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The Bathroom: Getting Down and Dirty

 by Don Urbanus

     They say that the battle of the sexes begins in the bathroom starting with whether or not the toilet seat should be up or down. I don’t know who “they” are but if it’s true, men are in deep trouble.
     First of all, a typical man has only eight items in the bathroom: a toothbrush, toothpaste, shaving cream, a razor, a bar of soap, a towel, a comb, and a bottle of shampoo. If he uses an electric razor, then he only has seven items. If he is really vain, he might have a pair of scissors to cut his mustache and nose hairs.
     Through an exhaustive and carefully calculating analysis searching through mounds of website commentary and articles, I reached the exact amount of items that a typical woman has in the bathroom. That number is 308. (Actually 300, but a woman will use all the man’s items while a man will never use a woman’s items). This does not count that lost pair of earrings that you stepped on or the one that went down the drain. The list is so long and so extensive that, because of time and space, it can not be listed here. Just trust me that, when it comes to bathrooms, men are completely outnumbered and outgunned.
     The only thing worse than a shared bathroom at home, is a shared bathroom at work. I know this because the women at our nursery are always complaining that the guys aren’t doing their job.  I don’t know who had the brain storm to assign each employee a month to clean the bathroom on a rotational basis.    Sounds like a woman’s idea to me but who knows? To a guy, if there is water in the toilet bowl and the faucet works, there is   nothing else to be done in a bathroom, it is fully functional. Women, on the other hand, have to have the bathroom “clean”. Now “clean” is a relative term. What exactly does that mean? You can bring a man into a bathroom and tell him that it isn’t clean but it is of no use. He first will frown and then look furtively around the bathroom until his eyes begin to glaze over. There just isn’t anything for him to see!
     After numerous bouts of complaining and urging from my  female counterparts to tell the guys to do a better job, I foolishly volunteered to put myself into the rotation to be a good example to my male cohorts. It must have been a set-up because I was immediately placed into the numero uno position. It was my turn to clean.
     About a week or so into the month of May, I was politely reminded by Judy, my inside store manager, that it was my month to clean the bathroom. Think of the incredible self control she must have to resist jumping on me the first few days of the month. It was probably all she could think of. I, of course, had completely forgotten my promise to clean the bathroom.
     After being properly scolded, I decided that I would show the girls that I could clean with the best of them. I grabbed the power blower and blasted all the leaves, spiders, cobwebs and some of the posters right off the walls. Now that it was “clean”, all I had to do was wipe it down a bit, clean the toilet bowl and sink, and smash the garbage down in the waste basket (no sense emptying the garbage when there was still room in the bag). I happened to notice the blue ribby plastic plunger in the corner. It looked a little dirty. I picked it up and poop dripped all over the floor. The plunger was crammed with toilet paper and other “stuff” that I would rather not talk about. I dropped the plunger into the toilet in horror. In the corner was a round brown spot where it had been sitting and right behind it the wall was unhappily smeared.
     What had been a quick 5 minute job turned into a major cleaning and scrubbing effort. The plunger alone took about ten minutes to clean. Feeling sorry for myself, I went into the office and told the ladies how some guy had misused the plunger and how I had suffered and slaved to make the bathroom “clean” again for them. I didn’t get nearly the sympathy I expected. In fact, all I got were sarcastic remarks about how I “knew” it was a guy. Well, it was elementary really. A woman would never have left a plunger in that state.
     They obviously didn’t understand the stupendous sacrifice I had made for them. So I complained how it took me ten minutes to clean out that darn plunger so we could use it again because traces of poop were tenaciously stuck in the ribs.
     “You cleaned it?” Judy asked, incredulously, “I would have just thrown it in the dumpster.”
     That’s funny. That thought never crossed my mind. They told me to clean so I cleaned. We men are really outnumbered in more ways than just in the bathroom.

 Reprinted from The Calaveras Enterprise, June 17, 2008

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