I am vigilant about closing the toilet lid at home after doing my thing and before flushing. I saw a captivating, gag-reflex inducing 60-second clip on some news show a few years ago about the “spray” that occurs during the flush. The spray that includes droplets of your Number 1 or NUMBER 2. Oh, dear God.
But I took control of the matter and began insisting that toilet lids be put down when flushing. I explained to Hubby that the super-spray will travel right over to our toothbrushes standing clean and pretty in their toothbrush holders and attach itself thereby allowing us to brush our teeth with our own pee. Need I say more?
For a while, I put the toothbrush holder in the closet because I was just so repulsed by all of this. But what about the towels? The faucet? The doorknobs? Do I turn the entire room into a bowl with 4 walls and that’s it? So toilet seat down is the rule in this house.
And then a few days ago, I was watching the Today Show, my only source of any kind of news. That, and The Daily Show. Actually, it was Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda, the so-called “4th Hour,” so I don’t even know if that counts as news. I was informed that a new study found that using the paper towels in many public restrooms may leave you with unwanted bacteria on your hands. WHAT? The paper towels that I use to dry my CLEAN hands?
And then I had not an “AHA!” moment, but a “DUH!” moment. It’s the spray, people. The SPRAY! There are no lids in most public restrooms. If I’d been grossed out by my own family’s bodily fluids spewing back at me, why hadn’t I even thought of the strangers’? Oh, wait, I know why. Because I would’ve set myself into the very panic that I’ve been experiencing since seeing that mind-shattering news clip on Wednesday. Do you want to know how long the spray lasts? I bet you do! The bacteria can float around in the air for 10-20 minutes. So when you walk into that bathroom, you are basically getting pee’d on. Or worse.
Now that I’ve vowed to never use a public restroom again, I realize this may not be very practical. Especially since I have had the pleasure of carrying a child who sat on my bladder for 41 weeks then made members of the urinary tract decide they ruled the roost. My urinary tract cackles and conspires, “We know she just relieved herself before leaving for Target, but we’ll have some work to do about 10 minutes in!” So all my intentions of never stepping foot into a Ladies’ Room again will either end with me peeing myself in Housewares or braving the restroom.
In anticipation of the germ-infested, other people’s poop-ridden lavatory, I will pack myself an Emergency Excretion Kit. EEK for short. Because that’s what I’ll shout when I have to walk in there. It’s either this or a full-on hazmat suit. And what’s weirder? Walking around with a hazmat suit or your own adult potty bag? Well, you decide.
The EEK will include:
1.A face mask just like the people of Asia wore during that whole bird flu breakout. This will prevent all the floaters from getting in your nose and mouth.
2.Latex gloves. You know it’s serious when latex gloves are involved. Or kinky. This, though, is totally NOT kinky.
3.A roll of Saran Wrap is not only useful for practical jokes in the potty. After elimination and before flushing, cover the seat to prevent your spray from literally smacking you in the face. Because you are right there, hovering over the toilet as you flush, with your FOOT. Unless you are superhuman and can bolt out of the stall before the toilet actually flushes.
4.Paper towels. I thought just bringing my own papers towels would be sufficient, but don’t forget about the spray. It’s not only on the paper towels; it’s on the walls, the faucets, and lingering in the air ready to get on you.
5.Your own soap. Do not touch the soap dispenser. Your mantra should be “The Spray.” It’s everywhere. Of course, if you are wearing your latex gloves as suggested, you can’t really wash your hands. That’s a glitch we may have to work on in the EEK!
6.Rubbing alcohol and cotton balls. Skip the hand sanitizer and go straight to the good stuff. As you exit the Bowels of Hell, you must wipe down every square millimeter of exposed skin with the magical sanitizing powers of alcohol.
*It is assumed that no one is actually sitting on the toilet. If you need to actually place your cheeks on the Throne of Bacteria, use those paper towels to cover the seat, about 5 layers thick.
Of course, you could skip the EEK and just wear Depends.