Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Potty Humor

Since you asked, I play racquetball about three times a week at a tremendously fashionable gym in town that goes by the name of The Las Vegas Athletic Club. This gym is overly crowded; nevertheless, since it is on my way to work, I bring my toiletries and do my showering bidness there, in spite of the enormity of body hair casually on display in the locker room. (Not mine, others.)

Oddly, brushing shoulders with Wookies is not the most offensive part of my morning routine. It is the four bathroom stalls located directly across from the sinks where I brush my teeth and wash my hands after applying a medium-sized dab of hair gel, referred to as “product” by my hair gal, Holly. Anyway, these bathroom stalls might as well have revolving doors with how much use they are getting, and unfortunately, the room is permanently permeated with the most pungent funk that has ever burned your nose hair.

It is affecting my life.

I fear my teeth are suffering the consequences, because I cannot stand to be in there long enough to give them a proper cleaning. I’ve tried holding my breath; I’ve tried going in at different times of the morning; I was even going to try pulling the fire alarm so everyone would evacuate and I could brush in peace, but if they aren’t evacuating from the dreaded stench, I have my doubts they would evacuate from the less-threatening effects of fire.

Then I leave the gym and head to work. I work in an office building where a single bathroom is shared by, oh, I estimate about 40 men. There are two “sit-down” stalls; and again, they are in frequent use. And if you thought the gym was bad… Now you are dealing with a more enclosed space, and the less-health-conscious mindset of Corporate Americans. Oh. My. Stank. 

Many are the days I am torn between doing a “stop, drop & roll” while I crawl out of the bathroom or being a Good Samaritan and hanging around to make sure this poor individual isn’t in need of immediate transportation to the hospital; because they must be dying inside.

What it has come to is this: I have grown weary of smelling O.P.P. (Other People’s Potty habits.)

Perhaps I come across a bit insensitive; and if so, it’s most likely because I’ve never been much of a P² myself. (P² = Public Pooper.) I’ve always been an “At Home” kind of a guy. And at this point in my life, if I come home and Katie and the kids are off running errands, and I have the house/bathroom to myself…I almost get emotional. It’s like Christmas morning.

Of course if you are going to force the issue I will admit that there are emergency situations, and that is why we have public restrooms. I guess. I remember in college, at BYU, I actually had mapped out the best restrooms on campus. You know, in case I was too far from my apartment, or was uncomfortable, or just newly married and trying to keep a good impression going at home.

The best restroom on BYU campus? Seventh floor of the Tanner Building. Nobody is ever – ever – up there. One time I went in there around 11 a.m., and the lights were still off from the night before! Delightful.

The worst bathroom? The basement of the JKHB. One time I was in there because, I don’t know, it must have been a life or death situation, and I checked and nobody else was in the bathroom and I was minding my own business in the stall furthest from the door...when somebody else entered the bathroom. I sat silently. I didn’t breathe. I didn’t flinch. I did not want to be acknowledged. And so stellar was I in my silence, that when this intruder left the bathroom…he turned off the light. I guess he figured nobody in there, no need to waste BYU’s precious electricity.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever been trapped in a dungeon-like bathroom in one of the most vulnerable positions you could ever be left in…but it was an experience I shudder to repeat ever again. I really had to hurry because the only thing worse would have been to have somebody else wander in, turn on the light, and then hear me in the stall and wonder why some weirdo would have been sitting in a bathroom stall in the dark.

The bottom line (pun intended) is this: If I am doing the world a favor by keeping my Potty Habits in check, why should I be exposed to O.P.P.? Why is this not on the ballot? Where does my candidate stand on this issue? And where does my candidate stand on federally subsidized back-waxing at local gym locker rooms? Because Oh. My. Chewbacca.