If you must write on the bathroom stall wall, make it good.
The time we spend on the toilet is sacred. It’s one of the few moments during the day (unless you have rowdy relations constantly pounding on the door) that you can truly be alone with your thoughts, in a state of complete release. Some of my best ideas have come to me when I was perched on the can. And if I happen to being drawing a blank, the bathroom is always a good place to get some reading done. I’m not talking about War and Peace cover to cover here, but a page or two of a book or magazine can easily be knocked off in a short to medium length potty session.
Sometimes, when I’m out and about and nature calls, I venture into public restrooms, as do most of us (except for home crappers), which in my experience can range from the obscene and sickening to the fairly pristine. Regardless of the state of the toilet I happen to occupy, it’s always nice to have something compelling to read in order to pass the time.
Sadly, the veracity of the claims typically carved into public bathroom stalls is dubious at best, and the artistic expressions I’m treated to are generally comprised of simple stick figures humping and poorly drawn genitalia, although now and again I see some tremendously creative talent on display. I once came across a large sketch of a masterfully detailed vagina. The illustrator had obviously spent a lot of time perfecting his craft. He’d depicted the clitoris as a small boat with a tiny man sitting inside of it. The man had set up a fishing pole, with the end of his fishing line disappearing into the negative space surrounding him. It was a work of art.
Rather than tell me about the size of your member, or the fact that once upon a time you dropped a deuce here as well, I’d prefer to read something that’s meaningful and true. The written material and occasional frescos I’m provided with in communal restrooms almost never meet my expectations (the little man on the boat aside). I, and other people too, are going to have to spend a few minutes here getting our business done. It’s a shame that our precious viewing time is wasted on trifle.
If someone scratches a message into a bathroom wall that reads, “For a good time, call Evelyn,” followed by a phone number, conventional wisdom would have it that the note is a prank being played on the poor girl, a false number, or revenge from a jilted friend or lover. But what if that wasn’t the case, and usual base sexual exploits associated with such a message didn’t apply at all?
I could jot down Evelyn’s number and arrange to meet her the next day. We might gobble down fluffy blueberry pancakes for breakfast at her favorite café, and then walk along a warm beach and soak our feet in the surf. Later we could attend the country fair and examine the prize hogs and horses, laugh at the odd people tromping about, take a spin on the Ferris wheel, and then as night approaches, run through the city park with sparklers in our hands. At the end of a perfect day, I would turn to Evelyn and say, “Wow, I’m glad I wrote your number down. You really did show me a good time.” Then she would give me a gentle smile, followed by a peck on my cheek, and reply, “Of course. That’s why people call me.”
The idea I’m trying to impart here is that if you’re the type of person who is duty-bound to scribble across bathroom stalls, at least put some heart into your work. If you’ve penned a dirty limerick, make sure it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever seen, that I thank God I’m already sitting down with my trousers around my ankles, because otherwise I’d pee my pants from laughing. Inspire me with an exciting mural, a beautiful poem or an original idea. Entertain me. I’ve seen enough childish sketches of a man’s junk to last me a lifetime. I want something new. We’re only on this Earth for a short while, and every second counts.
Consider this a public service announcement for those among us who value our ‘alone’ time, no matter where we happen to be, and are always on the hunt for something interesting and beautiful to read.
Image credit: Lauren_Hannah/Flickr