Saturday 19 March 2016

Public Toilet Etiquette (Part Two)

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 BeyoncĂ© 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.


joeh said...

This is very funny because it is spot on. In the states it is ok to make a comment to the dude next to you if you know each other well, but you must look straight ahead, as you say, that can not be emphasized enough.

Any conversation must be very short an only to acknowledge that you do know each other. Standard conversation I have heard a thousand times and even participated in goes like this:

"Wow, the water is cold."

"Yes...and deep."

That's it. It was funny the first time I heard it 25 years ago, now it is just some kind of acknowledgement code. And as you so aptly point out, STARE STRAIGHT AHEAD!

River said...

I don't get this "don't talk" rule. What's wrong with saying "hello" or "nice day outside" or similar small talk?
I've heard the British are uptight about most things related to bodily functions, but thought it was mostly rumour.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Joeh,

The only way you can acknowledge a man you know is to grunt or nod slightly.

That's it.

It's a man thing - not a country thing.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi River,

As I said to Joeh - this is a man thing not a country thing. We Brits actually talk a lot about bodily functions, much to the disgust of our fellow Europeans.

The reason you don't understand the "don't talk" rule is because you are a woman and, as I said, women flout the law in this case as career criminals.

You should all be reported to the appropriate authorities.




Dale Brown said...

A pair of rules that need to be enforced with a nail-studded bat, as far as I'm concerned.

I've had people try to hold actual conversations with me and I dunno about you, but I find it hard to hold up my end of the discussion when my dong are hanging out and busy doing its thing.

JahTeh said...

River, it's because men can't multi-task. I mean you and I could talk, pee, pull up knickers, gather handbags and remember to wash our hands and check our lipstick and hair do.
Plasman couldn't finish his pee he was so shocked by the sound of a human voice but we must remember the little dears are so delicate that they have their rules to avoid PTSD in case the bloke next door is more well endowed. With all that eyes front, I wonder they don't pee on their shoes.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Big D,

Exactly my point. Thankfully, it seems that a great many men agree with us.




Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi JT,

Not THAT old chestnut again.


This has nothing to do with multi-tasking - that is a myth spread by women who like to talk to each other in the toilet in an attempt to justify why they are breaking the LAW.

BTW The THIRD LAW is "Under no cicumstances LOOK DOWN at the bloke next to you!" and let me just confirm that this LAW is adhered to by men who are EXTREMELY well endowed - like me!




JahTeh said...

This is one comment thread where picture proof may be needed.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi JT,

In the interests of good taste ...




Unknown said...

I think all your points also apply to portable toilets as well. Anyone not being considerate of people after him or her, is being a jerk of the highest order.

Plastic Mancunian said...

Hi Hannah,

Totally agree. Public toilet etiquette definitely applies to portable toilets.