Oh, you’re in a public restroom? Then GET OFF THE PHONE!
This week, it came to my attention that there may be some confusion over what a bathroom is for. As always, I’m more than happy to educate everyone out there who may be confused about this rarely discussed but often taken-for-granted space.
Let’s start by detailing the purpose a bathroom serves — for it is indeed designed to be a functional space. Unless you happen to find yourself in a mansion, you’ve probably noticed how the bathroom area of a house or building is often not terribly formal. No one’s thinking about how to make a bathroom — and more specifically the toilet portion of it — a piece of conceptual art (except for maybe this guy) as much as how to hide the things that take place in it via a curtain or mottled glass door on the shower and a lid — sometimes decked out in a chic, shag-carpet-like cover — on the toilet.
But the bathroom is so much more than this. Where do you turn when you feel sick and your mom’s no longer there to clean up the cookies you could get away with tossing in your bed when you were young? The bathroom. What cool, refreshing surface do you press your hot, clammy skin against after a long night having too much fun at the bar? The beloved toilet in that bathroom. And when you ate some funky chicken, where is the sanctuary that provides relief? It ain’t no church, temple or mosque; it’s the porcelain God.
Many of you already know this. Your love and appreciation for the restroom is deep and abiding. Who knows where this respect came from? Perhaps your parents potty-trained you with a sense of toilety morals. Or maybe like me, you’ve had intestinal issues pretty much your whole life that have led you to recognize that sometimes, all that stands between you and chaos, you and the literal, unescapable stench of humanity, is that bathroom — private or public.
But this week, I witnessed firsthand the severest form of disrespect ever levied against a restroom and the people in it. No, it wasn’t a renegade trickle of urine down the side of the toilet that its maker didn’t wipe away. It wasn’t even “Nicky is a creamy, garlicy vag flap” etched into a stall door (which, yes, I’ve seen inscribed in a school bathroom almost verbatim).
No, my friends, it was some bumb ditch huddling in a corner, almost leaning against the closed door of the stall she was nearest to, talking on her cell phone while some poor stranger suffered inside, trying to drop her deuce in peace.
Many things ran through my mind, witnessing this crime against humanity and my sanctuary. I could say something to the ditch like, “Look, you bumb ditch, can’t you see people are trying to do the dew in here? Take it outside!” But she probably wouldn’t hear me over her inane blathering — the volume of which was amplified by the humble tile flooring found in most bathrooms.
I could start making flatulence noises with my hands and mouth so loud that the person on the other end of the phone would say, “Are you in the bathroom while you’re talking to me?” thereby shaming the bumb ditch into a) leaving or b) ending the call. But knowing that like typically draws like, the person the bumb ditch was talking to was probably a rude bumb ditch herself — and equally inconsiderate.
I could try to be the hero, snatching the phone out of the ditch’s hand and throwing it into the toilet. But no — I didn’t feel like getting arrested that day, especially when I wasn’t really the party at fault.
In the end, I decided to start laughing audibly while shaking my head and expressing condemnation with my eyes — which, surprisingly enough, is extremely effective with those who know me IRL.
But I have to admit, the ditch kept on talking without pause, so I had to accept that this effort to defend my innocent restroom comrade was just plain ineffective.
This led me to brainstorm about what can be done against the plague of morons that believe their shiz — the metaphorical type, of course, since we can garner that they have no respect for the literal kind based on their behavior — is so epic, so effin’ important, that it simply cannot wait until they’re anyplace but a restroom.
But let me first say three things directly to these bathroom heathens:
1) There is never any reason for you to be on the phone in a public restroom. No, really — NEVER. If it’s your child’s school or your significant other’s boss calling, you have the number programmed into your phone and would be halfway to your car by the time you answered it anyway, right? You understand that there’s a sense of importance with such calls that sidesteps any urge you may have had to go to the bathroom in the first place, let alone answer the call from there. This means that any call you’re willing to take in the bathroom is trivial in nature. Yet you’re still willing to put your asinine social time above other people’s necessary bodily functions, which have been acknowledged by humankind as critical enough to dictate the creation of entire rooms specifically for the carrying out of such acts? Congrats: You’ve just won my Completely Narcissistic Butt Clown Award! People like you are the reason this country is going down the crapper and organizations like this must be founded.
Unless you’re the leader of a country or the like, your life is just as stupid and meaningless as the rest of ours (see here), so spare everyone who doesn’t give a shiv the details of yours. And if you were the leader of a country, you would know better than to even think about talking on the phone in a bathroom. Can you imagine if one of our presidents was caught talking to, like, Hu Jintao while taking a leak? World War III, suckas!
2) When you were potty-trained, you may recall that there was no phone involved. Please consider this to be deliberate, as a phone is unnecessary in a bathroom environment and, in fact, is in direct conflict with it and all it represents.
If you can’t recall your potty-training experience, feel free to go ask your parents how it went. Hopefully they’ll reiterate how stupid you are for talking on your phone in the bathroom while recalling the many pairs of shorts you stained back then not getting to the bowl in time.
3) It’s high time you were educated about a syndrome known as “poo anxiety.” Poo anxiety is a real disorder, characterized by a person’s inability to release fecal matter in the presence — however guarded against by stall walls and doors — of others. If a poo-anxiety sufferer sees or hears other sentient life forms in the same restroom he or she is in, that person will clench the sphincter closed until such time as a) other people leave, b) the No. 2 feeling has passed — at least for the time being, and/or c) he or she can escape to some other — and hopefully unoccupied — restroom and achieve the sweet release.
Given that I entered the bathroom when the innocent stall victim was already there, I baked my own brownies, I witnessed the bumb ditch’s criminal behavior, I washed my hands, and I exited the bathroom all while my innocent comrade remained silent, I think it’s safe to assume that this stall victim suffers from poo anxiety. Add to this the fact that the innocent comrade chose one of the end stalls — practically a poo-anxiety-sufferer dead giveaway — to attempt to relieve herself, and I believe my argument would be indisputable in a court of law.
As for me, you may have guessed from what I mentioned above that I am not a sufferer of poo anxiety disorder. I’ve found that people like me who have intestinal issues are generally forced to get over this type of fear at an early age by virtue of their colon’s untamed power and take-no-prisoners mentality.
And me even more specifically — I’ll crap right into your hand if you want. You don’t even have to dare me. You just have to wait until I get the special tingle.
Heck — maybe that’s the solution to this dilemma! Maybe the poo-flinging monkeys had it right all along!
Can I be arrested for flinging poo? Someone in my posse must know…
Still, even if it weren’t illegal, why should I have to suffer with a smelly hand for days because of some bumb ditch’s poor life choice?
No, my friends — I’ve found an even better solution for dealing with these idiots.
Two words: air horn. Not only can you blare this blessed little treasure from the privacy of a restroom stall, thereby keeping you relatively anonymous, but you will render perps too temporarily deaf to continue a conversation with anyone, let alone the accessory to the crime — the person on the other end of the phone with which a bumb ditch is conspiring.
And heck, you might even literally scare the crap right out of a poo-anxiety sufferer, curing him or her of that fear in a single blow (pun intended).
For the low, low price of $4.50, you too can wield the long arm of justice. It’s an investment well worth making — for the preservation of your sanity and a safe, special place I consider my second home but most of us call, quite simply, the bathroom.