My New Office

In the early days of this blog (read: 4 months ago), I spent way too much time posting about bathroom stuff–and loved every minute of it. Posts such as Bathroom Rules for Men and Men and Public Restrooms are now legendary in blog circles.

It’s been a long, dry spell. So let’s head to the bathroom once again. Check out my new office–complete with filing cabinet.

I’ll let you decide which is more disturbing: the fact that there is cabinet in the stall or that I took a picture of it. Yes, I tried opening the drawers to see what was inside–how could I resist? Alas, they were locked. So you’ll just have to use your imagination to figure out why it’s in there.

The Strange And Wonderful Land Of Search, 1st Edition

I have been keeping an eye on the search phrases that are bringing traffic to my blog. Some of them are hilarious others are a bit disturbing. Here’s the “best of” so far, categorized for your convenience.

Get A Life

funeral homes – who cleans them?

unexpected uses for green tea

non strenuous jobs for retirees

bathroom items beginning with m

Disturbing

hot dauter dance

“snap it off” toilet

daughter and dad in bath

trend bathroom 2008   (whatever it is, let’s hope it doesn’t involve Larry Craig)

WTF? 

is film on headlight illegal in Canada

anita renfro, william tell

guidance+winds+post+headlight

my dog ate garland

And this one sounds like a fun science experiment: comic strip film canister alka seltzer

Bathroom Rules Violation

We went bowling this evening with some very good friends. About mid-way through the festivities, The Wife excused herself to the restroom. When she returned, she reported an extreme violation of Bathroom Rules. It seems that while she was sitting there, a hand waved under the stall and other lady said “I’m not a politician, but I’m out of toilet paper. Can you pass some?” To make matters worse, The Wife answered her and complied with the request. So actually they both violated the rules.

You can see the all the bathroom rules in a previous post, Bathroom Rules For Men. I know the title refers to men, but most of the rules can also apply to women. I may have to consider expanding my rules a bit. After the Senator Craig incident, I thought it was obvious to everyone that you don’t wave your hand under the stall. Guess I was wrong.

Follow-up To Bathroom Rules

You may recall my previous post on Bathroom Rules for men. I ran into this YouTube video “Male Restroom Etiquette” today. It is absolutely hilarious. Check it out.

Unexpected New Uses For Bathroom Items

CNN posted a story today entitled Unexpected uses for bathroom items. This immediately drew my interest despite all the other stories on silly things like the war, the economy, horrific weather, death and destruction….yawn. In the story, CNN has pulled some of the finest suggestions on alternative uses for bathroom items from the Real Simple website. (Wait, so I’m a website, reviewing another website’s review of yet another website? If CNN happens to review my blog, I think the world will explode.)

Below, at no extra charge, is my expert commentary on a sampling of the items from the original article.

Baby Oil

• Remove latex paint from skin. Pour a generous amount of baby oil on a cotton ball and scrub.

I can be rather lazy. Let’s avoid getting paint on the skin by just not painting to begin with.

• Slip off a stuck ring. Massage oil onto your finger and rotate the ring until you can slide it off. (This trick works to get body parts out of a number of sticky situations.)

Hmmm…I’d like to hear more details about that last statement. Do you happen have a link to a website with stories and pictures?

Dental Floss

• Save a necklace. Rescue a busted strand by threading the beads onto dental floss for a quick, sturdy fix.

Classy. You’ll get raves about that necklace at your next dinner party.

• Hang a painting. To hang lightweight artwork that’s not in a heavy frame with glass, use dental floss in place of picture wire.

I don’t tie very good knots to begin with, but isn’t floss so slick that the knot would just slip out anyway? Now it’s going to come crashing down on my head. CNN, I hope you have your lawyers ready for the lawsuits on this one.

• String a popcorn garland during the holidays. Just thread the floss through a needle as you would ordinary sewing thread.

Does anyone actually do this anymore? Plus, why waste perfectly good popcorn on a decoration? However, maybe they are on to something here: You could string the popcorn on the floss, then eat it directly off the floss. That way you can eat the popcorn and floss at the same time! Now that’s efficiency!

• Tie your hair back before you wash your face if you don’t have an elastic.

Again, wouldn’t the knot just come loose?

• Cut a cheesecake. Use unwaxed, unflavored floss to slice any soft cheeses, layer cakes, or homemade cinnamon buns from a roll.

In these parts, we have things called grocery stores. You can buy food already prepared–and in most cases already cut—there.

Antacid Tablets

• Clean a toilet. Toss in two dissolving antacid tablets, such as Alka-Seltzer, wait 20 minutes, then brush.

Better yet, go to your friend’s house and dump a whole box of Alka-Seltzer in. Then seal the lid. The fun just never stops!

• Remove a stain from a vase’s bottom. Drop a tablet in a little water and let it sit for several minutes. Wipe and rinse.

I can honestly say I’ve never thought for a minute that I needed a vase bottom to be immaculate. Maybe it’s that lazy thing again.

• Impress a kid with a fun science experiment. Pour water into a plastic 35-millimeter-film canister until it is one-third full, drop in a tablet, replace the lid, and quickly place the canister upside down on the ground. Stand back. In 5 to 10 seconds, the gas pressure will make the canister pop its lid and shoot several feet into the air.

Okay CNN, if you didn’t need the lawyers for the falling painting, you’ll definitely need them for this gem. You know that some moron will stand right over this and get his face blown off.

Cotton Swabs

• Touch up paint on cabinets or walls, or use a swab to apply wood stain to elaborate carvings on furniture or scratches on furniture and floors.

I refer back to my statement above: don’t paint. But if you must, wouldn’t the fibers from the swab stick to the wall?

• Tote touch-up makeup in a tiny evening bag by rubbing cotton swabs in concealer and eye shadow, sealing them in a plastic bag, and tucking the bag into your clutch.

This is a great idea. I already do this.

• Take a shine to your silver. Use a swab to apply polish to crevices in flatware or tea services.

Okay, so you’re too cheap to fix a necklace with anything more expensive than floss, but you have silver that needs polishing?

Bathroom Rules For Men

We were having dinner with our best friends last night and after several people came back from the restroom, we started discussing public restrooms and how people use and misuse them. I know, this is already sounding disturbing: discussing bathrooms at the dinner table in a restaurant. However, the discussion got me thinking about some unwritten rules about using a public restroom that I have followed for years. So now, whether you want them or not, I am now publishing the rules. The background on my reasoning for a couple of these rules is explained in a previous post, Men and Public Restrooms. You may want to read that post first if you have not already done so.

Talking

  • Talking is not allowed while using a toilet or urinal. The only exception is a life-threatening medical emergency. Even then, it’s preferable to get out of the restroom before talking.
  • Talking is acceptable while using the sink, but it must be with someone else. No talking to yourself.
  • Talking is tolerated, but highly discouraged, while standing in line
  • Cell phone usage is not allowed anywhere in the restroom (see life-threatening emergency exception above)
  • For purposes of these rules, the definition of talking is expanded to include: whistling, humming, singing, moaning, and groaning–basically any sound generated from the neck up.

Flushing

  • Always flush when you are finished
  • It’s acceptable to pre-flush a toilet if the last person was not considerate enough to do so. However, you don’t need to pre-flush a urinal. I’m pretty certain your urine combined with someone else’s will not create a toxic cloud or cause an explosion. Save the water–but flush after you are done.
  • Don’t flush with your foot. There are way more germs on your shoe than the handle. You’re are just compounding the problem. Plus, you should be washing your hands right after, so if there are any germs they’ll be washed away.

Stalls

  • A casual glance to see if someone is in a stall is fine, but no up-close peering (Senator Craig). The best test is a gentle push on the door to see if it is locked.
  • If all stalls but the handicap one is in use, use the handicap stall so long as someone in a wheelchair is not in line behind you. There are no fines for using a handicap stall.
  • Always lock the door
  • Unless the seat is obviously messy, there’s no need for cleaning. I’ve listened to some several-minute-long rituals of spraying Lysol, scrubbing with toilet paper, flushing, and applying a seat cover. This in a professional office building where the facilities are well maintained. It’s an unnecessary waste of time and money. Think about it, butt cheeks might very well be the cleanest part of the body. You take a shower, then apply a couple layers of clothing. There’s not much opportunity for a lot of germs on the part of the body that touches the toilet seat. Items touched by hands are exponentially dirtier than a toilet seat. (Great, now I’m probably going to have co-workers spraying everything in sight with Lysol.)
  • Never pick up paper off the floor. I think this one is common sense, but I threw it in for Senator Craig’s benefit.
  • If you are out of paper, do not ask for someone to pass paper to you (refer to the talking rules)

Urinals

  • If all urinals are in use and a stall is available, use it.
  • Always look straight ahead
  • Both hands must always remain “down there”. No hands on the hips, behind the head, or behind the back. No arms resting on the wall.

So there you have it. You may want to print this out for future reference. That way, if you ever have any questions, you’ll have the answers right there with you. I may consider creating credit card-sized laminated guides for a reasonable price if there is enough demand. I’d also love to hear if you have any additional rules I should consider adding.