Monday 25 June 2012

prove that you love me and buy the next round...

As any guy will tell you, when it comes to using public toilets, there are rules.  They might not be written down, and they're not exactly something that has been passed down from father-to-son since the dawn of time... but there's a very definite, intuitive etiquette.  I won't go into it here, but the unwritten rules are - ahem - written down here and you can test yourself here.

This is important background information for the anecdote that follows.

We went out for dinner with some friends on Friday night.  Nothing too fancy, but a nice, spontaneous night out in a local restaurant to have a spot of tapas and some good company.  After a couple of beers, nature took its course and I needed to pay a visit to the facilities.  The layout was pretty straightforward: three urinals and one trap.  All the urinals were clear and the trap door was open, so I thought I had the place all to myself.  Excellent, even so, etiquette dictates that even in this scenario, I should adopt a position at the urinal furthest from the door in the event of someone else coming in before I'm done.

With me so far?  Ok.  Good.

Anyway.  About thirty seconds into the process, I became aware that I wasn't quite as alone as I first thought: I became aware of a low-pitched noise that seemed to be emitting from the trap. It appeared to be some kind of singing.

I risked a quick glance: there was a guy in there, zipping himself up and he was definitely singing.

There were at least two things wrong here:

1) In an empty toilet, what kind of person elects to go into the trap unless their business involves sitting down? (and even then, surely the correct etiquette is to wait until you get home anyway?)  It's possible that there were other people in the bathroom before I arrived, and his selection was influenced by them, but I'm inclined to think that he just waltzed right on in there, and that's a little suspect if you ask me.

2) Even if it was an acceptable choice, what kind of person decides to draw attention to themselves by bursting into song?  At home, maybe... but in a restaurant toilet?  Really?

...and then I worked out what he was singing.

Mercedes Benz by Janis Joplin.  You know, "My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends" and all that jazz.

WTF?  If there is a song that it's appropriate for a guy to sing whilst standing up in the toilet cubicle of a restaurant - which I seriously doubt - I'm pretty sure that this is NOT it.  I'm not entirely sure that it's ever appropriate for a guy to be singing along to a Janis Joplin song in any location, but it's definitely not appropriate there.

Forget about the fake tan, shaped eyebrows, saggy-arsed trousers, pointy shoes and the fussy overly-styled hair....if guys aren't learning the unwritten rules any more, then what hope is there left for the future?

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