Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Royal Flush

Recent trips to public restrooms — primarily those at work, the gym and movie theatres — have revealed to me a rather disconcerting trend.

Something that has called into question the very way in which I flush a toilet.

So you know how you'll look for feet under a stall door to determine whether or not the, eh, "seat" is taken?

On more than one occasion, my glance has been timed with the flush — itself an indication that you need to mosey along to the next stall.

But my issue isn't with the flush itself, but rather the manner in which the toilet was flushed.

You see, as my ears heard the flush, my eyes noted only one foot was on the ground.

A pretty clear indication that — yes — the person had raised the other foot to flush the toilet.

And here I've been using my hand all these years.

My question to you is: Have I been doing it wrong?

Or perhaps even more importantly... which is worse: touching a handle that's been jingled by other (unwashed) human hands — or the bottom of a shoe that's been sliding around on the dirty floor?


Academic Advisor said...

I suspect your question is rhetorical... or at least, I hope so. After all, does it really matter which is WORSE in this scenario? If you touch the toilet handle, you get unpleasant, microscopic (we hope) things on your hands regardless of the previous occupants flushing technique.

I don't even have to ask you if you wash your hands "after" because anyone who reads your blog knows how you feel about such things. So if you are doing THAT part right, the other part doesn't matter so much.

And to my way of thinking, if it makes the foot flusher feel better, maybe they should start installing foot pedals on toilets, right?

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

Mostly rhetorical, yes. But I also forgot to include my own conclusion:

That in a world of foot flushers, the least nauseating thing to do is to join them.

Part of me wonders why I didn't think to become a foot flusher sooner. Part of me is disgusted with these people for "forcing" me to reconsider my flushing options.

Regardless, best always to thoroughly wash ones hands after the fact. No question there.

disgruntled world citizen said...

Strangely, this is a pertinent question. At my former store we had a problem: the womens' bathroom toilet kept breaking and leaking. The plummer said that it was because of the women pushing down on the handle too hard with their feet.

I've tried to do that whole toilet-flush-with-the-foot thing, but I'm always afraid I'll lose my balance. I'm a hand flusher, sometimes I'll use a swab of toilet paper and then throw it in as the flush finishes, but usually, I just wash me hands vigorously before leaving.

I'm pretty sure you'd agree with this: in general, if I can, I wait till I get home. I dislike public toilets.

Mollie said...

I remmeber how I felt when I lost my toilet flushing innocence as well. It was a few years ago--probably in some dirty bar. I do do the foot flush sometimes, especially if it is a dirty place, or somewhere I know is essentially germy (airports come to mind). But, frankly, I usually forget to flush with my foot. I often think of it after the moment has passed. I suggest that you try it out. You might convert. I have also observed and considered the habit of some phobic women who use the same paper towel to dry their hands and turn off the faucet, thus avoiding re-contaminating their recently-cleansed hands. That one would take a long time to adjust to, I think.

disgruntled world citizen said...

Good suggestions, but I think the 3rdWorstPoet doesn't need that! She's OCD enough!!



thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

True, I am rather OCD when it comes to matters such as this. Hence my frustration when I realized a fair number of people were foot flushers... something I'd never considered doing, but something I now feel as though I must.

I mean. The floors in women's restrooms can be outright disgusting. I don't want to touch something that shoes have been walking all over. The only solution is to switch to foot flushing myself.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

AA - I forgot to mention, you raised a very interesting point. Why aren't there foot pedals on toilets? It makes a lot more sense, in regards to germs, and could spare people like me this flush crisis.

Winter said...

I looooooovvvveee self flushing toilets!

That's right I said love.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

I'm not a huge fan of the "self-flush," actually. Those malfunction (i.e. don't self-flush) all-too-often, leaving me with no alternative but to push that tiny, filthy button behind it.

Anonymous said...

I feel compelled to respond. I'm a confirmed foot flusher, and I have noticed more guys are that way, when we, ah, sit, as it it were.

I would have thought you knew that about me.....

I have seen drunks fall on their butt trying to flush the urinals with his foot. So toilets yes, urinals no foot flushing.

Also, foot flushers located at the base of toilets are more prevelant in Europa. A whole new nasty conundrum erupts with that though.

Self flush==much better.


Anonymous said...

Washington- I must ask. Was it you that fell while attempting the urinal flush?