I kind of just…stopped doing these, didn’t I? Huh.
Maybe I should, like, say some stuff?
First of all, what are you even still doing here? This shit is like, so 2018. Everyone knows that all the best “content creators” are on Tik Tok nowadays. But don’t worry: As tempting as it is to take my toilet tales over to the ‘Tok, I’ve learned pretty quickly that public restrooms don’t exactly make for the most engaging short video clips.
I don’t know. “Follow / Subscribe” I guess? I can’t imagine why you would.
I mean, being a “content creator” sure sounds like a great gig, but it also requires a lot of things I don’t have. You know—things like consistency. Dependability. A reasonable data plan. Tits.
(Okay, fine. I do have the tits. These past couple of years have been hard on us all. I know I can’t be the only guy rocking a C-cup who never wanted one).
So what happened? Well, in 2018, things were starting to get a little weird for me with this whole “restroom reviewing” vocation. It began taking up a lot of space in my life—and I mean every part of it. I reached the point where I had more photos of a urinal cake in a fucking Burger King bathroom than I did of my own birthday dinner. I mean, just look at this shit:
Yeah, yeah. I know that photo raises some questions. Just to clarify: I was young, reckless, and unstable back then. These days my cell phone battery always has a healthy charge.
The point I’m trying to make is that I was out of control. This blog was changing me. I wasn’t acting normally anymore. I began transforming into a vicious, lavatory crazed lunatic.
Thankfully, I had a moment of clarity. It came to me on the filthy floor of a Winners men’s room one afternoon. I was laying on my back trying to snap the perfect shot of a toilet paper dispenser with my iPhone when someone entered the bathroom who probably thought I was having a stroke. The reality was actually much more sad.
He gently knocked on the door.
“You alright in there, bud?”
Clearly, I was not.
Things needed to change. I was now taking up needless space in stalls when legitimate potty-patrons actually needed to use them. The whole endeavour had become some sort of off-putting hobby that was making people wonder if I was some sort of sicko. (I mean, I am a sicko, but I’m not that kind of sicko, y’know? I feel like anything involving taking cell phone pics in public bathrooms puts you in a different league of sicko).
So – since so many people had already told me to get a life anyway – I kind of did. After my little bathroom stall embarrassment, I mustered up what minimal attention span I had left to focus on finally obtaining that costly, regrettable Bachelor of Arts degree I’d been chipping away at since like, Kanye was still the shit.
I certainly don’t regret taking the time to complete my degree, even if I wasn’t exactly stable by the time I got to the finish line. What mattered most to me was accomplishing all my post-grad goals—which I proudly did. (Never give up, kids! You can do anything if you put your mind to it!)
Alright, so maybe the university degree hasn’t totally paid off—but it has come in handy around the house.
Yeah, I haven’t even taken it out of the envelope yet. That’s because exactly Zero (0) potential employers have asked to see it. A few career counsellors even suggested taking it off my resume. Isn’t life
cruel and fucking miserable funny sometimes?
Disastrous financial and academic decisions notwithstanding, putting my blog on hiatus to focus on my studies seemed like a moderately good plan in 2019.
“This is the responsible thing to do. I can afford to take a break for a year or so. After all, public restrooms aren’t going anywhere. I’ll get back to writing reviews once I have less on my plate.“
“…I mean, really – how much could the world possibly change in just a few months?”
A few months later…
If you’d have woken up from a coma sometime between 2020-2021, you’d probably beg someone to beat you over the head so you could fall right back into it.
Not only were we advised against leaving the house – but we also might literally die if we did? Well, shit.
There was no way I’d be going anywhere even close to a communal toilet while this horrific virus was making the rounds. In fact, on the odd chance I did leave the house, I would likely ruin a pair of pants just to avoid using a public restroom altogether.
If I was going to catch or spread COVID 19 to anyone, it wouldn’t be due to my spastic colon, that’s for sure. Big nope. My irritable bowel syndrome had already ruined my life, and I wasn’t going to let it ruin anyone else’s.
So how did I spend my time? Well, my lockdown was pretty typical. It began with the standard pandemic practices of baking bread, trying out new recipes, birdwatching, and losing respect for my peers, friends and family members. A lot of these can be pretty time consuming activities, especially when you’re a newb like me.
See what I mean? You know how long that took to clean up? Well, maybe not that long, I guess. But I guarantee it required more effort than it takes me to write one of those bathroom reviews, that’s for sure. (Although there’s usually just as much brown sludge).
I also had a great time getting re-acquainted with nature; and I mean the kind that only calls from outside your window, not inside your body.
Of course, these days you can’t effectively nurture your inner-child without recording it on your cell-phone, so I made sure to take a healthy amount of photos. Mainly close-up photos of slugs. I even experimented with making my own slug memes.
For obvious reasons, this hobby was short lived.
Anyway, by the time establishments had begun re-opening up to the public, I was refreshed and ready to face the world again. I’d made some major breakthroughs. (Or at least I think that’s what my Zoom therapist told me. She kept buffering, so who the fuck knows?)
At any rate, I was definitely curious to see what the “new normal” had in store. Unfortunately, the “new normal” had gotten off to a “pretty weird” start.
The simple act of going out in public – or anywhere – had suddenly become a frightening, frustrating affair of paranoia, miscommunication, obsessive sterility, and general confusion: The temperature checks. The awkward elbow bumps. The industrial-sized tubs of sanitizer. The conflicting arrow stickers on the floors. The mask you left in your car. The steamed up glasses. The Facebook virologists. The cohorts. The constant clash and conflict of insufferable, ideological horse shit. And of course, the Glory Holes.
For the record, I always consistently complied and followed every safety measure with a great deal of seriousness. I still do. (Especially the glory hole one).
At one point, I briefly thought it might be fun to review restrooms in this strange, scary new world. With so many wild, weird new protocols in public spaces, it seemed like a perfect time to observe and report-a-potty everywhere. Finding a suitable place to poop in public during a pandemic poses its own set of challenges, after all.
If I caught COVID, at least now it would be in the pursuit of helping people decide which cesspools of contagion to keep away from.
It would be a net positive for society, right?
As someone who has been working in customer service for most of his adult life (and likely the foreseeable future due to my shiny, new university degree!), I quickly realized that it didn’t feel so great to make fun of these folks putting up with all this pandemic shit on top of the literal kind they were already dealing with every day.
I know service-industry workers are constantly bombarded with a metric fuck-tonne of drama and soul-sucking stress on a daily basis, but this was a different league entirely. It just didn’t feel right to be giving my fellow name-tag wearing comrades a rough time in COVID-fucking-clown-world. This wasn’t their fault.
After this epiphany, I decided to scrap my plans and (yet again) hold off on doing any reviews. I’d had a change of heart.
Not about Superstore, though. Fuck Superstore.
If you work in a service industry role – I will always stand with you. (Probably at the register next to yours, LOL). Seriously though, thank you. I would never hesitate to shake your (sanitized) hand in gratitude for the BS you tolerate and all the discount codes you provide me even when I forget the coupon. (I might even even hug you, too! Because let’s face it—punching bags are probably pretty cushiony and great for hugging).
It’s 2022 now. If you’re reading this, I’m happy you’ve survived. Many haven’t.
But I write about toilets, damnit. This site is designed to help you decide where to take a number 2—not a SARS-CoV-2.
The Latrine Scene is happy to take your pandemic-related questions, comments and concerns, and immediately flush them right down the proverbial toilet.
For everyone else: If you can’t keep your bathrooms clean this far into our newly formed dystopian hellscape timeline, that’s on YOU. You’ve had plenty of time to get your shit together; and so have I.
Now that things are (mostly) normal again, and society is only partially backwards, I think it’s time to return to the stalls. (But don’t expect much. I’m even more lazy these days and aging like milk).
I also promise not to be such a creep this time.
I’ll now conclude this post with one of the very few existing photos I have of that birthday dinner I was talking about earlier. (Thank you, friends ❥)
Looking back now, that cake was eerily ahead of it’s time—at least in spirit:
Thanks for reading this crap.