I have to admit, I'm not a fan of the public restroom. It's not due to performance anxiety; I can go if I really need to, regardless of the situation. It's just in general, I have an aversion to them, and rightfully so. In Junior High, I always waited until I got home to go. It had less to do with how clean the bathroom was than the fact that I once caught Randi Something smoking in the upstairs girls' room by the history department, and after she was consequently caught (like every other juvenile delinquent stupid enough to smoke in the school building), she decided I was at fault. (Incidentally, I did not rat her out. I feel stupid people should be left to their own stupid devices.) The misunderstanding culminated in her publicly shouting at me and me engaging in the first and only fist fight in my otherwise very physically passive life.
Anyway, Randi's probably in prison, and now I subscribe to the hover theory and have 1-10 ratings system in which I judge a public restroom's cleanliness. Folks, by and large, most of them are foul. FOUL. Over half of them fall below a 5. A five.
I thought this way even before I became spoiled rotten and keenly aware of how many germs are out there and what they can do to my own fragile ecosystem. The fact that public potties are disgusting is the first reason I avoid them, but the second reason has to do with what I like to call, 'The Star Trek Factor.'
Public restrooms have become far too space age-y for my taste. Everything is automated. In my opinion, even Captain Picard would have wanted control over the flush. On the show, when he finished his captainly business, he probably stood, pulled up his skin tight trousers, tugged down his little jumper, moved away from the john and then said, "Make it so."
Unfortunately, restrooms have removed all control from the consumer. It's become standard for me that when finished with my business, I stand and immediately and all but kiss the stall door in an attempt to miss the spray of who knows what from getting all over my behind, clothes and belongings.
And God forbid it actually takes you longer than 2.4 seconds to button your jeans. Atrocious things happen.
Even washing your hands has become, ironically enough, a hands-free affair. You have no control over how much soap comes out of the pre-measured dispenser, and you get a dollop of scientifically formulated goo that will take the top layer of your skin, if left long enough. Then, you have to do a series of hand calisthenics to get the motion-sensitive stream of disgustingly tepid water to rinse the soap off your hands.
You have to do that TWICE, because the water shuts off after three seconds.
Then, you have to wave your hands in front of the paper towel dispenser, as if to say, "Hi, remember me? Could you please give me something to dry my hand larger than a cocktail napkin?"
No? Okay. This'll be fine. Damp hands aren't all that unpleasant.
Because of all these things, plus all the things I didn't include (automatic hand dryers, toilet tissue rolls that only gives you a square at a time, doors that don't latch properly), I usually wait for the peace, quiet and decidedly mundane qualities of my own facilities at home. I find I have less homicidal tendencies toward my own toilet and sink.
If you've made it this far, patiently sitting through my diatribe about potties, I feel compelled to tell you that it was a rant between this and the Travel Safety Administration and their bastard coated bastard tendencies.
I figured this one wouldn't put me on the 'No Fly' list.
Probably. Here's hoping.