But what have I learned from these bathroom atrocities, you might ask. There are certain things that are important to know when using a public bathroom, and certain things that you must do to minimize your encounters and make your public bowel excreting adventures less painful. I have developed for myself a few rules that help me navigate the VERY murky waters of Public Restroom Use, and have decided to share them here with you today.
RULES FOR USING PUBLIC RESTROOMS
- AVOID IF AT ALL POSSIBLE! This pretty much goes without saying. Public Bathrooms are the harbingers of stinky infection and wet bottoms. They are most definitely to be avoided if at all possible
- Inspect all available toilets before selecting one for use. There are many questions to ask before placing your bar derriere on that ominous plastic circle. Was the toilet flushed when it was last used? Is there any liquid on the floor or on the toilet seat? Is there a trash can available, should you need it? Does the lock work? Is there a hook for you to hang your purse on? If all criteria are not met, move on to another toilet stall....or select the best one available.
- For the love of god, make sure there is toilet paper BEFORE YOU SIT DOWN! I have had many awkward moments, as I'm sure you have had as well, where I sat awkwardly on the toilet, wondering when somebody would walk in so I could ask them to please pass me some toilet paper under the stall. This is VERY embarrassing.
- Maintain the buffer zone. This is an unspoken law of bathroom etiquette. If a stall is already in use, you may not occupy the stalls immediately adjacent on either side of it. There are a few exceptions to this rule, and they are as follows: when there is a line out the door to use the bathroom, when you REALLY need to go and there are no other alternatives, when you require the use of a handicap stall and the one next to it is occupied. Otherwise, it is rude and in poor form to use the stall next to an occupied stall. This is ESPECIALLY true when urinals are involved
- Courtesy Flush. If you have to use a public bathroom, and even worse, have to make a big stinky mess, remember to courtesy flush for every log that you expel. This will help reduce the glaringly offensive odor that you have produced that is making an already unbearable situation worse.
- Use the toilet that is the farthest away from any entrances and exits. People are lazy, and will inherently select the toilet that requires the least amount of distance to traverse. Because of this, to use the least visited (and probably least germ-infected) commode, you should walk the farthest into the bathroom that you can. This has the added bonus of removing the possibility of somebody infringing on the buffer zone on one side, as this toilet is typically against a wall, sharing only one stall wall with another toilet.
- Wash your hands when you are finished. Really. This goes without saying.
- Avoid any unnecessary contact with surfaces. These surface are carriers of all the germs and particles that are spewed from the toilets every time they flush! Very icky!
- Shoes are a must!...and that pretty much goes without saying. Even at the beach, you MUST wear shoes!!!
- When it is early in the morning, ALWAYS choose the stall with the seat up. This toilet has not been used since it was last cleaned...At least for women. I'm not sure exactly how this works in boy bathrooms.
There are other bathroom rules, but I am too lazy to write them down or illustrate them for your viewing pleasure. You should all feel very lucky that I posted AT ALL today. And here I've posted a super awesome long post just for you! You're welcome.
What other bathroom rules do you follow that I haven't included here?