Sunday, August 24, 2008


Progress is a funny thing. Over the course of my life, I’ve seen some amazing leaps in technology—in fact, over the course of anyone’s life you’ll probably find that technology and progress have reared their ugly heads in ways that seemed unimaginable to them.

When I was in high school, having a pager was the it thing. It was inconceivable to me at that time that someday soon, everyone would be carrying around phones that were roughly the same size as that beeper, and were not only phones, but also mini computers from which I could do a Google search or check my email. Of course when I was in high school I don’t think I had an email address or Google existed, but you get the point.

Virtually nothing that exists in today’s world exists in the same way it did just fifteen years ago. I say virtually nothing because there are some areas where technology and progress have been conspicuously absent.

I’m talking, of course, about the stalls in public restrooms. In this day and age of smart phones and Wi-Fi, hybrid automobiles and hi-def televisions, I’m curious as to why I still have to check for shoes and pants before entering a stall in a public bathroom?

And it’s not like public bathroom technology hasn’t improved. I don’t remember the last time I had to put forth the effort, when out in public, to flush my own toilet, turn on my own faucet or even dry my own hands. These things are all done for me now.

But upon entering a public bathroom, if I want to make sure I’m not walking in on some startled guy with a poorly locking door, I have to bend over so that my head is just below knee level and goosestep down the line so I can find an unoccupied place to shit in peace.

Let’s recap. The toilet knows when to flush all by itself, but it can’t let the guy outside know that I’m doing my business and reading the paper. Yup, that about does it.

I, for one, would welcome a bathroom stall door that didn’t expose my pants and shoes to any freak who happened into the bathroom. I assume that the reason those doors don’t go all the way to the floor is so that people can see someone else is in there. But really, if the toilet knows I’m on it, can’t it also let the folks outside know? Can’t I have a little freaking privacy that a full length stall door would provide?

What if I forget to give a courtesy flush and someone I know comes in and recognizes the pants around my ankles or the shoes on my feet? Must I suffer the indignity of being known as the guy who stunk up the bathroom for no other reason than that damn door doesn’t come all the way to the floor?

Everything and I mean everything about public bathrooms has changed over the past 10 years, except the stall design. Why? What conspiracy keeps the doors from their rightful and proper place extending down to the floor? Is it the government? Aliens? Is there a corporate alliance that somehow financially gains from seeing my rolled up pants and shoes?

There has to be a reason! Even the stalls that do show an occupied sign when you lock the door fail to extend down all the way! Someone out there doesn’t want us to have as much privacy as we’d like when we’re crapping and I want to know who—and why?

I would devote all of my time and energy to finding the answer to this question, I can assure you, if it wasn’t for a much bigger fish I have to fry, so I leave it to you, my faithful readers, to find out why this one area our lives has yet to be improved upon while I busy myself investigating the Ketchup industry to find out why in the hell they don’t use the same squeeze bottles as the mustard people, which are much more convenient and easy to use.

Good luck. God Bless. That is all.


Anonymous said...

I have always HATED American bathrooms. I thought you guys were supposed to be the bloody Puritans around here?

Kate said...

i found a bathroom with toilet mini-rooms before and thought i found the holy grail! floor to ceiling walls (all four) with a proper door. there were no spaces! it was total and complete privacy! you would have loved it! xx