Originally Posted: 2007-03-08 13:14 (no longer live)

Public Restroom Standard Operating Procedure (PRSOP)

I’m sad to say that the following is true. I may possible have OCD, but using the restroom in any other manner would be absolutely reprehensible to me. Allow me to explain. The following PRSOP ensures I emerge unscathed, and as pristine as possible.

After my lunch, I enter the restroom as soon as possible to avoid the risk of neighbors in adjacent stalls. Post lunch crowding is most detestable and can ruin an otherwise marginally tolerable experience. I begin with a survey of all available stalls making careful notes on cleanliness, seat condition, toiletry supply, lighting, and space for maneuverability. Once I have selected my stall I enter and close the door behind me using a small square of tissue to lock the latch.

Next I begin the cleansing process. I start with an initial flush using my foot to remove any particulate matter inside the bowl visible or otherwise. Once water movement in the bowl has ceased, I fashion a giant mitten the size of a softball by wrapping my hand in at least 10 yards of toilet paper. I then use said mitten to vigorously scrub the seat top, and any exposed surfaces of the underlying bowl, discard the mitten, and commence second flush. Once water movement in the bowl has ceased a second time, I fashion a smaller mitten that I use to remove any collateral splatter from the second flush before constructing my protective barrier.

The thin tissues provided by the janitorial staff are as much of a joke as their cleaning abilities. Instead, I line the seat with a series of 10 sheets of toilet paper varying from 4 to 6 inches in length. I start at the front of the seat, and work my way to the back carefully overlapping the previous sheet, and the seat’s edge to prevent even the slightest skin contact.

With the barrier in place I un-fasten my trousers and prepare to sit. I take special care to sit down directly as any lateral movement could cause the paper to shift, ruining the integrity of my protective barrier. I wrap my shirt tightly around my waist, tuck my badge in my shirt pocket, and check to make sure the cuffs of my pants are not touching the floor.

I pass my bowels.

I wait the pre-determined 5-minute recovery period, and then begin remediation. Mittens of various size are utilized until an acceptable level of cleanliness is perceived. I then stand pausing for a moment to admire my handiwork, and then resume remediation until I am certain that absolutely no undesirable matter remains on my posterior. This can take up to 30 mittens, with multiple flushes, and can be an extremely stressful process.

Convinced of my cleanliness, yet still feeling dirty I use another square to undo the latch, and exit the stall. I walk to the hand washing stations and roll out a small square of paper towel, leaving it attached to the dispenser. I then wash my hands twice, the first most vigorously, and the second as a lesser back up, before retrieving the square of paper towel to turn off the faucet. I then use the square to dispense enough paper towel (about the size of a volleyball) to dry my hands, and serve as a protective barrier while exiting the facility.

The whole process takes about 15 minutes. It is something of which I am simultaneously ashamed, and very proud.

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