You are in the stall of a public toilet and there are maybe 3 or 4 other stalls in the row. The walls don’t go all the way to the roof, you know they have that gap at the bottom and wide open up the top. So any noise can easily travel around the room.What do you do? Do you not care and just let rip, knowing that everyone makes a noise when engaged in number 1 or 2, and that it is only natural? Do you do the “bendy arm”, simultaneously pushing out a log while flushing the toilet to cover any bowel sounds? Perhaps you carry a “toilet putty”, a device that creates the sound of a flushing toilet at the push of a button?Or perhaps you give the discreet “cough” and hope that it isn’t a heavy one that will give a loud splash as it hits the water? It is well known that in Japan they create toilets with a button built in to provide a flushing noise. Apparently they concluded that millions of liters of water was being wasted each year by people (especially women?) flushing multiple times in a sitting in order to cover up their toilet noise.How about guys though? I know some guys that if they have to pee into a toilet (and not a urinal) then they’ll aim for the small gap on the side of the porcelain so that their peeing isn’t noisy (like running water).
So why my fascination today with such a gross subject? Well today I have some diarrhoea, which could very likely be caused by my psoriasis (or more accurately an excess of TNF). In the past I have suffered from both sore joints and diarrhoea in the lead up to my Remicade – both things which are not unusual according to my rheumatologist. Also at our work we have shared toilets, so toilet noises are front and center for me right now. To be blunt and honest, I can’t bring myself to let rip when I know someone else is in the toilet. Why is that? I honestly have no idea what caused this embarrassment.
I know that most other people aren’t embarrassed about their toilet noises, especially Asian men, as I’ve heard them. I recall one time I was sitting on the throne when suddenly the a guy rushed into the toilet and into the cubicle next to mine. Suddenly my ears were accosted by the sound of Niagara falls. Niagara falls with rocks, trumpets and the occasional “hmmfffppphhh” thrown in. Then when it was suddenly over the silence was deafening. Just as I wondered if the poor guy had expired and what the hell I would do if he had, suddenly round two started. I left pretty quick.
Yes – there are lots of people who are not shy about their noises. Anyway, I had a dose of imodium this morning, so that has kept my diarrhoea in check. If history is accurate, I’ll be having a lot more imodium over this week.
One thing I am a stickler about is hand washing. It really grosses me out the amount of time I hear guys come into the toilet, use the urinal and then head out without washing their hands. Disgusting. How can people be that dirty?
Oh, interestingly I’ve found that if I’m listening to my iPod then I don’t care about the noises I make! Somehow as long as I can’t hear them then I don’t care about other people hearing the noise too. Crazy.