I thought I had said all there was to say about restrooms and the etiquette therein, but like many things in this life, as soon as I thought I was out of things to go crazy about, I discovered several more. I am reminded on a daily basis about the incredibly strange, gross, and bizarre bathroom behavior that exists everywhere.
The fear of Swine Flu has helped drill this home for me.
We are at a point in our societal history where we have used up all excuses for not washing our hands. If you have an elementary school diploma and you did not grow up in the jungle, you should be aware of the fact that hand washing involves soap, water, and some vigorous scrubbing.
Not, as some people seem to think, water and some weak shaking of the hands.
People pretty much fit into 1 of the following 3 categories.
1. The Scrubber. This should be everybody, but unfortunately it is not. This individual uses soap and water to cleanse their hands of the filth that has been accumulated between the last hand washing and the present one because the bathroom is not the only place you can pick up germs.
2. The Faker. This person is either too lazy to really wash their hands and wants you to believe they did, or they honestly believe that a quick rinse under the faucet is enough to get rid of the germs. This is also probably the same individual who uses the 35 second rule for dropped food and believes you can get 2 uses out of a pair of underwear between washes.
3. The Balls Out Villain. No soap, no faking, no cares. This human has no need to make anyone believe anything. They ignore germs. They also intentionally park in handicapped spots and most likely punch pandas.
I have also noticed that many people see nothing wrong with bringing a food item into the restroom. I am so completely baffled by this that I can barely bring myself to write about it. I find this to be a grave sin.
The bathroom is a place of leaving behind. There is nothing in the bathroom that you should take with you. Even those fancy bathrooms that offer up candy and Tic Tacs are suspect. I am not a proponent of buying a pack of Juicy Fruit that spent a half a day sitting in a room full of toilets.
Nor should you bring anything out that you have put down in the bathroom. If it touches the counter, or really anything in that room, you should either throw it out or immediately light it on fire. No questions asked.
I mean seriously people, you bring your tuna sandwich or whatever it is into the grossroom (its original name but changed to restroom in 1847) and then place it on the sink. THE SINK! Of all the places the sink is where people rinse the germs off their hands without soap and then shake them around like a cootie sprinkler so those germs are everywhere and not washed safely down the drain like they should be.
Next are those individuals who feel the need to flush the urinal before peeing. Flushing a toilet before going number 2 I can understand. If the previous train has not left the station before yours is about to pull in, that makes sense.
But the urinal? Why are you flushing? Do you have issues with peeing in dirty water? Do you find it offensive sir? Do you require a receptacle full of clean water to pee in? If this is the case, then I am going to insist you stay the hell away from the water cooler.
It does make me laugh though, the urgency which people actually go into the restroom. If I am washing my hands and someone practically jogs into the restroom, I kind of chuckle to myself and think, yea, I've been there before friend.
But if I am in a stall, and I hear somebody stride briskly into the bathroom towards my direction, I feel like they are going to kick in the door like I am running a meth lab on an episode of COPS.
Again, somebody hustled into the bathroom while I was in the stall recently and I braced myself for impact. But he veered into the stall next to me. Even though he could have been one stall down, he chose the one directly next to me.
He then proceeded to pull toilet paper frantically from the roll for no less than 15 seconds. To the best of my knowledge (and you can hear everything when you are that close) he had not commenced his primary activity yet. So I could only assume he was either building himself a formidable nest, or perhaps mummifying a dead Egyptian.
This would have been less stressful for me had this person just put a buffer stall between us.
Hey here's a question. How come no public restroom I have ever been in has a window? Are they afraid that because the smell is so bad that it will make people want to jump? If you put that window in it wouldn't smell so bad to begin with.
There are no secrets in bathrooms. I can always tell when someone in my office is having a bad day by the smell of the bathroom. Some days I walk in and it is so unbearable I contemplate just turning right around.
On a recent visit the stench was so unbearable I gagged. As soon as I opened the door the smell hit me in the face like a hurricane of hot stink.
This past weekend I came across a first. This particular establishment had installed a fan in the corner of the ceiling. How brilliant is that? A fan to blow away the bad. How come this was the first time I had witnessed this?
There is so much good that can be done to improve the quality of public restrooms. The power is in your hands. Literally. That is some change I can believe in.
Or we can just keep peeing in a meth lab full of dead Egyptians.