Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why I hate public toilets

One of the things I hate the most in life is to go to a public toilet. Going for "Number one" is fine (for a man), but that "number two" visit is awful.

At work we share three cubicles next to each other. Great.

When you have to occupy this vile enemy territory, the first thing you do is to check out the surrounding environment. Cubicle in the middle is the worst - it is surrounded by other cubicles. Cubicle number three is next to the wall urinals - people can see your feet from that side. Number one is against the wall on the other side of the "middle throne" - best option by far.

The worst possible scenario is to be forced to go to do a number two at cubicle number two (the one in the middle), with occupants already inside the others, surrounding you like the Arab countries surround Israel.

You walk in, and the next scenario unfolds. Check out the toilet seat. Some asshole might have left it all nice and wet after his last visit. Yep, it happens. All too often. So, even before undoing your pants, you grab toilet paper and wipe off that rim. (That way you also confirm that toilet paper is indeed available in this cubicle.)

The other problem that you might encounter at this stage, is the effect of the aromatic distribution of air in this cubicle. Even though it has bottom and top exits for air, the lovely aroma of the previous customer is still attacking your nostrils with a violence that only a wild animal can understand.

You can now finally start to undress and flop down on the throne.

Now, if the cubicles all had walls that went from floor to ceiling, this would have improved matters. But they don't.

So, everything you do is audible to the guy next door, and vice versa. They can see your feet, and you can see theirs. But this is the least of your problems. It's nothing compared to all the sounds - a cacophonic orchestration of the most violent kind. Why they cannot just give us floor to ceiling walls, I don't know. Maybe it's just me, but man I hate listening to other people do Number Two, and even worse - I hate the fact that they can hear me!

Some noises are just plain unavoidable at times. Your body has some basic functions, and it has to do what it has to do, if you know what I mean? But some people make the weirdest noises while they're doing it. I've heard some strange groaning noises coming from the cubicle next door. Now, it's one thing when your body makes some noises due to "waste products leaving the treatment plant". But you should be able to keep your mouth shut under all circumstances.


Yikes, by this time I pray hard for the guy next door. There must be something really wrong there. I feel embarrassed for his part. Like I said, maybe it's just me, but this is a private matter and I don't want to hear about it, and I definitely wouldn't want you to hear me doing those groans.

Even finishing off is an embarrassment. If the guy next door hears you rolling down 60 meters of toilet paper, he thinks you're destroying the environment. Especially during these natural down-to-earth private moments - you're supposed to think about the planet, you're not supposed to be viciously consuming the last tree from the Amazon.

Finally, everything is back in place, the shirt is tucked in and the belt is tightened. Flush and go - try to exit while no one else is exiting at the same time. You do not want to find out that it was your boss groaning like that next door. I don't want to know who it was, and I sure as hell don't want him to know who I was.

Now comes the hand-washing. (For those of us who do it.) After washing your hands, you normally have two options of drying them: the wall-mounted hairdryer, or paper towels. Everybody knows that these stupid hairdryers never work. They always stop long before your hands are dry, and once you decide that your hands are dry, they keep on running for another two minutes. This never fails.

At least the dryer makes enough noise to drown out the groaning (and other background noises) in the area.

I hate public toilets.

1 comment:

Boomkind said...

Yip, pretty good topic for the day of the Covenant / reconciliaton day

But good to read something of yours again!