Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wall of smell

Some 720 California men's room experiences are so searingly painful that it takes several days to find the words to describe them.

Last Friday was a bad day for the third floor men's room.

Smell is about context. Your brain can handle a horrible odor if it can make sense of it. For example, if you enter a morgue, your brain is ready for the stench of rotting corpse.

But when you walk into a men's restroom, your brain doesn't know what to do with a tangy, smoky barbecue smell. And then you realize--nobody is cooking ribs in this location, rather, somebody's colon is profoundly broken. It is not a smell that can be produced by the physically fit.

It was so bad, I actually had my first synesthesia experience (where one experiences smell as a color or image.) This is what I saw.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Call and response

Yesterday, I was luxuriating in the penthouse stall when I heard something that raises an interesting etiquette question.

I heard a gentleman enter the men’s room, approach the urinal and begin his business. Another man entered, took a position at the second urinal, and began his work.

Then, one of the contestants, released a little toot.

It was quickly followed by the second man who contributed his own toot. (True, I was several feet away, locked in the stall, and can’t be 100 percent sure it was from the other musician, but the timbre was sufficiently distinct to indicate a different instrument.)

Then, the first man threw down a new bass line, with a more complicated melody. There was a beat...and the second man made a best effort to mimic that one as well!

A regular case of dueling banjos! (If by “banjos” I mean “my co-worker’s anuses.”)

This musical dance was conducted without conversation or commentary--a wordless fart ballet, if you will.

And so it begs the question: what is the proper response when a co-worker at the urinal next to you lets a small one go? I think these two guys have shown us the most elegant way of dealing with the situation--join the fun.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reading lights?

I realize that my last call for bathroom improvements fell on deaf ears (I still believe that bidets would do more to improve productivity around here than any other measure) but I have a new thought.

Reading lights. Above the toilets.

In fourth floor men's room (and restrooms throughout the building) the row of recessed lighting is above the far wall, away from the porcelain perches. It makes it extremely hard to read while conducting your business.

And while leaving reading material for the next guest continues to be standard operating procedure (see photo above) what good is such courtesy if you can't see the words?

I doubt that facilities will install a new row of recessed lighting into the ceiling, but perhaps we could work on installing a few of these babies--how sweet would it be to have an adjustable arm on the light source next to the toilet? Or maybe we go LUXURY and get one of those lamp/magnifying glass combo thingies.

Perhaps then the gentleman who left the newspaper (see photo above) could use the magnifying glass to check the bowl and discover, "Oh, gee, I forgot to flush and there is a wad of toilet paper and man filth still sitting there in the bowl."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Taco truck + 3-day weekend = bathroom armageddon

Perhaps management should schedule the taco truck visits on a Monday rather than the Friday before a three-day weekend?

The smell-ometer has recorded a new "stank parts per million" reading and it seems that somebody left something to marinate for the full 72 hours.

I too have a dream...that you people learn how to flush.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Year

Yes, friends, potty blogger is back in action.

Apologies for the long hiatus. I realize that I have not posted since November, but I was traveling and it could not be avoided. And no, I was not (as some readers suggested) fired because I spent more time writing about the crapper than actually working.

We all know what a great relief it is to take some time away from the office during the holidays, but can you imagine how glad 720 California toilets were for the break? If you spent the entire year having people sit on your face and do unspeakable things, you too would cherish that week between Christmas and New Years.

And so, this week must have come as a bit of a shock for the porcelain of fourth floor men’s room. A stampede of men whose digestive systems are still in holiday mode--back to work!

Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy year of bathroom business. Let’s be kind to one another in 2010, shall we?