Have you ever used a public washroom and against all better judgment wondered what the hell was going on in the stall beside you?
“I don’t know and I don’t care.”
“It’s not normal,” says Stobby.
“La,la,la, la,la…I can’t hear you.”
Scratch, scratch, scratch. It wasn’t the kind of noise that comes from running your nails through your hair or on a chalkboard. More like the sound you’d hear from an audio room of a small film production studio. I hoped to God she wasn’t brushing her teeth.
Apart from the obvious, I found the whole scene odd because, in general, unlike the unshackled male, when women share a bathroom they try to make as little noise as possible. Number one, not such a big deal, but number two….you only hear that under the duress of flu season. The female instinct to provide everyone with a serene environment coincides with a predictable, but not definitive, behavioural pattern I’ve noticed in public bathrooms especially if the room is fully operational, sparsely populated and relatively clean.
For example, two women arriving in a bathroom at the same time will attempt to choose toilets farthest away from each other or at least, off by one. Like on bus, you don’t sit immediately next to the only other person in it.
This of course depends on the cleanliness of the stalls and, oddly enough, on whether the doors are open or closed. With an array of choice, a ‘client’ will invariably pick a booth with the door ajar. A door that’s closed implies a reason for it and I think I can safely say for most potty users out there, we’ve all opened a bathroom door only to find a profoundly disturbing scene lurking behind it.
Another observation I’ve made is that if the washroom is small and there is already a woman washing her hands, we will not scoot around her to check out the toilet selection. We will head immediately to the first stall. It’s nothing but politeness.
Sometimes there’s a girl, already sitting in the very last booth, who is conspicuously quiet or coughs a lot. We all know what that means and console her by shuffling, flushing, sighing louding rushing to get the hell out of there.
These remarks are loose but worth noting the next time you use a public bathroom. I don’t know what to say about the scratching though. I didn’t stick around to find out. With regard to men, I can say from my experience sharing a co-ed dorm the general discreet, courteous behaviour exhibited by females definitely does not apply. If you’ve ever had a guy you go to school with ask you to pass him some toilet paper, the experience is vastly different.