Saturday, 14 February 2009

The Laws of the Lavatory

I've just returned from a trip to the lavatory. Exciting, I'm sure you'll agree....but why am I telling you this?

I'm telling you because the experience I had has further damaged my already-limited faith in humanity, and inspired me to draw up the Laws of the Lavatory, to be signed into global law just as soon as the position of All Powerful Global Emperor falls into my lap without effort on my part. Surely only a matter of time?

But I digress.

I visited a shared lavatory at my place of work and what greeted me upon entering the cubicle?

A slight acrid whiff of bleach in the air and a sense of innate shame at the unpleasantness of various aspects of body-function?

Well yes, but there's more!

I was greeted by a plastic seat in the down position, decorated with several randomly placed pubic hairs and liberally sprayed with urine, as if some simple creature had been marking its territory. Which seems on reflection to have in fact been the case.

Just in case I was not already backing off this clearly marked territory with my tail between my legs the mystery creature had also left a large quantity of urine in the toilet bowl itself, with a large quantity of toilet paper included, for reasons I can't (and don't want to) imagine.

Since, as I later discovered, the flush mechanism was still in good working order I am forced to conclude that the creature responsible for the enthusiastic but unnecessary decoration of the toilet seat with their bodily excreta must have lacked an opposable thumb. This lack would also explain why they failed to raise the toilet seat before urinating.

While I don't expect to resolve the mystery and discover the identity of the misguided lavatorial seat-decorator, this incident did cause me to think about how things should be, in the Brave New World described earlier.

Thus inspired, I drew up a list of laws that should be strictly enforced in communal toilet facilities everywhere. They are mainly Gents-centric, but this is because I don't have any experience of the Ladies' loos (honest!):

1 - Men, if you're having a wee in a toilet (rather than a urinal), put the seat up first. However accurate you may think you are, and however much you may relish the increased challenge of having a plastic "friendly target" to avoid whilst delivering your "payload" against the porcelain enemy, you WILL hit it.

2 - If you have breached the first law, above, then you should do the decent thing and clean up the collateral "splash damage" yourself. Our military forces have to, and you should too!

3 - No talking, whistling or humming. None. You've gone there because you're either full of crap or full of piss. If you're either, then no-one wants to hear you talk. And whistling / humming indicates a cheerful ignorance of the sheer horrific unpleasantness of the human excretory processes. You don't want to demonstrate your ignorance to others, so no whistling and no humming, capiche? Breach of the no-talking rule whilst either party is in mid-flow at a urinal will be considered a serious offence.

4- No eye contact or checkin' out the tackle of your fellow urinal users. What you're all doing in there is nothing to be proud of. Keep your eyes unfocused and pointed at something neutral, like a wall, as much as possible.

5 - If you're using a urinal, and are not alone, do not fart or grunt. If you think you will have to do either, wait for a cubicle to become available, so that the sonic insulation of the walls can go at least some way towards masking your shameful noise-making. The thin veneer of dignity and civilization that separates us from bonobo chimps is fragile - we must look after it, or we'll soon find ourselves waving our bottoms at one another or advertising PG Tips. And no-one wants that!

6 - Flush when you're done - because however proud of your creation you may be, the next person will not think better of you for seeing it. This rule can be waived if it is night time and is only a Number One, in which case you shouldn't flush, because <>people are sleeping!< /whisper >. If it is a Number Two you should always flush, and if it is night time you should state "It was a poo!" at a medium volume during the flush so that others know your noisy flush was justified.

7 - In your own toilet, if you see the toilet paper is running a bit low, restock it immediately. Do not wait for someone else to do it, and do not wait until later. When it comes to toilet paper, having too much is always preferable to having too little. Being "caught short" is one of the most unpleasant experiences you can go through - avoid it at all costs, and help others avoid it too!

8 - Toilet paper is not for drying your hands. The last person to pull a bit off might have had pooey fingers. Think about that for a second, and then come back to me if you still think washing your hands clean and then drying them with potentially pooey toilet paper is a good idea (please wash and dry your hands properly before coming back to me though!). Also, wasting precious toilet paper for this purpose can increase the risk of others being caught short - and Friends Don't Let Friends Get Caught Short (easy to remember: FDLFGCS!).

9 - Cubicles have doors - use them! If you're going to use a cubicle, close the door. In many public lavatories, the cubicles are in plain view from the corridor when the main lavatory door is open (which it is every time someone goes in or out). The people in the corridor probably don't want to see you pissing. They certainly don't want to see you "dropping the kids off at the pool". Close the door, and enjoy the peace and privacy.

10 - Now Wash Your Hands - if you've put your hands in contact with anything unpleasant, wash them thoroughly. You went to the toilet to get rid of your waste, not to set yourself up to inadvertently eat it later!

So there we have it - the 10 Laws of the Lavatory.

Until I become All Powerful Global Emperor these laws are not enforced by law, but since it is surely only a matter of time before I take the reigns of global power I recommend you get used to following them immediately. You know it makes sense!

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