Friday 24 June 2011

Today's Review: Public Toilets

I went into a public toilet today, something I rarely do. This certain public toilet was the manifestation of every reason I do not go into public toilets. There were flies buzzing round, the lock on the cubicle door was broken, there was no toilet seat (not that I ever number two anywhere than my own home), and the smell was, well, generic public toilet smell. And by generic I mean awful.

It's okay if you go to the toilet in a fast food place or something. It still might be a little bit awful, but at least they have people go in there and clean them, bless their souls. But real public toilets are just plain bad. You'd like to think there's someone in charge of restocking toilet paper and cleaning and whatnot, but there's absolutely no evidence of it taking place, and you just want to get out of there as soon as possible.

But why do public toilets get so bad? It's simple. People are assholes. Public toilets are basically an early form of the internet, but instead mostly based around bodily functions and the occasional sex act. Okay, they are exactly an early form of the internet. In a public toilet everyone is anonymous, especially if they are there on their own. While a person may be respectable and well trained in his own toilet and in the toilets of people he knows, in a public toilet he just goes crazy. "Fuck it, no one knows who's doing this", he thinks, waving his penis erratically at anything but the urinal. Hacks are carried out on toilet seats and toilet roll dispensers, rendering them useless to other users, and locks are broken on cubicle doors, invading the privacy of anyone within. Messages are scrawled on the walls, like pop-ups that interrupt your peeing pleasure. Most give numbers and promises of gay sex. Are they genuine, or are they messages from trolls, waiting to snap up innocent victims for the lulz? Either way, just like the internet.

But while the internet got a little better with Web 2.0, we have yet to see Public Toilet 2.0. I suggest there be put in place a kind of social network of toilets, where graffiti is accompanied with a name, like a status update, and anyone caught unleashing indecent materials on the floor is reported and blocked. They probably already have crap like that in Japan, I don't know. But now all I can think about is Mark Zuckerberg plunging a toilet.

Public toilets are disgusting, but only because people are disgusting when they're not held accountable for their actions. Join me in my fight to make public toilet checkins on Facebook a mandatory action.

My rating: 0/5

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