend your Michael Jordan and go with the fade-away shot, be prepared to meekly go and pick up the paper when it lands on the floor. I'm pretty sure your mother wouldn't even pick that up for you, and the cleaning staff is not your mother.

The other day, while in a fairly large public restroom, a man decided to use the urinal right next to me despite the fact that there were many open urinals all over the room, including on the opposite side of the wall. Then he proceeded to place his elbows on the top of the dividers to either side of his urinal, including the one inbetween the urinal where I was and his.

Rule 9: Break two rules at one time, you lose your public restroom privileges for a week.

A few days later, I walk into a public restroom and I hear someone talking. At first I think I am hearing something from outside, but then I realize that someone is in the stall, talking on his cell phone. As I am finishing my business at the urinal, the man comes out of the stall (still on the phone), and walks right out of the restroom. Doesn't flush, doesn't wash his hands and was talking on his phone.

Rule 10: Break three or more rules at one time, banned from public restrooms for the rest of your life, with the exception of port-a-potties, because they are disgusting already no matter what you do to (or in) them.

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