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bums on seats

During a conversation in the office last week, it was revealed that several of my colleagues not only never let their bottoms touch a loo seat in the office, but that they never sit down on a loo seat ANYWHERE OUTSIDE THEIR OWN HOME. Like, not even in their friends' houses. They hover, or cover the seat in loo paper. Now, I consider myself to be a person of ordinary hygiene, and I would not, obviously, sit on a toilet seat that was dirty or, in the case of public loos, a bit grubby or dodgy-looking, but as the only part of most people's anatomy that comes into contact with a toilet seat are the tops of their legs and the side of their bum, it has never crossed my mind that there's something gross about sitting in the same place as long as the place itself is clean. To be honest, if it's a question of revoltingness, surely touching the doorhandle of a public lavatory cubicle (or anywhere else, if you really start becoming germphobic) is much more disgusting, as people are likely to have touched it before washing their hands. Am I remarkably unsanitary for sitting down on the loo in my friends' houses, or are my colleagues, well, kind of mad?

And yes, when I said I wished I could post more often, I didn't think I would be posting about people's bathroom habits. But there you go.

In other news, spring has hit the park, which is a blaze of crocuses and daffodils. It's manky and rainy now, but yesterday afternoon was gorgeously sunny, and I walked around it listening to Vampire Weekend and feeling very summery and happy. More afternoons like that, please, and fewer afternoons worrying about stupid work crap.

Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
glitzfrau
Mar. 2nd, 2008 05:44 pm (UTC)
I read somewhere once that hovering is REALLY REALLY BAD FOR YOU, probably in a very scientific women's magazine, but anyway, hovering means you can't pee properly (as any fule know) and apparently that leads to... infections, or something. Anyway. You are of course RIGHT, and your colleagues obviously also use moist baby wipes instead of vulgar unhygienic toilet paper, and possibly also "intimate" deodorants. EWWW.
stellanova
Mar. 2nd, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
It is indeed really bad for you! And also uncomfortable. And yes, I wouldn't be at all surprised if my colleagues used all of those awful products. Urrgh.
dorianegray
Mar. 2nd, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
I think your colleagues are mad. It is pretty hard to catch anything from a loo seat, unless you have, perhaps, open wounds upon those portions of your anatomy which touch it. (Sitting on a wet seat, say, is of course rather unpleasant, but one can usually wipe it off first with loo paper.)

But I think this is a fairly widespread piece of weirdness; I know a few people who share it.

(Now, how would your colleagues react to one of mine, who doesn't always lock the cubicle door...?)
stellanova
Mar. 2nd, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
They apparently know that you can't get anything off a loo seat, but they still somehow think it's somehow disgusting! I mean, urine's pretty easy to wipe off, as you say, but they won't even sit on a wee-free seat.
kylegirl
Mar. 2nd, 2008 06:38 pm (UTC)
I think this is a mystifying yet commonplace phenomenon. I don't get it! It seems to me that if we would all just sit the hell down, then pee-on-the-seat incidents would be greatly reduced, and overall the whole shared toilet experience would be much more pleasant.
gralyn
Mar. 2nd, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
Agreed!! The hover-ers make things more unpleasant for the rest of us.
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stellanova
Mar. 2nd, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
I know! I'm actually cycling home in (sort of) daylight, it's fantastic. Although when it's really windy I don't dare cycle, not since I was nearly blown under a bus a while back.

I think that if it were physically possible, my colleagues would only go to the loo in their own homes. They have also expressed total horror at the idea of someone having a poo in a public (or even work) toilet, in the same tone I would describe someone having a crap in the street.
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chiasmata
Mar. 2nd, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
That is very, very weird.

My crazy French housemate had a whole collection of loo seat sanitisers and so on, which we have been left with as a reminder of her special ways. She once said to me that she had wanted to insist that everyone wiped down the seat every time they used the loo, but realised that was just too much. So, um, she did it herself instead.
stellanova
Mar. 2nd, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC)
Jaysus. That's taking loo-mania to a new extreme...
cangetmad
Mar. 2nd, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
I believe it is research-true that inside doorhandles are the germiest place and the loo seat actually among the cleanest places in a toilet stall. However, if you tell your colleagues that they'll almost certainly start opening the door with toilet paper over their hands, rather than giving up their hovering ways.
listersgirl
Mar. 2nd, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
A lot of the women where I work use tp to open the stall doors, and also take a piece of paper towel in order to open the main doors. At which point I wonder, where does it stop?
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listersgirl
Mar. 2nd, 2008 07:30 pm (UTC)
I've never understood the hovering, because, like you said, it's mostly your legs that touch the toilet seat. Would these people also refuse to sit on chairs in public if they were wearing shorts?
stellanova
Mar. 2nd, 2008 07:31 pm (UTC)
That's exactly what I was thinking!
jinty
Mar. 2nd, 2008 10:32 pm (UTC)
I had this whole argument with my mum more than once but I couldn't think of a tactful way to say - "it's not your actual cunt that touches anything! I's just your legs!" so I gave up.
stellanova
Mar. 4th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
I know, it's a kind of difficult one to argue without getting pretty graphic...
lolamoz
Mar. 2nd, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
Here's another nugget of loo-trivia to share with your workmates: generally speaking, the last cubicle in any given ladies' room is the most used, ergo it would potentially have the most germs. The first cubicle is usually the least-used one. Although, if you tell that lot it sounds like they might all try using the first cubicle, all the time, which would completely defeat the purpose...
therealjo
Mar. 2nd, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
We did an experiement at college in Biology about bacteria and the most unhealthy, disgusting, bacteria ridden place by far was not
1) the toilet
2) the toilet door (male OR female, they were much the same)
3) the stair handle
4) the cutlery in the staff room

but....
the button on the pedestrian crossing. Eeeew, there was some scary looking things that grew on that agar plate.
stellanova
Mar. 4th, 2008 02:47 pm (UTC)
Yikes! What a scary thought. Makes sense though.
suzybie
Mar. 3rd, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
hovering...
I'm sitting here wondering if hovering is good for the pelvic floor or not..Shouldn't I have better things to be doing on a Monday night.

Arthritis would never let me hover even if I wanted to... (oh there's something for my gravestone!)

Mamanpoulet...
radegund
Mar. 4th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
It's the C**** hive-mind! I distinctly recall leedy reporting on precisely this conversation with some colleagues a couple of years ago - with a similar level of mystification :-)
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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