The right cubicle

Have you ever entered a public bathroom and wondered how your life turned into such a dismal failure? Well, too bad, I don’t care – I’m just here to give you advice on which cubicle to choose. It’ll literally give you direction, so you know, it might help.

1: Assess the numbers
In the bathroom I use most frequently to ponder my mistakes in life, there are four cubicles. Of course, it  follows that, should all four cubicles be occupied, you’re not going to be able to sit down and reflect on what might have been if you’d better written that selection criteria any time soon. Now, the big question in the case that all cubicles are occupied is: should you wait in the toilet or leave and try your luck again in an hour or so? This depends on how long other regretful individuals are likely to take in their respective cubicles, which is, as far as I can tell, a constant across the public service, and the number of cubicles in the toilet itself, which is the key variable. If I were the only person waiting, and there are seven or more cubicles, I would sit it out. As for my frequented toilet, I tend to leave – four cubicles is far too few and if you start thinking about your losses in life with a glazed expression whilst standing you might seem a little creepy to the next person that leaves. However, if there are any spare cubicles, you can advance to the next step.

2: Survey the layout
There are three major cubicle attributes which I consider whilst simultaneously wondering why I didn’t put as much effort as this into that thesis which could have guaranteed me a place in postgrad research:
-Distance to the exit;
-Number of shared walls with other cubicles;
-Proximity to an exhaust.
The first point is fairly straightforward – walking time within a public toilet is time not spent thinking about your friends’ superior achievements – the less time spent on it the better. The second point is similarly simple; shit literally happens here, and you don’t want the fact that your two cubicle neighbours each had a particularly good kebab to distract you from your parents’ constant reminders that your achievements are quite underwhelming given you used to be amazing in school – halving your cubicle neighbour count halves the chances of that happening. The last point, however, is rather interesting and related to the second point. See, intuitively, you might want to be near the exhaust, as the fumes from your literal and metaphorical excrements of failure would be removed here, right? Well, yes, but, so is everyone else’s. What’s actually going to happen is that the fumes of everyone in the toilet will be funnelled towards your cubicle. Therefore, stay away from exhaust areas, like windows.

3: Safety checks
Once you have selected your optimal cubicle, safety considerations are mandatory:
-Cleanliness of the cistern;
-Contents of the cistern;
-Remaining amount of toilet paper;
-Abundance of reading material.
The first two points are, again, fairly straightforward. Your life is already shit, you don’t need other people to add their own to it. However, if your selected cubicle fails these two points, check if they can be remedied using toilet paper and a simple flush; unlike your life, a cistern can still have a fresh new start. This underlines the third point, though – you really do need toilet paper, unfortunately. As farcical as toilet visits may be, chances are, you still probably do need to actually use its intended function. The last point, though, is a double-edged sword. See, some of the most entertaining reading I’ve had (well, at least prior to my introduction to internet forums) were on public toilet walls. It could be a hugely uplifting experience. On the other hand, though, is that what you really came for? Don’t risk breaking your wallowing despair about that assignment result which started you on your descent by laughing at a racist message about petrol sniffing. Plus, if you end up laughing out loud, your cubicle neighbours might think you’re a freak.

Anyway, I just look at memes and play games on my phone when I’m in a public toilet.

-Z

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