Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Potty mouth

Since I've already broached the subject, I might as well continue. If you have a delicate constitution, you may just want to skip this and check back tomorrow.

You know, I really don't ask for much in a restroom...three things really.

1. It should be functional. The flush toilet, when it's working is one of the most unappreciated wonders of the modern world. It's when they stop working that we begin to realize how much we take them for granted. Chamber pots and "thunder mugs" are a thing of the past. So is the midnight trip to the outhouse in the dead of winter. Sure, men still whiz behind the barn, but that's not because they HAVE to anymore... Anyway, as anyone with kids (or a wife with a gerbil sized bladder) will attest, knowing where the closest functioning toilet is at any given moment is a good thing.

2. It should be stocked. Nothing quite duplicates the desperate feeling one gets when it's time to start filling out the reports, i.e. doing the paperwork, and realizing that the spindle is empty, or has only a single sheet of one-ply left on the roll. You do a quick mental inventory of what you have that you could use. Did you remember to put a hanky in your back pocket as you were getting dressed this morning? (That's just for you old folks, of course. The young 'uns are scratching their heads saying "hanky?") What else might be in your pockets? Aha! There are some old credit card receipts in your wallet. Worst case scenario, no wait, let's not discuss worst case...NEXT to worst case scenario is you remove your underwear and use it, but then you're left with the dual problems of how to dispose of THAT (since it won't flush) and having to go commando the rest of the day. Those guys who take the newspaper with them when they go in? They may be on to something.

3. It should be clean. Of course, clean is a relative term. It doesn't really matter if the restroom is functional and stocked if it smells like the back of a slaughterhouse in the middle of July. One step in the door and all of a sudden I realize I CAN wait another four hours until I get home. Toilet surfaces don't have to sparkle like your Aunt Mable's gold tooth, but neither should they be visibly soiled (a la The Streaker). There's a broad band in between those two extremes that is acceptable. On a side note, what is it about people (guys, I suspect) that they feel they have to pick their nose and smear it on the wall? Boogers are not like diamonds. There is no rating system for carat, cut, clarity, or color. If you weren't prepared to deal with its disposal at that particular moment, you should have left it resting quietly, undisturbed.

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