Bathroom monitors

Chris Wallace calls the “bathroom bills” a “solution in search of a problem.”

restroomIn the United States, we’ve been reading about all sorts of laws passed by state legislatures, in North Carolina and Mississippi, and elsewhere that discriminate against LGBT citizens. Entertainers such as Bruce Springsteen and Bryan Adams have canceled concerts there, which I find a good and proper thing to do, as Arthur can explain.

I’m against laws that discriminate, of course. But I believe an element of these bills is based on some callow, unsubstantiated fear of transgender people molesting others in bathrooms. Someone commented, cheekily, that more Republican politicians than trans people have been arrested for sex acts in bathrooms.

For me, I would like to suggest a much more prosaic reason to oppose these particular ordinances: they cannot work.

The North Carolina governor has set up a hotline to report anyone not using the correct bathroom. And how is this supposed to work, exactly? Will they borrow some of those discredited TSA screening devices and hire bathroom monitors to check out who has what body parts?

Transgender people are already using the restrooms that correspond to their gender appearance and almost no one even knows the difference. The idea that, suddenly, one has to go by the gender on one’s birth certificate is impractical. Will we require that somebody check IDs before they go into the loo?

Some customers may boycott Target over its transgender-friendly bathroom policy. They have the right to do this, but I have to wonder how many of these people KNOW any transgender folks. Chris Wallace, Fox News host, calls the “bathroom bills” a “solution in search of a problem.”

One of the oddly transformative moments in my life was taking a charter bus from New Paltz, NY to Washington, DC to attend an antiwar rally c. 1972. At some stop very near our destination (Delaware?), we made a pit stop.

We had a finite amount of time, so, as the line to the women’s bathroom started to get long, several of the women started using the men’s room. This was an obviously logical thing to do.

Such simple logic should be brought to the current debate.

Bathroom archeology

If that design were in the whole room, it would have been like showering in an aquarium.


When we first bought into our house in 2000, one of the things The Wife and I knew we needed to get fixed, sooner rather than later was the bathroom. It was so bad, I actually entered some contest called “America’s ugliest bathroom.” Alas, we did not win. But it was UGLY, SO ugly… I must have those pictures somewhere.

bathroom wall -start
Unfortunately, other home improvements, including, but not limited to, a new kitchen floor, a new roof built by a Trusted and Recommended Roofing Repair Company near me, and having someone dig a big hole in our front lawn to stop sewage from coming to our basement, and replacing our deteriorating above ground pool patio with grass all took precedence. In the summer of 2014, we contracted work to begin on our bathroom starting with a glass shower enclosure.

bathroom wall-2

These pictures do not do their ugliness justice. The pink toilet, pink sink, terrible wallpaper. Worse, a shower where the tile was falling down. Well, the shower was replaced, and the bathroom expanded. The new vanity was purchased in August 2014. But then, for reasons I cannot explain, the work stopped. The vanity was moved from the living room to the room adjacent to the bathroom just before Thanksgiving. In July 2015, after looking at the panel above for nearly 11 months, work commenced again.

The white, pink and light blue wallpaper was taken off, and somewhere below was this:

If that design were in the whole room, it would have been like showering in an aquarium. Then, the very next level down, we discovered this:
It made us laugh heartily.

The house is around 100 years old, so it’s quite believable that someone would have used this design.

Sorry that the pics are so dark. they were taken on the Wife’s iPad, before the dim lighting of the bathroom was enhanced.

EDIT: My friend Arthur lightened the top pic and especially the lower three. GRACIAS!

All pictures (C)2015 by Lydia P. Green.




Bathroom statistics

What is your methodology for minimizing picking up the germs of the public loo?

toiletThe things I do for informational purposes. According to a recent article, there are 10 restroom rules people are constantly breaking.

Independently, this is something I’ve noticed in men’s public restrooms for decades. If there are four bathroom stalls, as there are in the men’s room on our floor at work:

If none are occupied – A man will often go to stall #1 or #4.
If #1 occupied – A man will generally go to #4 or #3.
If #2 is occupied – A man will almost always go to #4.
#1 and #3 occupied – A man will generally go to #4.

Those of you of the male persuasion: Is this your observation of public bathroom behavior as well? I’m curious if this is an American phenomenon.
Those of you of the female persuasion: Do women do this as well, avoid being next to the occupied stall? Or is it, as I’ve seen in too many mediocre movies, that women seek out the adjacent stall?

And while I’m on the topic, what is your methodology for minimizing picking up the germs of the public loo? This article recommends Why your public restroom should utilize touchless or automatic dispensers and faucets.

However, the men’s room in my building is not what I would call efficient. Both the toilets and urinals in the men’s room are supposedly designed to flush after being used. Here’s the problem: either 1) they flush too often, or 2) not at all.

I recognize this is a function of a germophobic society, and “efficiency,” but please give me a handle to flush.

A relative of mine posted this on Facebook: “Question? If you’re in a public restroom and a guy answers a conference call, are you not supposed to flush?”

Curious minds want to know.

Incidentally, Dustbury settles the over/under toilet paper debate, at least to my satisfaction.

Toilet paper may have been invented in Albany, NY.

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