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Public Restrooms Prove We Are Doomed

Public bathrooms are the Achilles heel of our modern society, but these simple fixes could save us.


We live in an age where cleanliness is priority number one. Even before the current pandemic, we as a society occasionally acknowledged science and accepted germs and bacteria spread disease. That's why I am so disgusted every time I enter a public bathroom. We have the tools and knowledge to improve these necessary evils, but we refuse to. Instead, we live with these dirty, inefficient, and outdated bathrooms. Some of you are probably reading this while on the john. I ask you to take a look around and really think if this is what you would consider satisfactory. Even if it's clean, I'm sure the answer would be a resounding no. That's why I am here to propose some changes that will help us advance as a species.

It wouldn't make sense to start anywhere but the toilet. The throne of any bathroom, it can be used for both occasions. That's why it's so upsetting that we haven't updated its design in decades. Now I'm not going to sit here and re-engineer the toilet, but I am going to point out its most glaring design flaw. Why on earth do I have to use my hands to lift up the seat? As a male, we have two options. Either get our hands dirty and lift the seat, or leave the seat down and most likely miss. In both scenarios, someone is left unhappy and covered in someone else's filth. The solution is simple, make it so we can lift the seat with our feet! I don't care how it's done but as long as I'm not using my hands I'll be happy.

While we are on the topic of toilets I have to comment on the fact that all toilets don't have automatic flush. It's so simple and if you create a new public bathroom without it, you should be fired.

The next logical step is to move onto the stall. I'm not some beta who is going to cry about my feet being exposed while I'm using the toilet, but I will complain about the overall design stalls. Cracks on either side of the door expose us in all our glory to anyone passing by. Then to top it off we're stuck in a minuscule box with a door handle that resembles a thimble. The fix here is even easier, cover up the cracks, and install a proper door handle. While you're at it, add a coat hook to each door as well.

I cannot speak for women's restrooms, but any male bathroom I've been in seems to have one common issue. Piss. Everywhere. Now I could go on to say that it's the draining in bathrooms, the size of urinals, splashback, etc. But all of those are BS excuses. This one is on us men. It's time we grow up and actually aim. And don't tell me that your stream is coming out in multiple directions. I know this is a very rare occurrence. I’m starting with the man in the mirror, and I would be honored if you change your ways as well.

The last, yet most prominent failure of the modern-day public restroom is the door. It's no secret that many people don't wash their hands when they use the bathroom. This means they go straight from touching their genitals to touching the door handle. Everyone who washes their hands are instantly punished because they need to touch these grimy handles to leave the bathroom. If you're like me, you've noticed this shortcoming for quite some time. Often I find myself scurrying behind a fellow citizen as they open the door. Sometimes I'll even use a paper towel to open the door and try to Kobe it into the trash bin before the door closes behind me. These mini-games, while entertaining, need to end now. The solution is easy and cheap! I present to you, the Door Foot Handle. Three simple screws and as low as six dollars a pop, these will instantly end one of the biggest bacteria hotspots in modern society. I have actually seen a few more of these handles installed this year, which brings me great delight.

Unfortunately, all these solutions have one thing in common. They cost money! As we all know, dollars are worth more than convenience and health, so don't expect changes anytime soon! Until then, my antics will continue each and every time I must perform a bodily function in public.

Fun fact: The first flushable toilet was invented in 1569 by Sir John Harington. Hence the nickname “The John”.