Monday, March 29, 2010

Potty Pefection By The DarkSider

Its amazing how us humans revel in our differences as a species yet we shove much of what we have in common into a gigantic taboo category. Lets face it, we all share several common habits that aren’t always pleasant to talk about. One in particular is everyone drops the deuce from time to time. Or, as I recall my principal in elementary school putting it, takes a “tinkle”. Or most of the time, we do both.

Along the lines of that idea, we all need a place to use as the end stop of our excretory systems. I have always gone out of my way to make the bathroom in my house a shrine where I make my “offerings”. During each interlude I often enjoy reading, thinking philosophically or generally looking at the walls around me. I recall once my parents back home were in the middle of remodeling the bathroom. The wall paper was down and behind it lay a vast domain of plaster spackles. I’d spend hours in the john looking for animals in the plaster like some five year old would gaze up at the clouds doing the same. I honestly was mildly depressed when they finally got around to putting up the new wallpaper.

I should point out that I’m not the only one who holds bathrooms to high standards. I’ve been in many houses, seen many water closets and very seldom think they score in the negative. Well, maybe aside people who own those ungodly soft cushion toilet seats. Be that as it may, people everywhere seem to get that the bathroom should be a place of relaxation and relief. A place where one may achieve Zen and release the daily pressures of life into a giant shiny bowl. Then flush those “stresses” away so that they themselves may return to life rejuvenated.

However, all my life I’ve noticed a problem that plagues the world. A problem that steps over the etiquette of everything mentioned above. A problem that simply needs to f*cking stop. That problem is the misuse and/or malformed designs of public restrooms. So many times I’ve walked into a public restroom and tear up kind of like that Indian in the commercial who just had trash thrown at his feet. All I end up asking is “why” or “how” a place so beautiful can end up resembling a dark barbaric wasteland. I truly feel in order to find a solution to this worldwide epidemic, we must explore the problems at hand. First we shall explore the public’s abuse of these fine institutions.

I recall many times in my life having to do the “number 2” thing so badly that it took all my sphincter muscles to hold it in. Sometimes I literally had to do what I all the “fecal dance”. You know the dance, its where in the middle of getting your pants and underwear around your ankles you curl your toes and move your legs sporadically up and down in a tap dance manner. This oddly seems to buy you just enough time before you sit down and let loose into the porcelain god. However, this dance may be thwarted by the last douche bag who used the toilet before you.

I’d say 75% of the time I end up walking into a giant sopping ring of urine on the toilet seat. First off, I have no clue what makes men think its ok to piss in the sit down toilets. DarkSider’s Guide To Public Restroom Etiquette states if one is not taking a dump, then one shall use the god*mn urinals. Maybe certain people think others are looking at their small wieners so they opt for the privacy of an open stall. Regardless of penis size, no one (save for epically busy bathrooms) should opt to urinate in the stalls. As most women will attest, most guys can’t aim a small stream of water into a large bowl without sloshing some on the seat. Lets face it, mopping up someone’s urine isn’t on anyone’s hobby fun list.

Secondly, I usually end up staring down into the bowl wondering how one can splatter fecal matter so high. I have left “logs” and “rivers” in toilet bowls across America but have never found a way to get it in places where some manage to succeed in. Are they people standing up? Or perhaps they fell asleep while doing their thing? Maybe at some point they decided to partake in some vigorous yoga stretching? Either way, theres something unnatural about many splatters I’ve seen. I won’t even go into what I opened a stall to see once. Lets just say I saw a footprint on the ground and was glad it wasn’t mine.

Be that as it may, many guys do follow proper procedure and urinate in the urinals. (By the way, urinal is one of my favorite words of all time. Go ahead, say it…urinal. It just flows…no pun intended. ) Urinals are great because they allow one to pull their junk out, do their thing in a gigantic target area and move out. However, many guys still have a horrible time hitting the mark even with virtually a gigantic damn hole in the wall. Monthly I almost step in giant wading pools of urine always located in front of the urinals. I swear once I saw a family of ducks swimming in one it was so large. I only attribute this to people peeing with their eyes closed. That has to be the only reason, everything else defies logic.

Lets move on to the social aspects of public restrooms people screw up on constantly. Unless they know you, people need to shut the f*ck up in public restrooms. I’ve had dudes start conversations with me one urinal over about things ranging from the weather to food to the cute waitress they have serving them. Why the hell do these morons do this to me? Are they planning to hang out with me in a lifelong friendship after we pack up our peckers? I’ll make it clear now that there are no such thing as “uncomfortable silences” in the restroom. In other words, talkative douche bags need not apply to public restrooms. I also really hate it when some guy next time me is making sounds of pain (or I guess it could be eroticism) while urinating. It never fails, I get stuck next to some old guy gasping for his life making sounds like “mmmmmmm” or “uhhhhhhhhhh” as if he‘s pissing acid through his urethra. In those instances, I beg my body to expel what it has to at highway speed rates.

Lastly, lets talk about what people do to the walls of our shrines. Where many have and will complain about graffiti, I have to admit I don’t mind it all too much. Granted it troubles me to think someone so disturbed has sat their bare @ss down in the same spot I’m sitting in at that moment. However, much like the spackles of plaster on my parent’s bathroom wall, it gives me something to concentrate on. Be that as it may, what really sparks my fury is the copious amount of boogers located on the surrounding walls. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy picking my nose as much as the next person. Matter of fact, I’m doing it right now while I type with one hand. However, I have never acquainted that habit with taking a dump. Apparently many people do because hanging from the wall is a virtual art gallery of snots in most public bathrooms. Something seems so deadly wrong about sticking your finger up your nose after touching your privates and god knows what else.

Now let us move on to public bathroom design which honestly leaves a lot to be desired in so many circles. First off, the perfect bathroom design shouldn’t be so difficult to accomplish. The guest should at no point have to touch anything more than they have to. People should not have to touch a sweaty urinal handle to flush nor soil their shoes with a kick flush of the urinal’s sit down counterpart. Rather, things should just simply disappear before your very eyes in a wave of automated beauty. However, I must insist that sensors be set properly so one does not get poop water splashed on their backsides if they happen to scoot on the seat a half inch.

Keeping with the above mentioned options, let us not forget how awful designers screw up the hand washing situation in many public restrooms. There are many different scenarios one may find themselves in when it comes to this endeavor. If you’re in luck, you’ll get the full automated faucets complete with automated soap dispensers. Keep in mind though, these methods aren’t fool proof at this point. I often fall victim to the automated faucet that appears to be on strike when I put my hands under it.

Be that as it may, that scenario does not beat what I think is the single worst idea in faucet history. That would be the faucet you literally need to hold on while washing your hands. You know these diabolic contraptions, the ones that you hold on with one hand while you wash the other. Then with your newly clean hand, you get to re-soil it while you wash the one previously holding the faucet. It seems kind of pointless to wash your hands with this faucet. Either way, you’re guaranteed to be leaving with one hand dirty. These faucets are usually accompanied by the soap dispensers you literally have to perform judo on to get a drop of soap.

Then when one is all done with the hand washing bit, they get to experience the hand drying options. There is nothing I find better than a good paper towel. Once again, I find it pertinent that these be automated. However, I have yet to find an automatic dispenser that doesn’t jam up after every tenth person. But anyone would gladly take that option over those good for nothing hand dryers. I love the process of how someone thought a one mile an hour stream of warm wind will dry water soaked hands. Granted, now they have those jobbers that literally will take the skin off your hands with typhoon like wind. Still, I usually end up wiping my hands in my shirt by the time I leave.


What the hell is going on with our society? Have so many decided to resort back to a time when toilet paper didn’t exist and urinating on a tree was the only was to go? Have public bathroom designers purposely become fans of disease? Bottom line, the toilet is a place that needs respect and it simply isn’t getting it in public. Maybe it’s people thinking that its ok because the local cleaning staff don’t mind soaping up their waste products with a mop. Or perhaps several out there are too shaky to hold their unit while they do their thing. Whatever it is, it needs to stop. If one happens to mess up the bathroom in public, they should think to themselves what they’d do in their house. Would they leave a ten gallon puddle or urine on their floors? Perhaps not. Much like the earth, we need to protect public restrooms for generations to come. Much like my patience with this issue, I imagine there is only so much urine a floor will take before it breaks.

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