I am always flabbergasted by the ubiquitous restroom sign:
“Please do not flush feminine products down the toilet. They will clog the plumbing.
Use the receptacle provided. Thank you.”
I mean, really? Every time, I wonder, who are the morons who don’t know this? Do they have plumbed toilets in their own home or do they have an outhouse? How do you get to be old enough to actually need a tampon, yet simultaneously not know that flushing it down the commode will cause a back-up of sewage for which you will be eternally sorry?
Recently, I had the misfortune of having a dead dryer (first world problem, I know), and after doing the washing at home, I ventured into a laundromat, for the first time in decades, in order to dry the clothes.
Here are some observations that I made:
#1: I am continually stunned by the near pygmy-size of Mexican families. Dad is 5’ tall, Mom is 4’5” and the kids, who are probably in middle school, aren’t cracking the 4’ ceiling. If they don’t start mixing with some taller races, three generations from now, they are going to be like the children in “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.”
#2: Apparently, people who don’t own washers and dryers need a lot of instructional help. Here are some of the signs, both computer-generated and hand-written, that I saw in two different facilities that I frequented:
“No Loitering.” – Okay, that is an obvious one. But really, who wants to loiter in the saddest place on earth?
“Do Not Slam the Machine Door.” – Okay, I don’t know why some psychopath would be violent with the machines, but that seems like a reasonable request.
“No children allowed, without parent, during school hours.” – Good one. I mean, first of all, if you are skipping school, how pathetic are you that you spend the day at the laundromat? Aren’t there some parks or drainage culverts you can hang out in? And if you are with your parent during school hours, you’d better be showing flu-like symptoms, in which case, you need to get your butt to a doctor and stop infecting the rest of us who just trying to dry a few towels.
“Not responsible for lost or stolen items.” – Pretty standard.
“Bathroom for customers only.” – Another classic.
“Do not allow children to ride in laundry carts.” – Seems reasonable.
“The change machine is for customers only. If you are not a customer, get your change somewhere else.” – Wow. A bit aggressive, but I get it. Don’t use our facilities if you are not a customer; basic common courtesy.
“Empty machine promptly.” – Another common courtesy.
“This building is under surveillance.” – Yeah, whose isn’t these days?
And last but not least, my very favorite, the most elaborate set of instructions for using the toilet ever:
(In a unisex bathroom) “If you are a male, please lower the toilet seat after using. If you are a female, please raise the toilet seat after using.” Okay, first of all, down is the universally accepted starting position for a toilet seat. This means if you need it up, you would be the one to raise it and then return it to its original position.
Second, if, as a woman, I am expected to raise it after using, how do we know a man will follow? Perhaps another woman is next, but if I follow the instructions, she will have to lower the seat, yet if she follows the instructions, she will have to wait for a man to do it for her. This sign is trying to impose courtesy, which I admire, but on the false assumption that we are alternating genders on our trips to the bathroom.
I think laundromats are ground zero for the idea that we are taking the “nanny state” too far. Good Lord, how can I get through my day without someone telling me how to dispose of my panty liner, keep my kid in school and/or not endanger them in laundry carts, be responsible for my personal items, be gentle with the machines and don’t pee on the toilet seat?
Thankfully, my dryer is now working, but if I ever forget how to act like a civilized, responsible adult, I will visit my nearest laundromat to read the signs.