A lovely New Yorker at the bar this weekend advised me that I should have no fears at all. Now I love me some New Yorkers, but man this dude was CRAZY. I mean, the un-expected "WOO" every 3 minutes made for some pretty awkward conversation, but to have no fear at all is just...insane.
When I think of things I am afraid of there are a few things that top my list:
-Brown recluse spiders
...but most of all I am afraid of
I can't even explain it without going off on a tangent about it, but I actually have bad dreams that involve public toilets. I think the problem is that I am very observant in a public washroom. I notice every little disgusting tidbit of a public toilet. Maybe because I grew up as a partial-hillbilly and I distinctly remember peeing outside of the car on the side of the highway, but the thought of what kind of germs are lurking give me the creepies.
It may also be the fact that whenever an emergency arises there is always something that makes it that much harder for me to go in public. Say for instance today. I had to pee so bad on the way home from work. I actually had to go just before I left the office but I was rushing (as usual) and it was either pee or miss my bus - I decided on catching the bus. By the time I got downtown I was sooo ready to pee. I got off the bus at the mall and went to the less-than-2-month-old bathroom, figuring it would be pretty clean...afterall it's new and all.
Open stall one - Poop, clogged and something that I don't even want to remember floating.
Stall two - Pee on seat
Stall three - Pee on seat
Stall four - No TP
Stall five - I don't remember what was wrong with this one, but it was another negative...wait I think it was TP on the floor in a suspicious ball.
I finally found a stall that was up to my standards. The first thing I thought was...wow, women really are a bunch of pigs. Secondly I thought of the New Yorker from the bar and how he said to have no fears. How on earth am I suposed to face a fear of such filth? I decided to come home and research public toilets. I'm still not entirely sure it was a good idea...but for your reading pleasure (and hopefully I don't give you guys a bathroom complex like I have) here are a few little interesting facts I came across:
- Consider that when you flush with the lid up, fecal bacteria are propelled into the air, landing on the tank, the floor, the seat and the toilet paper, unless it is protected by a dispenser. Hot-air dryers can also propel bacteria around the room. (I hate the hot-air dryers!)
- Infectious-diseases experts say there is almost no chance of getting a sexually transmitted disease simply by using public toilets, although scientists have found that the herpes virus can survive for up to 72 hours on inanimate objects, and Trichomonas vaginalis, a parasite that is spread through sexual activity, can also survive on moist objects. Still, you can pretty much rule out getting an STD, even if you sit down on the toilet seat. (well that's a relief...I think)
- Studies suggest that between 20 and 50 per cent skip washing their hands after using the toilet. (bleh...)
Although I am afraid of bathroom poop germs, I do not avoid public washrooms as I know it's pretty important not to hold your pee. I use the public washroom at work everyday...every STINKY day. These are a few of my personal bathroom rules I wish everybody would follow:
- Don't poop. There I said it. I wish that people wouldn't infect my nostrils with their stink 3 times a day at work. Poop at home people...or courtesy flush or something.
- Don't talk to me while I'm peeing. I can't perform. I get some sort of stage fright. I just recently got to the point where I could pee "loudly" without worrying about someone hearing me in the bathroom so I am really not ready to have a conversation about the office Survivor pool with you while I'm on the can.
- Please wash your hands. For the love of all heck just wash your hands. I don't want to touch the door handle after your poop(and I know you pooped because the smell is making my eyes water) infested hands do.
- If you do wash your hands, I could kiss you...but if you ran them under water for only 2 seconds you really aren't doing the world any favours. Get lost stinky.
- If there is a whole row of empty stalls, please don't poop in the stall right beside me. That kind of behaviour usually leads to rule #2 or you begging for some TP.
- I know there is a crack in the door, and I know you can see through that crack if you are at the right angle...but please don't. Also don't knock on the door to see if anybody is in there...it really doesn't help with my talk-pee performance problem.
- Last but not least, Maxi pads, tampons...do I really need to see them? There is a place for those, use it.
Now if you are one of those who do have to poop in a public washroom (or at work) I urge you to read How To Poop At Work. It changed my life.