Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Czar is born

Dear Mister President,

Please consider this my application for the not-yet-created-but-long-overdue position of Public Toilet Czar.

First allow me to explain why I feel I am most qualified for this not-yet-created-but-long-overdue position.

I have used public toilets all my life. I was raised by parents who have a great appreciation for bathrooms, in general. My dad spent an inordinate amount of time in there when I was growing up. And my Mom is a one-stop source for the cleanest public restrooms in town. And might I humbly add, sir, that I feel I have taken their neuroses to entirely new heights.

My best guesstimate says that over 99% of Americans will use a public toilet in his or her lifetime. That's nearly... seven-eighths of our entire population. (What? I'm the Public Toilet Czar, not the Math and Science Czar.) And while we've come a long way since the outhouse--well, except for the port-a-potty--we have a long way to go. I feel I am the only one to lead us down that porcelain and tile highway.

Just the other day I was in a convenience store men's room and the paper towel dispenser was empty. In the United States of America in the year 2009, this is inexcusable. Therefore, as my first act as Public Toilet Czar, it will be illegal for any business or other public facility to have a restroom with an empty paper towel dispenser.

Not only that, but all paper towel dispensers and faucets will be motion activated, thus negating the need for anyone to ever have to touch a germ-infested handle or lever again. And all hand blowers will be outlawed! For Pete's sake, we put a man on the moon--allegedly--surely we can eliminate the primitive practice of standing in a malodorous room for two minutes waiting for our hands to dry.

As my second order of business, I will require that all public toilet doors open outward. Nothing irks me more than washing my hands thoroughly, drying them, then realizing I have to grab a bacteria-riddled handle to open the door and exit the restroom. This is a matter of public health. No American should get sick simply because they use a public restroom. And while I look forward to working with Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius on this, I estimate this simple act alone could cut down on the number of swine flu cases in this country by at least 0.01%.

The final part of my three-pronged plan as the new Czar de Johns will be to post my rules of male restroom etiquette (see enclosure) in every public restroom in this country. Anyone found to be violating these rules will be issued one warning. A second offense will result in capital punishment. Too harsh? OK, deportation. Still? Fine, a second offense will result in the offender being under public toilet arrest. This means they will be forced to wear a monitoring bracelet and will be banned from public toilets nationwide for a period of time to be determined by a one-man panel consisting of me. Just think of me as the Roger Goodell of toilets.

My plan can only work if everyone does their part. Therefore, businesses who install partitions between urinals will receive a tax credit. The same goes for those who display the USA Today under glass on the wall above the urinal. I spent ten minutes in there one day reading an enthralling story about Misty May and Kerri Walsh. Also, I will appoint a six-woman panel to come up with the rules of female restroom etiquette. They will also report back to me on why women take so long in there. Come on, sir, you know you're curious.

I feel a strong majority of Americans still want and support a public option for going to the restroom. Therefore I will not back down. My goal is to make each and every person feel as comfortable with going in a public toilet as they would be sitting in their own bathroom at home--one pant leg completely off, a nice gardenia-scented candle burning as they skim through a Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

Now, these are the main points of my plan, and while there remain some details to be ironed out, I have never been very good at ironing. So we'll just go with this for now.

Let me close with a quote (that I have amended slightly) from someone famous. Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of public toilets that never were and say why not.

The time to act is now. Don't let our country go down the toilet. Rather, let our toilets rise to meet us. This is my calling. This is pretty much all I think about.

Give my best to Mrs. Obama, Kasha and little Maria.

PS: If my application is inexplicably denied, I will accept an autographed picture of President Clinton instead. Thanks.

"O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years. Thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears..."


  1. And might I humbly add, sir, that I feel I have taken their neuroses to entirely new heights.
    True but you have written about a subject we're all obsessed with whether we admit it or not and made it hilarious
    You keep getting better.

  2. This is some great writing. You only forgot one thing the toilet paper needs to be softer and always stocked. Very funny stuff. Hope all is well. Have a great day.

  3. I see you've been thinking this thru....

    Happy pottying! haha

  4. I think the Port-O-Potty industry needs to be changed first.

  5. Can I ask you to add the distance of the sanitary bins in the ladies toilets from the knee to your agenda? The single most unpleasant element of public toilet life is a cold and germ-filled sanitary bin pressing into your thigh. Ugh.

    I can't see why Obama wouldn't go for this.

  6. I just read the title. Duh. Having a blond day--hilarious

  7. Pia - Thank you. I guess I never had a problem admitting my obsessions, for better or worse. Probably worse :)

    Michelle Johnson - Thank you. Ah, yes. That's a good point. I forgot because I never sit in a public toilet, therefore I never use the toilet paper.

    Kerry - It will be happy as long as there are paper towels o'plenty, partitions between the urinals, and a USA Today on the wall to read :)

    Murf - No, I will not be sidetracked. Not this time. Many more people use public toilets than port-o-potties.

    I will, however, consider appointing a committee to study port-o-potty improvements.

    J Adamthwaite - I see no reason why that couldn't be added. See, this is where my six-woman panel will come in :)

    Pia - Thanks. And that's OK. I couldn't remember what Joni Mitchell sang earlier today.

  8. BONE!!!!!!!!!!! You. hit. this. OUT. of. the park!

    I am so doing something with this. Me, the czar of my own blog. Doing something.

    Well, I read it out loud to my husband and son. They thought it was hilarious - great.

    I'm completely speechless (except for the words I already said).

  9. Wow Wow! You must think about restrooms often.

    I loved the line about your Dad spending so much time in the restroom. My Dear Sweet Husband can spend chapters in the restroom.

  10. I would like to nominate myself for that six-member panel. Maybe I could be the Soap Nazi.

  11. I wanna be on that 6 woman panel too! I've got some rules here...

    1) If you are going to send your son alone to the restroom, make sure he A) knows how to do everything he needs to and B) goes in the MEN'S room! (nothing worse than finding someone has firehosed the entire seat and didn't clean it afterward!)

    2) Women if EVERYONE sits down that means no one sprays the seat and the germs aren't as many as when everyone tries to not sit (which we cannot do by the way) and sprays all over the seat!

    improvements in women's bathrooms to be made in addition to all the suggestions that Bone made:
    Auto Flushing toilets that aren't so loud! They scare little kids which leads to HUGE messes!!!
    Auto dispensing toilet paper that should never run out - a sensor that turns on a warning device outside of the bathroom would be good!
    Lidless trash bins...nothing worse than having to touch the lids on a trash can to throw away the towel you used to dry your hands with...ugh!
    and figure out some way for the sanitary disposal boxes (which aren't at all sanitary!!!) to be completely non-touch.
    and since it seems so many women are too scared to have a seat, how about a container of Clorox wipes in each stall to clean off the seat between uses?

    And while we are at it let's address the issue of women taking so long in the restroom... first there is usually a wait because no matter how many stalls you put in there there is never enough. Most places only have two toilets in there, where a men's room will have at least one urinal and a toilet. It takes us about 3 min or so to get the stall situated so that we can even begin to undress the part of us necessary to perform this task. Then there is the undressing which all depends on the outfit we chose for the day...sometimes we do make a sacrifice to fashion in exchange for ease of relief. Then we have to figure out how to flush and get out of the stall without actually touching anything and finally the washing up and retouching of makeup afterward.

  12. This was beautiful Bone, or as beautiful as a poo place post can possibly be, and that is saying something.

    So many options, so many arguments. I can hear them now. I hope you are prepared.

  13. Shelby - I'm completely speechless (except for the words I already said).

    Hahaha. Thanks. I love when people read my blog entries to their friends and family! Does this mean... I made the thousand?!?!

    PennyCandy - Chapters, yea, volumes. It's a fortress of solitude in there.

    Yeah, I guess you could say my mind's often in the toilet :)

    R8chel - Soap Nazi, that's not bad. You earn bonus points for having a Seinfeld reference in your nomination.

    Renee - and finally the washing up and retouching of makeup afterward.

    Aha! I knew makeup must be involved in there somewhere. And you left out the part where you all giggle and gossip about guys.

    Firehosed! Ha! That's a great term.

    Sounds like you've given this nearly as much thought as I have. I believe we can work together and come to an agreement. I'm definitely for lidless trash cans and Clorox wipes everywhere. Though I must say I rather enjoy a flush like a jet engine. Whoosh!

    Cooper - Thanks. Clearly, it is a complicated issue. But our public restrooms are placing unspeakable stress on germophobes across the country. And I will not accept the status quo any longer.

  14. I was watching a "documentary" thing on McDonalds last night.. and this guy in charge of McDonalds (I guess you could call him a czar), said bathrooms were the most important thing at their institution.

    That's what he said.

  15. And another thing.. I've done some matchmaking for you.. check out this blog:

    I think she'd be a good match for you.. at the minimum, a virtual blog girlfriend.. or just another bloggette.

  16. oh that was the time required for a solo visit, if going with one or more friends add at least 10 min for giggling about the guys! :D

    oh and another rule, no cell phones in the bathrooms! that's just ewwe all over!

  17. This is hands down one of your best posts, ever. It's hilarious from start to finish. I refuse to copy/paste my favorite/funniest lines as I kept changing my mind throughout it :)

    I can't think of anyone who would be a better Public Toilet Czar than you. I mean that sincerely.

    Oh and I've share what women do in the ladies room before.

  18. It looks like you've been following my Facebook updates on what I'm going to do when I become President of the United States. I'll see if I can make a position for you.

    I already have a ton of supporters for my ideas on shortening the work day and taking taxes down to 10% under my "If God can do it on 10% so can we" platform. I'm also going to get serious about building a border wall... kind of like the great wall of China and a lot of other very important items.

    Since Obama has resurrected the Czar terminology, I may keep it. Otherwise, your position may be known as "Public Toilet Director"

  19. This was hilarious. Then, the lyrics at the end totally took it over the top!

  20. Shelby - Really? Wow. I once complimented the guy working the counter at a convenience store because their bathroom was immaculate.

    Bloggette? :D I'll check it out. I like the URL already.

    Renee - Oh, OK. That sounds more like what I imagined :)

    TC - I can't think of anyone who would be a better Public Toilet Czar than you.

    That may be one of the nicest things you've ever said to me :)

    (Especially as I see on this old post you linked to that you called me a freakoid.)

    Java Boo Boo - I guess in a way I've been working on these ideas my whole life. I did read where some state--Utah, I think--is going to a four-day work week. Which is one step closer to a three-day work week.

    Mama Zen - Well, thank you. I actually had to look those up. I didn't know that verse.

  21. Excellent job description! I work for a toilet partition supplier and I think i will forward your recomendations to sports complexes, schools and other commercial building architects to put your recomendations in their building specs. one can hope...
    and I agree with Michelle- soft toilet paper and always stocked

  22. Let me give you some insider info, Bone. In the Senate hearing for your confirmation, someone is bound to ask you about what your plans are for the Larry Craigs of the world.

  23. Really? I called you a freakoid?? Are you sure? Wow.

    Note to self: Don't link to old posts before reading them over to check for namecalling, especially of the person to whom's blog you are posting links.

    Sorry 'bout that O:)

  24. Great post! The only bit I would add would be seat covers. When these are not provided, many women employ the hover-method, which results in splashed-wet seats. Sorry to be so graphic, but this is most upsetting. There are also women who take the extra time to dry and cover the seats with TP. That may be part of what's taking too long. I've also had to wait in line to wash my hands due to the fact that there is usually no separate preening mirror. This is very aggravating.

  25. okay, I'm pretty sure there is NO SEVEN in any of the Pirates' movies...until we get to movie #7!

    And George would be very angry if I took that name.

  26. I'm always amused by the people who use a piece of paper towel to open the door from the restroom (apparently to protect themselves from germs left behind by people who don't wash their hand) but then use their bare hands to open the door back into the office.

    I guess it doesn't occur to them that the person who left the restroom without washing their hands...also used their unwashed, germ-ridden hands to open the door into the office.

    I'm reminded of a scene from The Party when Hrundi inadvertently gets caviar on his hands. Appalled at the smell he enters the bathroom to wash his hands but on the way in meets another guest coming out. Being exceedingly polite Hrundi is obliged to shake hands, and when the other guest realizes his hands now also smell of fish he returns to the restroom where he meets a clean-handed Hrundi coming out. The two greet each other, shake hands, and the caviar odor is once more back with Hrundi.

  27. Oh I hear you. As one who avoids them at all costs, or uses elbows to open the doors when I do have to enter and exit, I think you must make sure that all restrooms are door-less. Like Costco.

    What on earth good it is to wash your hands when you have to touch a bacteria laden door handle to get out.

    At the very least, prior to proper funding, mandate putting the trash baskets next to the door. This way we can open the door with a paper towel, then throw it in the trash on the way out, while holding the door open with our ass.

  28. Classic lines.... My dad spent an inordinate amount of time in there when I was growing up. And my Mom is a one-stop source for the cleanest public restrooms in town.

    HA! These made me laugh out loud. SO I love that you have this "thing" for public restrooms. I promise, I've read more post about public restrooms on this blog than any where else.

    Classic Bone Post, which is why I liked it so much. :)

  29. This simply made me laugh out loud. I certainly do hope (with the rest of your readers for sure) that you obtain this position. With you in charge, we might finally see some real change in this area!


  30. I think it should be illegal for other women to talk to me while I am in a public bathroom... I really really hate when people talk while in the middle of a BM. Would the toilet czar be opposed to making this illegal?

  31. Daily Panic - What a coincidence! Or perhaps 'tis fate. I have heard your calls for softer toilet paper and I will include that in my plan.

    Sage - Excellent point. Well, if this was an easy job it would have been done forty years ago.

    TC - Haha. Yes, you did. I can safely say that is the only time I've ever been called that.

    Actonbell - Seat covers, definitely. I would never sit in a public toilet without a toilet cover, or better yet, disinfecting the seat first.

    Renee - Well, I've never seen any of the Pirates' movies. OK, how about Soda? It's got cachet.

    Capn John - Haha. Yeah, whoever invented the handshake really should be prosecuted :)

    Personally, I wipe down all door handles that I will be using with Clorox wipes every morning when I get into work. And hand sanitizer is never very far away. I don't know how well it works, but it makes me feel better, which is half the battle.

    Cooper - Oh, I'm with you on the trash baskets by the door. I do not understand why you put them all the way across the room! I have been known to toss my paper towel (which I've used to open the door) in the floor in disgust. When confronted with bacteria versus littering, I invariably choose littering.

    OK Chick - I promise, I've read more post about public restrooms on this blog than any where else.

    Thank you. That means more to me than just about anything else you could say :)

    Miss M - Thanks for your support. At it's core, this is change we can all believe in.

    Michelle Gartner - 100% agreed. I believe I included a no talking rule in my male restroom etiquette post. I believe the line was "it's not a social event, it's a bodily function." :)

    Thanks for stopping by.