How to: Use a Public Restroom

December 15, 2008 at 10:39 pm 1 comment

You would think that using a public restroom is no different from using the bathroom in your home, but unless some people like to piss on the seat of their home toilet, fill it with toilet paper and not flush, and leave bloodied feminine products on the floor, you’d be wrong. Somehow the fact that you’re sharing a place to relieve your bodily functions brings out the worst in people, and there may be a completely different set of rules and guidelines for men, but let’s get to the “How To.”

7) Don’t piss on the seat. And if you do, by accident, wipe it off! It’s appalling that anyone would need to be told this. There’s nothing worse than going to sit on what appeared to be a clean toilet seat, only to find foreign moisture on your asscheeks when you get up. That will ruin your freshly-powdered day.

6) Always flush. If you’ve ever flushed a public toilet, (and maybe if you’re one of these people who don’t flush, you never have) you’d know that these things function with rocket power. They flush so powerfully you have to stand a good three feet away to avoid being spit on (the worst!), and there have been times that I worried for the hardiness of that porcelain bowl, lest it come shooting up off the floor with the incredible force that is sucking and swooshing away the water. My point is, those things will flush ANYTHING, so there’s no reason to leave the bowl full of whatever you had the urge to put in there (used condom? giant rubber cockroach? unwanted baby?), especially if it’s just wads upon wads of toilet paper and poop. You know that’s what toilets are meant to flush? They love it.  It will go down, I swear. 

5) DON’T put your unwanted baby in the public toilet. That’s gross and those matters are best kept within the home.

4) Dispose of your used feminine products in the provided sanitary bin thingies. You know AIDS can be transmitted through blood, right? I ain’t messin’ around with strange blood, and if I see anything resembling blood in a stall, I go right on to the next. And if there’s no provided bin thingie in the stall, suck it up, be a big girl, and carry it to the main bathroom trash can.

3) Don’t giggle when you hear someone in another stall pooping. It’s bad form. Just hurry the hell up and leave, because you never know when and where you will have to drop a deuce. Everybody poops people, it’s not that funny, especially when it happens to you.

2) Don’t throw toilet paper all over the place. I don’t know why people do this, but it seems to be a common problem. The weirdest thing is, it seemed to happen  fairly often in the bathroom at my office, so it’s not like ruffian teenagers or careless hobos were doing it just to be annoying. And yeah, it is annoying! Stop wasting paper, jerks.

1) Don’t talk on the phone while in a public bathroom. I remember one time I was in a public bathroom and I heard another person, in another stall, go, “Hello?” I was of course incredibly confused, and was probably like, “Yes?” only to then feel like an idiot when I heard them begin a full-length conversation. While they were on the crapper. The public crapper. It’s weird enough for someone to talk on the phone while they’re on the toilet at home, but why do people feel the need to conduct business, or just shoot the breeze, while they’re in the bathroom of all places? “Hey Karen, just taking a dump. What are you up to? Oooh we should play badminton this weekend!” And you know the person on the other line can hear everything, right? Even if it’s not coming from you? I’m a big advocate of cell phone etiquette, which basically means not talking on your cell phone in any situation where people can’t willingly escape (grocery store lines, on the bus, while getting a pap smear), because people who do talk on their phones in these situations are the most annoying people of all, and tend to have shreiky, penis-shriveling voices. So, #1 bathroom rule, no cell phones.

The main lesson to take away from this is, please try to act like a normal, functioning human being in any space that is public or shared, especially in the most intimate of settings, the bathroom. I work in a giant building in the heart of one of America’s biggest metropolitan areas, and find it somewhat horrifying that there are multiple signs around the restroom with tips such as these.


The great part about this one is there’s a line at the bottom that says in small print, “If there are any questions, dial ****.” Like what questions could you possibly have? “I know the sign says don’t kick the flush handle, but why? Can I karate chop it? How about if I just kick it gently?”


In case you didn’t know you’re supposed to flush, it’s officially endorsed by core services.


Entry filed under: Alison, How To. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Carrot  |  December 29, 2008 at 8:39 pm

    I noticed a factual error in this article, under point #3. Pooping is actually very funny.


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