Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Effects of Excessive Water Consumption

Sometimes I wonder if anyone else thinks the way I do. Sometimes I hope they do! But sometimes it's probably better that no one does...

Allow me to relate to you one of the more unusual thoughts that often crosses my mind.
I will begin with a story.

I work at an office on the campus of Brigham Young University. I spend approximately twenty hours a week in that office. The end.

Twenty hours a week + sitting at a computer for at least 2 hours at a time = much water consumption.

Much water consumption = many bathroom breaks.

During these bathroom breaks, I walk about 50 feet down the hall, enter the "Women's" room and proceed to enter the first stall on the left.  I daresay, that unless it is occupied or unless I've made up my mind to absolutely NOT use the first stall on the left, I always use the first stall on the left. Since this behavior has started at work, I have noticed that I typically gravitate toward the first stall (on the left or right - I'm non-discriminatory) in other lavatory locations.

Having recognized this behavior, I have come to wonder if other people are like me. Does everyone have a favorite stall? You know, a favorite stall - like one might have a favorite color or number - something that is otherwise meaningless but seems to be important when pointed out or discussed?

It has also made me think of science. So much so, in fact, that part of me wants to go down to the local "Sammy's Science Store" (if only there was one....) and buy some Petrie dishes to perform experiments.  You see, the first stall to the left is almost always vacant.  I don't think many people's favorite stall, if they have a favorite, is the first one.  Perhaps they want to avoid the situation that every soul who enters or exits the bathroom must walk past the first stall, or a line could likely form just in front of it? I'm not sure - but stall #1 just isn't Ms. Popular.*

*disclaimer: when a line has formed, as in the case of show intermissions, class breaks and other such events, the first stall is used just as much as any and isn't necessarily avoided.  It is the "down times" of which I speak - where any given client has the choice of just about any stall they want. And they hardly choose the first.

My friends, this is why the first stall is my favorite.  People avoid it = less usage = less yucky-scary bathroom germs infested in the first stall to the left.  At least, this is what I have concluded with concrete and deliberate observation.

I do hope one day to confirm this theory with science.


  1. I noticed the same thing when working custodial. Sometimes on the low-trafficed floors of the WIDB we'd have a bathroom that wouldn't be used all day, and would still have blue water the next morning. Those were almost always the first stall.

    We also had a serious issue of black shoe scuffs on the seats and left side of the toilet from people using their feet to flush. It was very annoying.

  2. Lizzy - You make me smile! I'm like you, I almost always use the first on the left or the one at the end. Wanna know why? Probably not, but I'll tell you. Usually they are the handicap-accessible stalls, and they are the biggest. Maybe we just like our space. :)

  3. I always use the first stall. Always. Exclusively.

    Not only do I have a favorite, I wrote an entire essay on bathrooms, and I'll probably try to get it published in the next few months.

  4. Yup, I always try to use one that's next to a wall. I have no idea why though. . . ha ha!

  5. Oh, you made me laugh out loud on this!! And you probably won't believe this but I was thinking the exact same thing the other day how I ALWAYS pick the same stall here at the library (where I often enjoy using Internet -- plus we only have one computer at teh house now and Kelly and I dont' have to fight here, with over a dozen machines -- but I digress!!)

    Funny. I am just a creature of habit I guess. I figure if I use the one closest to the wall if a crowd of people innundate the bathroom at least I'll only be bombarded by a stranger hearing me pee on ONE side. :)

    I am a bit of a "hovercraft" model in any public bathroom -- never touch that seat!


  6. I don't like the first stall... more often then not I think it has the least privacy because people can under from the side as well as from the front...

    I always use the handicap stall... which I am a little self-concious about because obviously I don't need to... but I HATE when sometimes you flush the toilet spits at you. The bigger stalls have enough room to get away. They also make me feel less claustrophobic.