The Echo

Types of Bathroom Users

The bathroom is nothing short of a cultural backbone of the high school environment, so to fully understand this critical aspect of the high school experience, it becomes necessary to take a closer look at the various types of bathroom users.

Jonathan Tenenbaum, Staff Writer

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Ah, the bathroom. The loo. The water closet. The porcelain throne. The lavatory. The privy. The latrine. Whatever you may call it, you know this place of discussion, respite, and rejuvenation. The bathroom is crucial to high school culture, with its hordes of students packing in to chat mid-class, transforming the washroom into a tile-walled pantheon of fruitful discussion and debate among teen intellectuals to the tune of the ivory fountains that are the urinals’ gentle splashing. It inspires a strange kind of admiration—maybe because of its endless, alabaster sea of paper towels thrown on the floor rather than in the trash, a symbol of rebellion, revolt, and individualism. Or even the blue stalls against the white walls, creating a breathtaking color palette only comparable to the clustered homes of Santorini overlooking the Aegean. Perhaps it’s the clouds of vapor, filling the room with a mirage-like haze and a smell hinted with tones of Ridiculous Flavor Blue Voodoo E-Juice™ and maybe the lightest touch of Apollo Not-Cho Cheese Fauxritos Vape Juice™ with Cloud Check Cheesecake Supreme™. Whatever it may be, there are many different types of bathroom users, and through some up-close analysis, I set out to identify these bathroom user types that make up the men’s bathroom ecosystem:

1. Mr. Smokestack is an infamous restroom user that can be found at anytime of day and at any bathroom. Smokestack can often be found among friends, fellow partakers in this ancient high school tradition. Much like the Native American tobacco ceremony, a custom that has endured through years of peace treaties among tribes, colonizing forces, and explorers alike, bathroom users of this type come from far and wide, from the Language to the Mathematics wing, to establish trusting relationships, cool their nerves, and simultaneously destroy their lungs.

2. Mr. Too-Close-for-Comfort is a bathroom attendee liked by few and feared by all. Too-Close-for-Comfort’s etiquette was crafted within the forges of primitive necessity, when survivors of the harsh winter would huddle in masses and take any opportunity to gain warmth, despite awkward interactions, and when cavemen would display their trust by moving closer to one another’s rock-pile. Mr. Too-Close-for-Comfort finds pleasure in situating himself in the adjacent urinal to a fellow user, often brushing shoulders and avoiding eye contact at all costs. This bold decision begs the question: Why are there five urinals if huddling up is so enjoyable and not awkward at all?

3. Mr. Vanity is a sight to behold. Placing himself in front of the mirror, he molds and shapes his hair with the utmost attention and care. Touching the water faucet for precise hairdo detailing, pulling out a series of increasingly fine-toothed combs, and moving up and down the length of the mirror to soak in all available angles. Bathroom lighting has never looked so flattering!

4. Mr. Plugged-In is a strange specimen. Straight out of Black Mirror, Mr. Plugged-In won’t miss a second away from his cellular device, swiping and scrolling away… even at the urinal—yes, you heard me right. Resting his hands upon the grimy surface atop the urinal, he seems truly at home. Again a question must be asked: What could be that urgent? Just do your business and then check the phone, but maybe that’s just me. Maybe not everybody can be quite as efficient as Mr. Plugged-In.

5. Mr. The-World-is-My-Trash-Can dodges the designated wastebasket like an occupied stall. He shoves water bottles, used Juul pods, and assorted trash into every crevice of the restroom; at times it’s almost impressive. In the cracks of the stall walls, filling up the urinal, wedged between the mirror and wall, and, famously, covering the tiled floor in a blanket of napkins. Mr. The-World-is-My-Trash-Can is worlds away from clean, but, hey, at least he keeps the trash can unused and tidy.

6. Mr. Eyes-a-Roamin’ violates one of the bathroom’s most holy regulations: at which hour thee useth the urinal, behold not anywh’re but up ‘r straight ahead. Mr. Eyes-a-Roaminlikes to take a optical stroll, making fellow urinal users wildly uncomfortable as he stares at them mid-urination. Do you stare back? Look straight ahead? Say something? You race for answers as he burns his searing glare into your peripheral, Mr. Eyes-a-Roamin’ is nothing short of a madman.

7. Mr. Law Enforcement is literally a police officer. He’ll stop by every once in a while to make sure no anti-smoking or vaping policies are violated. Equipped with super stealth techniques, he ducks behind the bend of the bathroom wall to catch the unsuspecting Mr. Smokestack and company, but more often than not he’ll just chat with students while they feign crouching to smoke to playfully mess with him.

So, whichever bathroom user you might be, or maybe just an observer in the cultural hub that is the bathroom, it’s hard to deny the vital role the restroom plays in the school ecosystem. As these words slowly fades into the midst of bathroom smoke, consider the types of bathroom users as a method of identification and improvement. And please remember, above all, to wash your hands.

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About the Writer
Jonathan Tenenbaum, Staff Writer

Jonathan Tenenbaum ('21) is a Staff Writer for The Echo. He enjoys writing about pop culture, student life, and exploring politics as a teenage independent....

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Types of Bathroom Users