The Standard, from St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
It might not carry quite the same reputation as the Wall Street Journal, but The Standard, published in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada is a fine publication nonetheless. I saw this of course largely because I am biased – biased because I am Canadian myself, and biased because they wanted to interview me. If a desire to interview the ICBE isn’t indicative of impeccable taste, I don’t know what is!
Anyways, the article was by Erik White, appeared in the November 18th, 2004 issue and discussed the imminent opening of a pizza/games type of place called Kahunahaville, for which I am strangely unable to locate a webpage. Now the reason the ICBE’s expertise was required is that the place was going to feature unisex bathrooms. As is my tradition, I’ll reprint the exciting parts of the article below, and by exciting I mean parts which feature me!
But Michael Sykes, founder of the International Centre for Bathroom Etiquette, isn’t too sure about that. He thinks the mixing of the genders will make the washroom a very social space and fears those exiting the stalls might get lost in the mingling on their way to the soap dispenser. (Note: by which I mean to say forget to wash their hands!)
A biophysics graduate student at California’s Stanford University, Sykes said “classical male discussions of urinal etiquette” and “an abundance of free time” gave birth to the centre, which only exists on the Internet at www.icbe.org. The Edmonton native said he can’t recall the unisex situation coming up in nine years of online discussions, but suggested visitors tread lightly at first
He said an unspoken code of conduct will likely develop on its own over time, but believes hitting on someone in the bathroom will be an immediate faux pas. He also figures the etiquette rules will be specific to the crowd that chooses the unisex washroom, possibly a more open-minded group than those who go to traditional loos. (Note: Kahunaville features traditional bathrooms in an adjoining area)
Sykes predicts the public area of the washroom will come to feel like another part of the bar that just happens to have sinks. “I think you’ll see people leave the unisex bathroom and go to the regular bathroom to actually go to the bathroom,” he said.