Dear Person in the Bathroom Stall Next to Me,
Stop it. You're disgusting.
I wish I didn't have to write this in public, but as you continue to infringe on my public bathroom privacy, I am now forced to berate you publicly for your lack of privacy in a public place.
I'm getting ahead of myself.
It's as easy as this: Public bathrooms, as we all know, carry their own versions of privacy. While it is a public bathroom in certain terms -- that a large portion of people, i.e. - the public, uses this as their primary lavatory during the work day -- it's also a very private place. The stalls are small and let's face it, it's a solo activity going on in there. They are just large enough to sit back, relax, and read the morning newspaper while dropping the kids off at the pool, and you, sir, are disturbing my reverie.
Now, we all know what we're in there to do and it's not strictly reading-time. Business is business. And of course, we all know that there's a certain amount of noise necessary when seeing Mr. Brown off to the coast. An occasional fart may echo from cavernous ceramic bowls and, let's face it, the act of defecation is rarely an entirely quiet action. The occasional plop, shlop or tootle are expected and unavoidable and are often easy to tune out or at least drown out with a well-timed courtesy flush.
However, you sir, are taking things to an entirely different level. At no time is it necessary for anybody to make exclamations. Never is a "Hnnngggh!", "Hurrrr!", "Aaaagggh...", "Hmmm?", "Woo.", "Ho there!", or "Woah!" needed. Through centuries of modernization and evolution, the human race has evolved beyond the point where they need to narrate their own bowel movements with onomatopoeias. There should be no verbal encouragement needed. You're taking a dump, not rooting on the local football team.
The first time, I thought it was fluke. I thought that, maybe, somebody was caught really off-guard. Perhaps they sat down, thinking that they were working on the age-old riddle of tying their shoes whilst their pants were around their ankles and [plop!], "Whoah! I didn't expect this to happen now! On the toilet? Unheard of! Amazing!"
After months of such behavior, I know better. This is not an occasional mistake. You're not surprised. Rather you seem to only be able to pinch a loaf of pumpernickel with the help of some audial exercise, as though the rumbling of vocal chords were the the only action that could create the delicate, yet necessary, vibrations required in the complicated process of leaving a log in the lurch. Please. It's a planned action! You are a habitual offender, and it really really needs to stop.
So I may as well come out with it: I've been watching your shoes. Since you always choose the stall next to me to work on squeezing out your strained soliloquies, I can't help it. For a while, I would rustle my paper and I would "ahem", trying to silently coach you to keep your inner dialogue... y'know.. inner. But it didn't work. Finally, I just started looking down and making note of the footwear in the stall next to me so that I could mark you in the hallway. I needed to know! Is it the same person each time? Or do I work with an entire office of ignoranuses?
Well, sir, as it turns out, it's just you. I know who you are, and what you do. I know where your office is, when you come into work, when you leave, and obviously when you decide to release the prisoners at the quarry. For now, I'll allow you to remain anonymous, but if it keeps happening I will call you out. In the hallway. In mixed company. Loudly. With excruciating detail. And diagrams.
However, I don't want to act rashly, so please allow me to offer your a couple of alternatives so that you may avoid potential public embarrassment.
1) Shit at home. This is revolutionary, I know, but trust me - you can control when you go to the bathroom. Get up 15 minutes earlier, do the deed on your home throne, and save the rest of us the auditory extravaganza.
2) Stop eating rocks. You're clearly having a problem passing something. Maybe you should look at your diet. Prunes, man. I'm just sayin'.
3) Have some goddamn decency and shut the fuck up.
You've been warned,
The person who leaves a newspaper in the stall on the end every day.
IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
3.18.05 @ 12:08a
3.18.05 @ 12:42a
You poor PC Canucks with your euphemistic 'washrooms'. Am I supposed to applaud you, Myers, because you are a polite stealth-dumper? You're the worst type! You actually admit to reading the fucking paper in a public shitter while quietly judging your stall-mates!
Let me just say, the honest dude who adds color commentary like 'Ho There!' is a lot less disturbing than the effete snob who agonizes in his own stinky silence but then ruffles the paper THAT HE HAS BEEN READING FOR GOD KNOWS HOW MANY UNNECESARY MINUTES to let you know that your shit bothers him!
Shit or get off the pot, man! Hell, go ahead and narrate it if you have to. But don't be a total habitant and judge the guy parked next to you, that's just hypocritical.
3.18.05 @ 8:00a
Holy shit, this is funny.
3.18.05 @ 8:47a
Dan, I would never use the word 'washroom.'
And seriously? Weren't newspapers invented to be read in bathrooms? What are you doing in there?
3.18.05 @ 9:23a
Stop eating rocks!!!!
Nothing is worse than a loud crapper. It's hilarious, but so obtrusive that it embarasses everyone.
3.18.05 @ 10:21a
What are you doing in there?
I'm contemplating the finer, more elusive enigmas of existence, of course.
Okay, true story: I'm at Disneyworld with the rugrats. The boy has got to go, so I take them both to the gents. And there's this one guy, well, he's just in there givin' it hell. I mean, he sounds like Marcellus Wallace in Zed's spiderweb. Eventually it gets quiet, dead quiet, which is the optimal time for the boy to ask "What's wrong with that man? Is he alright?" in a voice loud enough to echo in there! I'll tell ya what, that guy was quiet after that, though.
3.18.05 @ 10:42a
3.18.05 @ 11:06a
This is awesome.
And if I could get you to write a letter to the guy that vomited on the urinal last night at the bar, that would be cool too.
3.18.05 @ 11:29a
And type something up for the guy that dropped a goulashy kinda deuce in the urinal - THE URINAL - over Xmas.
3.18.05 @ 11:46a
And the guy in my office who keeps clogging up the toilet on the left with too much paper.
3.18.05 @ 11:48a
I say "out" the bastard already. What kind of shoes was he wearing?
Another stupid, true bathroom story: I was doing my business (quietly, thank you) in a public restroom while enroute on foot to a college football game. I'd just filled a leather wine sack at a tailgater with a vodka/berry Kool-Aid concoction & it was hanging around my neck. (See where this is going?) I bent over to do the paperwork. The wine sack swung forward between my knees, which squeezed the container slightly -- just enough for it to explode, right into my underwear. Had to sit through the whole damn game in wet pants. Fortunately, my coat was long.
3.18.05 @ 11:55a
Ladies and Gentleman, my husband!
3.18.05 @ 2:46p
Erik: Carry one of those little airhorns into the can with you next time. Next time HE makes and outburst, YOU make an outburst. If nothing else, it will scare the shit out of him...and isn't that he wants, anyway?
3.18.05 @ 3:31p
Women are obviously MUCH more discreet. God, am I glad I'm one. I mean, I enjoy pooping as much as the next gal, but the neighbors don't need to hear it.
3.18.05 @ 3:53p
Ladies and Gentlemen, my girlfriend!
3.19.05 @ 2:03p
Finally someone speaks up! Maybe we can get a senate investigative committee to look into this (after they've completed with the baseball fiasco)...Let's put an end to the needless grunting!
3.20.05 @ 7:33p
The only thing worse than someone doing their business loudly is someone sharing the other patrons' business with the rest of the world via cellphone.
Talk in the hall. Talk out on the patio or sidewalk. Find a handy broom closet--but please, PLEASE: Leave the darn thing turned off when you're in the ladies' loo. Those of us using the premises for their intended purpose would greatly appreciate it. Otherwise, we might one day snap and flush it for you.
3.21.05 @ 2:37a
The guy sounds like he's in serious need of adding more water to his diet.
I speak from personal experience. No, I'm not a public grunt-and-groaner; I have always tried to launch the UPS submarine at home*. Nevertheless, I found that after being ordered by my doctor (under threat of recurring kidney stones) to drink at least two liters of water per day EVERY day, I went from an every-other-day-more-or-less kind of guy to an every-day-at-the-exact-same-time kind of guy.
Maybe you could start handing the guy a big bottle of Dasani every day (or Deer Park, if you're cheap) and telling him it "aids digestion - you know what I mean."
* How many euphemisms for this particular activity are there, anyway?
3.21.05 @ 8:53a
Hah! I can see it now.. in the hallway. Big bottle of water.
"Drink it. Please. For ALL of us."