I feel I need to reinforce a rule that I first mentioned in an old blog post about public toilet etiquette. You can read it here.
Yes, I’m sorry, dear reader, but I am once again going to discuss toilets, something foreigners think that British people are obsessed with. I know Americans refer to it as “The Bathroom” and Australians refer to “Dunnies” – but it is what it is – a bloody toilet!
So if you are vaguely offended by discussions about the less attractive necessities of the human body, please stop reading now.
For the rest of you …
In the post mentioned above, I briefly allude to a specific rule. Actually, no – let me be crystal clear about this – it is a specific LAW that, if broken, should result in a hefty fine and nasty slap on the wrist for the perpetrators.
All men know this law; it is written in our DNA.
All women ignore this law and are quite keen to disobey it. In fact, in the female world, it is encouraged to bound over the line of good taste and positively encourage this crime. Women even go to public toilets IN PAIRS to openly break the law and laugh in the faces of any men who dare to speak up against it.
The law is this.
Men must NEVER EVER EVER EVER talk to each other in public toilets.
I’ve seen women walk into public toilets in pairs, arms linked, chatting away as if they haven’t seen each other for months, to actually talk to each other in adjacent cubicles while answering the call to nature.
How do they get away with this?
The reason I am writing this post is because a man spoke to me in a public toilet, causing me momentarily to break ANOTHER law before I realised what I was doing.
He said to me (and I still can’t believe this):
“Hey, Dave – fancy meeting you here!”
The law that I broke, in utter shock I hasten to add, was this:
Men must NEVER EVER EVER EVER look at another man in public toilets.
Male public toilets should be like a library!
I stared at the perpetrator of this heinous crime with a look of shock and disgust. And then I remembered the second law and looked straight at the wall in front of me. Such was the shockwave, that I suddenly lost the ability to pee, and in shame I zipped up and rushed out of the loo only remembering to wash my hands when I reached the door. Having been forced to break the second law, I certainly didn’t want to be chased down by the Health and Safety police for violating their first law of toilet etiquette.
Of course, a few minutes later, my body remembered that I hadn’t quite finished and I found myself going back into the toilet. Anybody who saw me re-enter the loo no more than five minutes after I had been before no doubt thought that I had a strange medical condition requiring me to urinate every five minutes.
I have only just recovered, dear reader, and am so ashamed of myself that I need to use you as a therapist and let it all hang out, so to speak.
Anyway, now I’ve got this out in the open, I want to reiterate to any potential male public toilet criminals that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES must you EVER EVER EVER talk to another man in a public toilet.
Of course, there may be circumstances where it is absolutely essential, for example if you have been injured or something like that.
In those rare emergency situations you are allowed to say things like:
“I have slipped and hurt my head. Please call the emergency services.”
In fact (and I swear I am not making this up), a poster appeared at work actively encouraging people to talk in the toilet “to be creative and share ideas”. It showed a man washing his hands and an unseen work colleague speaking from an adjacent trap (that’s what we call a “stall” or a “cubicle” – well at least that’s what I call them anyway!).
What on earth were they thinking?
I know there are a number of career public toilet criminals out there who will ignore this post and laugh like Dr Evil.
For the rest of us, you can spot them because they will break the rule in the following ways:
They will speak to you when it is not an emergency.
They will stare at you.
Some will even say terrible things like:
“We must stop meeting like this.”
“Is there any toilet paper in your trap?”
“Wow – that’s very impressive.”
“Do you want me to help you find it?”
“Don’t worry! I’ll turn on the taps when I’ve finished. That should help!”
“I’d give that five minutes if I were you.”
“Have you seen the new Beyoncé video?”
“Sorry about the splashback!”
“Our bodies are totally synchronised.”
“Sorry, mate. I couldn’t flush!”
If you encounter such serial criminals, simply run away. Do not look at them but try to finish what you started; after all, there’s nothing worse than having a little accident because of a toilet talker.
Just remember to wash your hands.