Posted by Mark Weiss on July 11, 2012
Though I engage in jocularity on all topics related to poo, please don’t lose sight of the fact that I’m trying to, literally, take the subject of poo out of the bathroom and into the kitchen (where families can discuss Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis while enjoying dinner).
Below, I am going to reveal a theme that I will revisit (over and over and over again, like a joke that just keeps repeating long after it’s no longer funny) in the future on this blog.
I’m dedicating this installment to THE BIG REVEAL of this theme. Which means that there will be virtually no content below. Seriously. Almost none. There’s no “tip,” no “advice,” no imparted knowledge whatsoever.
In fact, having read the rest of this post, I strongly suggest you stop reading right now. What follows is excruciatingly boring. Consider yourself warned.
I was recently inspired where I do some of my best thinking--on the toilet. I spend gads of time there. (Brief tangent/confession: I don’t think that this is kosher, but I generally opt for the handicapped stall. There’s just more room in there; I feel more comfortable. My feeling is that I have no colon, and who is more handicapped in a BATHROOM than someone with no colon? And I obviously feel the same way about people who have IBD. Don’t be shy. Use the handicapped stall. You are poo-challenged. Take advantage.)
Those of us with no colons or IBD spend WAY TOO MUCH TIME in bathrooms. Lots of away games. And there are lots of “away” places, right? Work. Friend’s houses. Gas stations. Restaurants. Outhouses. I also throw in dorms and fraternity houses.
Each of these "away" places presents dilemmas. You can tailor your own loo to your whims and desires, and you can use (or misuse) it in your discretion "Away" bathrooms? I wanted a term to encompass these for future blog purposes.
These are not all “public bathrooms.” A “public bathroom,” by definition, is open to the public. Which is not the case with, for example, a friend’s bathroom.
Likewise, these are not all “communal bathrooms.” Now, I’m not 100% sure what a communal bathroom is, but when I think “communal,” I think “commune” and then “communism” and if there’s one thing that a bathroom is NOT, it’s communist.
In fact, I couldn’t think of an existing term that worked, so I set off to coin my own. After unimaginable inner turmoil, I came upon an epiphany of sheer and utter brilliance (if I do say so myself, and I do):
What do each of these bathrooms share?
They share the fact that you (as the pooper) HAVE NOT SELECTED THE TOILET PAPER! You are literally stuck with whatever is there (unless you BYO, and take it from personal experience, the stares probably aren’t worth it).
In considering what to call these, I actually went back to “communal bathroom,” seeing as not being able to select your own toilet paper did, all of a sudden, sound communist to me. But the term “communist” has unnecessarily negative (for these purposes) connotations, so I again discarded the communists.
Finally, I just said the heck with it. I’m making something up. I’m calling them Alcatraz Bathrooms because, well, “Alcatraz Bathrooms” sounded kind of cool to me. Plus, Alcatraz is surrounded by water. Which is important for no reason that I can see.
So, future posts will take up our groundbreaking series on Alcatraz Bathrooms. We’ll have posts on AT LEAST the following six topics (in no particular order): toilet paper, etiquette, toilet seat covers (friend or foe?), stall/room size, décor and stench control.
I hope that you’ve learned absolutely nothing. Because I certainly have.