Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rules Of The Men's Room

The rules of the men's room aren't written down anywhere, and they're not exactly passed on from generation to generation. If you're a guy, you just grow to understand and follow them. Unless you're Senator Larry Craig, apparently.

For his sake, let's review...

Rule #1: No talking. There might be lengthy conversations going on in the Ladies Room, but men keep it to a minimum, usually no more than a "hey" or a "howzit going?" You're here for one purpose, then wash your hands and get out.

Rule #2: No looking. Sideways glances at the urinals are frowned upon, and sneaking a peek through the crack in the stall door can get you a ballpoint pen in the eyeball. It's okay to check for feet under the door, but otherwise, keep your eyes on your own business.

Rule #3: No touching. This one should go without saying.I don't know how you even get your foot under the partition between stalls to a point where you touch the foot of the guy next door. Even Cirque du Soleil contortionists find this move odd.

Rule #4: Check to see if there's toilet paper in the stall before you sit down. If you don't, you risk having to talk to the guy next door and begging him to spare a square. This is funny when Elaine Benes does it, but unbelievably awkward in the real world.

Rule #5: Courtesy flush.

Thanks to Senator Craig, we have to add one more rule:

Rule #6: If you're charged with soliciting gay sex by touching tootsies with an undercover cop in an airport men's room -- and you weren't doing it -- don't plead guilty!!! Instead, deny it immediately and fight the charges, rather than risk besmirching your reputation. This is especially true if you've already had to deal with similar allegations in the past. As history proves time and time again, keeping quiet about it and/or trying to cover it up will only make things worse.

Being straight, I'll admit to a lack of knowledge on the whole concept of trying to pick someone up in the bathroom. It's not just that we're all guys in there, it's that we're in a public men's room, an inherently disgusting place. I don't care if the janitor has just come through and cleaned up -- it won't stay that way. In a really busy public bathroom, there's enough effluvia to keep a colony of bacteria happy for a century. And this is where you're looking for some action?

I feel sorry for the undercover cop who was assigned to that duty, if you'll pardon the expression. Sitting in that stall for long periods, just waiting for a guy next door to make his move. At a certain point, any violation of the Rules Of The Men's Room is going to be worthy of an arrest, if only because it means getting out of there.

The only worse job has to be men's room attendant. Something must have gone horribly wrong in your life to get to the point where you choose that as your occupation. Who wants to spend several hours a day in there, hearing those sounds and smelling those smells?

Talk about a profession that long ago passed the point of necessity. I can operate my own faucet, thank you very much. In some men's rooms, the attendant empties out the paper towel dispensers so you can only get them from him. Then he stands there while you wash your hands, hovering and violating Rule #2, waiting for a tip. I much prefer those motion-activated dispensers, which never make you feel guilty for not handing over a buck.

I can't help but shake my head everytime I see a men's room attendant who has laid out that little display of items for sale, from cologne to candy. Mmmm, there's nothing I love more than a Three Musketeers bar I bought in the bathroom. Yuck. How is this guy staying in business?

He could at least post the Rules Of The Men's Room on the wall, just in case any US Senators come in.