12.01.2010

This is Why I Hate Public Bathrooms

Kat and I got back into town Saturday night after visiting her family in Hawaii for Thanksgiving. We'd been gone for a week so the fridge was particularly bare. When we woke up Sunday feeling a little hungover from traveling, the prospect of hitting up the grocery store was a little more than either of us wanted to deal with, so I was able to convince Kat to go to brunch with me.

Kat hates eating out because nine times out of 10 she feels like she could make something better at home for cheaper (and to be honest, she's right).

We settled on a place in West Seattle since it was close and had decent reviews on Yelp. Kat had Eggs Benedict with Dungeness Crab and I had a heaping portion of Biscuits and Gravy that was obviously meant to serve a rather large village. The food was really good, if not ridiculously huge, and we agreed we'd made a good choice.

But it didn't take long for the biscuits to get to work. Or the gravy. Or the eggs. Nope, you know what? It was the fresh fruit. Definitely. Anyway, I had to TCOB (Take Care Of Business).

I hate public bathrooms. I'm not usually a germophobe (my spellchecker keeps wanting to change that to homophobe - quit judging me, spellcheck!) but I do freak out at the thought of sharing a toilet seat with several dozen strangers. Especially given the bathroom at work: we have a men's room with two urinals and two toilets to service roughly 200 people, all of which seem to enjoy wiping their bloody boogers on the wall so that I have no choice but to stare into them like Philosophers' Stones while I pee. Then there's the toilets: if you're lucky the seats are just coated in piss. More often they're covered in piss and still full to the brim with wads of toilet paper and horrible piles of shit. More than half the guys I see in there regularly don't wash their hands. I saw one guy bring his laptop out of there. Not like under his arm or anything, it was open. Like he'd been using it in there. Today I noticed there was a stain on the wall where someone had pissed on the wall next to the urinal.

I don't understand how you can function as an adult in society and work for a billion dollar company when you can't keep from expelling bodily waste on the walls. These people are fucking animals and I genuinely hate them for it.

But this isn't about that.

Aside from my fear of contracting toilet seat herpes, my second biggest fear of public restrooms centers on being walked in on. I hate when you're forced to use the sit-down stall and someone walks in. For some reason I can't just go about my business like any human being should without feeling any shame or embarrassment. I have to wait until they're gone in case I make a noise. Even worse is that horrible tension when they try pulling on the stall door. I freeze like a tiny deer in the headlights, just praying to its tiny deer god that it won't be run over and killed.


Back to brunch: I made my way to the men's room determined to get this over with as fast as possible. I locked the door, checked it to make sure it was locked, double checked it, unlocked it, locked it again, double checked it, triple checked it, wiped down the seat (no tissue paper donut-ring?!), fashioned a seat cover out of toilet paper, and sat down.

Instantly, someone knocked at the door.

I cursed to myself. How could they have gotten to the door so quickly and NOT seen me walk in? Suddenly I realized the knocking was a constant banging and lower than usual on the door. It was a little kid. 

Specifically, it was an adorable little Japanese toddler I'd pointed out to Kat from our booth. His grandpa was making him jump around their booth like a trained seal for a small sucker he kept dangling over the kid's head. As I pieced together who it was, Grandpa showed up too. 

"Grandpa, someone won't let me in!"
"I think someone's in there; just wait."

Oh god, the pressure. I was on a timer now. Luckily they decided to stand directly outside the door, with the little one still absent-mindedly banging on it with his hands, while I cowered just inches away like a squatting Anne Frank trying desperately to poop before the Nazis heard anything.

Soon I heard a waitress show up. "Hey," she cooed at the little guy, "Are you waiting for the bathroom? Do you need me to let you in there?" FUCK YOU, LADY! Who just unlocks bathroom doors like that?! Luckily, grandpa saved me: "I think there's someone in there; we're waiting." I think it was starting to dawn on him that this would be longer than the average pee session.

And there was no way I was going to come out now and face my attackers.

Eventually they gave up and the guy took his grandson into the ladies' room since all the kid wanted was to wash his hands. I finished things on my end and speed-walked to our booth so I could hurry Kat out of the restaurant before they could piece together that it was me.

I might be back for the biscuits, but I'll be sure to purge before hand.

2 comments:

Matthew said...

I love that Google is giving me bidet ads alongside this post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for an idea, you sparked at thought from a angle I hadn’t given thoguht to yet. Now lets see if I can do something with it.