Civil society is protected by a single egg-shell thin layer of rules. I am Hobbesian in my view of the world. In Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes wrote “during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man.”1 In his natural state, man has the right to do anything he wishes to preserve his life, and this life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Hobbes view on man’s natural state is the foundation of the international relations theory of realism… it is also relevant in man’s nasty state of affairs when it comes to public restroom decorum.
Gentlemen, in case you are unaware… or have forgotten… or if your parents didn’t learn you right, there are some rules that are expected, nay… demanded, that you follow. If there is a continued disregard or flagrant flaunting of these rules, the very natural state of man will come to roost upon your head like a biblical plague. So to make sure that your head (and my sensibilities) are plague free, let me state some of the public restroom rules that you continue to think are only “suggestions.”
– The wall above, the handle of, and piss shield beside the urinal is NOT an appropriate area to wipe your snot. You are, at most, ten feet away from a paper towel dispenser and a roll of toilet paper. If you do feel the need to use your finger2 then at least use that flicking skill you perfected in the 3rd grade to launch your “ammo” into the urinal instead of leaving a disgusting reminder to the rest of us guys who follow behind you.
– Put the damn toilet seat up and then down after you use a stall and toilet for pissing. We understand that due to crowding or shy bladders that some of you are incapable of using a urinal. But as your mom, sister, wife, girlfriend, and daughter have said time, time, and time again… put it up so the squatter behind you doesn’t have to sit in your inaccurately aimed stream… and then put it down so I don’t have to touch where you have likely aimed high.
– Whether it is the stall or urinal… get your fucking aim right. I don’t want my shoes, pants that are around my ankles or any other part of my body and attire touching your piss. You are a grown-ass man, and if you can’t aim it properly… sit your ass down. There is no shame in sitting down to piss, and I bet if you had to clean your toilet and bathroom floor at home you would have better aim or accept reality and cop a squat. Streaming the public restroom like a Tom cat that has instinctual needs to mark his territory is not acceptable behavior.
– Wash your hands. When we see you not wash your hands, you are not only shaming yourself through a public display of disgustingness, but you shame your mom. That woman taught you better, and no it isn’t your wife’s job to ensure you wash your hands… again you are a grown-ass man. The rest of us don’t want to touch the door handle after you have pissed on your hands and then you “forgot” to wash. This is why there is a pile of paper towels near the door on the floor… the rest of us need a prophylactic. If we don’t use a paper towel to assist in door opening, we will be forced to do some weird yoga routine that incorporates our elbows, shins, and hips to get through that door of nasty.
– Any noises not associated with the forceful removal of fecal matter emitting from a stall is strictly verboten. Texting, talking (to self, on phone, or to a friend pissing on the wall by the urinal), grunting (non-fecal related), and whistling is rude and is potentially interrupting the concentration the rest of us need to complete our business. As little information I have on your stall activities the better.
Again, you are grown-ass men in a civil society. It seems, however, that civil society is one booger, piss droplet, or grunt from collapsing. If (and when) civil society does collapse and I come across you breaking one of these rules there will be no one to stop me from slamming your head (repeatedly) in a stall door while your pants are around your ankles… in which I will follow by promptly wiping my hands clean on your shirt. You have been warned.
1. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, chapter XIII.
2. I do believe: your finger, your nose, your business.