Subourbon Mom


Port-o-John Etiquette

potty1We live in a society governed in part by laws of decency. They separate us from the animals and White Supremacists, and people should follow them to keep human grossness down to a tolerable level.

Which brings me to Port-O-John (POJ) etiquette.

Look, I get it – nobody wants to be in the Abyss of Nastiness, much less touch anything. I can remember having to take my kids in them and shrieking “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING!” This usually ended with me holding said kid by the armpits over the hole while they tried unsuccessfully to do their business in the most awkward way possible.

The other night I was at an outdoor concert, and bless her heart, somebody (I’ll call her Chicken Little – explanation below) just did not follow what I consider to be good POJ etiquette. After waiting in the ridiculously long line for the few POJs the women were using (the men were using a POJ trough that was infinitely faster), I finally got to the front of the line and opened the door.

Now Girls, I know our Mamas told us not to touch anything and to line the toilet seat with toilet paper so we wouldn’t get some God-awful disease, or worse, pregnant, but you can’t do that shit in a POJ in the dark.  First and foremost, nobody can tell if you were merely being cautious (hooray for you – Mama would be proud), or if you’re covering up something nasty. Nobody coming in after you can afford to make any assumptions, especially at a concert where there are copious amounts of drunk Millennials.

POtty2When I opened the POJ door, Chicken Little had spread a lot of toilet paper haphazardly about.  Maybe she had attempted to line the seat, and thought the seat was three feet around and crawled up the wall, but there was toilet paper on the floor, on the wall and stuck to the door handle. It looked like a bunch of used Civil War bandages had gotten caught in a time machine.

No way in Hell was I going to even attempt to hover near that mess.

When I brought this up to a couple of friends, there was a surprising variety of opinions about female POJ etiquette.

My friend, I’ll call her Laura, admitted to lining the seat, AND putting extra paper down the hole to prevent splash back.  That was something I hadn’t even thought of…nor have I ever been in a POJ where the contents were so full as to have that issue. So, I deem shoving TP down the hole for that reason is acceptable.  Note to self: don’t travel with Laura.

Another friend asked, “But what if you aren’t physically strong enough to squat?” Well, that’s why they make the Elvis Handles – you know, the places on the door in front of you where you grab on with your hands to help you balance. Note to self:  keep working on squats at the gym.

So here are my Rules for Using the POJ:

  1. NEVER retrieve anything that fell in the hole – seriously, no phone is worth it. Besides, how awesome would it be to call it whenever someone’s in there? Even better, get an old phone and put a funny voicemail message on it.
  2. Leave your phone/drink/purse outside with a friend.  You don’t want to use any of them after being in that Cave of Satan.
  3. If you forget and bring your beer in there with you, don’t leave the bottle/cup in the urinal.  Somebody’s job is to reach in and get it – do your best impression of a man cleaning up dog poo: leave it on the floor and walk away.
  4.  If you must line the seat because you can’t squat or you’re still scared your Mama will find out, it is up to you to put the toilet paper that lined it into the hole when you’re done.  Again, that’s somebody’s job.
  5. Toilet paper is not a sticky note – it has no place on a wall or door handle.
  6. Feminine products: wrap ‘em up like a bad burrito. Nobody wants to look at that.
  7. Banging on the POJ while a friend is in there to scare the crap out of them is perfectly acceptable.
  8. Banging on the POJ when a stranger is in there is still hilarious but you’d better be able to out run them.
  9. Tipping someone over in a POJ is NEVER okay.
  10. Check your shoes for toilet paper – or tell someone if it’s stuck to them (unless it’s your friend and you’re laughing to hard.

4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hilarious! So true and still so funny.

Comment by energywriter

Glad you liked it – sorry I took so long to respond. Been overwhelmed with my actual job. 🙂

Comment by subourbonmom

So very true, tears from laughing so hard.

Comment by lynchburggal70

Just found out another friend who’s short actually perches on top of the seat so she won’t have to touch it.

Comment by subourbonmom




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