So...public rest rooms. For guys. (Sorry, this is the only kind I'm qualified to address.)
If you're a guy, and you walk into a public rest room, and there are three empty urinals staring at you, which one do you use?
Better question, which one DON'T you use?
Why, the one in the middle, of course.
Because, by using either the one on the right or the one on the left, there is AT LEAST the possibility that the next guy into the rest room will not be standing directly next to you. Why is it a good thing to not have a guy standing directly next to you?
Well, it just is, that's all.
And if you're a guy, using the urinal, please do not sing. Or hum. Or whistle.
I've been in rest rooms where this happens.
My first question to you songbirds is this: What, really, is there to hum about? Sure, it's a relieving, pleasant thing you are doing. We who are in the rest room with you already know that. By definition, we are happy for you. We do not need you to serenade us while you are taking a leak. Because, truth be told, all your little concert is doing for us is holding up our progress, if you know what I mean. We cannot concentrate while you are warbling to your...whatever. And, look, if you do feel it's necessary to sing or hum or whistle while you're addressing the urinal, please, for the love of God, sing or hum or whistle something that is not familiar to us. I mean, if you sing or hum or whistle "Tie A Yellow Ribbon 'Round The Old Oak Tree" while you're whizzing away, even when you leave, the damn tune is gonna be in our brains, and we STILL will not be able to concentrate on the task at hand. A friend of mine once told me that when you get a tune stuck in your head, the only way to eliminate it is to replace it with "The Girl From Ipanema." He never told me how to get rid of "The Girl From Ipanema," however.
And, say you're in a rest room situation where a number of guys are waiting to use, as it were. Say you get to the urinal before your buddy, who is behind you in line. Don't, please, keep your conversation with your buddy going while you're going. "Yeah, I think they're gonna have a good infield, but they're not gonna be able to hit." "You think so?" "Oh, yeah, they got a lot of trouble in the middle of the order!" Again, it's all about concentration. For one thing, I may want to join in the conversation, because I just may think the middle of the order is okay, but how can I keep my mind on my business when I'm thinking about the Red Sox OBP? Plus, add to that the intimidation factor. With your oh, so casual conversation, here's what you're telling the rest of us mutes: "Hey, look what I can do! I can pee and talk at the same time!" It makes a guy just want to zip up and go back to the table.
One more thing for anybody still with me here...
You young dads who are instructing your kids on how to use the public rest room. I know--it's an important part of the dad-son teaching process, and I respect it. But...before you embark upon the training session, take the little tyke aside and tell him this:
"Billy, now we're going to go in here and we're going to go to the bathroom like grownups. Pretty soon, you'll be able to do this all by yourself. Now...the only thing you really need to know before you go in there, is this: Do not talk to the other fellas while they are using the rest room. Do not ask them what they are doing. Do not point to them and say, "Look, Daddy, that man didn't wash his hands like he's supposed to." And also, please, tell them not to sing. It's good to train them early for stuff like that.
Oh, yes...and for you sign-makers out there. It took me a good long time before I was able to understand precisely what "Baby Changing Station" meant when it's plastered on the outside of a men's room door. For a split second, yes, I'll admit it, I thought this might be a room where you could exchange your baby for another one. Rewrite, please.