I know it's not considered good form to talk about the goings on in bathrooms but, let's face it, I'm not known for my good form. Besides, I'm in a pissy mood right now. We can approach this like adults, right?
There's some restroom etiquette that seems to be slipping these days. Which surprises me considering how incredibly "progressive and politically correct" we are pretending to be as a nation. So I'm gonna take the time to go over things that I thought all parents were teaching their kids. Clearly I was mistaken about that though.
Rule #1 seems a simple one to me. If you approach a bathroom stall and the door is closed, KNOCK! Thank goodness most stalls have locking mechanisms these days. Most. Some are in ill repair and if you walk up and push that door open like you're kicking in those swinging bat doors of an Old West saloon don't be surprised if someone gets a bit irritated with you. "Didn't your parents teach you to knock, asshole?!" Yes, I've uttered those words on occasion. And if I'd had a cane or something I'd have nutted them with it.
Rule #2: for the love of all that is holy, FLUSH! Hey, you made it, stay with it til it's gone. I don't care if you've gotta pull that handle like you're in Vegas trying to win your retirement from a nickel slot machine. No one wants to walk in and see the brown bomber doing the breaststroke.
Speaking of which, I've seen some messes. Baaaad ones. Make sure your ENTIRE ASS is over the drop zone. Wtf, people?! Are you finger-painting in there?! I don't know who these "poop Picassos" are but that type of artwork isn't really necessary. Animals. Which leads us to
Rule #3: you're clever, you're creative. I get that. I also understand that when we are sitting there we can get bored. Look, if you're in there so long you can write a running political column on the walls, see a doctor. You may need to seriously consider dietary changes. There's limited real estate and we've places to be. And what are you bringing markers in there for anyway?! Have some consideration. You're not in there on vacation; other people need to go too.
Rule #4:wash your friggin hands. More and more often I see people just walk out and bypass the sinks like they just pissed holy water. Newsflash, you didn't. There's this thing called "sanitary", look it up. Afterward look up "hygienic".
I once witnessed a guy leave a stall (the greenish fog permeating the room indicates he did a lot more than pee), walk right past the sink and out the door. When I realized he was eating the buffet I knew I wasn't eating that night.
Rule #5: I don't know why guys have to go into stalls, leave the door open and pee. But, if that's your thing, have some courtesy and aim in the general area of the bowl. Lifting the seat would be nice too.
How is it hunters can hit a deer in the heart from 50 yards but they can't seem to hit a two foot diameter bowl with a quarter inch wide stream of pee from 3 feet directly above it?! I'm not asking you to be a sniper, I'm just asking you to not be Helen Keller.
Rule #6: if you shave in the sink, clean up after yourself. Take some paper towels and wipe up the hair. I don't want to walk up to brush my teeth or wash my hands and see a bear cub climbing up outta there. If you've gotta shave, I understand. So do I. Luckily, I can go 3-4 days between shaves. I'm not very hirsute. Some of you guys grow Paul Bunyan looking beards in a day. I'm not sure which of us is the mutant but good grief. Just the other day I walked in and it looked like Chewbacca had a day at the groomer's. Hair EVERYWHERE. I thought a Sasquatch had exploded. How the hell did that guy get hair on the CEILING?!
Rule #7: this isn't Mexico. Here we can actually flush the toilet paper. It doesn't need to go on the floor. I've actually seen little signs showing people to flush the toilet paper. The TA truck stop in Richmond,Va was the first time I'd seen that and I thought "we really need to be told?" Yep, we sure do. Especially in places like Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It's like walking in and seeing tumbleweeds. Not sexy folks.
Rule #8: this is the final one I can think of tonight. If you are at a truck stop and don't have shower credits, ask around. The odds are there's a driver with extra showers he can give. I understand that paying $12-13 for a shower is ridiculous. Turns out that showers aren't "basic rights" and truck stops charge dearly for them regardless of the millions of dollars a day they make in fuel.
However, with many drivers having extra showers, there is never a need to wash to your private parts right there at the bathroom sink. Pull your pants up and ask around. On many occasions I've given people shower coupons because they were in need. Trust me, I was doing EVERYONE a favor.
Now, you would think no one would have to tell people these things but it's becoming more and more common that I see some variation of these on a daily basis. Except the whole "bathing in the sink" thing. It's rare that I see that.
I'll admit that I did work as a "restroom valet" in a few clubs at one point. I actually made a darn good living turning on sinks and handing out towels for a year or two. I noticed that when there is a bathroom attendant people tend to make that detour to the sink and wash up a bit. Maybe it's because they felt obligated to lest they be called out on it when they went back out into the club. Maybe that's a position truck stops should start to consider. Should it really be necessary though? Can't we all just act like we have a little common sense and courtesy all by ourselves?