Single Occupancy Restaurant Bathroom Pet Peeves #1 & #2


#1: You are in a single-occupancy bathroom and you lock the door. You begin to do your business and someone comes along and jiggles the handle. This someone–we’ll use the name Hank–doesn’t stop there. Even though Hank can tell that the door is locked, he must persist. He jiggles harder, he shakes the door, he knocks. This leads us to a very clear conclusion: Hank is an asshole. Hank, if the door is locked someone is in there. It’s that simple. There’s no conspiracy to deprive you of a toilet and a sink; if you wait just a few more seconds it’ll all be yours. But no, you’ve gotta jiggle, you’ve gotta shake, you’ve gotta knock. I hate you, Hank! You’ve disrupted what should’ve been a very calming experience. Now I’m stressed out, I have to call out: “There’s someone in here!” When I leave, I give you a dirty look but you don’t care, Hank. Life marches on for you but for me, I’ll never pee calmly again.

#2: Ladies, this one you won’t relate to. Men: we go into the single occupancy bathroom to pee and the toilet seat is down. (Cue 80s comic: “Ladies, why can’t our men learn to keep the toilet seat down!”) Well it’s down because of you, ladies. So we use our foot to lift it up and it immediately slams back down. We try to lift it again and the same thing happens. Now we have a choice: attempt to pee with the seat down, risking a splattered seat or–worse–hold the seat up with our finger while we pee. This happened to me tonight. I opted for option 2, which totally grossed me out: I used the tip of my left-hand pointer finger, so if you shake my hand soon make sure to shake the right. But note to restaurant managers: if you have a single occupancy bathroom with a toilet seat that doesn’t stay up, please fix it. Nothing is less appetizing than trying to eat your food with a hand that just touched a toilet seat.

Thank you. I feel better now.

P.S. It occurs to me now I could’ve used a piece of toilet paper to hold the seat up. That makes me stupid: you can call me Stupid McDirtyhands.

P.P.S. After reading your comments, I’m shocked that you think I didn’t wash my hands aftrwards. Of course I washed my hands. What do you think I am, a Stupid McDirtyhands?

16 thoughts on “Single Occupancy Restaurant Bathroom Pet Peeves #1 & #2”

  1. Option three would be, of course, for you to sit on the toilet (yes, like a girl!), which is the manner many people try to teach young boys to do, before their dads step in.

  2. Maybe Hank isn’t an asshole. Maybe Hank had diarrhea. A locked door doesn’t always mean someone is in there; it could mean that the door sticks or that the latch is tricky. Why is it such a big deal to say “There’s someone in here!” Sorry, but I’m on Hank’s side.

    (How could you use a piece of toilet paper to hold up the seat?)

  3. macon stoneburner

    Maybe you could wash your hands? Anyway, unless you have a urinary tract infection, urine is practically sterile. You should still wash your hands after going to the restroom, though.

  4. Or “Hank” could have Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease.

    I’m one such “Hank” (UC), although I’ve found a diet for health reasons that’s helped me.

    Don’t pity Hank for his bad manners or chronic health problems, just understand that his urgency has nothing to do with you.

  5. Just wash your hands well, and be on your merry way.

    Good grief, I really wonder if we have become absolutely obsessed with germs in the US. Did you ever stop and think that even if your hands didn’t touch the seat of the toilet, they were handling the doorknob of that restroom?….Ever look at the recent studies that show that men have an unbelievably high rate of NOT washing their hands after using the facilities? So your avoidance of touching the toilet seat is all for naught, if your hand touches that bathroom door.

    Get over it (sorry, don’t mean to seem harsh, but if you could see what goes on in the kitchens of the restaurants that you frequent in New York, and the hygiene habits of some of the workers, and yes, I have seen some of them,…well, ’nuff said. You have survived, and others have too. Your immune system can take it.)

  6. OMG, when Mom told me about your post, I had to check it out for myself. Hank sounds like a total asshole, but he is not alone. There are many Hanks, including some Hankettes that hang out in the ladies’ room. My mother has the WORST luck with bathrooms. It seems that as soon as she puts cheek to seat, someone is banging on her door. Just recently during a trip to the Wal-Mart restroom (yuck), Mom chose to use the larger unit. In seconds, a little kid came flying up the long row of stalls and threw his body up against my mother’s bathroom door. “I WANNA GO IN THAT ONE,” he shouted. His mother, obviously a brain surgeon, said, “I think someone is in there.” Gee, what tipped you off? Was it the fact that the door was CLOSED and LOCKED, or was it the fact that my mother had flung her jacket over the door in an attempt to ward off idiots. On other occasions, Mom has been in bathrooms where there was a single unit, and a crowd had formed outside wondering what was taking her so long. SHE’S USING THE BATHROOM!!! There is no back door that she escaped from. She didn’t shimmy through the air conditioning vent or climb out the window. She is sitting down, using the facilities. Poor Mom. She always comes out of the restroom looking like she’s been through a war, and that’s usually true.

  7. There really is a parallel between Hank rattling the restroom door and someone else rattling cyberspace over something most people deal with by rolling their eyes and getting over.

  8. “Nothing is less appetizing than trying to eat your food with a hand that just touched a toilet seat.”


    “After reading your comments, I’m shocked that you think I didn’t wash my hands aftrwards”

    If I wash my hands just after touching a toilet seat, I would write that I ate my food just after washing my hands. What did you think people would think after reading your first comment?

    Geez… “Nothing is less appetizing”?!?!?! I would hate to read about how you feel after you poop, let alone pee!


  9. Is it bad that I always use the women’s restroom whenever there is a single-occupancy choice? Women are so much cleaner!;^P

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