November 18, 2010

Stall Tactics

A blogger walks into a bathroom...

I have gone to great lengths over the past several years to describe what I believe to be both proper and improper bathroom etiquette. Sadly, most of this has been learned through personal experience. Among the bathroom commandments I have devised are:

  • 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.

The other day, I was witness to at least one of these commandments being broken. And by broken, I mean, stomped on, ground into a fine powder and snorted like fine cocaine. I was in the restroom, standing at the urinal when I overheard a stall-based telephone conversation.

Stall Guy: No, you dont' have to pay.
Stall Guy: They give you those test for free. Or, you know, it's covered by your insurance.
Stall Guy: I had to take, like, five of them last year.
Stall Guy: Itching. Really bad itching.
Stall Guy: Pittsburg.
Stall Guy: No she wasn't.
Stall Guy: She was? Well, now I know why I needed all those tests.
Stall Guy: I just thought she was out with her girlfriends a lot.
Stall Guy: No, if it looks like that, you need to go straight to the doctor.

Apparently I need to add another commandment. Though shalt not share too much or reveal disturbing medical diagnoses whilst taking care of one's business.

Do you eavesdrop? Best conversation you've overheard recently?

Posted by Chris at November 18, 2010 7:09 AM

I try really hard not to eavesdrop, because it seems that a lot of the conversations I overhear are spiteful and cruel. I am better off not listening!

Posted by: Jen R. ( at November 18, 2010 8:25 AM

Just last night!!

waiter: I cannot serve you any more, sir.
Drunk: You have just insulted me!
waiter: I am so sorry.
Other Drunk: You can't talk to us like that! We ain't even from here!
Drunk: I am 52 years old and have never been so insulted in my life. I think I will leave!

We were at the Wacky Mongolian Grill. Hardly a bar/drinking atmosphere. My suspicion? The two guys were already kicked out of Buffalo Wild Wings, two doors down. Thank God they did leave.

Posted by: Debbie at November 18, 2010 8:46 AM

I think all of these rules of etiquette also apply quite nicely to public transportation.

Posted by: Jenn at November 18, 2010 8:46 AM

I don't know if it really counts as eavesdropping, but if someone is having an inappropriate, interesting conversation ... then YES I am going to listen. Hells yeah. I haven't heard anything terribly interesting lately, though. You have all the luck... :-)

Posted by: Fraulein N at November 18, 2010 9:07 AM

Eavesdropping on my 5 and 8 year olds is the best, and usually goes something like this:

8 year old: I hate you!
5 year: Waaa! that's not nice! I hate you too!
8 year old: Sigh, wanna play something?
5 year old: okay!

Posted by: meanie at November 18, 2010 11:21 AM

It isn't eavesdropping if they can be heard in the next county.

That goes for cell phone conversations too.

Posted by: Ann Elizabeth Adams at November 18, 2010 11:41 AM

I don't intentionally eavesdrop, but sometimes when people are rather extremely loud, it can't be helped! The things people are willing to discuss in public appall me. There was one overheard bathroom conversation about a girl's boyfriend getting out of jail and how she was going to welcome him home and...yeah. Awkward.

Posted by: Heather at November 18, 2010 12:13 PM

The whole thing made me laugh, but "Pittsburgh" was the very best part.

Posted by: Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah at November 18, 2010 12:33 PM

A conversation that really tickled me, last Saturday, after my son's soccer game:

East Indian Kid to his Dad: "What are we having for dinner tonight?"

Dad: "You're going to come with me to the restaurant and help out. You can eat there."

Kid: "Awww, man! I hate Indian food!!!"

Posted by: Procrastamom at November 18, 2010 1:30 PM

awesome bathroom rules. Except what if you're there to change clothes? On the rare necessary occasions, I could do it in my office except for the pesky sidelight (stupid designers).

I OH a conversation between two girls talking about one's ex and how she was so glad to be rid of him but how she had been "reviewing" his [some dating site] profile and how she knew it was rife with lies including his inflated income which only struck me as odd because she gave the (outrageously inflated) range and it was kind of pitiful. Different perspective, obviously, but I giggled at how not impressive even the inflated income was. I've now given this about 100x the though I gave it at the time, but it did make me snicker...

Posted by: harmzie at November 18, 2010 2:26 PM

I was in the bathroom at a Disneyland resort hotel. I was washing my hands (!) when a stall-based phone rang. This woman began saying, "ALEJANDRO? ALEJANDRO? WHERE ARE YOU? MACY'S? OH, MAIN STREET!" at the very top of her voice that couldn't actually be called shouting. Holy cow. My daughter and I about died laughing.

Posted by: Brooke Habecker at November 18, 2010 2:27 PM

This is rather timely. I was beginning to think I would never experience any strange bathroom behavior. But today I was attending a meeting in another building from where I usually work and the girl in the stall next to me was singing rather loudly "We R who We R" by Ke$ha.( I only know that song because of my 12 year old daughter, not because I like that song- just sayin'.) As it turns out she was listening with headphones and must have gotten carried away. Anyway, please no singing while you pee or at least sing in tune!

Posted by: Amy D at November 18, 2010 3:41 PM

Just the other day, standing in line at supermarket. Two girls behind me talking, Loudly, mind you, about how the one's boyfriend gave her "The Chlaymdia" and about how she wasn't "expecting" it. And about how she felt that he defintely owed her an apology....To which her friend replied, "Oh ya, he defintely owes you one." I just stood in line suppressing a smile. Can you wait to talk about that in the car?? Please???

Posted by: christine at November 18, 2010 5:00 PM

Chris? Here's the thing though...think of the blog fodder it's given you the past few years. ;)

I eavesdrop. What? I have great hearing. Ha.

Posted by: Issa at November 18, 2010 5:30 PM

The only bathroom phone conversation that I ever remember overhearing was at work. Our HR rep (who normally works out of town) was in town to do some business... and called her home office in the stall on her cell phone. I could see maybe using the bathroom for privacy or something, since she didn't have an office of her own at our location, but then, well, why did she flush after she hung up?

Posted by: Angela at November 20, 2010 2:18 PM

I'm sorry to tell you that you spelled Pittsburgh wrong.

Posted by: Hazel at November 26, 2010 5:19 PM