Dispatches from Suburbia

If I played an instrument, I would have a band called "The Simon Thomsen Sex Tape"; and other musings, rants, and disconnected ramblings.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Restroom phobia

“At a formal dinner party, the person nearest death should always be seated closest to the bathroom.”

-George Carlin

Some time ago, I read a RollingStone interview with Andy Dick in which Dick's strange bathroom habits were discussed.

Apparently, if Andy Dick absolutely must go No. 2 in a public restroom, he begins by standing on the toilet with his feet on the rim. He then creates a hammock out of toilet paper and suspends it beneath his bottom. By doing this he allows himself to catch and carefully lower his waste with little mess to the water below, therefore keeping as much distance as possible between his skin and the surface of the toilet.

The article presented this habit as if it is completely unreasonable, as if Andy Dick is very odd for doing this. Yes, Andy Dick is odd, but for separate reasons, and I personally wouldn't go so far by creating a TP hammock and balancing myself on a toilet. But I do sympathize with him.

I avoid contact with public toilets at all costs. I would rather go my entire ten-hour shift at work with unbearable stomach cramps before my heiny goes near the rim of a public toilet. Sorry, call me crazy, but I'm just not comfortable allowing my heiny to go where many heinies, perhaps thousands, have gone before.

I've been called paranoid, a little stuck-up, and perhaps OCD, but I'm much more comfortable with a stomach ache than with the haunting suspicion that my bottom has graced the same porcelain as Lord knows how many bottoms before it. I even carry this fear despite the fact that most public restrooms I have ever been in provide those paper toilet seat protectors--but who are we kidding? Does that thin sheet really provide that much protection from whatever mix of creepy-crawlies that has made a home of any public restroom?

I never understood how George Costanza was so comfortable in using every restroom he came across. Seinfeld fans may remember that George knew all the bathrooms in New York and even rated them like he was a restaurant critic. George Costanza, the restroom critic.

Maybe I've become somewhat of a slave to my own paranoia. Maybe I need to loosen up, to give in once in a while, to tread the mysterious waters. Maybe. But I'm just not ready to go there. Perhaps I'm too timid and cowardly, but I'm just not prepared to bravely make my way into that bathroom stall, newspaper tucked in my arm, a look of determination on my face. Not today.


At 1:00 PM, Blogger mist1 said...

Have you not learned to hover?

At 2:43 PM, Blogger thethinker said...

Those toilet protective cover contraptions DO NOT work. They do not stay in place.

But, as mist1 mentioned, I've perfected the hover technique.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Pythia3 said...

Hey, now I truly appreciate those Turkish toilets when I lived in Greece. I once thought those holes in the ground in the public restrooms were pretty disgusting (having come from a country where my Nana had a padded toilet seat in her peach colored bathroom and a magazine rack and can of Lysol next to the commode!)

Now, looking back, I would rather stoop that low (pun intended) and keep my tush far away from the invisible and sometimes all too visible filth!

Anyway, from what I've heard, girls are far messier than the guys. I hope that is true, because I can't imagine things looking any worse than they do around 1:30am out at the clubs !

Hey BTW I love Seinfeld! Everything leads back to a Seinfeld episode in my life.

Next topic: the weird names for women, men, guys, gals, bucks, does, etc on the restroom doors. Sometimes I almost pee my pants just trying to decipher exactly which one is the ladies room, (especially after a few cocktails!)

At 5:12 PM, Blogger Shionge said...

I'm with you but it's filthy in most of the loos here in Singapore and that's why....people who don't flush the toilet after use get fine......:P

At 5:57 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Dare to go where everyone has gone before. It is a scary concept, but hovering sounds like a good suggestion.

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Dorky Dad said...

Oh, man. You speak my language. I CAN'T STAND public bathrooms. They're disgusting, vile places. I don't even want to THINK about some of the things I've witnessed in public restrooms.

Great. Now I'm thinking about it.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

Isn't that the way they do it in India, minus the tepee of course. I'm more the George Costanza type. Bodily functions are way too important for me to ignore.

At 11:48 PM, Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

My youngest was especially offended by the fact that they were billed as "restrooms" but had no couches on which to rest.

Driving cross-country with a 4-year old restroom critic is an adventure that could put one off public stalls forever.

At 1:08 AM, Blogger ShadowFalcon said...

I don't actully have too much of a problem with this as its worse not to go, the go somewhere thats horrid (try a hole in the ground, outside and exposed in Kolcutter, next to a leaf cutter ant colony it will cure any bathroom worries). My sister on the hand keeps wet wipes she collect from fast food places in her hand bag to wipe down the seat.

The thing I can't stand it the smell

At 6:03 AM, Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Seriously, I don't like public bathrooms at all, but alas, what can you do! Airplanes are the worst, I think.

At 1:32 PM, Anonymous GermBuster said...

Hello there - GermBuster here.

We've developed this handy personal sanitation kit for travelers, so they can have their way and clean up these terrible restrooms and bathrooms.

At leaste where they touch and sit.

Please pass this website along to your friends who may need it.




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