Monday, July 03, 2006

Public Restroom Etiquette

Public Restroom Etiquette

Now, I want to take a second to discuss a little public restroom etiquette.

I'm speaking to the fellers, owing to that I've used a women's restroom only seven or eight times, so I'm in much of a position to discuss matters in that arena.

But I'm somewhat versed in the protocol of the men's room.

Today, I'm going to discuss the urinals, and a specific procedure surrounding them.

Yesterday, I had occasion to urinate in a public restroom. It happens, especially when I've had a couple of beers.

At the same time I was heading to the restroom to shake the dew off the lily, another "gentleman" had much the same idea.

Okay. I was first in the door, and this other feller was coming in just behind me.

We both needed to pee. There were three urinals, and all three were empty.

Now. Two strangers enter to piss at the same time. What's the correct thing to do?

Nine out of Ten men know the answer to this. Instinctively, even. I was never taught this. It's just something that I and most guys know already: You keep a courtesy urinal between you.

Maybe it's a comfort thing. I can still do my pissing in somewhat private.

Or maybe it's pragmatism. I was wearing shorts, and I'd prefer not to have some stranger's whiz bounce off porcelain onto me. I splatter enough as it is, and it's disconcerting enough realizing just how much when I'm wearing shorts....

Or maybe is the whole thing where while I'm not consciously thinking "that guy's going try to look at and/or grab at my junk whilst I'm peeing, so I'd better keep him at a safe range of distance," there may be something in my subconscious...I'll be honest with you and tell you that's why I've never peed next to Al Roker.

Well, this feller in the public restroom was either unaware of or unwilling to follow the rules. I take the urinal all the way on the left, expecting this stranger (whom I'll refer to as Sir Anthony Hopkins) to take the urinal on the right, leaving the middle urinal empty, as a buffer zone between us.

But no. Sir Anthony Hopkins decides to take the center urinal.

So, I pee, and he pees. We're shoulder to shoulder, in an arrangement that should not have come to be (come to pee?) unless we were joined by a third party.

I'd like to reiterate. I can pee next to somebody with no real issues. I don't have nervous bladder--heck, it's practically gregarious. But I also believe that certain situations can and should be avoided.

I'm writing this as something of an instruction, but also as an apology. See, when this guy was taking his whiz, he coughed. I took this as an attempt at conversation, and I took the only course of action I could think of at the time: I grabbed the guy by the scruff of his neck, and slammed his face into the wall, Terminator style.

No, actually, I walked around the barrier to the actual toilet (pissing the whole time as I walked) to finish my task in private. I ended up making a horrible mess of the bathroom.

Actually, I screamed "No Talking!" In my moment of vitriol, I accidentally turned to address the guy, and peed just a bit on his shoes. Which weren't shoes so much as flip flops.

Actually, I just finished pissing, and went on about my business. But then, I don't have much to blog about lately, and this is the only thing that's come up lately.


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