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Category — Etiquette & Bathroom Fun

Etiquette, Shame and The Huffington Post

I was a guest on HuffPost Live this week in a segment purporting to discuss the ins and out of workplace bathroom etiquette. We’ve been here before, but it seems like bathroom etiquette at work is the hot topic that just won’t go away.

It was one of those slightly awkward four-way video chats but overall I thought the host did a good job of getting the different guests involved – myself, Michael Podell and Jill Jacinto. That said, it turns out that the discussion had absolutely nothing to do with etiquette – it was all about shame. It seemed like nobody involved could get over the fact that taking a big poop at work was anything other than an act to be downplayed, concealed, or outright avoided. Techniques to avoid smells, avoid noises and avoid letting your coworkers know what you were up to were all that was discussed.

Which is fine. I get that not everybody is completely comfortable with taking a massive poop at work. I get that not everybody wants to come out of the stall after a noisy session to be confronted with their boss. But let’s get one thing clear right now: this has nothing to do with etiquette and everything to do with shame. Taking poops is exactly what the bathroom is designed for. I don’t care how loud or stinky your poop is, there is nothing about taking that poop that makes it bad etiquette. Poop all you want in the bathroom, that is the whole point of that room and pooping is a perfectly natural bodily function.

Now I’m not advocating that you get in the stall and start grunting and groaning – that’s something that is completely in your control to avoid doing, and excessive grunting is certainly bad etiquette. But natural poop noises and smells are just part of life.

May 25, 2014   1 Comment

The mysterious case of the double toilet

The BBC (the BBC!) is reporting on a mysterious double toilet that has appeared in advance of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Materializing inside the Laura Cross Country Skiing and Biathlon Centre, this double toilet appears poised to humiliate and traumatize athletes from across the world (well, at least from the cold countries).

But seriously, what’s the deal with a double toilet in a brand new facility? All conspiracy theories aside, this is what we know:

1) Two toilets, no partition.

2) One toilet paper dispenser

3) What appear to be the remains of a partition between the two toilets.

Based on these this information it seems like the area was originally designed for one toilet (one TP dispenser). However, we can guess that toilet was never installed in the middle, as there is no evidence of moving a toilet. So it seems like somebody installed the first toilet on one side, and then had the brilliant idea of installing another in the remaining space. At first they put up a partition, but then realized the partition prevented the second toilet from accessing the TP. That’s where the insanity started. For whatever reason (no budget to buy one?) rather than install a second TP dispenser, they simply removed the partition allowing the second toilet access to the first dispenser (if you can call reaching across somebody else access).

Think I’ll stick to pooping at home thank you very much!

January 24, 2014   2 Comments

Toilet Seats, Keyboards and Makeup Brushes

A few years ago it was all the rage to do a study showing how much more bacteria there was on your keyboard than a toilet seat – heck, we even mentioned one of those studies here at the ICBE. Does it really surprise anybody that a toilet seat, that you clean on a regular basis, has fewer random bacteria than your keyboard, which you clean never?

In any case, a commenter on a post about a new beauty blog over at Metafilter summarized exactly what I think is wrong with all these studies (the beauty blog found a bunch of bacteria in a makeup brush, FYI):

OK, but there’s no evidence whatsoever that microbes on a makeup brush cause disease. Mostly it’s a meaningless gross-out demonstration, like when they compare how clean “X” is versus “a toilet seat”. (Hint: the average container of Yoplait has about 3.5 gazillion times more microbes.)

Is that yogurt dirty and dangerous? No, it’s delicious!

May 7, 2013   No Comments

It’s like I’m wiping a marker or something.

I don’t know what show this is from, or even if the caption was actually said on that show, but whatever the case I do know this: the marker poop is one of the most frustrating poops there is. You just keep wiping and wiping and wiping and wiping… and at some point you just kind of give up.

via The Chive

March 15, 2013   2 Comments

The Disappointing Truth About How Much Weight You Lose When You Take A Poop

Something unusual happened to be today. Not something extremely special or wonderful, but something that doesn’t happen very often. I needed to go poop immediately after weighing myself. I found this to be rather interesting because it gave me the rather rare opportunity to do something that most people never do – see how much weight I lose after going poop. I was cautiously optimistic that I would lose at least 2 or 3 pounds from a proper BM.

Boy was I disappointed to see the results – a measly 0.7 pounds (318 g). Yep, all that buildup and excitement only to figure out I didn’t even lose a pound. Guess I’ll try harder next time…

March 11, 2013   No Comments

The Best Animated GIF in the World

Bathroom etiquette is a serious business (ha!). But every once in awhile something comes along that puts a smile on my face, and/or makes me laugh out loud hysterically and pester my wife until she looks at it and then gives me a funny look wondering what’s wrong with me.

This is one of those times. Behold, I present you with the Best Animated GIF in the World:

via The Chive

March 7, 2013   5 Comments

High Urinals

A group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, accompanied by two female teachers, went on a field trip to the local racetrack (Churchill Downs) to learn about thoroughbred horses and the supporting industry (Bourbon), but mostly to see the horses.

When it was time to take the children to the bathroom, it was decided that the girls would go with one teacher and the boys would go with the other. The teacher assigned to the boys was waiting outside the men’s room when one of the boys came out and told her that none of them could reach the urinal.

Having no choice, she went inside, helped the boys with their pants, and began hoisting the little boys up one by one, holding on to their ‘wee-wees’ to direct the flow away from their clothes.

As she lifted one, she couldn’t help but notice that he was unusually well endowed. Trying not to show that she was staring the teacher said, ‘You must be in the 5th grade.’

‘No, ma’am’, he replied. ‘I’m riding Silver Arrow in the seventh race, but I appreciate your help.’

Origins unknown.

via my brother

February 4, 2013   No Comments

Creepiest Toilet Ever

I have no history and no information about this toilet. Just one creeptastic picture…

Originally found at SunnyLOL

Oh, and btw, there’s no etiquette against using such a toilet. If you dare!

January 13, 2013   No Comments

Paper Towels > Air Blowers

A recent study has concluded that paper towels are superior to air blowers for drying your hands off. Which comes as a surprise to absolutely nobody who has ever used one of those old school blow driers which are absolute pieces of crap.

I have some very clear memories of spending forever trying to get my hands dry at the local McDonald’s because they used those blowers there, and never really succeeding. Has anybody ever actually used one of those to get their hands completely dry? Now something like the Dyson Airblade does a credible job of actually drying your hands off, but it still lacks a couple of advantages that paper towels have:

  1. You can use a paper towel to open the door bathroom door without directly touching it
  2. You can use a paper towel to clean up random spills

Now #1 is a problem we shouldn’t have. Public bathroom doors should always open outwards. And if space is available, the doors can be removed entirely and replaced by those curvy hallways that prevent you from seeing in (aka airport style). And #2 doesn’t happen often, but if you are out and about and spill something or just generally need a cleanup, it’s nice to be able to pop into the bathroom and grab some questionably absorbent paper towels.

Good luck cleaning up a spill with a bloody Airblade!

If you want to read more, there’s some interesting commentary at Techdirt, one of the few sites on the internet where you actually want to read the comments!

January 8, 2013   2 Comments

How Do Astronauts Poop In Space?

How do astronauts poop in space? The answer, as you might expect, is very carefully:

If the astronaut isn’t positioned correctly over the vacuum of the toilet, solid waste could get smeared on the toilet and the astronaut. In a worse-case scenario, some might escape and start floating around the space vehicle.

Floating space poop – fantastic! I’ve never really been one of those people who had a burning desire to visit space, and I really have to say that until NASA or whoever sorts out their shit (pun – clever!) and designs a decent space toilet, I don’t see my opinion changing anytime soon.

The Examiner goes into great detail in a two part series:

Part I
Part II

January 3, 2013   No Comments