Things That Scare Me: Public Bathrooms

In cynical celebration of our favorite death celebrating season, we’re going all out on fear based topics this month. Every day, Ben will present one thing that scares him, ranging from the anxious and annoying to the deadly and doomed. This is… Things That Scare Me.

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Public bathrooms… Just, so, so much yuck. I don’t even know where to start. I refuse to use public bathrooms unless it’s a situation of ACTUAL emergency. I’m talking Threat to National Security level of bowel concern. If I can hold it, I will. Because dude, fuck going in there.

Public toilets are literal totems to human filth, manifested physical pockets of humanity’s deepest, darkest, digested despairs. They’re vial, gutted structures of shit seepage, slimy cesspits holding solidified remains of excretory mistakes. To sit on a public toilet is to risk total molecular collapse by the hand of a super fungus, a degenerate disease grown in the bubbling gasses of captured flatulence, unidentifiable discharge, and puddles of boiling salted piss.

Or they are in men’s rooms are at the very least. As an unpaid child laborer, I was once offered the privilege of mopping a women’s restroom. It was like traveling to the fucking Shire. Gone were the hellish holes of molded black goop, encrusted sludge pits formed from rusted pipe sneezes, opened sores leaking the wafting rise of forgotten summer eggs. Instead, I found a tranquil, respectable place; despair replaced by the hint of a warm sea breeze and bleach, a healthy supply of toilet paper, and, for some inexplicable reason, an actual COUCH. A FUCKING COUCH! WHAT DO YOU NEED A COUCH IN A BATHROOM FOR?

I’m just jealous. Men’s rooms could never sustain a couch. Given eight unsupervised minutes, every clean surface is a men’s room WILL become covered in a fine layer of ass fur, as some Johnny Pubic-hair will inevitably stroll through, bush bundle in hand, decorating the stained linoleum with wayward strands of curled pubes, planted hairy seedlings hoping to blossom into fully grown pubic trees someday. 9 out of 10 urinals in men’s rooms look like they were installed under the watchful eye of a barber’s chair. Even if your super power is the ability to ignore the embedded smell of decades-long subfloor defecation build-up, it’s best not to inhale in a men’s room, least you find yourself hacking hair like a secondhand cat. I’m not scared of Hell, but I am scared of breathing that air.

I made the mistake of walking into a men’s room while wearing flip flops one time, intent on talking a quick piss. While trying my best to not look at, touch, smell, or otherwise interact with anyone or anything in the room, I noticed a vaguely wet feeling at my feet. I assumed it was just a little urinal splash-back, and took an adjustment step away, only to step DEEP into a warm puddle. Yup, warm. A quick examination of the room told me a pipe had backed up and the main drain was spitting back out a steady stream of human piss, leaving me to enjoy the sole-warming feeling of having a human urine collage flood around my mostly bare foot. AND THAT’S WHY YOU ALWAYS HOLD YOUR PISS NO MATTER WHAT.

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