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28 March 2012 @ 10:13 am
I give that one a 3.5 on a scale of 10. I'd wait if I were you.  
Okay, readers. Let's take a departure to a first world subject that no one ever talks about. It's horrific and unfair, and desperately needs to be brought to your attention.

Public restrooms.

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.
I am:: at the bar
I feel:: annoyedannoyed
Jandy the Gnome Whisperer: AHS - Tate Happyjandjsalmon on March 28th, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
'Randi's probably in prison' - you'd better hope so. You never lock your posts. I'd hate to have her come find you and give you your second fist fight for mentioning her in the same conversation as a diatribe against public washrooms. LOL!

Also - I just want to point out that I agree with you completely. I can ALWAYS wait until we get home... but my children like to think it's a game to see how many public washrooms they can hit in a day of shopping. Jay's had to teach the boys to flush the toilet with their feet so they don't touch the flusher (in those archaic bathrooms that don't flush on their own). I do have to say though - apparently women's rooms are MUCH grosser than men's rooms (which seems opposite to me, but extensive research has led me to believe it's true).

And as always, you have amused me on this dreary morning with your staggering wit and I love that you're my friend.
Carrie Leigh: bad examplecarrie_leigh on March 28th, 2012 04:10 pm (UTC)
LOL. I'm really not worried about a quasi-nemesis from junior high. I'm sure she has bigger problems, now, anyhow.

UGH. I try not to think about the boys going into those places. Denial is my watchword.

I love you, too, Jessica! Bunches & bunches.
Jandy the Gnome Whisperer: AHS - Evan *lick*jandjsalmon on March 28th, 2012 04:50 pm (UTC)
I've tried to get Bethy to do the 'hover' and she doesn't... so it's very traumatizing every time I have to take her to the potty. Be content you don't have a daughter so you don't have to SEE it happening. LOL!

ooh look... I have decided to share a little Evan 'O' face iconnage to show you how much I love you. I must be in a good mood today. *giggles*
Lauradream_mancer on March 28th, 2012 06:06 pm (UTC)
I am sending this to my aunts and cousin since we just spent almost a week using public restrooms, including the one in the McDonald's in Balstrop, Louisiana which made us all do the dance of "OMGSOGROSS". We used so many hand wipes after leaving that place.
sarea okelanisarea_okelani on March 28th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
All the space agey stuff doesn't bother me that much, particularly the handwashing. As kind of a germophobe, I'm glad I don't have to touch the faucets that other people have touched after doing their business. And I really like it when places -- restaurants and the like -- are thoughtful enough to place a trash can by the door, so that once I dry my hands, I can use the paper towel to open the door and deposit the towel in the trash while propping the door open with my foot, so that I never have to touch the door/handle again once I've washed my hands -- because I just do not trust other people have been as conscientious as me with regard to cleaning themselves. I mean, I barely trust my coworkers, much less random people out in the world who are bound to be less hygenic. *shudder*

What bothers me about public restrooms -- and you're right, they're disgusting -- is not the facilities, but the people who use them. I mean, seriously, let's take my workplace as an example of a place that OUGHT to be fairly good, because 99% of the time it's being used by well-paid, educated adults. And in comparison to your typical public restroom out there, it would probably rate a bit higher on your bathroom scale. We even have free tampons and feminine napkins for the lady in need. That being said, I cannot BELIEVE the disgusting things that occur. GIVEN the usual people who frequent this bathroom, you would think that you'd never find an unflushed toilet. You'd be wrong. You would think that people could wipe down the mess they've made on the seat, if they hovered. You'd be wrong. I mean, it is literally unbelievable that a grown, adult woman, who supposedly functions well enough to work in an office environment, would be unable to take care of these simple matters. BUT IT'S TRUE. So I can only imagine how much worse it is in even more public restrooms, when they are frequented by children and even ostensibly iffier adults.

It doesn't stop me from using public restrooms, because I go out to eat a lot and I always wash my hands before I eat, which necessitates a trip to the restroom (and why I am so thankful for trash cans near the door)... and also I'm often out all day and can't hold it that long... but I certainly understand why people avoid public restrooms when at all possible. I'm just grateful I don't have to clean them... those poor people. :(
Hyacinth Girleustacia_vye28 on March 29th, 2012 01:34 am (UTC)
I find that the bathroom issue becomes so much more of an issue at rest stops and in larger cities. I have less of an issue in the smaller city I live in now than most places in NYC. Then again, I also used to frequent hole in the wall places. I'm sure the ritzy places I could never afford are much cleaner. :)

The automated stuff is supposed to cut down on the spread of germs, so there is a purpose to that ridiculousness. (and some of it really is ridiculous...)

TSA? Hoo boy. I have issues with some of their policies and the things I've seen linked on FB. I have to be in Indianapolis for an exam in September. We're driving.
Kate: Bunny Quite Enoughmugglechump on March 29th, 2012 01:59 am (UTC)
The self-flushing toilet has been my nemesis for years. Once I went to the facilities in a Ruby Tuesday's which had those things and I opted to use the paper seat covers available. I carefully laid the paper over the seat and turned around to unfasten my britches. As I bent to take a seat that bastard flusher decided to do its thing, splashing my backside AND whisking away the paper seat cover I'd just set down. -_______- Sneaky bastards.
O Demanding One: Express: Oops! Poohheyurs on March 29th, 2012 05:10 pm (UTC)

hehehehe! Oh, Katie. Sorry, but this made me cackle out loud! *hugs you* x)

Mala: Pipa13oct on March 29th, 2012 10:13 am (UTC)
I loath public bathrooms. Even the ones that I find here in the malls. Which are more luxurious lounges with loo's attached rather than WC's. What I do is *always* carry around packets of antiseptic dettol wipes. And use them liberally. Because I have sadly named my kids 'bathroom inspectors'. Ugh.