Humor: How to Correctly Use a Public Restroom: Advice from an Expert Bathroom User

By Jai Jhamb

New York City, New York

Using a public restroom is no easy task (Photo Credit: The New York Times)

Using a public restroom requires bravery, grit, and planning. It is no easy task. If you are reading this, pay close attention because there isn’t any room for error. 


When approaching the pathogen-infected door, it is vital that you do not use your hands. Turn your hips 45 degrees to either side and use your shoulder to open the door. Make sure your shoulder is covered by some kind of garment. If your shoulder is not covered, kick down the door. Keep in mind that this should only be used as a desperate measure. Remember, the goal of this mission is to be as efficient as possible while staying alive. If you do make contact with the bathroom door, use hand sanitizer immediately, or you will face impending doom. After you pass this obstacle, make sure you pick a prime location to relieve yourself. For urinals, pick the one closest to the wall to avoid peekers. Additionally, make sure the urinal isn’t too low to the ground, as this may cause urine backlash. Urine backlash has ruined the pants of many, as one splash can burn the pants off your legs. 


For stalls, pick the stall furthest from the door to maintain an invisible-like presence when other people are near. However, using the stall is one of the most difficult obstacles you will face. Once you get into the stall, you have approximately one minute to set up your space. For maximum efficiency, take ten squares of toilet paper and rip them into individual squares. Take one of the squares, fold it into a rectangle and clean the toilet seat with one swift swipe. Throw this square into the toilet immediately. Use another square to dry your hands, as the urine on the toilet seat may have penetrated the square used to wipe the toilet seat and gotten onto your hand. Although drying your hand doesn’t rid your flesh of the bacteria, it acts as temporary relief while you proceed to relieve yourself. Use the remaining eight squares to cover the toilet seat. Make sure you arrange these toilet paper squares in such a manner that it is proportional to the shape of your butt. If it is not arranged in that manner, a toilet seat catastrophe could ensue. Your goal is to finish relieving yourself in less than two minutes. Be as quiet as possible, as a loud splash can cause panic in other public bathroom users and attract unwanted attention. 


Once you are finished, throw all eight squares into the toilet and flush. Use full force to flush in order to make sure that everything in the toilet bowl disappears. Swiftly open the bathroom door and close it behind you. Quickly hurry to the nearest sink and wash your hands thoroughly with soap for at least two minutes. To accurately time these two minutes, sing the ABCs in your head four times at a moderate pace. Once you are done, take at least two tissues from the tissue dispenser and dry your hands thoroughly, as people may assume the wet substance on your hand is urine residue, which is notorious for destroying reputations. After you dry your hands, briskly walk out of the bathroom, once again using your shoulder or leg to open the door. Apply hand sanitizer once you have safely escaped the premises for extra precautionary measures. If you choose to subject yourself to this experience again, I wish you luck.