New Rule

Bathrooms shouldn’t need manuals.

If you want to shoot up, you want to fly through Chicago.  There the stalls
have ceiling to floor stainless steel doors.  God, you’re afraid you’re going
to asphyxiate there.  I’m used to about fifteen inches at the bottom, a few
feet at the top, in case I can’t figure out the locking mechanism and have to
crawl or jump OUT!  God, a kid locked in a stall in O’Hare would need the jaws of
life to escape.

Not that a kid in O’Hare could figure out how to take a crap.  There must be
a law in California.  Requiring each stall to contain Jerry Ford football
helmets.   You know, those thin pieces of paper that separate you from the cooties
of the world.  Actually, I didn’t used to use them as a kid, but now I’m a
regular customer, even though the MTV News said I wouldn’t get a disease from a
toilet seat.

But in Chicago, the toilets are MECHANIZED!  Actually, you’ve got no choice. 
There’s a thin layer of saran-wrap that covers each and every toilet seat. 
The fact that it works at all is amazing.  One person does his business, the
little motor whirs, and the next user comes in to a PERFECTLY CLEAN SEAT!

At least that’s the way it’s worked before.  When I’ve used this contraption
in the New York airport.  There’s some kind of electric eye or something,
which is triggered by your exit, the plastic moves ahead.  Well, it turns out in
CHICAGO you’ve got to push a button.  Oh, there’s a big sign, but it’s not like
I’ve never seen one of these before, and really, I’ve got to take a serious
shit.  So, I sit down on the toilet and it feels a bit, how shall I say this,
wet?  Oh, not drenched, jus a few sprinkles.  But I tell myself this is the
feeling of PLASTIC on my ass.  And convince myself I’m fine, that I’m dry as a
newborn baby’s ass.  Well, then again, maybe a newborn’s ass isn’t so dry, and
neither was mine.  You see the creep who was there before didn’t lift the seat,
he was using the toilet as a urinal, and now my precious little tushie was
going to be contaminated all the way to ENGLAND!

I mean what are you supposed to do.  After you get up and see the sign off in
the corner telling you you’ve got to push a BUTTON to get the seat cover to

And then there’s the U.K.  Where they must not have the obesity problem of
the U.S.  Because the toilets are SO small…  They’re LILLIPUTIAN!  Oh, they’re
round, they’re cute, but even a less than large person like myself feels
there’s not enough room for his bum.  I mean maybe it’s an optical illusion, but
really, you feel like when you sit down you might MISS!

And don’t expect ANY seat covers.  Whether they be manual or automatic. 
Actually, paper is rare in the U.K.  Oh, you can wipe your ass with stuff akin to
Brillo, but not only are there no seat covers, there are no paper towels,
seemingly ANYWHERE!

But finally, I’m in my hotel room, here in Manchester.  And the toilet has

Oh, the bowl is just a little larger than U.K. standard, but still, I feel
cramped.  And then I get up and try to flush…and do I push the right button or
the left?

And then there’s the sink.  With one of those joysticks.  Okay, it’s red to
the left and blue to the right, corresponding with hot and cold.  But, do you
move the blue SYMBOLS to the right for cold or do you move the HANDLE?  Yes,
it’s not like the SYMBOLS, actually, minimalist etchings, are stationary, they
move when you touch the joystick.  Sounds simple, I know.  But I bet there are
a lot of losers like me, who get scorched when all they want to do is rinse
their hands.

But the piece de resistance is the shower.  Oh, there’s got to be a secret
sect of designers, followers of "Queer Eye" or something, who try to outdo
themselves in their design of shower apparatus.

First there’s the question of whether you want a shower or a bath.

I’m over five, and my girlfriend isn’t here, so I’m opting for a shower. 
But, what’s the difference between the upper and lower handles?  Actually,
they’re not handles, they’re more like dildos.  Maybe the designer was a woman. 
These two dildos are sticking out, which does what?

Finally, after some investigation, almost needing my reading glasses to
decipher the code, I conclude that the upper dildo executives the shower/bath
decision.  But, which way do you turn it?  And what in the hell is the little
button on top?  What purpose does THAT serve?

I’m still flummoxed there.  But, once the water was shooting out of the
telephone-shaped device, I moved on to temperature, the lower dildo.

Having learned form my experience with the sink, I decoded which direction
was hot and cold before I stepped under the stream.  But this dildo’s got a
button too, with numbers on  it.  Oh, when I twisted the pipe it got hotter and
colder, what in hell was the little flickerswitch on TOP for?

And, you stepped UP into the tub.  Made me feel like Yao Ming.  I was peering
down at the tile of the bathroom floor getting vertigo, wondering how I’d get
out.  And the telephone shower head… the stream was hitting me in the
stomach.  Was this some kind of EU plot?

Well, it turned out you could twist a ring and slide the shower head up a
pole.  So, it would be above you, like in America.  But my sense of elation soon
faded.  For, climbing up  my ankles was a pool of water.  How did I open the

Oh, I got down on my hands and knees.  Turned the circular panel to the left
and right.

No go, the water was still rising. 

I wasn’t quite worried like those people in New Orleans, but the tide WAS
rising and I hadn’t done my business yet.

Then I found the button on top.  Turns out, you could push it in.


Well, not really, after I rinsed my scalp of shampoo, I felt the water moving
up my calves.

So I pulled the handle UP!

And it came OUT!

Finally, like a refugee, I escaped.  There’s almost a foot of water in the
tub, and since it’s on a level above the floor, I’m worried the levee’s going to
break.  I’m planning to hotfoot it out of here for some food.  Maybe the maid service will perform an exorcism.

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