Tuesday, February 26, 2013

smokin' in the boys' room

The rules of public men's rooms are like the rules of Fight Club. The first rule is: "You don't talk about Public Men's Rooms." The second rule is: "You don't talk about Public Men's Rooms." In the interest of setting the record straight once and for all and to enlighten those who have been otherwise misinformed or have strayed from the accepted procedure, I will momentarily break the first two rules — if only for the greater good. I will reveal the unwritten rules of public men's rooms for those who have never entered the inner sanctum and for those who need a refresher course (no pun intended).

Rule 1. No talking. No fucking talking! Do I make myself clear? NO TALKING! Don't talk to me. Don't talk to yourself. Don't talk to anyone. If you must acknowledge my presence, then grunt. You know what I mean - the guttural male "hmrrmm." No actual, recognizable words. Don't tell me anything. Don't try to engage me in a conversation. I can guarantee you that there is nothing — absolutely nothing — that is so important that you need to tell me that can't wait until I'm on the other side of the entrance door. Nothing. I don't care if my goddamn head is on fire. Believe me, it can wait. I don't care if we are under alien attack and they are evacuating the building. It can wait. I swear, I'll be through in a minute. And, under those circumstances, another minute isn't going to make one bit of difference.

Rule 1a. (specific for sports and concert facilities) I don't care how drunk you are, how well your team is doing or how rocking the band is — the rules still apply.

Rule 2. Eyes forward. And keep 'em forward. No looking around. You came in there for a reason and one reason only. So did everyone else. And it ain't a fucking spectator sport.

Rule 3. Leave a buffer. Here's the basic etiquette: There are three urinals on the wall (we'll call them, from left to right, 1, 2 and 3). If you are alone, take position 1. If someone comes in while you are there, they should take 3, leaving 2 as a buffer. If you come in and, due to circumstances of previous poor time gauging, number 2 is taken, take the one closest to a wall. If there is only one available, obviously you have no choice. But, please, abide closely to Rules 1 and 2. I can't stress this enough. Do not make smart-ass comments of "Oh, full house today." Do not make comments of any kind.

If you are lucky enough to visit a men's room with more than three urinals, buffer rules still apply. Occupation of the far extreme right or left is preferred (leaving at least one buffer, as space permits).

Rule 4. Wash your hands. I hate to sound like your mother, but come on! I don't care what kind of pig you are at home, but this is a public bathroom and the public is watching. And if you ain't washing your hands, the public is talking about you. Three drops of liquid soap and a quick rinse under the faucet isn't going to kill you. It may even prove beneficial. Later, you can go back to your usual disgusting (or non-existent) hygiene habits when you're in the comfort of that shit hole you call "home."

There's one more that's not really a rule as much as it's common courtesy. Please. Please! Don't confuse a public bathroom stall with a phone booth. I know we all have cellphones and we think we need to have a non-stop, constant connection with the world. But, for Christ's sake, nobody in the bathroom wants to hear your loud phone conversation. Nobody on the other end of the line wants to hear you in the bathroom and you are not that important that you can't take two minutes out of your busy schedule to clear out your intestines. No one is that important. NOfuckingONE!

Well, that's it. I'm sure that these rules have absolutely no application in women's public bathrooms, but, of course, I have no frame of reference.

Now, if you'll excuse me...


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