Get the Hell out of My Toilet!

pooperI step into the bathroom at my local pub. I take my phone out. There’s a man at the urinal next to me and it takes me a second to realize he’s obviously snapping pictures of his pecker.

Obviously because he has no shame. In no way does he subterfuge his activity. His right hand holds the phone above his willy, which is pictured grandly (or as grandly as nature allows) in his viewfinder. The phone loudly clicks the shutter sound effects of a camera.

I peer over. There is nothing in his left hand worth taking a picture of, let alone sending to another person. It occurs to me that he might be sending it to his urologist.

He doesn’t react in any way to my crashing his photo shoot. He’s a normal enough looking guy who is sitting with a woman at a table nearby ours.

Boy, there is a bunch of talk these days about who should be using what bathroom. And it all fits perfectly in the good old American tradition of worrying a whole lot about other people’s genitals. Moreover, I really don’t know who’s going to police bathroom use. Sir, may I see your penis please? Who knows?

As long as you don’t talk politics to me while I’m holding my penis I could care less which bathroom you use.

But let’s talk about the real bathroom threat: idiots with phones.

For the first time in history, people can bring a lot of media into a bathroom. A phone. A camera. A video camera. A bag full of video games. All of the pornography on the internet. Not to mention a countless number of books, videos, and magazines, and everyone you have ever known. If you had tried to do something similar in 1986 you would have been arrested.

I am a phone enthusiast. I wish I could deny it, but I can’t. I love technology. I love the fact that I can sit on a tram and read a book on a four-inch by three-inch essentially flat board that fits in my pocket and receives calls and shows me pictures of potential mates. So please refrain from picturing me in a spaghetti-stained white T-shirt, Bermuda shorts, and socks and sandals shaking my fist and shouting get off my lawn!

Moreover, I do a lot of things on my phone in public toilets that people probably wouldn’t want to know about. I have sent messages to loved ones, partners, and friends while standing in front of porcelain. I have edited student’s papers and essays in public restrooms too. I have swiped right in so many public bathrooms that I could very well marry a woman I first saw while peeing.

That said, I have been taken aback by what mobile phones do to otherwise polite and reasonable people. Students will alternatively send messages on Facebook Messenger and answer my questions. People on the tram will listen to music loudly from their phones. Others play video games in meetings. It’s as though a mobile phone gives people the right to be insanely rude and ignore simple common decency.

And it just carries over into public bathrooms. And no matter which bathroom you visit you have no doubt experienced it. Men will sit in a toilet playing video games while others do the gotta poop dance and press their knees together. Other guys will shout conversations into their phones as if they are completely alone. I have seen men take a series of selfies in the mirror in the a pub bathroom. And some will take dick pics with another guy standing right next to them.

When it comes to public bathrooms, maybe we should worry more about what people are carrying between their ears and less about what they’re carrying between their legs. But then again that would be reasonable.

The guy finishes up and leaves. Which is a shame, because I was considering photobombing.

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