Bathrooms are a case study of courtesy

The  morning after I moved into my first college dorm I got up and walked out of my room and into the community bathroom. Still in a stupor I moved up to the urinal and stepped in something cold. I looked down blinking to clear my eyes and saw my feet sitting in a pool of yellow liquid. Welcome to college. It was the FIRST DAY and there were pools of pee under the urinals, sprayed on the seat and around every toilet and a rather unsavory odor. Don’t get me wrong, up to that point in my life I’m sure I sprayed my fair share of toilets, but I was appalled! It was even worse when I realize that the person cleaning the bathroom was a woman (gratefully, she used a garden house for the floors).

I bought flip flops that day. I also had a dilemma. Those pools of pee were HUGE and I didn’t want to track it all over the bathroom and down the hall. The toilets were better, but not by much. I decided I didn’t want to be part of the PAOT (peeing all over toilets) epidemic.

The Root of the Problem
Have you ever sat down on a toilet only to feel something cold and wet? You hope it’s clean water flung off of someone’s recently washed hands, but that’s really just wishful thinking if you have a boy in the house. That’s right. You just sat in pee, and it wasn’t even yours. If you’re constantly surprised by this, it’s your lucky day, I’m here to offer enlightenment.

How does this happen? Is it carelessness? For urinals yes, but for toilets the problem is standing while you pee. Even if you’re a sharpshooter and hit the center of the toilet bowl there are two problems: little bits of pee that fly off the stream and the splash when it hits the water in the toilet bowl. Not only that, if you get a kink in your hose it’s going to spray all over on accident (don’t lie dude, it’s happened to everyone once or twice).

Let’s talk more about the splash, for tall people this is a serious problem. Gravity has more chance to work, and higher velocity pee means bigger splashes. It’s going to splash on the toilet bowl, the raised lid, the floor around the toilet, the walls and probably your clothes. Don’t believe me? Shave your legs (so your leg hair doesn’t catch it) put on some shorts and let’er rip. I guarantee you just got pee splatter all over yourself. Now imagine what that’s like with jeans. Gross dude, you just peed your pants.

Sit Down. It’s about courtesy
A men’s restroom is a disgusting place primarily because parents don’t teach their kids to pee… or aim, and they should, but this is just one part of a larger problem: a lack of courtesy and respect for others. There’s a pretty simple solution to POAT—sit down, but wipe off the toilet first. Sitting down keeps pee where it’s supposed to be, in the toilet and off of everyone else. No one wants to see or clean urine off the floor or themselves.

Update: I’ve received new information apparently sitting/squatting to go is better for your colon. Admittedly, I find this to be hilarious.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for swinging yellow lightsabers (kids only) out doors and writing in the snow, but that’s outside—in the wilderness.

Pee Doesn’t Really Matter
Now that I have four kids (three boys), I sit in, smell and clean up pee all the time, it’s just a fact of life. I’m going to teach my boys the right way to pee, because it’s courteous. It’s less convenient, and probably even seen as less masculine. However, I just don’t think anyone should have to sit in my filth or clean up after me.

The point is, I believe in respect and I think being considerate of others is one of the most important things we can do because when we think of others we become less selfish and hopefully more willing to love our neighbor. And yes, I just implied that sitting down to pee is one way to love your neighbor 🙂

In our culture today there is a growing number of people who act like they deserve or are entitled to everything. Whether it’s a job, health care, retirement, a house, a new care or anything else.  There’s a variety of reasons this happens, but that’s not what this article is about. This article is about courtesy. In my experience people who feel entitled are often selfish or at least self absorbed. They have become more concerned with themselves than their neighbors or even their country.

Entitlement has eroded courtesy, chivalry, work ethic and a dare say even kindness. I would suggest that courtesy is one way we can begin the cure the problem.

P.S. urinals are disgusting, if you don’t agree with me here’s a google image search that should convince you (you really don’t want to click that).

P.P.S. you can take it one step further and sit on the toilet backwards. 😀 That might be a little extreme though.


Jed Grant

I'm an aspiring writer, designer, entrepreneur and most importantly a dad to four wonderful children.

Latest posts by Jed Grant (see all)