Friday, June 23, 2006

The Lightest Brush of Porcelain

I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of the public restroom concept. Its unpleasant. I just don't like it very much; at least partly because I'm extremely conscious of the potential unsanitary condition created by even the lightest brush of porcelain, plastic, or stainless steel on skin….Any skin.

I don't want to touch the seats, sinks, or door handles. I don't want to brush past the door frames. I don't want to grasp the hot and cold knobs on the sink. I definitely don't want to handle the paper towel dispenser.

Unfortunately it’s a necessary part of life, so I've learned to cope, but mostly I just don't think about it. Today I did, but what grabbed me today wasn't the germ situation; it’s the urinals. In my office restroom there are two. One is three feet lower than the other.

I don't know why.

I have, however, noticed that people, for no clear reason, tend to gravitate towards one or the other. If you wander into your office restroom on day 1 and find Joe standing at righty; chances are good that’s where you can find Joe on any restroom visit in the future. He has committed.

I, for one, have opted not to make that important commitment just yet. I'm concentrating on ferreting out the pros and cons of both righty and lefty before making the call.

I'm also a little thrown by the melamine stall dividers. I mean, seriously, take it on down to the floor - you know? Why leave the shoe-identification gap at the bottom? Was that one additional foot really enough to blow the construction budget? I'd love to listen in on that conversation.

"Well, almost done. Just have to put the walls up on this here stall."
"Walls? Don’t you mean 'dividers'?"
"No, you know - a wall. All the way to the floor. I mean, it’s a bathroom. You need privacy."
"I'm sorry. That’s just not in our budget. Leave it just high enough off the floor for shoes to poke through."

There are probably only a few times in life that I really, really mind having my space invaded by feet. That’s one of them. Next time some guy's docsider cheats off into my side - he's going to get a solid stomp right in the toe.

Also - if that weren't bad enough, I think stall walls are shrinking. I walked into one restroom recently where you could easily slide an average-size dictionary through the gaps around the door. I guess it does help reduce the tendency for unwanted stall-handle rattlers.

I don't need a dictionary to tell you what I think about handle rattlers.


1 comment:

Melissa Merkel said...

This took my mind to places it never wanted to visit...the men's bathroom. Thanks for that little gem of a trip. :)