At last weekend’s Fox Valley Marathon, the lines of Porta Potties were prodigious. There’s no way any runner was caught short or had to wait in line for very long before the race. The organizers had also thoughtfully placed them in two locations near the start so that there was not a confused mass of people trying to figure out the lines.
Once the gun had gone off and all the pace groups had departed, nature finally called and I walked over to the phalanx of potties waiting for this non-participant. Even if I had needed to go before the race, I likely would have held it if at all possible. There’s an etiquette there, you see. Spectators should give way to competitors unless it’s pretty urgent.
When I stepped into the pottie it was per the usual scene. A few dribs of pee were perched on the toilet seat. I’m not some germophobe, but it always amazes me that some men, and I assume in large part they are men standing up to pee, cannot use either the provided urinal or sit down to avoid peeing all over the seat.
Yet at every race it seems there are slobs who somehow cannot bring themselves to show that mere basic of Porta Pottie etiquette. Just don’t pee the seat, guys. Don’t do it.
I’ve had discussions with women about using Porta Potties at races and there are perchers and hoverers. Some line the seat with toilet paper or else wipe it down. Some refuse to sit at all, hovering above the toilet seat somehow like a Porta Pottie angel.
One cannot blame them. So many people, and especially men, are particularly piggie about their use of publicly provided Porta Potties. They piss where they please, it seems.
And then I looked down in the toilet and saw a water bottle tossed into the latrine with the piles of excrement and toilet paper. And I said, “What kind of shitty human being does that?”
Everyone knows, or at least they should by now after years of Porta Pottie use, that throwing garbage of any sort into the waste area can mess up the system of cleaning them out. Yet there are people who simply don’t care. In fact they go beyond simply not caring and throw whatever they like in there.
The thought process here is not some isolated group of individuals out there who don’t know how to poop. It’s a sign of a portion of society that eminently does not care what happens to others, or how other people are treated. Because they’re not stopping to think that some person cleaning out that Porta Pottie has to somehow extricate the bottle or other item of trash they’ve tossed into the latrine.
Now the Porta Pottie people are probably smarter than that. They’ve no doubt gotten quite used to the piggie habits of certain runners, cyclists and triathletes who don’t give a shit how they treat the world. You’d think, in a sport where individual character is so often put to the test, that the average quotient of human standards of behavior would be a little higher.
But apparently not. Absolutely anyone that wants to participate in these activities can pay and show up for a race. And they can walk into that Porta Pottie and do whatever business they see fit in the style they choose to do it.
I’ve walked into Porta-Potties before and walked right back out because it was too disgusting to use. People and their asses must have a really strange relationship at times. I don’t know how they manage to shoot their business so high, or accomplish the performance art in some Porta Potties. Same goes with public restrooms. I know the drama Breaking Bad pointed out the extremes to which the human character can be stretched, but seriously, if there were camera posted in Porta Potties we might have the most viral video ever. If people could stomach it.
Because the human character is truly revealed in this most basic of activities that all human beings must partake.
If it were at all practical, I would advocate a separate group of Porta Potties for women only. Of course that means we men who care about such things would be forced to accept that men might care even less if they were only concerned about pooping and peeing ahead of other men. I rather believe that it is only the sight of women going into Porta Potties that makes some men behave at all.
Barely that. It’s the opposite of the “I’ve got mine” mentality that is vexing so much of politics today. It’s the anally driven expression of selfishness that makes a person leave a piss-driven or excrementally insane mess in a Porta Pottie. Or throwing garbage in there when it is well-known that causes difficulty for the business and people who cleaned these conveniences for us. It’s the idea that “My shit doesn’t smell” or “People can just deal with my shit” that is causing so much grief in this world.
It’s inconsiderate, in other words. Which begs us to ask the question: “What kind of human being cares so little about others and so much about themselves that they cannot carry a plastic bottle to the clearly marked recycling bins that were everywhere around the marathon site?”
In that answer we find the problem with so much of society. Either there are people so self-unaware they do not even consider it a problem to behave so badly, or they are very well aware of their bad Porta Pottie habits on every front and think it’s the responsibility of others in the world to deal with their shit.
The first option is bad enough. The second is what drags down entire societies. Porta Pottie politics have a lot to say about where this world may be headed.