Thursday, November 8, 2012

B&T's Guide to Surviving a Public Restroom

   We as humans may be divided economically, politically, racially, intellectually, or a host of other "ally's" but there are a few key attributes that unite us. One of these common denominators is our need to release the byproducts of our digestive system. All mankind, rich or poor, educated or ignorant, black or white, bond or free must at some time (usually about once a day) harken to the call of mother nature and in the most vulnerable and exposed of positions, excrete the leftovers of his daily intake.
    Now we won't assume the position of John Madden, giving a play-by-play commentary about the Browns at the Superbowl. We will however, bring certain enlightenment to a certain "necessary evil:" that of using a public restroom. These tips are meant to educate those who wish upon themselves a minimal amount of collateral social damage that so often plagues our public restrooms.

Here are our Top Ten Tips of using a public restroom:
"Be a thinker not a stinker." -Ms. Knotts

1) Avoid using a public restroom at all costs. It's better to seek a throne within your own kingdom.

2) If  you know in advance that circumstances will require you to use a public restroom on a certain day, be sure to wear your most inconspicuous pants and shoes. I once made the mistake of wearing bowling shoes and corduroy pants. Big mistake! Trust me, you do not want to stand out when you are sitting down. Heaven forbid anyone take notice of your cool shoes and then remember them later when they see you passing in the halls.

3) Find a restroom as far from human traffic as possible. I'm sure Robert Frost would agree that taking the bath[room] less trodden by truly makes all the difference in this case. Besides having minimal chance of human interaction (which is the most desirable goal when using a public restroom) low-key lavatories also tend to be cleaner.

4) Remember that you never want to be caught standing still in a bathroom. If you walk in and see all the toilets in use, act like you only wanted to wash your hands. Then scrub those mitts as fast as you can and skedaddle! Remember the motto, "No John? Be gone!"

5) Don't talk to anyone. Ever. I don't care if you see your best friend or Denzel Washington. Don't you dare start a conversation, especially while they or you are in the act of self-relief. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY wants any business while they are doing their business. Few other social atrocities are more heinous than striking up a conversation in the bathroom.

6) Be wise when choosing where to sit. The same concern that goes into buying a home should be apparent in the stall selection process. What will the environment be like? Who will your neighbors be? Is it safe? Is there a lot of traffic? Will you have your privacy? What special features might it include? (i.e. motion sensor in place of the button or lever, air freshener, seat covers, two way paper dispensers etc.)

7) ALWAYS check to make sure there is toilet paper BEFORE you sit. This principle cannot be stressed enough. No ghastly vision of hell and its fiery demons could strike as much panic into the human heart as finding oneself in a public toilet with no paper. I've heard stories... terrible terrible stories...

8) If they are provided, always use the handy seat covers. If your stall of choice does not provide covers, there is nothing wrong with building a nest of toilet paper. You gotta do what you gotta do when you do what you do. (a doodoo joke? What am I, six years old?)

9) Avoid making physical contact with anything. Call me a germaphobe; I don't care. I empathize with Jerry Seinfeld who once tossed out a belt just because it touched the side of the urinal. In a public restroom the paper is free (which might be why you are there in the first place) so use it up. In lieu of an automatic flushing loo, use your foot on the lever. Don't touch that thing. You know people are touching it with their hands and you know where their hands have been.

10) Listen and be conscious of activity in the rest of the bathroom. You want to be able to time your exit when there are as few people present as possible, or ideally when the room is vacant. Listen for audible cues like faucets, hand dryers, flushing, the rummaging sounds of others groping for paper, and the main door opening or closing. If there is someone in the stall next to you do not, I repeat, DO NOT leave at the same time. Don't feel above playing the waiting game. Just don't wait too long. After all, someone might have noticed you go in the bathroom and when you leave they could think, "Man, he sure was in there a long time." 

We hope these tips have been helpful. The subject may seem taboo, but the more information you are privy to, the more successful you'll be in life and in the privy too. (I totally didn't even plan for that to rhyme)