The Rant & Rage: Bathroom etiquette

What the hell happened to those little walls in between the urinals in the men’s bathroom? Who’s the bastard “Einstein” that took those away?!

What the hell happened to those little walls in between the urinals in the men’s bathroom? Who’s the bastard “Einstein” that took those away?!

For years I could relieve myself in those tile-lined chambers free from worry, but it seems these days those little walls of security have gone the way of the buffalo. And I just know it’s probably all because of some penny-pinching asshole in a cubical trying to save on bathroom expenditures.

Remember the days when making water meant that we could stand next to each other, staring ahead, carrying on a conversation? Well, those days are over. Now the bathroom experience is fraught with insecurity, and the dread of the inevitable splatter factor.

That’s right, the days of personal space are gone—replaced by standing elbow-to-elbow.

So guys, let’s all agree on some ground rules here. Always keep a one-urinal spacing between two bathroom patrons. This will ensure the privacy desired and also protect against mutual friendly fire.

If only one urinal is available, and all are forced to stand next to each other, then let’s all agree on a 12 o’clock-to-6 o’clock head positioning. This means our heads either nod directly down, straight ahead, or directly up if that suits you.

Also, the guys who like to stand with both hands on their waist while they go—cut it out! It’s just over-confident and weird, as well as irresponsible. Look, when you take your hands off the wheel while driving accidents can happen, just as when you take your hands off of—you know—accidents can also happen. Besides, if you are logistically able to pull that off, then it doesn’t speak too well for you in the end—hint, hint.

Hey, we all know why we are in there, so let’s make the best of it. And while we are doing so, keep the noise down. I have enough things on my mind and I don’t need you standing next to me announcing some sort of relieved delight.

Back in the glory days of those little urinal walls, there weren’t any hands-on-their-waist guys—they didn’t have any room to do that! There wasn’t any need to establish strict head positioning. Now, when I come across a bathroom equipped with the walls, I make a note—I’ll be returning there.

I can’t believe I am about to say this; it seems obvious and basic. Wash your damn hands! You know who you are! Sunlight’s the best disinfectant, so understand me when I say that you need to disinfect after you deal with where the sun don’t shine. One of the most common ways to spread sickness and disease is through your filthy, dirty, nasty hands. And here you go, zip, and off into the world. I shudder at the thought of the high fives, handshakes and pats on the back.

The Center for Disease Control has put forth a hand-washing standard that we all, especially the dolts running right out of the bathroom, need to adhere to. First, wet your hands while applying soap, getting the bubbles to flow. This should be followed by 15–20 seconds of scrubbing. The CDC suggests singing the song “Happy Birthday” twice over. But as that song is copyrighted by some jerks in Chicago—seriously, “Happy Birthday” is copyrighted—you may use a song of your choice as long as it covers 15–20 seconds. Personally, I hum and sing Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning” once all the way through. Sure, I use a lot of soap, but it gets the job done. Sometimes people tell me I take forever in the bathroom and I have to explain that I merely have to wash my hands. I think they understand.

Turn the faucet off using a paper towel. Glance in the mirror, make yourself pretty if you have to, and exit.

It’s a dangerous world out there. Perhaps none more dangerous than in the public lavatories we visit on a daily basis. Be responsible and look out for your bathroom neighbors—as long as you keep to the 12 o’clock/6 o’clock rule, that is. ?