Just came back from lunch with my coworkers from what we call “The Far Food Court.” I had the worst alfredo of my life. It was absolute crap. It came from a place that uses the word “eatery” in its name. Before I get to the public washroom rules, I’d preface this to say to be wary of any place that uses the word “eatery” in its name.

So we came back, and i visited the washroom of the company i work for. I used the urinal, and went to wash my hands. My coworker went in and looked at one of the stalls.

“Ohhhhhh!”

“What?”

He pointed to a nest. For anyone who doesn’t know, a nest is a nesting of toilet paper built up around the seat to make a clean seat for the toilet user. In fact, nesting is rule two of using a public washroom. What’s rule #1?

Rule #1A: Touch as little as possible.
Rule one is simple. Don’t touch stuff in a public washroom if you can avoid it. Why else do you think that there are so many “hands free” options in public washrooms? Hands-free soap dispensers, hands-free faucets, hands-free dryers, hands-free towel dispensers, automatic flushers. You see so many hands-free things because you shouldn’t touch anything. If you have an option to cover your hands with a towel to open a door, feel free to take it. (And make sure you throw the towel in the garbage afterward.) At the very least, use your sleeve to open the door after you wash your hands. Just don’t touch anything if you can avoid it. When in doubt in a public washroom, look at rule #1.

Rule #2: If you’re going to sit, make a nest.
This is where our story began today. A nest is made by layering toilet paper on a toilet seat in order to be able to sit down. The more you layer, the more protection you have from your leg making contact with the toilet seat. My personal rule #2 is “do your best to avoid having to make use a public washroom if what you have to do involves actually having to sit down.” But for the general public – or in this case people who aren’t as bothered with going in public washroom places – i’ve made the rule that at the very least you should nest.

Back to the nest at work that i saw about 15 minutes ago. There is the problem. Whoever built the nest, didn’t destroy it afterward. They didn’t send it off to nest heaven down in a flush of glory. Yes I applaud the person for building themselves a nest. But WE DON’T WANT TO SEE IT.

Traumatized i returned to my desk and muttered something about someone leaving a nest in the bathroom. A guy behind me said, “did they leave eggs in the nest?”

That’s why we don’t want to see the nest. You don’t want to see an egg. Or multiple eggs. Or a snake who has eaten the eggs and is resting in the nest after a big meal. You don’t want to see anything. This brings us to rule #3.

Rule #3: There is more than one courtesy flush
People are traumatized by what they can see in a public washroom. You shouldn’t touch anything, and you dont’ want to see anything either. So when you’re done, send it away as best you can by flushing it. That’s all. If you have to use your shoe to hit the flusher, then use your shoe. That’s all. The nester at my work didn’t send away his nest. Why? I dont’ know. No one else is going to use that nest.

Okay. That’s it for public washroom rules today. There are a lot more. Actually, I can’t leave this topic without addressing one GIANT washroom rule. It’s the golden one. (Don’t read into golden.)

Rule #1B: When you’re leaving, wash your hands. Really really wash them well.
Use soap. Use water. Scrub. Feel free to wash them for a long time. It’s important you wash your hands. There are hundreds of gross stories out there about washrooms. The grossest ones always seem to be the guy who doesn’t wash his hands when he’s done in the washroom. That’s why they call it a washroom. You wash when you’re done. They’re not called “Pee-n-Go’s” or “Dump-n-Runs” – Wash room. Wash. Ugggghhhh. Just thinking about someone not washing sort of makes you gag. Rule 1A is dont’ touch anything. Rule 1B is Touch soap and clean water and scrub. Later in the Public Washroom Rules we’ll include some horror stories.

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