Columns, Opinion

KIRLAND: Toilet humor

I get a lot of my ideas for articles while I’m sitting on toilets. This probably comes as no surprise to anyone who reads them – my column’s topics are normally not much more valuable than the waste meant for toilet bowls. I’d venture to say that a lot of people come up with some of their greatest ideas while sitting on their porcelain thrones in the comfort of their own homes. It wouldn’t surprise me if Einstein popped a squat on a German toilet and thought up the theory of relativity. Heck, Newton probably came up with his gravity laws while on the toilet – it only makes sense.

The key here is that a lot of great thinking is done in home bathrooms. The only type of contemplating done in public bathrooms involves thoughts like ‘What the hell is that smell?’ and ‘What is that red stuff in the toilet?’ No one has time to think about anything besides ways to do his business as fast as he can so he doesn’t have to spend more than two minutes in a public restroom. Any longer than two minutes is dangerous.

Take for instance the long pee in a urinal. Ladies, I know you don’t have to deal with this, but try to imagine. I’ve found that one in about 20 urinal pees will be interrupted by some overzealous weirdo who attempts to talk to you. The creep will look over the protective little barrier – at who knows what – and attempt to make small talk. I’m from the Midwest, so I love friendly strangers just as much as the next guy, but there’s a time and place for introductions. That time and place is not when Mr. Friendly and my Snoopys are out of their respective doghouses and within a few feet of each other. As a general rule of thumb, I think that every man should just keep his eyes on the road and mind his own business.

As if dealing with other people in public restrooms was not enough, often going to the bathroom is a fight against technology. I am of course talking about the automatic flush toilet. What genius came up with that one? I know it wasn’t Einstein or Newton. Maybe the brains behind the automatic toilet thought that after a person laid down seven protective layers of toilet paper on the seat, used the toilet, wiped and then finally stood up and put his pants on, he would be too tired to flush a toilet. Personally, I would gladly take one more step in my toilet routine – to bend down and flush – instead of having the ‘smart toilet’ wet my bum because it prematurely flushed.

I suppose that I would rather have to deal with this technology glitch than deal with the most archaic form of the public restroom – the port-a-potty. I have no clue how people used outhouses on a daily basis for so many centuries. Yes, port-a-potties are technically private because you are by yourself in the mechanism while using them. But in reality, they are more public than any other kind of bathroom. Now you have people waiting outside wondering what is taking you so long to finish going to the bathroom. As if that wasn’t annoying enough, you can often see the feats the previous users have accomplished where you now stand or sit. The port-a-potty leaves very little to the imagination. It gives you the warm, smelly facts – with no room for interpretation. Seven layers of toilet paper can’t hide the fact that port-a-potties are by far the worst form of public bathroom.

Admittedly, the port-a-potty situation is a lot worse for females than it is for males. We only have to sit down and go once in a while. I don’t feel that bad about it though – I’m under the impression that the ladies’ public bathroom is a pretty fun place. Every girl wants to go to the bathroom all the time. If a girl’s friend asks her to go with her, she never seems annoyed – most of the time she seems excited. And why do girls always go in groups? Seriously, I don’t know the last time one of my girl friends has gone alone. There must be slot machines and card tables in there. Maybe even arcade games.

One day, I’ll find out what is so fantastic about girls’ bathrooms. Maybe the ladies could give some tips to the fellas on how to improve public bathrooms – because frankly, the status quo stinks. So does the reality that everyone has to use public bathrooms to make it through the day. But if you’re only going to the bathroom for inspiration, I would suggest sitting on your own toilet when you want some quality thinking time. I’ve come up with ideas for things in public bathrooms, and, as you can see, it only produces crap.

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