Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Very Public Service Message

[Icky topic ahead]

OK, folks, as someone whose day job actually involves cleaning public toilets, let me say that this practice, as demonstrated by Tyra Banks, should be outlawed by Constitutional Amendment. (If you don't want to watch the video, it's the practice of "hovering" above the toilet seat so as to avoid making physical contact with it, on the deluded notion that the toilet seat is swarming with germs by the billions.)

First, "hovering" above the toilet seat does nothing to "protect" you from "germs", since in a normally-maintained public bathroom, the toilet seat is not even close to harboring the most germs. In point of fact, if you go into the bathroom, do your hover thing, and then exit the stall by touching the stall handle with your hand, you've exchanged more germs by touching the stall or bathroom door by far than you've avoided by not allowing your delicate posterior to contact the toilet seat. And guess where the most germs are found? Why, on the floor -- so if you dutifully put your purse or shopping bags or whatever on the floor, you've just picked up even more germs than by touching the door handle!

(And I'll bet you toilet-hoverers go right from your hovering to handling shopping carts, right?)

And second, all hovering accomplishes, in most cases, is urine all over the toilet seat, which someone has to go in and clean up.

So stop hovering. All it does is make a mess and it doesn't spare you any significant germ activity at all. Thank you.


Emily Suess said...

What do you say to the poor non-hovering souls who have to follow a hoverer before the toilet gets cleaned? I'll hold it before I sit in someone else's urine. Call me irrational.

If toilet seat covers were as common as toilet paper, maybe we could stop all the hovering?

Kelly Sedinger said...

Toilet seat covers are useless, really. They serve literally no purpose, since the seats aren't germ-covered, and they generate yet more paper waste in bathrooms. (At The Store, we have these spray-dispensers of sanitizer that you can use to wipe down the seats if you so desire.)

As for sitting in urine, that's gross, and it's the whole reason why I think "hoverers" should be banned from polite society. All hoverers do is manage to put germs in a place where there wouldn't be many to begin with if they'd just sit the f*** down.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Hovering is unbelievably ridiculous. There should be signs in every stall that say: NO HOVERING. Not that anyone would obey it and of course it would be unenforceable but I would get a teensy bit of satisfaction from it since I can't personally tell every woman in the world that hovering is stupid and unsanitary.

And while we're on the subject of restroom etiquette, may I add: Do not attempt to start conversations about your bladder infection, your female problems, your operation or whatever with strangers in public restrooms. We DO NOT want to hear about it.

fillyjonk said...

Oh my goodness yes.

I do not like having to wipe up someone else's leavings on the seat before I use the restroom myself, but I find that the case from time to time in public situations.

(And while we're on it - I'd like to rant about the restaurants/stores/malls/schools that have removed the purse hooks from the insides of stalls, ostensibly because it's too easy for theives to reach over the partition and grab your bags [??? or at least that's how one place justified it to me when I complained], thus forcing those of us who carry such things as purses to set them on the floor, balance them on our knees, or try to balance them on the t.p. dispenser).

And also yes on the conversation thing. I tend to be unable to take care of business in situations where someone's talking to me. I need the fiction that I'm alone in the bathroom to be able to even make water.

Beth said...

Egads... the conversation thing... the *worst* is being in a public bathroom is there being someone talking on their cell phone while doing their business. Makes me want to let rip the loudest fart possible.

Another bathroom vent- "handicap" stalls that are barely big enough for a wheelchair. The kid isn't old (or mobile) enough for me to want to leave the stroller outside of a stall... and I can't hold him and pee at the same time.

Don't even get me started on places that don't clean the bathrooms on a regular basis. I used to work in a fairly nice area department store... I would literally hold it until I had break and go across the street to Wegmans. (where I did not hover).

I did however hover in a bathroom last night. My excuse was as such: it was a port-a-potty at Shakespeare in Delaware Park.