A broadly accepted rule of male toilet etiquette is “no conversations” or at least keep conversations to a minimum. The reasons behind this should be self-evident. There are situations where I have my penis in my hand and I’m comfortable having a discussion but they are usually more intimate than a public toilet.
I had an experience during lunchtime today at work that illuminated the importance of this rule yet again. Before describing the offending conversation, some background is in order:
I planned to toast a sandwich for my lunch today, using the sandwich press in the communal kitchenette. A cow-orker arrived to do the same thing with his ready-made sandwich as I was still in the process of putting my sandwich together. He was prepared to wait until I had finished but I said not to worry, the sandwich press was big enough for two sandwiches and we should do it at the same time.
My confidence was soon shown to be misplaced, however. He was using thick bread and lots of ingredients that made his sandwich twice the thickness of mine. He put his sandwich in the press and wandered off, then I compared my sandwich and realised I couldn’t toast it properly – the top of the press wouldn’t even touch my sandwich while his monster sandwich was in there.
I decided I might as well wait for his to finish toasting before starting mine. To pass the time I decided to avail myself of the facilities and have a slash. By coincidence, Mr Big Sandwich was in there at the same time and he chose to break the “no talking” rule.
“Great minds think alike,” he says. “Toasting sandwiches at the same time and taking a leak at the same time.”
“Yeah,” I responded, “but I should have gone first because yours is so big mine wouldn’t even touch the sides after you got in there.”
Let me just say this: no amount of explanation is every going to convince the bloke who walked in just as I uttered that sentence that the cow-orker and myself were not recounting some sordid extra-curricular activities.
So once again guys: no talking while standing at the urinal!