Tag Archives: bathroom

Toilet Paper Packaging

Does anyone have a need for toilet paper ads anymore?  You’re probably already sold on the product.  It’s a need, not a want.  And yet, the ads and packaging are out there—no signs of relenting.  Recently, I was looking at the packaging of several different brands names and I saw a baby, a puppy, and a cartoon bear.

Let’s discuss.  Shall we?

A baby?  Adorable yes, but does a baby make a good mascot?  Nope.  I think babies should stick to selling diapers.  What do they know about toilet paper?  They have no business selling toilet paper.  Baby wipes are the correct tool for their world, not toilet paper.

A puppy?  How does this sell toilet paper?  Perhaps if you are training a dog that continues to crap on your carpet, this is the brand for you.

A cartoon bear?  Maybe the company owning this particular brand of toilet paper is trying to answer the question, “does a bear shit in the woods?”  Yes, he does!  And then he wipes his rear end with a set of two-ply cotton-like extra strong squares of the softest paper known to man and bear alike.

No.  No, these are all wrong.  A better choice for a picture on your toilet paper packaging would be a grown man holding a half eaten burrito in one hand and a tube of hemorrhoid cream in the other.  You see the logic here?  This image would clearly highlight the credibility of the paper product.  Obviously this guy will not be as cute as the puppy, but he will clearly be a more effective example of the scenarios that this toilet paper can handle.

Would you buy my book if it had a baby, a bear, and puppy on the cover?

The Subway Dash

My family and I got to witness an event that just made me smile. Ear to ear! The amount of joy was overwhelming. I know that there is something wrong with me, but I can’t help finding happiness and joy in the oddest of places.  It’s a good thing, right?

We were all enjoying a meal at Subway. Well, maybe the word choice of “enjoying” is a bit strong. My family and I were all stomaching a meal at Subway. My wife was distributing the food to her boys while the straw wrappers were bombarding her from both sides. Actually, three sides. She is raising three boys—one of which she decided to married a long time ago. Her choice.  She knew what she was doing.

For those of you who don’t know what a Subway restaurant is, you must not be from around here. From around Earth, that is. If you really don’t know, Google it—as soon as you figure out what Google is.

When all of a sudden, this well dressed man comes barging in. In a major hurry. As in, get-out-of-my-way hurry! There was a definite urgency in his arrival. Was he near death from lack of food? Was he malnourished? Did he ingest a poison that required a cold-cut-combo as an antidote?

Nope. His first stop was the men’s room. How utterly degrading. This poor soul had a biological break down and was forced to make an emergency deposit at the Subway. And my whole family was there to watch it unfold. Yes, it is true, we all discussed this man’s plight in great detail while he was behind closed door arriving at the end game of his ordeal. Success was his.

Upon emerging from his relief zone, he got in line to order. When he reached the front of the line, he declined to order a sub, and instead grabbed a simple bag of chips. He then paid for his less-than-one dollar bag of chips and was on his way.

At heart you may find his action to be the actions of a good man. He used Subway’s restroom and felt so much relief that he obligated himself to repay them by spending a dollar. He felt it was the right thing to do. However, as a public service to you, the reader of this text, I need to let you know how to properly execute the Dump and Run. It’s really quite simple. You enter, dump, and run. There is no need to purchase anything—especially a bag of chips that you don’t even want.

There is only one other rule that you should consider and it actually goes hand in hand with the Run part. Avoid eye contact with the employees. Do you really think the teenager working the sandwich assembly line wants to interact with you—the man who obviously just destroyed the restroom that he’ll have to be cleaning at closing time? No, I think not. Exiting as swiftly as you entered is the appropriate course of action. If this were an actual subway, would you feel obligated to get on the train and travel to the next stop? No, I don’t think so.

So the next time you feel that overwhelming urge, remember what you’ve read here. It’s a simple two step process. One, dump. Two, run. Dump and run. And do nothing else.

Buy my book to have handy during your next Dump and Run.

Toilet Training

Have you heard the story about the man who uses the toilet at a Home Depot only to find himself super glued to the toilet seat?  I recently got to hear this story again.  It seems like it surfaces on the internet every eight months or so.  The description of the story is always attributed to a real major news source.  Even without that, I have no reason to believe that the story is a fake.  It certainly could have happened, and it probably did.  However, the following is what I have issues with?

Who drops their pants and jumps right on to a public toilet?  The poor soul that got his rump glued to the seat is also a gross poor soul.  There is a protocol that must be followed.

1)        Open the stall door.  Observe the toilet.  If “full” move to the next stall.
2)        Enter the stall and close the door behind you.
3)        Use a foot to flush the toilet to ensure a fresh bowl.  Do this even if the bowl appears fresh.
4)        Wipe the seat.  Use an enormous amount of toilet paper to ensure that absolutely no finger parts actually touch the seat.
5)        Cover the seat with multiple layers of paper.  Consider three layers to be a minimum.
6)        Drop pants to knees.  Do not push to ankles as this will increase the probability of your clothing touching the bathroom floor.
7)        Finish the job as quickly as possible.

The remaining steps of this protocol are obvious and are left to the reader as an exercise.

So what did this guy do?  He ran right in and plopped down on to a seat of glue.  If he had followed the steps above, the incident would have never occurred due to the failed execution of step four.  Instead of his bum being stuck to the seat, a wad of toilet paper would have taken his place.  Perhaps a finger or two if step four was executed poorly.

Can you imagine the subsequent humiliation of having to call out for help?  This action is almost worse than the original cruel joke.  Can you picture how that goes?

“Hey out there!  I’m stuck on the toilet in here and need some help.”

“Dude, I know.  We all have those kinds of days, but there is no way I’m gonna help ya.”

“No, I mean my ass is glued to the seat.”

“I hear ya.  This one day I was on the throne for over two hours.  It was horrible dude, but you’re still on your own man.”

Buy my good toilet reading material books.

Attention Please

The person working the front desk at my work place has access to the intercom system.  The intercom system has speakers scattered everywhere throughout this building.  There is no way to miss an important message.  Often you will hear announcements such as “Mike Jones, please call the operator” or “Shirley Smith, please call extension 321”.  This concept is nothing new—a service appreciated by people trying to reach others who are away from their desk phones.

Sometimes you’ll get to hear, “There is a storm rapidly approaching.  If your car windows are down, you still have time to roll them up.”  This is very helpful for those park-and-crack-your-window type of people.  Thanks operator person!  You’re the best.

“A silver Ford Taurus parked on the East side of the building has its lights left on.”  Again, thank you oh master of the microphone.

And then there are the days of announcement abuse.  There’s one particular operator at this office that is a little too microphone crazy.  An example of this happens every Friday.  My company makes real popcorn with one of those fancy popcorn cart machines every Fridays.  The whole building smells like a movie theater.  Buttery smells fill the corridors and infiltrates every single office.  Typically about five minutes after the scent has fully surrounded my sense of smell, the operator will announce, “Popcorn is now available in the kitchen.”  Really?  Was that necessary?  I suppose that it helped clear up that the smell is actually coming from the popcorn and not some bizarre acid rain accident from the butter factory across town.  Thanks microphone man!  Way to keep us in the loop.

A couple of days ago an operator was apparently feeling informative, and yet lazy.  She simply announced, “It is about to begin sprinkling.”  She didn’t mention the car windows this time.  I was actually walking toward the bathroom when this announcement was made.  I stopped in my tracks.  Did she say “sprinkling” or “tinkling”?  Am I being watched?  I immediately decided to hold it.  I’ll visit the bathroom in a bit.  Very troubling.  Stop tracking me microphone woman!  Where’s the camera?

Later, I swore that I heard her say, “Attention please.  Bob sprinkled on the toilet seat again.”

Attention please. Buy my books.

Automatic Flusher

The following text was taken from the book that I continue to shamelessly plug with the link at the end of each of my blog entries.  Click it this time, would you?  And when you arrive at the amazon page, buy it too.  You can also “click inside the book” at amazon and read the first fifteen or so pages.  Enjoy!

My Status Update Journey: A Quirky In-Depth Analysis of the World from the Voices in My Head

This could be yours!

August 6, 2009 at 4:39 pm
Marcus Matherne: I can’t stand when the toilet flushes before you’re finished.

This might get a little too personal, but I’m willing to give it a go.

So you’re sitting there doing your business on one of those fancy automatic flushing toilets.  The toilet paper is contained in a mounted industrial size holder.  In the ideal case, you reach for the exposed hanging trail of paper, tear off a piece, finish the job, and you’re out.  Done.  Nothing to it.  However in my world, the toilet paper container is mounted just a bit too low and I have to lean awkwardly forward to grab the loose end which, by the way, is hiding up inside the contraption and is not willing to show itself.  While I’m scratching at the roll, rotating it all the way around for the third time searching for the mysteriously missing loose end, the little magic eyeball gizmo makes a ruling that I must be on my way to standing up, and thus signals the start of the flushing process.

It freaks me out!

First off, the splash factor is simply bad news.  Gross!  It might be different if the water giving you the misting was absolutely fresh, but I’m not even sure that would be acceptable.  I can’t say I’ve ever tried the bidet style of toilet, but it just doesn’t seem like a good idea.  I’ll pass.

Secondly, there is the surprise of the noise.  Public toilets often have the most powerful water pressure to ensure a low probability of creating a clog.  Loud.  Startling.  Being surprised with your pants at your ankles could easily cause and injury that is very difficult to explain to a doctor in the emergency room.

The doctor inquires, “How did you cut your forehead, Mr. Matherne?”

“Premature flushing,” I respond.

“Oh, of course.  I hate when that happens.”

And how does that magic eyeball thing work anyway?  I have a theory that it is actually a camera, and that it is actually someone’s job to monitor the stall and commence flushing at the appropriate time.

Here is a possibility of what the training manual may contain.

“When you see the ass lowering to a seated position, be ready to take action.  Wait for the user to complete his/her business.  As the ass is returning to the upright and standing position, activate the flush sequence.  Take all precautions to avoid premature flushing as this may cause injury to the user of the toilet.”

Have you ever stood up and there is a slight delay before the flush begins?  That is due to the networking delay introduced by outsourcing this job overseas.

Think about it.  I may be on to something.

Buy my book and read it on a toilet.

Read the Restroom Door

I went to Ohio University this past weekend.  I graduated from there twenty years ago.  Twenty!  For those of you who may be reading this while still in your college years, I have this advice.  Stay in school as long as possible!  Declare a new major just before finishing your current one.  Consider getting a Master’s degree in anything.  Perhaps everything.

Those years were the best.  You get to make friends with people who will be in your life forever-there-after.  You get to hold almost no responsibility (aside from class work, but trust me, it’s far easier than the real world).  You get watch your university appointed freshman self destructing roommate drink and drug his life away, eventually drop out, and then land a job as the chief supervisor of camper village at Disneyland.  They wouldn’t even let him work inside the park.  I never felt like more of a success story than I did the day I spotted his picture on the vacation brochure.  Way to go, Captain Success!

When I was visiting my old stomping grounds, I had a vivid flashback.  There was this bar located uptown that my friends and I would frequent, frequently.  It was there that I learned the valuable lesson of “double check which bathroom you’re heading into before entering.”  You see, as you approach this particular set of bathrooms, the woman’s room is next to the men’s room, but recessed a bit further back.  Due to this odd architecture, as you approach the bathroom clearly labeled “WOMEN”, the wall blocks the first part of the word.  If you are not paying attention, you will only see the “MEN” part of the label.  Furthermore, if the men’s room has a group of people standing in front of it, it is easy to overlook.  Perhaps the fact that I had a little bit of alcohol in me was a contributing factor in this oversight.  Naw, probably not.  I took a picture to help visualize this scenario even more than my crystal clear verbal description has done.

Looks like two men’s rooms to me

So I pushed right in with no hesitation.  Why would you hesitate if you believe your heading into the men’s room and are opting out of double checking prior to crossing the threshold?  Luckily, there was no one inside as I entered.  I remember thinking to myself, “Odd.  They took out urinals and put in two more toilets since the last time I was here.”  …because that happens all the time.

So I’m doing what men do in a bathroom (sparing your brain the visually descriptive image), when a girl comes in.  I look over my shoulder and scoff a bit.  She lets out an apology, “Oh!  I’m sorry!” and leaves quickly.  Surprisingly, I still didn’t put it together.  I’m thinking about what a fool that girl was for entering the men’s room.

Upon exiting I got to experience a large round of applause.  The girl that “entered the wrong bathroom” put together a good size crowd to ensure that I understood who was actually in the wrong.  I put it together—finally.  It was a long walk back to my friends (an extremely long walk) as I was subjected to a line of woman cheering and clapping for me.  I felt like a football playing running through a tunnel of cheer leaders.  Only, I wasn’t so pumped up to be there.

With my face turning red I rejoined my friends who were just catching on to what happened.  However, to this group of guys, what I just did was awesome!  I breached the woman’s room!  I got a round of high-fives as they joined the applause and patted me on the back.  And then I really did feel like that star football player!

Buy my book (designed for both a man and a woman)!

Body Design Questions

There are some days when I feel like an old guy.  At the time of this writing, I am in the home stretch of circling the sun 42 times.  My body is in fairly good shape, but the aches and pains from years of shooting across our galaxy start to add up.  But, it’s not necessarily the aging process that is on my mind, it’s more of a question about the overall design of our human bodies.  Someday I’ll be dead and I’ll be hanging with God at Starbucks (I’m sure the franchise has infiltrated the pearly gates by now), and I’ll have questions.  Not the questions of “why did you make us” and “did my life honor you properly”.  No.  More like, why did you design us that way.  I don’t think I’ll be out of line with this area of questioning.  I have valid concerns and suggestions.  I need to know if He really thought this whole human design all the way through before cranking out billions of us.  I wonder what the prototype looked like.

At the magical mark of forty years old, my eyes have started that change—the change that requires me to hold a piece of paper at three or four different distances before being able to read it.  At times, I no doubt look like I am playing the air-trombone.  But my question here is not “Why do eyes start to go bad?”  No, my question is, “Why has our brain been designed to think that a two dollar pair of reading glasses perched on the tip of our nose is an acceptable look?”  We all can’t be librarians now, can we?

That is one ugly librarian.

Our knees go bad over time too.  Was there ever any thought into designing us with more than two legs?  There are countless examples of creatures roaming this world with more than two legs.  I think I would have spoken-up if I was there during the initial design meetings of the human body.  “Hey, those joints in the leg are going to fail eventually.  Why not design this human project with four legs?  If one starts to fail, these people creatures will be able to hobble around on the remaining three legs.  You know, like those ‘cat’ and ‘dog’ projects you keep talking about designing next.”

I think there may be room for improvement on the whole nose hair concept.  It’s a great idea and all, putting hair in the openings to catch dirt, dust, and other debris.  But why, oh why, does it have to increase the quantity and growth rate as our bodies get older?  Why does the body signal a need for more nose hair?  It’s not like the size of dust is changing with time.  The dust that I’m sucking up today is the exact same size as the dust that got trapped in my nose at a youthful age.  I can only assume that something is not quite wired correctly.  It probably has something to do with going bald.  You lose hair on the top of your head, but gain it in your nose.  The hair-growing wires going to the nose and to the top of the head probably should be separated further to reduce the apparent signal mix up.

My final question is this:  Why can’t I see my butt?  When I draw up a list of body parts that require a routine cleaning, my butt rules the top of the list.  What else even comes close to the top of the list?  Finger nails?  Nope.  Feet?  Nope.  Arm pits?  Close… but nope.  I’m guessing that original design had the waste management plumbing installed running in the opposite directions—solids to exit forward, liquids exit backward.  What went wrong during the final review process?  Who in their right mind would clean and wash dishes behind their back, put them away into the cupboard without looking at them, and then just assume that they were clean enough?

But then, what would the toilet look like?

Bare feet on a public toilet — Bad Idea.

Hmm.  Maybe everything is fine the way it is.

Buy my designed-to-be-read-easily book!

Lights Out

This is one of those iffy subjects.  I am wondering if I can pull this off without offending and bothering you.  By you, I mean specifically you.  You know who you are.  If you don’t, that would be an odd thing.  Perhaps you are in a coma and don’t know you anymore.  Sad really.  But since you are reading this, I would guess that you are alive and well.

The topic pertains to the bathroom which is one of my favorite topics when I am trying to produce something that will make you smile.  Producing humor that is, not anything else that you may or may not have been thinking.

You have to understand that I am a man.  I’m a grown man–someone who is raising a family.  I have my fair share of responsibilities and I am a decent member of society.  However, you also have to understand that before all of my so called maturing happened, I was a little boy.  And after that, I was a male teenager.  And then for a while, I was a guy in college.  Poo-poo jokes and embarrassing situations revolving around the bathroom are something that I embrace.  I can’t not smile when I am confronted by a story that involves gas or someone caught with their pants down.  I have to admit and acknowledge that its part of me.  It makes me, me.  I’m ok with it.

So, that being said and understood, I’m entering a small public restroom the other day.  It’s a nicely constructed with all the newer no-touch devices—lights, toilet flusher, sink water, towel dispenser, etc.  I walk in the lights click on automatically.  I proceed to the stall, to do what people do in a stall.  No details needed there.  You get the picture.  (“Everyone Poops” is a great book.  Look for it if you have never seen it.)

Then some time passes.  I’m not known for being fast at this “particular activity”.  If a book or a magazine is handy, I’ll take in a few stories.  But honestly, who wants to be known for either outcome: fast or slow.

“Hey, isn’t that Marcus over there?”

“Yeah, man it is!  Boy, he can move fast.”

It’s a good compliment for a football player, baseball player, or a track star, but not for someone seeking to relieve their biology.

Anyway, time passes and the sensor and timer controlling the automatic lights conspire against me as they make the decision that there is no longer anyone in the bathroom.  Lights out!  All at once, I am subjected to total darkness.  It’s alarming and very hard to describe the feelings that rush over you in that small moment of time.  In an emergency, the battery back-up lights would kick on, but this is no emergency.  This is simply an energy saving piece of electronics doing its job.

I think to myself for a plan.  This is a problem I can solve.  I’ll stand up and wave my hands around in order to make the lights click back on.  I do just that.  Nothing.  I’m in the stall with my pants at my ankles flapping my arms so hard I nearly took flight.  Nothing.  Still total darkness—like complete total darkness.  Ok.  I’ll open and close the stall door real fast.  Nothing.  No effect.  Darkness continues.  I can’t believe that the sensor isn’t covering the entire room, but it makes sense.  The sensor is designed to watch the door only, not the entire bathroom.  Despite my situation, I can actually appreciate this design.  I have issues when it comes to devices that “watch” humans in the bathroom.  I’m not a fan of the auto flusher.  First off, it’s watching me sit there.  It sees me.  Creepy.  Secondly, I always cover that “eyeball” with a piece of toilet paper so as to avoid the premature flush.  Nothing worse.

I have a friend on Facebook that posted one of those one-liner jokes that makes its rounds on the internet every so often.  “How does a blind person know when he is done wiping?”  It’s a great question.  Great question.  Well the memory of reading that really hit home just then.

This is the touchy part that might cause you to never return to my reading ever again.  I’ll do my best not to lose you.

I do what I can in total darkness to clean up my… situation.  I am, at this moment, in every aspect of the description, a blind man.  Ok, moving on.  I raise my pants and fix my belt.  I then do the mad dash out of the stall toward the door.  The lights click back on and I reverse the mad dash back into the stall.  In fact, if you had the chance to see me, you would have said, “Wow, that Marcus really moves fast.”

I realize that since no one actually saw me dealing with this whole incident, the story becomes somewhat anti-climatic.  But there I was, back in the stall.  (This is the part where losing you really concerns me).  I return to the seated position in order to check my work.    Let’s just say, as a blind man, I did good work.  Although I still don’t know the answer to that great question—how do they know?

While washing my hands, I had one more flashback.  A long time ago when I was just a little punk, probably somewhere around nine years old, I had a friend named Dave (no last name given in order to protect his identity).  We found it amusing to kill the lights in public bathrooms as we ran out the door when we observed someone’s feet occupying a stall.  We would hear these people’s shocked voices echoing out, “Hey, turn the lights on I’m still in here!” as we were running out the door casting them into total darkness.  We would laugh so hard.

Now, it is so clear that I must apologize to those unknown peoples that we tormented so long ago.  I understand now exactly what they were feeling.  Exactly.  What goes around comes around.

I am sorry.

I wonder if they ever wrote out their story.  Probably not.

Oh, and if I offended any blind people actually reading this story… oh wait, never mind.

buy my book!