August 20, 2009

The Bathroom Commandments

I was in the bathroom (because all good stories start with those five words) standing there at the urinal (I was at work - my bathroom at home isn't quite that well appointed) just beginning to do my thing (that thing being peeing, draining the lizard, seeing a man about a horse). It was early and I was alone. In fact, before I walked into the bathroom, before the motion-activated lights flipped on it was really and truly dark and silent.

Halfway through, zoning out staring straight ahead at the white subway tile, thinking about the day unfolding ahead of me while trying to hit the little pink urinal cake it became immediately clear that I was not alone. The scream tipped me off.


This exclamation quite literally scared the piss out of me. First, I made my default exclamation - FUCK! - then I peed all over the wall.

Given a couple moments to think about it, I started to piece together what had happened. Whoever it was down in stall #3 had fallen asleep, the lights had turned off and he'd entered dreamland, though a fairly fucked up dreamland, so fucked up in fact that I wanted to get the hell out of Dodge before he decided to make me his next victim.

Now, due to all my strange bathroom encounters, I have an extensive set of personal rules governing bathroom behavior, Bathroom Commandments, if you will. I follow them and I expect others to as well. Because they make sense.

  • Thou shalt not under any circumstances regardless of the intensity of hunger pains eat or drink while relieving one's self.
  • Thou shalt undertake no other grooming activities - for instance tooth brushing - while relieving one's self.
  • Thou shalt not fully remove any articles of clothing during one's tenure in the restroom. This includes shirts but it is especially critical that pants remain on.
  • Thou shalt not sing, dance, or stage any kind of musical or variety show in the restroom. This is distracting and weird.
  • Thou shalt not talk on the phone while performing standard bathroom operations. Thou dost not need to communicate that badly.
  • Thou shalt not sleep in the bathroom.
Do you have any commandments to add?

Posted by Chris at August 20, 2009 6:39 AM

Thou shalt not play with Nazi dragonflies? Mommy?

Posted by: Jon (was) in Michigan at August 20, 2009 7:39 AM

when all the other stalls are empty, thou shalt not use the one right next to mine.

I don't know why that bugs me, but it does.

Posted by: Akofaolain at August 20, 2009 8:21 AM

Holy cow, that is sooooo weird! I can't imagine falling asleep in any bathroom, nevermind a public bathroom. Had it been me who had had such an experience, I no doubt would have screamed resulting in said dreamer waking up and screaming back, causing me to scream get the picture.

Thou shalt wash thy hands *prior* to commencing any preening activities. (Again, you think this would be common sense!)

Posted by: Elizabeth at August 20, 2009 8:33 AM

Thou shalt not communicate with others while thou and/or others are using the bathroom.

Posted by: Fraulein N at August 20, 2009 9:05 AM

I'm not entirely sure why but the sentence "This is distracting and weird" really, really amuses me this morning.

Posted by: Heather at August 20, 2009 9:14 AM

I have to echo two that are already presented:
Thou shall respect the buffer stall
Thou shall not converse whilst relieving oneself or while still in the vicinity of the stall.

Posted by: MamaKaren at August 20, 2009 9:23 AM

What about "Thou shalt not let thine eyes gaze upon the glory of another man's penis at the urinal"?

Posted by: Knot at August 20, 2009 9:28 AM

Thou shalt not smear guacamole dip on thy hand and reach under the stall wall to ask thy neighbor for toilet paper.

(Granted, this only happened once, and it was someone I knew trying to be funny, but still...)

Posted by: Roses at August 20, 2009 9:50 AM

Thou shalt not speak to me while I am in the stall. Especially at work.

I have to say, your bathroom experiences are truly something. I can't say I've ever had anything particularly weird happen to me in a bathroom. What exactly did you DO in a former life?

Posted by: Alias Mother at August 20, 2009 9:59 AM

At my house there is one bathroom and one rule - "Thou shalt not forget to flush."

Posted by: Theresa at August 20, 2009 10:20 AM

Though shalt not screech about socialist insects while calling for one's mother while engaged in dropping the kids off at the pool.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at August 20, 2009 10:33 AM

duuuude...that's truly weird! Someone was talking on the phone just yesterday while I was in the restroom... gak.

Posted by: Sue R at August 20, 2009 10:46 AM

Simile time:
November 5th, 1955 is to time travel
Chris is to strange bathroom occurrences

Posted by: metawizard at August 20, 2009 10:53 AM

Thou shalt not fart loudly whilst pissing next to a complete stranger at the urinal. Thou shalt piss in a stall should that be a possibility.

Also, thou shalt not loudly exclaim how badly the bathroom stinketh. All shalt know upon entry.

Finally, under no circumstances, shall there be high-fiving in the the bathroom for any reason.

Posted by: Wad at August 20, 2009 11:13 AM

Damn. An unhandled grammar exception in line 5 in the above comment.

Posted by: Wad at August 20, 2009 11:15 AM

I think I can honestly say that you have the strangest work bathrooms I have ever heard of.

Posted by: Amy at August 20, 2009 11:19 AM

I don't ever take my laptop into the bathroom. I will talk on the phone and text message while on the throne, but I can't do internet. I just can't. It seems wrong. As if the others are acceptable....

Posted by: k8 at August 20, 2009 11:48 AM

I'm trying to think of something remotely funny but I just don't have it in me.

I had to click through to tell you that this has seriously made my morning. I needed the laugh. Thanks, Chris.

Posted by: Angella at August 20, 2009 12:00 PM

Laughing my ass off.

My bathroom pet peeve is people who go straight to the handicapped stall when other stalls are empty. What if someone handicapped comes in? They now have to wait while able-bodied people use the only disabled stall. Dude.

Posted by: Brooke Habecker at August 20, 2009 12:27 PM

These rules are bullshit. Completely eliminate the joy I have sitting on the throne with a bucket of KFC while talking on my cell via my bluetooth headset.

What's next? No reading the newspaper on the bowl until my legs fall asleep?

Posted by: Mitch McDad at August 20, 2009 12:58 PM

That is the craziest thing I have heard in a long time. Seriously - WTF!

Posted by: Liberal Banana at August 20, 2009 1:23 PM

Every time you blog about a bathroom story, I end up laughing so hard I'm crying…today is no exception. Thanks:)

Posted by: Beth at August 20, 2009 2:02 PM

Thou shalt flush, especially chunky's.

Thou shalt wash thy hands, no exception is permissable, especially if you are known to reach into another man, or woman's, snacks.

Thou shalt take the hint of a no-answer, being a sign that one doesn't want to have a conversation whilst pinching off a loaf.

Now I must clean off my monitor. Thanks.

Posted by: Roger at August 20, 2009 5:53 PM

Oops, that was supposed to be *unwrapped* snacks.

Posted by: Roger at August 20, 2009 5:54 PM

Ok, so the guy had to have heard you leave, the door shutting or something. He must be dyingggggggg. hahahahahaha That is absolutley hilarious and disturbing!

Posted by: LaineyDid at August 20, 2009 5:57 PM

It is not nice to make one snarf their diet coke at work!

Posted by: Amanda at August 20, 2009 7:06 PM

It is not nice to make one snarf their diet coke at work!

Posted by: Amanda at August 20, 2009 7:07 PM

Thou shalt write a book. The Time Travelers Bathroom Experiences!

Posted by: Maribeth at August 20, 2009 8:19 PM

Thou shalt not make Ambien bran muffins.

Posted by: CK Lunchbox at August 20, 2009 8:31 PM

Thou shalt muffle all personal squeaks, butt burps, and noisy bowels movements with a simultaneous flush of the toilet. (This might be a female-only commandment. I don't know how you roll in the men's room.)

Posted by: TheQueen at August 20, 2009 11:30 PM

Wow. Mommy? Really?

I being female have not had the privledge of using a urinal. Do you have a rule about eye-contact and the avoidance of?

Posted by: Angelica at August 21, 2009 7:09 AM

Do NOT effin talk to me when either one of us enters a stall. That should be the cone of silence. Why is that not just a given?

Also? Back in the day we were still dreaming of building our own house, my husband announced that said house would have at least one bathroom with a urinal in it.

Posted by: harmzie at August 21, 2009 8:27 AM

This is one of the BEST bathroom stories yet!!!

Posted by: jessica at August 21, 2009 10:20 AM

I dont care if you know me or not, do not speak to me while I am trying to pee.

I know you are trying to be thrifty and make your own coffee at work, but washing your coffee pot, dishes, and utensils in the bathroom work sink is really nasty.

Posted by: steff at August 22, 2009 4:05 PM

Akofaolain yes!!! I hate that, do NOT use the potty next to me! Damnit. :) And even if all the other stalls but the one next to mine are being used, don't use it. Wait. ::I'm such a selfish snot::

Thou shall NOT under any circumstances touch me whilst in the bathroom. Ever. I will cut your hand off. Especially if you just came out of the stall and haven't washed your hands yet. ~shudders~

Posted by: Lauren at August 22, 2009 5:57 PM

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Posted by: RhondaMckinney32 at April 14, 2010 5:43 AM