Wednesday, November 18, 2009


As is probably obvious from the frequency of recent posting, Potty blogger has been traveling for work the last few weeks.

And while it's exciting to meet a new toilet on the road, there's nothing like coming home to the warm familiarity of 720 California fourth floor men's room. It was my first stop this morning.

She did not disappoint.

There was a partially digested deuce waiting for me in the penthouse stall. It sort of poked its head up out of the water as if to say, "Welcome home. We've missed you."

I cleared the screen, conducted my business, headed toward the sink, washed my hands and reached for the paper find them completely out.

Two for two, fourth floor men's room. Good to be home.

I shook my hands dry and opened the door and hesitated. "What the heck," I thought to myself. "Let's celebrate." I reached back, stuck my hand under the hand sanitizer dispenser, and let it take a gigantic dump in the palm of my hand.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The machines gain a toe hold

720 California has doubled-down on hand sanitizer.

While we have established that hand sanitizer is not a substitute for soap and water, the powers-that-be decided to install automatic hand sanitizer dispensers near the door of every restroom in the building. Technology to keep us all clean and safe!

The near-door placement means that you can open the door, hold it open with your foot, place your hands under the dispenser, sanitize yourself and then exit the rest room without ever having to touch the dreaded (and likely diseased) door handle.

The one hiccup in the plan is that the volume knob on the dispenser seems to have been turned past "dollop" all the way over to "barf."

In fact, so much sanitizer is dispensed that you are immediately faced with a dilemma: where do go to get rid of the excess? Do you turn around and head back to the sink and wash it off? Do you make a left turn and head for the kitchen, grab a paper towel and scrape off the extra glop? Or do you wander around the office, hands outstretched, shouting "who wants some Purell?" to your co-workers?

The good news is that the company is clearly willing to invest in technology to keep us clean. Let's get on this bidet thing.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Piece of garbage celebrates one-month anniversary

You know that gold crown thing that's been hanging out on top of the third floor penthouse toilet for the past month?

Earlier this week, it made a break for it.

It is no longer sitting on top of the back lip of the toilet, but has scurried into a corner of the penthouse stall. Where it has been sitting for the past three days.

When does something actually become "garbage" in a 720 California restroom? Apparently, the janitorial and maintenance staff has been instructed: "Please do not discard any unidentified item for at least six to eight weeks."

So if it this thing is yours, you might want to grab it today. Because in a few weeks, somebody is going to throw it away. Maybe.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What the hell is THAT?

By now, all of us at 720 California are used to the idea that the business chamber may contain an unexpected surprise.

But the urinal is a different story.

Sure, people drop stuff in there from time to time. But when one finds a substance of nature, well, that’s news, folks.

Several people stopped by potty blogger’s work station today with some version of “Dude, have you seen that thing in the big boy urinal? What IS it?”

I have no idea. But it’s sitting there on top of the urinal cake, quietly mocking us all. (And no, I will not post a picture.)

When I first saw it this morning, my first guess was, “piece of tomato.” But when my brain failed to come up with even one possible scenario for a person eating a BLT in front of the urinal, I decided to make a closer inspection.

I wish that I hadn’t.

It is definitely “man made.” A lougie? No. At least, it does not conform to any known lougie specification as it could not be dislodged with a steady stream.

A colleague suggested “kidney stone,” and the mere thought of a co-worker dropping a stone at the urinal made me throw up a little bit in my mouth. But another colleague (whose medical credentials include two semesters as a dorm EMT in college) said that it is most definitely not a kidney stone.

So, the mystery remains. There is an unidentified foreign object sitting atop the urinal cake in the big boy urinal. If you are responsible, please explain yourself.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nobel Piss Prize

Friday afternoon keg of beer on the loading dock = one colleague spending close to ten minutes at the big boy urinal. Sources tell potty blogger that audio evidence suggests a good three-to-four minute uninterrupted stream.

We salute you, urinary wonder.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Smells like nervous tummy

Walked into first floor men's room this morning and it smelled like a tire fire.

Or rather, it smelled like somebody lit a tire fire, put that tire fire into their anus, let it burn for a while, and then released it into one of the stalls.

This is a chronic problem for first floor men's room for one reason: job applicants.

A job applicant arrives at our building for a job interview. He takes a seat in the first floor waiting area. He is nervous. His tummy starts to rumble. He decides to make a pre-inteview stop in first floor men's room. The results are rarely pretty.

Monday, October 5, 2009

We're out of cake


Looks like somebody on third floor wasn't too happy about having to work this weekend. Because over the course of 48 hours, he obliterated the big boy urinal cake. (See sad finger nail-sized cake remnant in adjacent photo. That's one small slice o' blue frosting, friends.)

Our sources say the cake was intact Friday afternoon. (Hey, we've got to give the Potty Blogger intern something to do.) This morning...not so much.

A couple of observations:

1. How angry do you have to be to generate enough water-pressure to destroy an industrial-sized block of chemical freshener?

2. If your urine toxicity is at a level where such a feat is possible, you may want to drink a few more glasses of water each day.

3. What's the over/under on the number of weeks/years before the cake is replaced?

4. We've all gotten spoiled the last few weeks by having the cake in place, but it's time to start flushing again, men. An easy way to remember: if the water is still yellow, you haven't flushed.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

No pilgrims, please

What's wrong with you people?

Apparently, the security guard here at 720 California recently turned away several visitors who walked in off the street and asked to be let upstairs so they could see the fourth floor men's room.

Yes, this blog recently received some unexpected press and acquired some new fans. But I really don't think you need to plan your family vacation around a visit. It's a bathroom, people. And from the photos posted, you've pretty much seen the whole thing.

My guess is that our visitors didn't just want to "see" the bathroom, but perhaps make an contribution to the decor--a contribution so extraordinary that it would garner coverage here.

Let's be adults about this, shall we? I don't sneak into your office and take a dump on your floor. So maybe you could forgo your little adventure in mine?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

On silverware and body pockets

The other day, I headed in to use the urinal, saw that the big boy was taken and saddled up to the little man.

I shot a quick glance to my right to see who was standing next to me and was surprised to find...a spoon sticking out of his mouth.

Apparently, he had both hands on the wheel. Considering the alternate places he could have stuck the spoon, I suppose he made the right choice.

But how does one find himself at the urinal with a spoon?

"Mmmm...let me just finish up this yogurt on my way to relieve myself." Actually, this scenario is impossible at 720 California; thanks to our progressive trash policy, there is no place to dispose of a yogurt container in the men's room. Unless this gentlemen was storing the yogurt container somewhere else on his person.

I can only think of one reason you would need to take a utensil into the bathroom and, frankly, that work is best left to a qualified physician.

Let's keep the silverware in the kitchen, men.

Monday, September 28, 2009 this piece important?

Ten days and counting.

That's how long this little do-hickey has been sitting on the back rim of the third floor penthouse toilet.

Since this is a location where people like to store their Snapple bottles, at first I thought it was trash--plastic neck sleeve that had been left there.

Upon closer inspection, I discovered that it was metal (brass? solid gold?) and thought, "It looks like a small crown." King of the turds?

My best guess is that it is actually part of the plumbing--a piece that has fallen out of the works. Which is weird, because everything seems to be functioning as normal. But for how long?

My working theory is that Mr. Back Anus is somehow responsible for dislodging it. I don't know how, but there is so, so much I do not understand about that guy.

Anyway, if you decide to conduct business at this location, be forewarned: it may be living on borrowed time.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Not a substitute for soap and water

This story starts 383 miles from the 4th floor men’s room, occurs in the distant past and reveals the mileage on potty blogger, but there is a point, I promise.

Nearly twenty years ago, potty blogger and his girlfriend at the time used to frequent a fast food restaurant by the name of Carl’s Jr. in Marina Del Rey, California. (Potty blogger’s favorite feature of this restaurant was the three-person booth--two seats on one side of the table and one seat on the other---where he and his then-girlfriend once took a friend who had just broken up her boyfriend, which was both funny and sad...and has nothing to do with this story.)

At the conclusion of one fine meal at this establishment, I excused myself from the table to go to the restroom. As I was washing my hands, I noticed a new dispenser on the wall, next to the soap dispenser. On the front, it said, “New anti-bacterial cleaning gel--no water needed!”

When I left the men’s room and reported my finding to my then-girlfriend, she did not believe me. There was no equivalent dispenser in the ladies room and the idea of a hand-cleaning substance that did not require water seemed preposterous to her. “You have to use soap and water to clean your hands,” she said.

What neither of us realized at the time was that I had stumbled into one of the earliest test markets for hand-sanitizer. (You youngsters out there may find it hard to imagine a world where hand-sanitizer was not ubiquitous, but at the time, nobody had ever heard of it.)

The geniuses at Purell-or-whoever-created-hand-sanitizer were test marketing the substance in men’s restrooms as a substitute to hand washing. Given the proximity to actual soap and water, this strategy, in hindsight, seems ridiculous. But marketers have to kiss a lot of frogs in the early days of product development to find the best way to sell whatever it is they’re trying to sell.

Fast forward to today and we’re now living in the Jetsons-like future of 2009. Hand-sanitizer is everywhere.

Which brings us back to the men’s rooms at 720 California.

A few weeks ago, hand-sanitizer pumps appeared near the sinks on each floor. The timing was strange, since we’re well past last spring’s swine flu hysteria, but maybe they’re just getting a jump on the fall panic.

But, gentlemen, as my long-ago girlfriend pointed out nearly 20 years ago, “You have to use soap and water to clean your hands.”

Unfortunately, the presence of hand-sanitizer on the counter has confused some of my co-workers. On two occasions, I have seen men forgo soap and water for a quick spritz from the pump.

Not good enough, men. I know it’s old fashion, but you must use soap and water to clean your mitts after you make a number one or a number two. Every time. No exceptions.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lose a pen?

What was this guy doing when he dropped his pen? Where was he holding it?

Both hands on the wheel, buddy. Whatever flash of inspiration might hit you during your session, I think you can remember it until you get back to your desk.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Change of plans

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

Today, I heard a man make lemonade out of lemons.

I was kicking back in the penthouse when I heard somebody enter and head for the urinal. He spent some time there--maybe 30-40 seconds--and then zipped up and headed into the Peter Brady stall to continue his adventure.

What happened?

Did his wires get crossed? Did his brain think, “forward pass” when the team really needed to prepare for a pitch to the tailback?

And when, exactly, did our hero realize that a urinal would not be sufficient for his needs? Did he have an “uh, oh” moment? Did the turtle poke his head out? Did he do a quick do-I-have-time-to-make-it-to-a-stall-or-should-I-just-spin-around-right-here calculation?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, but he seemed to handle the challenge with grace. Well played, sir.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I am not a superhero

“The 4th floor bathroom needs you right now”

That, friends, is the subject line of an email that I received yesterday evening.

One of the occupational hazards of writing a blog about the men’s room in your building is that, inevitably, some of your co-workers come to regard you as some sort of Bathroom Batman, ready to swoop in and save the day.

Don’t get me wrong...I appreciate a good tip. Letters from in-building readers have alerted me to all sorts of developments--some good and some very, very bad.

But when you stumble across a crime scene, you should call the police, not a reporter.

If a co-worker--probably the one with the mysteriously-placed anus--has sculpted his masterwork in the fourth floor men’s room, call facilities. They have the equipment, training, and intestinal fortitude to deal with such art installations.

Of course, I couldn’t resist a drive-by. Yes, it was horrible. No, I cannot explain it. As I’ve said before, there is no position into which I could contort my body to paint on that portion of the canvas.

We fear the artist we cannot understand. And yet, on some level, there is quiet respect for his unspeakable “gift.”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Cake for everyone


On Friday, this blog gets a little bit of attention from the mainstream media. On Tuesday, new urinal cakes appear in each of the bathrooms. Coincidence or power of the press?

Who cares. It's Christmas in September.

And these aren't your plain, budget cake. These have got a fancy white plastic cage around them. (Why is that exactly? What are we protecting the cake from? Are they worried that some sticky-fingered gentlemen might lean down and pop that hockey puck into his pocket if its allowed to roam free?)

Things are getting fancy over here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day greetings


Three things that do not go together: 1.) three-day weekend, 2.) letting the janitorial staff take the weekend off, and 3.) selecting that weekend to make repairs to the building’s heating and cooling system.

The one stimulus that the 720 California men’s restroom bio-chemical experiment did NOT need? Heat.

Those of us who have the pleasure of working here at the office over the holiday weekend are enjoying the tart and tangy aroma liquefied corpse? (My nose and brain are currently working overtime to try and make sense of it.)

Imagine a hobo at a bus stop on a warm summer day. He relieves himself in the middle of the bus stop. Then he plugs in his portable microwave and begins to cook a raccoon.

It’s a little like that.


A warm welcome to our new readers.

Thanks to some unexpected press last week, it seems that readership blossomed from five guys in the building to...a few more.

All are welcome, but in light of some of the new comments and emails, some clarifying comments seem in order.

This blog is not about poop. It’s about man’s inhumanity to man. It’s about trying to make life a little better for the poor schmos who must conduct their business in this building.

We don’t do in-the-bowl photography. We don’t name names. This ain’t toilet porn, friends. It’s a community of freedom fighters.

And so, while you have every reason to be extremely proud of that 19-incher you dropped in Denmark, I don’t need to see the photo. Seriously.

With that said, welcome to the party.

For you newbies who would like a sampler plate of some favorite posts, may I suggest the following:

This is Not a Library

My E-Level Vietnam


Soundtrack Etiquette

Black (and Brown) Tuesday

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The saddest stick-up ever

You have to applaud a co-worker who takes matters into his own hands. Evidence suggests that a gentleman on the fifth floor did just that.

In both the penthouse and the Peter Brady stalls, low on the stall walls, are two stick-up air fresheners.

As far as I can tell, this is an anomaly unique to the fifth floor men’s room. They are clearly not standard-issue.

In other words, at some point in the past, some fifth floor fellow said to himself, “This place does not smell as good as it should. I’m going to use some of my own money to purchase something that will make it smell better.”

The key here is “in the past”...because these two little stick-ups have maintained their silent vigil for more than a year. Any air-freshening properties they once possessed are long gone. All that is left is the sad little plastic disks, reminding us that once upon a time, one man dared to dream of a better world.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Now THAT'S courtesy

Somebody on fifth floor has been reading his copy of Miss Manners.

Did he leave the sports magazine on the floor by the toilet? No. He thoughtfully draped it over the handicap rail, putting it within arm's reach for the next patron.

Not only did I get a chance to catch up on pre-season college football, I did it without risking hepatitis.

That's how it's done, men.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Heavy lifting at the urinal

I was conducting some business in the penthouse stall the other day when I heard the bathroom door open and somebody walk in. He headed over to the urinal, unzipped and then, let out an enormous sigh:


That was followed by more deep breaths and semi-grunts.

Honestly, if I hadn’t been sitting there with my pants around my ankles, I would have thought that I’d stumbled into the Olympic weightlifting competition. (Insert your own “clean and jerk” joke here.)

What the hell was going on with this guy? Is breaking out Mr. Wiggly that much of an ordeal?

Maybe the guy has a bad relationship with his wang. Perhaps the heavy breathing was his way to summon the courage to give this whole pee-pee thing one more try. “OK, little fella. I know we’ve had our trials and tribulations. But I believe in you. I want to make this work. Here we go.”

Or maybe he was just having a rough day. We’ve all been there, big guy. Sometimes when work is a major nut-punch, you just have to let it all go in an exhale. But maybe the urinal isn’t the optimal location for self-expression.

His transaction was completed before mine, so I did not lay eyes on the fellow. But he is out there, among us. And he needs a hug. Just not at the urinal.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Is it weird to walk out of the men's room holding a box of cereal?

Unless there has been a natural disaster that knocked out the power to your refrigerator so that the only way you can store your milk and keep it from going sour is by tying a string around the carton and gently submerging it into the cool water of your toilet...yes; yes it is.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


True story.

Walked into the men's room and was standing at the big boy urinal. Door opens and somebody walks in. He saddles up to the little man urinal and starts his business.

He says, "Hey," and we exchange pleasantries. He says, "I've been meaning to send you an e-mail, but then I saw you walk in here and I thought 'I've got to go too; I'll just talk to him about it at the urinal.'"


I'm not sure how I feel about this. Is it really OK to talk shop while you're partially exposed?

Is this the beginning of a trend? I mean, if me and a colleague show up to meet and we discover that we both of us have a need to make a #2, do we just file into the men's room, head to our respective stalls and conduct the meeting through the partition?"

Productivity up? Yes. Dignity? Way down.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The king is dead

This morning, the smell emanating from second floor men's room made my knees buckle. As I was walking by the door.

When the plume is strong enough to work its way through the door, you have officially lost your spot as "the best men's room in the building."

We've seen this coming. But when the champ finally hits the canvas, it's a shock.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stand and deliver

Yesterday, I walked into fourth floor men's room and discovered a gentleman standing in the stall of last resort, engaged in a little number one action.

Both urinals were open for business (no waiting) and yet this fellow decided to head into the stall and make his pee pee there.

Interesting. And curious.

Why does a guy forgo the devil-may-care breeziness of a urinal for the more serious confines of the business chamber? Antisocial? Performance anxiety?

Is he anti-urinal? Or is he just extremely pro-stall?

Did he have a bad experience where a colleague tried to make conversation at the urinal but he's a "I-need-to-focus-on-what-I'm-doing" kind of guy and so he adopted a new routine?

Was he at a urinal and somebody looked over, looked down and made some sort of comment about his physiology? (I mean, past experience suggests that we do work among men who are built...differently.)

I, for one, wanted to know this man's story. But I could not ask. He was sealed away. Apart. Distant. Alone.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Just say no to medical waste

We don't write about the first floor men's room a whole lot. Since it's the facility that services that majority of guests to the agency, it's usually kept in pretty good shape.

But last week, I came across something that I have not seen on any other floor: medical waste left on the counter next to the sink. OK, so it was somebody's used disposable contact lens package, but...on the counter next to the sink? What's next, old bandages? Used syringes?

"Mmmm, this wound is healing nicely. I think I'll just leave this bloody gauze pad right here next to the soap."

Not cool. I realize that the 720 restrooms now only accept garbage of the paper towel variety, but if you're discarding something that was originally purchased at a pharmacy, maybe you take it with you when you leave? Just a thought.

Pastry chef is in the house

MAJOR triple red alert in 4th floor penthouse stall this morning.

Looks like somebody was trying to frost a cake.

Seriously, dude...I really don't need to see your ganache troweled all over the seat.

On the seat! How does one even do that? Where exactly is the exit on your frosting bag? The middle of your back?

Get thee to a doctor, friend. STAT.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bleach spill on three

Bleach spill outside the door of the third floor men's room.

And all I could think was, "They USE bleach in third floor men's room?"

Nothing about the experience of third floor men's room suggests that it has ever made the acquaintance of a cleaning product as strong as bleach.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I don't mean to sound like your wife, but would it kill you to lift the lid?

Or better yet, let me introduce you to Mr. Urinal--he doesn't have a lid that needs lifting.

Seriously, guys...earlier today, one of you walked into the fourth floor men's room, walked right past the two urinals, past the stall of last resort, past the Peter Brady stall, entered the penthouse stall, closed the door, locked it...and then proceeded to pee all over the seat.

Who does that?

Paper towels only

Recently, the men’s rooms (shouldn’t the plural of “men’s room” be “men’s reem?”) in our building “went green.” That means all the trash will be recycled.

As a consequence, fancy plastic signs have been affixed to each men’s room trash cans that say “Paper Towels Only.”

So here’s my question: what other trash were people tossing in there that necessitated the sign?

“Mmm...I think I’ll finish up my lunch in the men’s room and when I’m done, I will discard my extra food waste in the nearest receptacle.”

“Honey, don’t worry about the garbage in the kitchen, I’ll take it into work with me and dump it in the rest room.”

“Golly, should I go to the bathroom in one of the toilets or in this here trash can?”

Paper towels only, men. Glad we got that cleared up.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Is nothing sacred?

Everybody knows that the men’s room on two is the best men’s room in the building. There are a number of reasons—the low number of men who actually work on two, auto-flush toilets in every stall, a cheerful wall color, etc.

But even paradise has its bad days.

Today is a bad day for two.

The wall of smell hit me as soon as I opened the door. This would not be the premium potty experience I hoped for. I did a quick scan and realized that the Peter Brady stall was occupied.

Had the occupant chosen the warm embrace of the #2 stall, forgoing the relative splendor of the penthouse stall? Or was this a case of misplaced blame? Had the real offender just left the penthouse and exited the men’s room, leaving the Peter Brady occupant to take the blame for the remaining plume?

Put then I noticed it. A magazine. Open. On the ground between the two feet of the Peter Brady visitor.

We’re his hands too tired to hold the magazine while he sat? Were his hands otherwise occupied?

Men, there are few areas LESS sanitary then the square foot directly in front of a toilet. It is not a place one should set anything of value and certainly not an item that you will be taking with you, handling for extended periods of time and, perhaps, passing on to a colleague.

It was all the evidence I needed. The reader and the pooper were one in the same.

Second floor, I hardly know you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is this even safe?

Potty blogger believes that a clean mouth is a healthy mouth. I have a toothbrush in my office and, on occasion, I use it.

But yesterday, when I entered the men’s room on third floor for a quick scrub of the pearly whites, it smelled so bad I was actually concerned about the health risks of opening my mouth.

Is it even safe to brush your teeth in such an environment? Can an odor actually eat away enamel?

To be honest, there are times when I don’t even want to open my pants in here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Looking for a newspaper?

Yes, spreading it out so that I can read multiple sections without having to pick it up is a nice touch, but this is still not a library.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The case for a bidet

We need a bidet in this building.

My suggestion? Let’s remove the toilet from the Peter Brady stall on four and put a bidet in there.

There are already 20 men’s room stalls in the building. And aside from the infamous “Homemade Chili Day” in 2005, there has never been a time when all 20 have been in use at the same time.

Can we not spare one stall for a premium potty experience? A small luxury to promote derriere health?

And four is the perfect floor for it--the guys whose names are on the building sit on that floor and the men’s room has high-quality, executive washroom feel to it. But it’s accessible to schmos like you and me.

Will a bidet solve all our problems? Of course not. As has been documented on this blog many, many, many times, there are some profoundly broken people in this building. A bidet will not help them. Taking a power sprayer to their undercarriage probably wouldn’t help them.

A bidet is for the rest of us. The common man. The every day dumper who just wants to get clean down there. To feel fresh.

Let us unite in this cause, men. We deserve it.

Yet another reason that second floor is the best men's room in the building

Auto-flush. In every stall. That is luxury, people.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Ladies mark their territory

A female reader sent the following photo. Apparently, this sign is posted in the ladies penthouse stall on E level.

It looks like the ladies of E made wanted to encourage visitors to dump on their own floor. (As we all know, E level is a favorite hit-and-run location.) But some smart gal with a pen is encouraging a protest.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Black (and brown) Tuesday

Something very VERY bad happened in the third floor men’s room yesterday afternoon.

A co-worker came to me with tears in his eyes. Another emailed with the subject line “something died.” A third was so distraught, all he could do was shake his head and point.

Naturally, I had to investigate.

What I found made the Saw movies look like Mary Poppins. It was the bathroom version of torture porn. It made me yearn for the salad days of my E-level discovery.

Within the first two seconds, I realized that if I stayed in there longer than a minute, I was going to throw up.

How to describe the odor? Imagine a corpse, soaked in pickle juice. That corpse is then eaten by a dog who poops it out. That poop is eaten my another dog who then barfs it into a jar of rotten eggs. That jar is then sealed for a thousand years. At the end of that thousand years, the jar is heated up over a methane gas plume. The jar is then opened and the contents are spread on crackers made out of diseased goat pancreas.

It smelled a little like that...only turned up to 11.

Any sane person would have run screaming. But I had to look. I had to see for myself.

What I saw was so foul there is really no way to describe it in a family blog like this. Lets just say that the mystifying splatter pattern that has so thoroughly puzzled me in the past had migrated to the floor and wall. The bowl in the Peter Brady stall was overflowing with filth and, evidence suggested, the contents had made a run for it, hopped to the ground, run up the wall and into the penthouse stall where it proceeded to fill that bowl too.

If you are responsible for any aspect of what took place in third floor men’s room yesterday afternoon GET YOURSELF TO A HOSPITAL. I'm not trying to be funny and I'm not kidding. You are physically and emotionally broken. You need help.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday we read from your letters...

Potty blogger's inbox was overflowing this week with stories, observations and photos from you, the loyal readers.

The reader who sent the email with the subject line “2-foot long colon buster in stall number 1,” you should know that I did not open the zip file full of photos. I’ve said it before and I’ll say again--we don’t publish inside-the-bowl photography. It’s not that kind of a blog.

(The one exception to the rule: if business is discovered in an unusual location—the sink, for example—well, now that’s news. When man bites the dog, you cover it.)

One reader emailed the photo above, showing a pretty dire situation--a double roll failure in the penthouse stall late in the day. It’s a cautionary tale and a good reminder to look before you leap. If you do find yourself post-session and discover yourself without resources, seat covers are an emergency options. Or you can call for help.

Here’s a letter from one straight-talking reader:
“As I was pissing, a person was crapping. I finished pissing and went to the sink to wash up. As I approached the sink, the crapper flushed. The crapper walked by me, gave me the ‘what’s up?’ head nod and said something I didn’t catch, and walked out. Without washing his hands. Thought you should know.”
Men, we’ve talked about this before. Washing your hands should be standard operating procedure. Especially after making the poops.

There was this short and sweet gem:
“There’s no toilet brush. I find that problematic.”
Problematic, eh Mr. OCD? I mean, I like a clean bowl as much as the next guy, but do I need a brush on standby so I can scrub that sucker to a fine shine before I soil it? Probably not. Now a plunger near the toilet...that’s something I can get behind.

Here's another:
“For the retard throne on 3 (A.K.A. the only one anyone wants to use), who is the fat ass who keeps dislodging the seat cover with their mammoth ass cheeks, thus putting us skinny people at risk of falling in when the now-broken throne cover shifts mid-movement?”
Wow. Where to begin with this one?

The penthouse stall is not the “retard throne.” It is a handicap stall designed for people with physical challenges who need a little extra space.

Second, while the penthouse stall is popular, it is not “the only one anyone wants to use,” as has been covered in a previous posting. For example, some men prefer the warm embrace of the Peter Brady stall.

Third, what your are calling the “seat cover” is actually “the seat.” The seat cover” is the white tissue paper that you put down on top of the “the seat” to protect your genitals from absorbing the bacteria left behind by other guy’s genitals. (The fact that you don’t know the difference between the two says everything I need to know about you.)

Fourth, we get it. You’re skinny. Congratulations. Some guys inherited a larger frame from their parents or maybe they have a glandular problem, but that does not mean that they are hell-bent on the destruction of potty property. To suggest otherwise is slanderous and mean spirited.

Finally, we received this from a female reader who, with this, may have earned herself a spot as this blog’s lady correspondent:
“You should know that the ladies of 720 California are here to represent. The other day, I came across a confusing contribution in the ladies room. A monster was poking up above the water line, resting its head on the porcelain like a seal on the rocks. No toilet paper in sight. Did she even try to flush? And if so, did it take the toilet paper but not the deposit? The toilet is like a mailbox, ladies—after you drop your letter in, you check to make sure that it’s gone all the way down.”
Good advice, sister. Good advice.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

At least two kinds of wrong

This just in from the third floor penthouse stall.

Where to begin?

First of all, I guess you have to give a guy props for using a seat cover. (As we've discussed, not everybody does.) But the seat cover is a one-time-use product, my friend. When you're done with your business, discard the seat cover.

This is usually handled with a simple flush. That's what the punch out in the middle is for--think of it as a rope that helps pull the tissue, which is now damp with your butt sweat, into the plumbing below.

If a flush is not sufficient to dislodge your seat cover, help a brother out, give it a quick peel and try again. Yeah, it's a little gross to handle the tissue, but it's no less gross for the next guy. In fact, I think we can all agree, it's significantly MORE gross for the next guy.

Second, I'm glad you felt comfortable enough to finish up your Nantucket Nectar while in the saddle, but that space behind the bowl is not a designated recycling area.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chicken and waffles warning

Apparently, a large contingent from the office indulged in chicken and waffles for lunch today.

As a result, no bathroom on any floor is safe this afternoon. Proceed with extreme caution.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Soundtrack etiquette

As mentioned in my last entry, loyal readers have not been shy about suggesting topics for this blog. Without a doubt, the number one request has been to cover what I call “soundtrack etiquette.”

The bathroom soundtrack is rich and complicated genre.

At one end of the spectrum, it includes the subtle hey-there’s-somebody-in-one-of-the-stalls audio cues you give when you hear the bathroom door open. Potty Blogger is partial to the exaggerated cough, throat-clear or loud sniff. But I knew a guy once who thought subtlety was overrated and would proudly exclaim “fire in the hole!” when he heard somebody enter.

At the other end of the spectrum (literally) is what I call “butt music.” Now let’s be clear: this is a sub-genre about which there are strong feelings and much debate.

Some believe that such tunes do not deserve an audience. Those people, also known as “the clenchers,” will do almost anything to make sure that nary a peep emits from their stall while someone else is in the bathroom. One colleague recently told me that he takes a fork into the stall with him so that he can stab himself in the thigh if he needs to stifle his orchestra.

But others are equally passionate in their belief that this music is the most beautiful and natural music a person can make. They do not want to hide their light, but rather, share it with the world.

When these people perform, they seem to be saying, “Hey, my time in the saddle is my time. I let myself go 100 percent. If that involves squeaks, wheezes, and toots, and you happen to hear it, so be it. Enjoy the symphony, baby.”

A healthy respect for your colonic instrument is one thing, but there are certainly some who take this point-of-view to an unhealthy, exhibitionist extreme. We’ve all found ourselves in a stall next to one of these guys--the ones who grunt, and struggle and emit sounds more commonly associated with the slaughterhouse than the business chamber. We get it, Tchaikovsky--you’re a musical prodigy with your ass flute. Bravo.

Let us all remember that musical tastes vary. One man’s gag-inducing bun warbler is another man’s symphony. Vive la difference!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Some suggestions

There are certain occupational hazards that come with potty blogging.

For example, it forces you to pay attention to some pretty gruesome crime scenes. Do I want to look into a bowl that looks like it hasn’t been flushed since 2008? No. But if I don’t look into that abyss, who will tell the tale?

One unfortunate side effects of the blog is that a certain number of loyal readers have discovered my true identity are constantly suggesting topics.

“There’s a major deuce in the handicap stall. You should check it out.”

“You gonna do an entry about the super dark pee on three?”

“Yesterday, guy in the stall next to me muttered ‘help me’ while squeezin’ one out. I can give you his name if you want to write about it.”

These are all wonderful suggestions. Thank you. It’s gratifying to know that so many share my passion for the pageantry of our restrooms. But perhaps shouting ideas across a crowded office is not the best venue for an editorial pitch.

Let me introduce you to the comment section on this blog. Think if it as your tip line. You can post anonymously and I read all of them.

While we’re on the topic of suggestions, let me make one myself: wash your hands, men.

Today, I saw a colleague--somebody whom I respected--finish his business and head straight for the door.

Now, I’ve heard all the excuses, the most common one being: “I just went number one and only touched my front. If I washed my hands every time I touched Mr. Lincoln, I’d be at the sink all day.”

Men, making a number one is not a free pass from hand washing. If you’ve done anything in the men’s room, let a session at the sink be your final act. They put the basins by the door for a reason: to remind you that you should use them on your way out.

As for my disgusting colleague, who shall remain nameless, I shamed him into washing his hands. This time. But I am not on patrol 24/7. You have to police yourselves, men.

Let’s be careful out there.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The ol’ switcheroo?

There are certainly no shortage of how-the-hell-did-he-do-that moments in fourth floor men’s room. I have seen things that make me question my own anatomy.

But this almost hurts my feelings it’s so confusing.

I’m talking about a chocolate spatter pattern...on the front edge of the bowl.

Think about that one for a minute, will you?

The bowl had been flushed. The only evidence of prior use: three tire tracks down the front edge of the bowl.

How does that happen? I’ve been turning it over and over in my mind and the only possible explanation is this: Somebody that works on the fourth floor has had his anus and his penis switched.

I know that’s a strong accusation. I don’t make it lightly. It is simply the only plausible explanation for what I saw. One of my co-workers moved his exit to the front. I have no idea why.

If you are this medical marvel, please leave a comment and help us understand.

Thanks, but no thanks

This morning, a "generous" soul left his copy of Road & Track on the floor in the penthouse stall of fourth floor men's room.

Need to drop a load but are also dying to find out how the new Porsche handled on the test track? Thankfully, there is one location where you can do both.

Seriously, guys. It's been said before, but it bears repeating: this is not a library.

Think about it. If the magazine is left on the ground close enough to the toilet so you can reach down and pick it up while you're in the middle of your business, it's in "the splash zone" and should not be handled.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poopin’ on the Ritz

Is there anything more intimate than making a number two?

It’s one of the most vulnerable things you can do by yourself and, understandably, people have strong feelings about where they make the magic.

Some of you prefer a specific floor. I’ve talked to several colleagues who swear that the only place they’ll sit down is in the second floor men’s room. “It just has a great ambiance,” says one. And another adds, “A lot of ladies sit on 2, so I don’t think it gets a lot of use. It feels...special when I make a poop in there.”

(I have been told that E level used to be a great place to conduct business. But given my recent experience down there, I have a hard time believing that.)

Most people also have a favorite stall. Some of you are penthouse people—you like the extra space that the big boy stall offers. Others prefer, the Peter Brady stall. (One gentleman who always goes for this middle chamber says, “I just like the way it makes me feel. There’s too much space in the big one.”)

I’m sure there is somebody in the building that likes the stall closest to the urinals. But since I call this one “the stall of last resort,” I’m not sure who you are or why you chose it. But hey...different strokes.

But recently I heard about a colleague’s potty preference that really made me tip my hat.

“I like to walk up and go at the Ritz.”

Bravo, sir. Don’t shit where you work. Take your business elsewhere. And not just anywhere...the fanciest toilet (see above) in a two-block radius. Wooden doors on the stalls. Marble counter tops. REAL towels (see below) with which to wipe your hands. A premium potty, to be sure.

(Of course, this assumes he meant here and not here.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

There is a story here

Sitting on the ground, next to the toilet in the fourth floor penthouse stall, is an empty Safeway shopping bag.

Who carried that bag into the stall? What was inside?

Food? If so, was it consumed during a business transaction? Is this an appropriate picnic spot?

A birthday card for mom? Was it signed and addressed in between pushes? Was the stamp licked before or after the session was completed?

Extra toilet paper? Just to be on the safe side?

Or maybe…just maybe...our bag man was concerned that the toilet would not be able to handle all he had to offer and he brought a bag in with him so that he could “pack out” any extra waste. The ultimate selfless act. But when he discovered that the bowl was able to handle his deposit, he left it behind for the next guy. Paying it forward.

If only that bag could talk.

Double red alert

This is not a drill.

I was just in third floor men's room and the penthouse stall is officially on double red alert status.

We're not talking about the stray, unexplainable remnant. We're in "my cup runneth over" territory.

I did not look into the eye of the storm for long for fear of losing my breakfast, but the quick glimpse suggested that the turds are about to jump over the porcelain wall and make a run for the door.

Stay clear of the area.

And if you are the chef that served up the meal that the toilet could not digest, you have a moral obligation to call facilities and report the crime. Be a man.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Disappointment lottery

Before noon on a Wednesday, and the toilet paper situation in the penthouse stall of the fourth floor men's room is looking bleak. (See photo left.)

Very good chance that someone this afternoon is going to come up high and dry.

If you are the unlucky winner, remember it is perfectly appropriate to say aloud, "Ah, man! Hello, is anyone there? Can you help a brother out with some toilet paper."

If you happen to be in the rest room and hear this plea, it is recommended that you do, in fact, help a brother out. It is NOT recommended that you enter the penthouse stall and hand said brother some TP nor should you offer to install a new roll while business is still being conducted.

The proper way to deliver the paper is to enter the Peter Brady stall, which is directly adjacent to the penthouse stall. Pull some toilet paper from the roll and ball it up. Throw the ball of TP over the wall and quickly back out of the stall.

Do NOT slip the wad of paper under the wall as this action may be misconstrued. Also, in general, keeping your hands as far away from the floor as possible is a good rule of thumb.

Good luck, men.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My E-level Vietnam

It’s been four days. But I’m still not sure if I’m ready to talk about it.

What I experienced last Friday in E-level’s men’s room changed me. Forever. And not in a good way.

I approached the door, ready for a quick pop-in. In general, E-level is not my first choice of facilities. With just one urinal and two business chambers, it feels vaguely un-American. Not enough choices, you know what I mean? But when a guy’s got to go...

When I opened the door, I descended into another world. It was like Lord of the Flies in there. Chaos. Anarchy. Unspeakable horror.

The penthouse stall had a library’s world of magazines strewn all over the floor. (Again, men, this is not a library.) I’m not talking about one or two sections of newspaper left behind...I’m talking stacks and stacks of magazines. It looked like somebody had been using the space to learn how to read.

The urinal was full to overflowing. And the color could best be described as “5th Floor Men’s Room Wall Color” which is not a shade associated with urinary tract health.

Then I found the turd.

It was in small stall and it dwarfed its surroundings. At first, I was concerned that someone had accidentally dropped their backpack into the toilet. Then it hit me: “That’s not a backpack.”

It appeared to be peeking up out of the bowl, head raised, daring me to come forward. “Who dares to enter my domain?” it seemed to say. “Not I,” I whispered and backed out of the stall.

But it was the smell that permeated the air that truly scared me. I did not know such smells existed in nature.

My mind raced to make sense of the experience. Perhaps a hobo wandered in off the street and into the E-level men’s room where he took his first real dump in three years.

But the smell was more than just the worst bathroom smell ever. It was something more.

I would not have been surprised to receive an all agency email on Monday saying, “Due to an incident last week, people are no longer allowed to keep human remains in their locker on E-level.”

Did I survive? Physically, yes. Emotionally, it’s going to be a long, long time before I recover.

If you or somebody you know is responsible for the crimes committed on E last Friday, I urge you to seek professional help immediately.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Penthouse alert

Heads up, men. Potty blogger was just in fourth floor men's room and it appears that a crime was recently committed in the penthouse stall. The splatter pattern suggests that the victim struggled.

If you are the perpetrator of this crime, you need to get yourself checked. Today. Call the doctor's office right now. Tell them it's an emergency.

Here's a clue: If you flush and the bowl still looks like a connect-the-dots puzzle, you are not OK.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sometimes it takes two flushes

Potty blogger was at big-boy urinal today when he heard somebody finish his business in the penthouse stall and flush.

Then, a moment later, a second flush.

The gentleman exited the penthouse, saw potty blogger and said, "Sometimes it takes two flushes."

I'm betting that man is also good in the bedroom. Because he notices the little things. He is sensitive enough to say to himself, "Before I exit the business chamber, perhaps I should make a visual inspection of the bowl to confirm that my waste has been discarded."

"What's that? This toilet has not yet fully digested the meal I have provided? Well then, why don't I help it along with a second flush."

I salute you sir. You are an inspiration. Let us follow his lead, men.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Ever notice how the closer toilet paper gets to the end of the roll, the more it looks like a nut sack?

It does.

Especially in fourth floor men's room. Something about the light brings out its hangin' brain-like qualities.

Coincidence? Or God's awesome plan? You decide.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Exhibit A: First floor men's room

A perfect example of the phenomenon described below is currently on display in first floor men's room.

This particular artist added his own special spin on it. The phrase "shotgun blast" comes to mind. And how, Picasso, did you paint UNDER THE SEAT??!?

This is a troubling way to start the weekend...

From whence black spot?

Yes, I have written about this phenomenon before, but that was when potty blogger was covering a different location. At the time, I thought it could be traced back to a particular individual who worked in that building--patient zero, as it were.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered the same telltale signs at 720 California fourth floor men’s room. I still have a hard time wrapping my brain around it.

I’m talking about walking into a stall, finding a bowl that has clearly been flushed, and yet, significant...remnants remain...three inches above the water line.

Three...inches...ABOVE...the water line.

Where the hell is that guy’s exit? Given my anatomy (which I assume to be standard issue) I would have to contort myself into some pretty interesting positions to...paint on that portion of the canvas.

If your chute is within spitting distance of your waistband, you need to get yourself checked, fellas. That ain’t right.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Smells like 6:37 p.m.

It's 3:12 p.m. but fourth floor men's room already smells like 6:37 p.m. Not a good sign.

This is not a library

Generous or disgusting? You be the judge.

Occasionally--and yesterday was one such occasion--somebody leaves a newspaper or magazine in the penthouse stall. Sometimes it’s thoughtfully draped over the handicap handrail but more often than not, it’s left on the floor.

Is a gift really a gift when it’s left on the floor of a men’s room?

Bonus points to yesterday’s giver for the subscription cards strewn about. Just in case somebody thought, “Goodness, I am thoroughly enjoying this issue of Forbes which has been marinating in my coworker’s fecal juices…I wish there was a convenient way to subscribe to this publication.”

What about it, men? Do you consider left-behind reading material an obstacle to be avoided or a welcome discovery?

Does the publications proximity to the bowl influence your willingness to pick it up?

Are there certain titles that you’re more likely to grab, no matter what? (“I don’t care how urine-soaked it might be, I never miss a chance to flip through FHM.”)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A report from the third floor is not about a single location. It’s really more of a state of mind. A way of seeing the world. In that spirit, we will cover the goings-on in other men’s rooms in the building.

Today’s destination: third floor men’s room. If fourth floor men’s room is Hawaii, then third floor men’s room is Beirut.

First of all, there is the flickering light bulb. It gives third floor men’s room kind of a coroner’s lab vibe. It’s dim and the incessant tap-tap-tap of the fixture trying to light prevents any quality “alone time.” It doesn’t matter if they replace the bad bulb; another always picks up the baton.

Second, we go to the wall color. “Asphyxiation blue” according to the label.

But THE distinguishing feature of third floor men’s room is that big-boy urinal is a no-hands auto-flush while little-man urinal remains a manual flush.

Unfortunately, it appears that a large number of third floor men’s room patrons are visually impaired, because nobody seems to realize that a manual flush is required on the little-man urinal. The result is piss potpourri (literally “rotten pot” in French)--a stagnant trough of urine that gives third floor men’s room that mmmmm-delicious bus stop smell.

Let us take a vow together, men: I will use my hand to flush the little-man once I am done with my #1 business.

No, it won’t solve all of the problems of third foor men’s room, but baby steps, guys. Baby steps.

(Just in case some of you don’t know the difference between auto and manual plush, here is a handy visual guide. Print it out. Put it in your wallet. Be Safe.)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Paper or plastic?

True confession time, friends. Potty Blogger does not use a toilet seat cover every time he sits down to make the poops.

Don’t judge me.

Sometimes, I’m in a hurry and seconds count. Other times, I simply prefer the cold hard industrial plastic to the crinkle of the tissue paper. (Something about the paper reminds me of a doctor’s office visit. Is it just me?)

And really, how much protection does that flimsy strip provide? I mean, if the potty crabs are out, they’re going to find a way into your bottom casa, aren’t they?

Anyhoo, I would guess my ratio is probably 60-40, plastic to paper.

But the other day, I was faced with an etiquette question. Potty Blogger entered fourth floor men’s room and headed for the penthouse stall. A colleague was finishing his business at one of the urinals and said hello as he headed toward the sink.

When I got into the penthouse, I was faced with the question: do I just sit down and commence download or do I now need to make a rather elaborate show of pulling out the seat cover, making sure that my colleague overhears my effort? Do I need to send an audible signal that I am, in fact, not a disgusting pig?

I buckled to peer pressure, pulled out the cover and made a few overly-dramatic flourishes and crinkles that surely telegraphed "I am a clean teen."

My colleague left with his delicate sensibilities in tact. But my session felt like a trip to the doctor’s office. The things we do for other people.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tuna fart

Let’s be honest, dear readers. Fourth floor men’s room is a pretty nice place.

This is the men’s room that is most frequently used but the men whose names are on the building. That sort of clientele means that you’re not usually going to find a rogue deposit sitting around unattended. That’s why this men’s room is a destination of choice for those with discriminating tastes.

But even fourth floor men’s room is not immune to the occasional bio-terror attack.

This morning, upon opening the door to fourth floor men’s room, Potty Blogger’s nose was assaulted with what can only be described as...tuna fart.

Not one of those personal serving snack size cans of tuna. We’re talking about one of those I-own-a-small-sandwich-shop-down-on-Kearny-and-go-to-Costco-for-those-bigger-than-your-head-cans of tuna.

It was a smell that made me feel bad for both tuna and farts.

Be strong, friends. Be strong.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

And so it begins

Inspired, a new era in potty blogging begins.