A Totally Biased Rant: Public Bathroom Etiquette

Travis’ break down of the DOs and DONTs of gittin’ ‘er done!

A place far from sacred, but sometimes necessary, is the vaunted public bathroom. In a perfect world, we would be able to hold everything our body contains until we were safe in the comfort of our own home, where we feel best doing our business. Unfortunately, the world is a mean, cold, and downright nasty place, and we often find ourselves cowering in fear, staring at the door to the public restroom. From restaurants, to schools, to grocery stores, each bathroom is different, but one thing remains the same. The etiquette, like the seat, is downright shitty [the first of many intentional puns]. So, in an effort to educate some of the neanderthals who can’t seem to grasp the concept of pissing into a giant hole, with a circumference of roughly 18 inches, I decided to put together an instructional article on both what to do and, most importantly, what NOT to do.

Just Stand There and Shut Up

I recently had the pleasure of attending a surprise birthday party for Adie’s mom. It was a killer party, with drinking, dancing, some hilarious family stories, and most importantly, some nutcase who apparently didn’t know the basics of bathroom etiquette.

Held at a beautiful hall in New Gloucester, we had the building to ourselves. Of course, I was at the party roughly an hour and a half early, with Adie, and with the party lasting four hours, you can figure there’s a solid amount of bathroom trips thrown in. Towards the end of the party, I was ready to make my final trek, and I was happy to find one of the two urinals unoccupied. Before I could even enter the real climax of my adventure, my urinal partner to the left strikes up a conversation.


Let’s go over the infractions here, because they are plentiful. First, I prefer to do my business with as little talking as possible. Now, that’s not to say I won’t respond if I’m spoken to, but let’s just say I don’t treat my potty time like I do my bedtime stories. Second, the guy literally turns his head and is staring right at the side of my head. As in, where my face would be if I was a urinal creep. I mean, if you’re going to talk to me, please just stare at the wall.

Has any male ever wondered why companies as of late have taken to advertising right above urinals? It’s because that’s where your fucking EYES are supposed to be! Not checking out my sexy ass hair [trust me, shit was on fire that night], while I’m doing my business. To place the perfect, bright red cherry on top, his conversation consisted of how the party was, and how cool of a person Joyce was. The absolute last thing I want to be talking about while I’m trying to take a piss is my girlfriend’s mother. Jesus, focus on the task at hand, bro [pun, without a doubt, completely intentional]!

… Does anything else really need to be said?

The Hallowed Ground

Fenway Park. The Rose Bowl. The White House. Jerusalem. The Handicap Stall.

Until the day I open the door after dropping the kids off at the pool, and there is a man in a wheelchair waiting to punch me in the chest, I will continue to use the handicap stall. And there’s a 99% chance I’ll still use it afterwards.

I have yet to ever see a handicap in a public bathroom, and I’ve been at the solo game for about 15 years now. I’ll take my chances.

The handicap stall literally gives you everything a man could need. The toilet isn’t cramped up next to the toilet paper dispenser, I can stretch my legs out a bit, do a little aerobics or yoga, and I don’t feel like I’m about to have a panic attack kick started by claustrophobia. I applaud those respectable men out there who take a smaller, less comfortable stall when the handicap one is open.

After applauding, I’ll be laughing my ass off, because you, my good sir, are an idiot.

When you get the chance, check out the handicap stall at the Cheesecake Factory in Boston, Massachusetts. I kid you not, it has it’s own zip code, and I think they’re planning on installing a king size bed. Literally, the room is big enough to live in. Throw in a flat screen so I can watch the Giants, and it’s a wrap. I mean, if I leave school and can’t find a place, I’m going to ask about pricing.

FYI, this rule doesn’t apply to handicap parking spots. Fucking lowlife’s.

Electric Hand Dryers

Where oh where do I start.

How about here? They fucking blow [pun inten–well… you get the idea].

Ok, Ok. Except for THESE ones. These things are fucking awesome.

I’m all for saving the environment, but c’mon, I’m going to make it to 80 regardless, so let my kids deal with this crap. Most likely I just got two reactions.

Reaction 1: “He think’s he’s living until 80… Good luck, Trav.”
Reaction 2: “…He plans on having kids?! Well, we’re fucked.”

But seriously, I hate these things. First off, somehow, they are not EVER hot enough. Nobody wants to deal with some 70 degree air drying their hands. If you happen to be having a sink conversation, yes people, these ARE allowed and socially acceptable, then you better not stick your mitts under that silver pipe of death, because it’s louder than I am during a close Giants game. Kidding, obviously, but it IS louder than a 15 car pileup.

Sometimes, you can get lucky, and have a trendy little towel dispenser as well as a hand dryer, so those of us who don’t care about trees can get our Brawny fix, and those of us who suck at life can use the dryer. I mean, at work, our associate bathroom door is directly next to the sink in the break room, so it’s perfect for grabbing some towels as soon as you leave the bathroom. My store manager had the nerve to say to me one time, as I did just that, “Come on now, that’s why we got the hand dryer.” GFY.

The Little Secrets

I am blessed with the task of cleaning the bathrooms at my place of business on Saturday morning. Sweet gig, huh? Naturally, I get to spend equal amounts of time in the men’s, and women’s rooms, with the door open, and a large sign. Of course. You would be baffled how many old ladies seriously can’t understand this concept. Dumbass’.

Well. I’m here to bust out all the secrets. Remember that magic show a couple of years back, that got really popular, because this ex-magician put on a white mask, took to a stage, and debunked almost every popular magic move in the last fifty years? Well, there’s a new sheriff in town… Well… A new janitor, per se.

Where to start. Well, my female associates, I applaud you. Sparking clean almost every time I am charged with tidying up, and never have I experienced something out of the ordinary. Male associates? Hmm. Try again later. Whoever pisses on the top of the urinal, if I ever walk in and catch you, I’m going to beat the shit out you with my trusty plunger, you dirty scummy man. Ahem.

Such a tiny box… such a big problem…

Men of the public? Well, this might come as a shock, but DAMN you guys are good. Everything is usually tidy, might be a couple things to nitpick on, but hey, nothing major. Keep it up, and one day you’ll get called to the big leagues [See: Cheesecake Factory]. Women of the public? Oh. My. Goodness. First off, I know you might be perfectionists, but do you seriously try to get toilet paper, and if it’s not the perfect square, just throw it on the ground? Yeah. Makes sense. I mean, unless you had an easy way to dispense of it, like, a trashcan outside the stall, or a device of some sorts that could really make anything less than 5 inches in diameter just, well, disappear.

That’s not to mention the “silver box.” It deserves its own quotation marks, trust me. Girls, you know where I’m going with this. When I brought this article idea up with Adie, the first thing she said was “I mean, if stupid girls knew how to take care of their fucking tampons, it would be a much better situation”. A. Fucking. Men.

The only thing I absolutely refuse to clean, is the silver box. For men who don’t know what this is, it’s a small silver box, built into the side of the stall, where girls dispense of their female products. I swear to God, it’s a black hole of nastiness. That’s all I can say.

In Conclusion

That about sums it up. The do’s, but mostly don’ts, of using the public restroom. May clean urinals, tidy stalls, and quiet bathroom partners await your future travels.

As for me, I’m gonna wrap it up here, because I’m sick of this shit [God, that was like a three at the buzzer].

3 Responses to “A Totally Biased Rant: Public Bathroom Etiquette”
  1. Vivian says:

    I never knew guys didn’t talk at the urinals. If the stalls in the girls bathrooms were only half walls, I guarantee we’d be talking up a storm!!!!!

  2. Darcy says:

    Best Article I ever read!!!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] always quick to give Justin and I feedback, whether it be at work, the street, or even the urinal [but really… that's got to stop]. You guys are truly the reason we love doing this […]

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