Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The (Bathroom) Sins Of Our Fathers

Is there such a thing as a bathroom-phobe? No that's not the right word because I'm not scared of the can but rather obsessed with writing about it. From pulling out "road wins", to strange signs, on down to giving extra attention to water conservation, I notice that it is among my most mulled over topics. Perhaps that's because of the wonderful material found there (not the stuff found on the floor though).

Enter our first entry in this shortened presidents day week. It started on Sunday morning at swim class for the little fella. We were done with our lesson, he was with Mrs. Bloggerman and I was in the men's locker room changing for lunch. There was another father in there with his young daughter. Nothing new here and I was just finishing up putting my shoes on as they were about to walk out. The father asks his daughter to wait a second while he saddles up to the urinal. As he's taking care of business, the little girl asks, "Daddy is this a 'fragile' bathroom?"

I'm not sure who had "confused" on their face more, me or the Dad. But using his advanced fathering skills he didn't miss a beat and asked her what she meant. Then as if everybody else in the world knew what she was talking about she continues, "You know, one of those where you have to wash your hands."

Ah the innocence of a child. Clearly she doesn't remember what her parents taught her, the schools teach her, and what society teaches her. Of course her father was set to clear this up right away. He was going to tell her to wash her hands anytime she goes into the bathroom. He opens his mouth and says, "Honey, you only have to wash your hands when you poop. We don't have to do it if we just pee."

Thankfully I managed to pick my jaw up off the floor in time to see him finish, zip his fly and walk out with his daughter (without washing his hands). I sat there for a few moments trying to digest what I just saw. After swallowing the small amount of vomit in my mouth, I washed my own hands and wet down a paper towel to hose off the locker room door handle.

If you are not yet disgusted from this story, you either have no moral compass or you've stopped reading (which means that your not reading this now so I can say pretty much anything thing I want about you). But it gets me thinking that there should be some basic rules every man teaches his son or daughter about using the restroom:

1) Toilet Seats
If you are a guy, lift the seat up (with your foot if need be) if you are going to pee. You should, of course, already tried to get to a urinal, trough, or empty bottle but if it's a must, please think of the next guy who needs to come "lay some pipe". If you are using a unisex (stop chuckling!)  bathroom please put the seat back down when you're done. It makes the rest of us look bad when you don't.

2) Toilet Paper
Ladies, we need paper too. Stop using 1/2 a roll every time you walk into a bathroom. As Elaine once said, please spare a square (or several).  And for crying out loud, of you finish the roll, replace it...don't just leave the cardboard roll hanging out there with that last square of paper super-glued to the tube.

3) Washing Your Hands
This is only targeted to a few people (including my swim class parents). Every time you get close to a toilet, wash your hands. That's warm water, soap, lather, rinse, dry. You don't need to sing "Happy Birthday" twice or "Row Row Row Your Boat", but you do need to lather a little bit.

Ok, off my bathroom soapbox. Back on to my regular soapbox tomorrow.


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