By Christopher Cudworth
We know the location of the world’s most perfect outhouse. It is a wonderfully constructed piece of practical architecture, put together with a cheerful wood that seems to absorb sunlight. There is ample ventilation so that you don’t suffer from its purpose, yet even on the coldest, windiest day there is no draft on your hind parts.
This outhouse is perched in a park on Route 9 in Northeast Iowa, about midway between Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and Decorah, Iowa. The park in which it sits is a nifty roadside pulloff so that you can stop, relax, do your business and move on.
I’ve driven that stretch of road perhaps 200 times in my life. Yet never had I discovered this great little outhouse until recently. Of course it is clean because it may not receive that much use in being so far off the beaten path. But there’s something more. People seem to respect the Perfect Outhouse and do not pee on its seat or leave half pooped up toilet paper flapping under the lid. That is called etiquette. Why ruin a good thing?
Standards of behavior
Ever should be the case in any public outhouse. We all know the abuse dished out at Porta-Potties and public outhouses wherever we go. Pun intended.
For some reason a certain segment of the population, let’s call them Men for lack of a better word, cannot seem to figure out how to go to the bathroom without making a splashy, crappy mess of things.
Visit any public restroom in the world and you’ll find pee on the seat of many of the toilets. That’s true in airports, restaurants or the line of Porta Potties at any major race. Let’s not even talk about restrooms at rock concerts. Please.
Apparently there is an entire population of men out there who simply don’t care if they have good aim or not. They whip it out and let it fly.
Which means the next person who visits that stall has to deal with wiping down the seat or lining it with toilet paper. Heck, in airport restrooms the pissy problem is even institutionalized. There are plastic swoop-arounds that provide a clean seat for the next person no matter how badly the guy before has missed.
Not being a frequent denizen of women’s restrooms, We Run and Ride cannot speak on behalf of the condition of those facilities on average. But it’s more than likely there are women pigs out there too who find ways to junk things up for those who follow. Is there anything more disgusted and distracting than wet toilet paper on the floor? Not much.
But it’s men or anyone guilty of poor aim with the penis that are primarily responsible. It’s good that God generally gave guys only one of those things. Too many seem to have problems learning how to use the one they’ve got.
So this is a call to men who run and ride to pay attention to their pricks when going to the bathroom. There is no reason not to lift the lid when you go. Use the tip of your shoe if you don’t want to touch the seat. Concentrate, and aim. But first, lift the lid. Leave it up when you go. And put it back down when you finish. That way women don’t drop their tushies into the wrong position.
Forgetful and disrespectful
Hey, I’ve been guilty and forgetful like a million other guys. But I try. We should all try. Because when you get to a race or are out on a workout and have to go you should think of the dozens of other people who must follow in your pissy little wake.
The world is most definitely co-ed these days. Women actually have you outnumbered, guys. According to some reports, there are more women runners than men. Every event from a 5K a marathon and beyond has women participants. So gentlemen, stop being a heathen caveman with your crank. Quit pissing on the seat.
If you happen to have some kind of strange disaster from the other end, do your best to clean it up. Some guys seem to be conducting strange experiments with their bowels once they reach the can. One wonders if they simply don’t listen to the signs of the body somehow. It’s as if going to the bathroom is some kind of shocking, surprising event in their lives. The results are tragic at best.
So let’s face it: public restrooms and outhouses and Porta Potties are a necessary but imperfect commodity. It’s up to us to render them usable. They can’t do it on their own.
Even when well-designed, an outhouse can shoot you a surprise. A woman companion on a camping trip once sat down to use an open latrine at a State Park and got a rude surprise when the liquid below splashed back up and hit her private parts. Her shriek could be heard throughout the camp. And who can blame her? That should not happen to anyone.
Even women have to pay attention to some simple rules. Don’t throw things down the toilet that can’t be flushed. Plan ahead with your period if possible. There are ways to handle that stuff that don’t cause other people, especially maintenance folks, problems of unnecessary magnitude.
In fact, why create unnecessary surprises for anyone? Try to abide by some etiquette in your outhouse visits. And if you happen to visit the world’s most Perfect Outhouse out there in Northeast Iowa, try to appreciate its charmingly refined nature.
But put the lid up when you go, and put it down when you leave. It’s that simple guys.
See you in line.