Soon the holiday season will be upon us, which means that those of us who are not hermits hiding in their basement on the computer will all be going out into…da-da-duuunnnnn… THE PUBLIC. And eventually, while we’re out IN PUBLIC, we’re going to have to go tinkles or (god, hopefully not, grunties) in a PUBLIC BATHROOM.
OH THE HORROR!!!
But seriously, I’ve often wondered if those bathrooms are really all that gross after all. I mean, they have those handy little charts for us to look at to see when the last employee has come to clean the place, and they’re often checked off, but what exactly does that mean? Did they really clean it or did they just wipe a little dookie off the wall near the sink, flush down the log in the last stall, and call it a day?
How clean are these places after all?
If you’re like most people, you about convulse whenever you think of your precious little ass touching the toilet seat where a total and complete stranger’s assical area has also touched. Personally, I can feel it burning my skin the moment I sit down and I about run to the doctor for a full check up to rule out whether that itch in my down belows is due to razor burn (I go for the Brazilian) OR is the itch a case of the crabs I got from using the potty over at The Super Wal*Mart’s.
But that’s me. Maybe am I nuts?
Don’t answer that.
To see if my bathroom paranoia is warranted, I did a little research over at WebMD, which is a very reputable site and where I always turn when I want to scare the bejeezus out of myself by turning a swollen lymph node into Cancer. You know, the place you go to when you want to find the absolute worst, most critical thing that could cause any combination of probably unrelated symptoms–no matter how rare and unlikely that diagnosis may be.
According to WebMD, there are lots of little nasties lying around in the public bathroom. Like, there’s ” streptococcus, staphylococcus, E. coli and shigella bacteria, hepatitis A virus, the common cold virus, and various sexually transmitted organisms.”
EW! EW! EW! EWWWWWW!
Just when it seems most hopeless, I’m here to tell you to take heart Toy with Mes! If you have a healthy immune system and you WASH YOUR FUCKING HANDS, you’ll be awright. Wash the hands, damnit. Use SOAP. Scrub for at least thirty seconds.
But what if the nasties are on the toilet seat? Do we need to wash our asses at the sink?
No! Oh happy day, we do not need to wash our asses at the public sink! Contrary to urban legend, that toilet seat is not necessarily the nastiest thing in the world. It’s not Disney on Ice for STD’s. So not to worry if our squat and hover is not quite up to par because the disease-causing organisms can only survive for a short time on a surface like a toilet seat. If they were to transmit to you from the seat, the germs would have to get in through your urethra or genital tract or through a cut or sore on your bum or thighs. The skin does a pretty damned respectable job of keeping them out. Basically, you’d have to fuck the seat and I’m not sure that’s a level of kink any of us here have ever explored (but if you have, please do share with the rest of the group… I’m curious!).
So there. Go ahead and sit yourself down on that seat, just don’t have sex with it and you’ll be fine–at least as long as you don’t have open sores on your buttocks. In which case, GET THAT SHIT CHECKED OUT.
Additionally, common cold germs and viruses die quickly and are also less of a threat to you than you think. You have to come into contact with a whole lot of them to make you sick. One or two isn’t going to cut it.
One thing you do have to do though, is after you flush, GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE STALL! The flush creates an aerosol dispersal of the little poop particles inside the toilet. It’s a veritable shit shower. A SHIT SHOWER, people.
The real thing you have to watch out for are the sink faucet handles and towel dispensers. People emerge from their aerosol clouds of shit in the stall and go with dirty hands to turn on the faucet. Plus all that nice water provides a breeding ground for the nasties, so do use caution at the sink, but for the love of the sweet baby jesus, WASH YOUR HANDS ANYWAY.
Other stuff you can do is flush the toilet with your shoe, use a paper towel to shut the water off at the sink and also to open the door handle. If you can, use the hand dryer but don’t touch the vents.
But you guys already knew that, didn’t you? So now that we’ve gotten the public bathroom safety lesson portion of our article out of the way, I will now share with you my most embarrassing potty moment because that’s one thing we’ve all caught from using the public potty–The Embarassment.
I actually have several stories for you, but I’ll pick just a few.
Once I walked into a bathroom and there was a guy fucking a hooker on the counter.
I guess that wasn’t so much embarrassing for me, but I still sort of shrieked and ran away. The guy actually yelled after me, “Hey sweetheart! What’s the rush?!”
Another time I was at a bar with some friends, and it was one of these deals where there were only two one-person bathrooms, for men and women. Well, the woman in the women’s room was taking forfuckingever, and my bladder was screaming after all the martinis, and there was nobody in the men’s room, so I decided to go in there. A guy friend of mine who was nearby offered to watch the door, but I said I’d be fine since there was a lock on it and everything.
Turns out I should have taken him up on the offer, since the lock, despite LOOKING effective, ended up being totally useless. As I was inside the stall peeing, a guy walked in to use the urinal. And he was talking to himself and peeing and farting and pissing and oh my god I was mortified. I mean, what do you do in that situation? Pull your feet up and pray to all that is holy that he doesn’t decide he needs to pop around the corner to make a shadoobie? Play it cool and pretend you hang out in men’s rooms all the time? Pretend to be a Transsexual?
WHAT DO YOU DO, TOY WITH MES?
So I did the logical thing and I stood up from my squat, pulled my panties up, and ran out of there with my purse over my head shouting apologies about the door being locked, etc. The guy yelled in shock and surprise and fell over against the wall, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to stop and offer him a shoulder. Once out, I nonchalantly went back to where my friends were at the bar and put my coat on just in case the guy caught a glimpse of what I was wearing. You know, so he wouldn’t know it was me doing commando raids in the men’s room.
This story gets better because years later I found myself at the “guy-friend-who-should-have-watched-the-door’s” wedding, sitting next to the owner of that very bar, when I told him the story. Turns out, his office wall is opposite the men’s room wall and he remembered hearing the whole thing go down. I love it when shit comes back to haunt me, don’t you? (Of course you do. It makes for better stories.)
Oh yeah, and my Grandpa tells a story about how he was hit with a sudden and intense need to potty, if you know what I’m saying, and in his rush, he found himself in the ladies room. The poor man. He’s so proper, he must have died a hundred times once he realized what happened to him. I wonder if it hit him while he was already locked in a stall, blowing it up.
And my mom who can’t see very well frequents men’s rooms all the time, although I think she secretly goes in there on purpose and pretends to be a hapless blind lady. She’s kind of a slut (hi mom!). No, I do NOT take after her.
Tell me Toy with Mes. Do you squat and hover? Do you touch NOTHING in the bathroom? Do you smash the stall door in with a Karate kick? Do you about put on a bio-hazard suit when you use a public toilet, or do you just walk right in, sit down and have yourself a nice, relaxing pee? Do you flush with your elbow or shoe? Do you cover the seat with toilet paper like a giant prophylactic? Have you had an embarrassing moment in the public potty, say, running out of toilet paper after a soul-crushing bout of vile-smelling diarrhea, that you’re just dying to share with us?
Photo by artur84.