I hate public restrooms. Public restrooms should be avoided at all cost. (Well, almost, all cost.) Let’s just take a look at the definition of the word:
1 open to or shared by all the people of an area or country
2 done, perceived, or existing in open view
a room containing a toilet
So do you want to use a restroom existing in open view? I thought so… Some people (one of whom I am related to by marriage) consider it an adventure to seek out and use all the public restrooms they can find. These people are great to have with you in the event that you are forced to use a public restroom and you can’t find one. They will be able to point you in the direction of the nearest facility, no doubt, having used it within the last year. They may also give you a star rating as to the cleanliness and functionality of the restroom. (If you have the time to discuss such trivial details.) These same people, on the other hand, have the annoying habit of holding up the group when they need to go search out new and exciting restrooms whenever you enter a store or restaurant.
Public restrooms have a way of calling out to some people. My 5-year-old loves to visit the restroom whenever we go out to eat, but unfortunately she is only reminded of her need “to go” when she sees the food delivered to our table. She then spends 12 minutes of prime eating time exploring the public restroom. The “have to go” sensor is faulty in some children from birth. It amazes me that 4 kids who didn’t have to go 10 minutes before you left the house, will suddenly not be able to hold it as soon as you pass the “next exit: 37 miles” sign.
There are several strict rules in regard to public restrooms and they need to be observed at all times:
- No talking. Whenever you are forced into using a public restroom you should recognize this internationally accepted rule and not try to strike up a conversation with your fellow users. I heard of a guy being found dead in a public restroom stall with no obvious clue as to the cause of death, well, I can tell you what happened: the poor guy ran out of toilet paper and starved to death rather than ask for assistance from his neighbors. This leads to rule number 2,
- Always check the toilet paper supply level before committing to a stall. I have a friend who actually carries a back up supply of TP and thus saves himself the embarrassment of either starving or worse yet, asking for help.
- Flush! This one needs no explanation.
- Never use a stall or urinal that is directly adjacent to one that is already occupied. It is important to leave a 1 stall buffer zone between yourself and others. I like to carry an “out of order” sign to hang on the stall next to mine in case some of the people out there don’t know this rule.
- Don’t touch any exposed surface inside the public restroom. This is a very important rule, if you want to avoid all germs, bring your own disposable rubber gloves.
- Last but not least: The big pink breath mint in the urinal, is not a breath mint… leave it alone!
I hope that these will help you in your future visits to public restrooms; however, I will be avoiding them at almost all cost.