Don’t Make Me Go In There: How To Stall In The Public Stall

Apr 5th, 2011 | By | Category: Columns

The one thing I hate more than clowns is the public bathroom. I have found some weird shit in the women’s bathroom and some weird stuff as well (see what I did there?).

Probably the oddest was when I discovered someone had left a lacy pair of underwear on the toilet. There it was, pissing in the wind (see what I did there, AGAIN?), a mystery to my little bird brain. Who had left it there? A sexy ghost? A stripper with too many options? A Victoria Secret carpetbagger?

More recently, I’ve found some respite in my latest job. As luckily, there are a lot of women at my new company (feminism!), and I have therefore picked up some invaluable bathroom tips. Below are things that actually happen, all the time – I only believe in real-life lessons!

– First of all, pick a favorite stall. Only ever use that one. If someone is in it, stand right outside it and wait. However long it takes. If you peeing on the seat doesn’t mark your territory, then your accusatory, unmoving feet definitely will.

– If you want to risk someone else’s favorite stall, or you just have a complex that people will come in and laugh at you, the best thing to do is to hang long strands of toilet paper at the hinges of the doors, so they can’t stare at you through the door cracks.

– If someone is in your favorite stall, try to stare at them through the door cracks. If they have hung toilet paper there, mutter “Curses!” and wait.

– You can’t be too hygienic about bathrooms. When you come in, pull seven to eight paper towels, and suds them up with soap and water. Clean the seat vigorously, then drop the wad of paper towels in the toilet and flush. Go and pull seven to eight new paper towels. Come back and see that your toilet is inexplicably stopped up. Given such conditions, the only thing left to do is to drop the paper towels on the floor and leave the bathroom, never to return.

Men’s Room Etiquette: A Celebrity Rebuttal by Andrew Kaye, Men’s Room Expert

I don’t know what goes on in the ladies’ room. But I know men’s rooms, having peed in them for much of my adult life.

The most prominent feature of the men’s room is the very thing that sets it apart from the women’s room: the row of urinals that line the wall like sparkling porcelain barnacles*. Thanks to a unique quirk in anatomy, men can pee while standing up, which means men’s rooms need fewer “traditional” toilets and can utilize the saved space with almost twice as many urinals.

Urinals are frequently closely spaced and may or may not have a partition between them. This has given rise to an unspoken code of etiquette every man is familiar with, containing such wisdom as “Don’t look directly at the man peeing next to you” and “For the love of God don’t look at his penis.” But amendments should be made. I have seen business professionals do things in bathrooms that would boggle your mind. Here are some fresh new ideas to help the men’s room-challenged:

1-The urinal is not a table. Do not set your newspaper, coffee cup, office paperwork, water bottle, and/or toothbrush on top of the urinal. Dude, it’s a friggin’ toilet. I don’t care how clean you think it is, people piss in that thing. Don’t think there’s any urine on the top of the urinal? Think about what you do to dry yourself off after taking a leak and tell me it’s not possible.

2-Mind your distance. I don’t care how powerful your “stream” is, you don’t need to use the urinal from a foot away. No sane person does this**. Also? No one’s impressed.

3-Take care of your damn pants. Men’s pants are pretty amazing contraptions. They are custom built with buttons, hooks, and zippers, allowing you to use the urinal without ever having to remove them. Even your underpants have convenient flaps for fuss-free penis extraction. I should never see you at a urinal with your pants around your ankles. I shouldn’t even see you undoing your belt. If you require a complex surgical procedure to separate pants from pelvis, you should be in the stall with the toilet or at home with 24/7 nursing assistance. And even if you’re able to use your pants correctly, fasten/clasp/zip your pants while you’re still at the urinal. Don’t do it by the sinks. Don’t do it by the door. No one needs to see you flapping around while you fumble with your fly.

*The word “urinal” is in fact a combination of the word “urine” and the archaic spelling “barnical,” becoming, quite literally, a barnacle for housing urine.
**Not even Joaquin “Footlong” Hernandez, and he had a doctor’s note.

Alison Burke is a writer from the Washington D.C. area, and has been a past Defenestration contributor. She enjoys cake and male models. She wishes her life was more like a Baby Bash video — save she would be the douche wearing a sideways cap as bikini-clad men grooved comedically for her viewing pleasure.

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