Posted by: pendrops | February 27, 2007

potty protocol


If I could be anything in the world (other than a writer), I think I’d want to be a Bathroom Etiquette Specialist. I can hardly think of a better way to spread peace and good will among the people of the world, bringing civility to the public restrooms of such places as Bangkok, Berlin and Bartonville.

If I were lucky enough to have this gig, traveling the world, teaching potty protocol, I would cover these logical, albeit, under-used basics:

— picking the right stall
— efficiently creating your toilet paper seat cover
— the impracticality of the touted squat method
— employing emergency tactics for high-volume restrooms
— utilizing effective hand-washing function
— and tips for opening a bathroom door without using your hands

These lessons are necessary to creating a well-rounded, well-mannered public pottier. But the most vital lesson in my program, if I were in fact a Bathroom Etiquette Specialist, would be the courtesy flush.

The psychology behind not courtesy flushing (or discourteous non-flushing) may be one of man’s (and woman’s) most mysterious enigmas. Scientists as well as those who apply the courtesy flush can’t quite figure out why anyone would want to sit for any length of time surrounded by the stench of their own…well, you know. And furthermore, we haven’t figured out why they want to subject everyone else to it.

But the fact remains: it is time for a courtesy flush revolution.

The first half of this lesson would involve changing the way people think about flushing; lots of theory and research. For example, some studies have shown that people don’t flush because of childhood fears about monsters in the toilet. Others site the urban legend about intestines being pulled out from the suction of the flush. Still others have told us it’s about marking your territory, an animalistic instinct. Those myths and attitudes would be debunked and extinguished in the first part of this essential session, a critical move in the fight to end non-flushing.

The second portion would focus on practical techniques (i.e., when to flush and how to avoid backsplash).

You’d think the courtesy flush would be natural habit for we highly-evolved, anti-bacterial wiping, 21st century brainiacs, but somewhere along the way, these most fundamental of lessons did not get passed on to a large majority of the population.

And that’s where I would come in, were there such a profession. Taking a stand. Bringing decency back. Confronting the yucky gross state of public restrooms everywhere. And, as always, flushing the good flush (as many times as it takes).



  1. About this revolution… Where do I sign?

    And can I post this in the men’s restroom at work? 🙂

  2. Amen Sista!

  3. you know, dave encourages people to become entrepreneurs… i see a future nationwide franchised business in your future 🙂

  4. you could run for president on that platform alone

  5. This is great!!! Now get overyone on board with the courtesy flush part and you will be a world wide hero.
    You are brave to broach this much needed subject——–
    >>>>>>>>>>>>WORLD GET ON BOARD!!!!!!

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