Monday, March 12, 2007

On a lighter note, then..

Since love and people dying clearly resonated strongly with the regular readers of this blog (both of you), how about something a little less serious.

Information from Bryan About Toilets and Bathrooms

- it's disappointing that a society that produced the space shuttle can't provide
a) a public toilet where the force necessary to dispense paper is less than the force needed to tear the paper
b) toilet seat covers that tear properly

- fact: some women will leave work and go home to use the bathroom if:
a) the bathroom at work isn't clean enough, or
b) they have serious business to do that might result in detectible sound/odor

- in the US, most people call the public toilet a "restroom", and the one in the home a "bathroom"; in Canada most say "washroom" for both. yes, there are many exceptions. move along.

- studies suggest that people wash their hands after using the bathroom a lot more when there are people watching than when they think they're alone

- if a public bathroom seems really clean, sometimes i don't use a toilet seat cover

- fact: the toilet in the Safeway where I shop is almost always filthy

- there are unstated-but-widely-understood rules for using the urinals in the men's room
(eg, leave an empty urinal between you and the next man; never get caught checking out another guy's hammer; if you talk, do not make eye contact; etc)

- some people seem to have a Pavlovian associative reaction to specific locations (the bookstore, the bank, the library, whatever) that make them have to use the bathroom

- a lot of newer urinals have a little target-like design; apparently men aim better when they have somethign to shoot for

- women have impressed upon men for ages the idea that the toilet seat must be left down, or no one in the household will go to heaven. (i'm pretty sure the day the toilet was invented, the inventor's wife came into the lab and said "that's nice, honey, but you left the seat up.") i'm not sure how it is that women get to be the boss of this. for men, about four fifths of the time the needed position for the seat is UP -- not down -- so to us, up seems normal and right.

- and speaking of that, here's a question: knowing that a fair number of barbarian men are going to pee all over the seat in a unisex public restroom, is it actually more considerate to leave it UP, so that when a woman uses it she has a slightly better chance of it not being covered in droplets? i'm happy to let women make the call on this one, just let us know what you'd like...

- and still speaking of that, when the first woman deems the seat too far gone to be used even with a paper cover, she will do the crouching/hovering thing so she doesn't have to touch the seat at all. not that i blame her, but it seems the lack of precision aiming devices in this case often results in the seat being spattered worse than when men do it.
not that we philistines notice or care, mind you -- i'm just saying.

- in spanish, one way to describe the hovering technique translates to "going pee like eagles"

- a story of lameness:
one time after some sporting or entertainment event, we all had to go -- the boys in the group just went behind a big truck, but the girls wanted to wait until we could find an actual bathroom. the cutest of the girls said, pouting, "it's not fair, boys have handy gadgets..."
i remember being happy due to the mere fact that she had, however indirectly, acknowledged the existence of my gadget.
when you're a young guy, you make do with what you're given...

Bonus Section (yay!)
Russian toilet facts
- for some reason, the bowl is often not bowl-shaped on the inside; it has a shelf-like arrangement (to save water?) that has the effect of keeping deposits in close proximity to the user. the first time you use one of these toilets, the experience of reaching under yourself with the paper in your hand is apt to be surprising and disappointing
- as in many other countries, sometimes it's not a bowl at all; it may be porcelain, but it's essentially a fancy hole in the floor.
- in most places it costs money to use the public toilet
- it's a few kopecks more if you want paper
- they are often very stingy with the paper
- the paper is very rough; i think it is made from steel wool & asbestos; it may leave you bleeding, but on the other hand it will address even the most stubborn situation

There you go, then. (You're welcome -- don't mention it.)


At Mon Mar 12, 06:05:00 PM PDT, Blogger heatherfeather said...

the french like the turkish toilets, too (holes in the floor).

lemme tell you, that it's very stupid to have those in bars, because occasionally your balance may be challenged.

At Mon Mar 12, 07:34:00 PM PDT, Blogger Left Coast Sister said...

Hey thanks for this. Splendid discourse on a much-ignored topic.
My two favorite toilets: 1) the ones at O'Hare Airport that have the circulating seat covers (when you're done, the sensor moves the Saran-wrap-like seat cover. 2) on the opposite side of the spectrum, the Moroccan version in which you place your feet in plastic foot holders on either side of a deep abyss and hope the hole doesn't give way. There's no US Embassy to bail you out down there.

At Mon Mar 12, 08:54:00 PM PDT, Blogger Extrem4 said...

I think you left out the ever popular pooping in public waterways while waterskiing/recreating.

At Mon Mar 12, 09:46:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a new reader,I came across your blog accidently and I am really enjoying your thoughts. Here's one to add to today's post. In the airport in Amsterdam they have painted a little fly in the urinal for men to aim has a picture of it.

At Mon Mar 12, 11:06:00 PM PDT, Blogger jay aitch said...

When I'm done cracking up at your post, I am going to say it was too much information. :D

At Tue Mar 13, 08:41:00 AM PDT, Blogger unca said...

I read about a new urinal being installed at bars. When the urinal detects the presence of a user, a female voice announces, "Hi there, big boy. How much have you had to drink tonight? Maybe you should think about calling a cab or having someone drive you home." (or words to that effect -- I know the "big boy" phrase is part of it). No word yet on a device that would actually measure urine for alcohol, "on the fly," as it were.

At Tue Mar 13, 10:05:00 AM PDT, Blogger Lisa said...

I'm not sure I want to know why you've been in the restroom at the Safeway by your house more than once :)

At Tue Mar 13, 10:32:00 AM PDT, Blogger Lisa Sonrisa said...

Oh, how I despise those women who hover like eagles. In the building where I work, there is only one staff bathroom and it's upstairs. The ladies downstairs who have a real emergency have to run up the stairs or deal with the public (student) bathrooms. Blegh.

By the by, I found your blog through another blog I enjoy, DoctorMama. Hope you don't mind my stopping by once in a while.

At Tue Mar 13, 04:22:00 PM PDT, Blogger blogball said...

I love that "going pee like eagles" translation.

When I read that I thought of that Song by the Steve Miller Band called “Fly like an Eagle” but instead the words would be
“Pee like an eagle but I keep slippin', slippin', slippin' Into the toilet”

Sorry but that’s what I thought of and I’m not afraid to share it.

At Tue Mar 13, 07:40:00 PM PDT, Blogger bryan torre said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comments on these important issues.
HF, it seems like Russia would be one of the last places you'd want toilets you can't navigate while drunk, but there you go...
LCS, I like the auto-cover tihng at O'hare also, but the men's rooms in the B and C concourses absolutely reek.
Extrem, mind your own business. Actually, I did share that in detail before, so I thot I could be let off the hook this time...
Flo & Lisa S: nice to have you. Stop by often.
JH: I specialize in TMI.
unca, i wonder if it's good to have a woman's voice talking to drunk guys in the bathroom -- in no time they'll be trying to hit on the urinals.
Lisa - law of averages, I guess. You shop there for 7 years and a few of those times will coincide with potty time...
Blogball, I like your version better; that's how I'm going to think of it from now on...

At Tue Mar 13, 11:07:00 PM PDT, Blogger si said...

well, i'm kinda late in reading/commenting but here goes...

i've also been impressed w/the auto-rotating toilet seat-plastic thing but have to admit i've wondered how do we know that it's not coming back around and being re-used, hmmm??

i'd rather go 5 miles out of the way than use a porta-potty.

holes in the ground/floor are also common in a lot of japan. i'd say the sake-drinking could pose a problem with balance too.

and in an only slightly related story, which i'll tell on my best friend (it wasn't me, i swear!): our high school was invited to go to vienna, austria. the trip included a stopover in paris on the way back. now with us being hicks from a rural town, most of us had never seen a bidet before -- all of our hotel bathrooms had one right beside the toilet. well, my friend thot it was a weird, low sink and decided to rinse out her pantihose in it. when she found out what the function of a bidet was, aside from being really embarrassed, i'm sure she never intended for that story to come out. but thanks to her roommate (also not me in this case), she was not so lucky. i do like to bring it up to her once in a while -- which i feel is her punishment for being my friend for too-many-years-to-count...

At Thu Mar 15, 09:28:00 AM PDT, Blogger Ev said...

omg! i have a real problem with toilet paper that tears off one sheet at a time. oooo. that really gets my goat. it reminds me of being in kindergarten and having the dispensers that only gave one sheet. and i am supposed to use that to CLEAN MYSELF?

jaysus christ.

now i am all worked up.

At Sun Mar 18, 07:37:00 PM PDT, Blogger Alan said...

In Hamburg they had rolls of crepe paper in the stalls. Man that was rough stuff!


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