BREAKING — second year uses public restroom for the first time - The Cavalier Daily - University of Virginia's Student Newspaper

2022-03-24 03:35:19 By : Ms. Sylvy Leung

‘Twas the night before Monday, when all through Rice Hall

Not a creature was stirring, not even Professor Bloomfield

For ‘twas Superbowl Sunday, when we flock to the screens

To watch people play fetch with a giant almond…

Oh wait, one kid was in the bathroom.

“Hi, I’m Tinky, and I just used a public restroom.” I abandoned my coverage of the halftime show as soon as I got wind of this event. Tinky, second-year College student, had no idea that public restrooms existed for the majority of her life. “I thought those were tiny classrooms,” explained Tinky, who has apparently never ventured outside of Grounds.

Despite her lack of experience with public restrooms, Tinky insisted that she was a certified bathroom expert. “Listen, if anyone’s going to talk about bathrooms, I’ve got the most cred. Believe it or not, I’ve seen my share of bathrooms.” Over the years, Tinky has used a friend’s bathroom, the bathroom in her grandma’s apartment and even her own bathroom. “The difference? Those were all private bathrooms. Today, I went public.”

Tinky pointed out her favorite aspects of the restroom. “I like how they’ve installed more than one sink here.” I can verify that there were not just one, but three sinks.

“Cutting-edge technology blows my mind. Watch this.” I gasped as Tinky swiped her hand under the soap dispenser. Wreee-uh-wreeeh. “Cool noise, huh?”

Tinky had some doubts, too. “I don’t know how I feel about this gap where the stall doors close, but I’m sure there’s a smart reason for it.” Sorry to break it to you, Tinky, but it’s utterly pointless.

“I would’ve given it a higher rating, but I really wanted to see one of those bowls of dried fruit.” Do you mean potpourri, Tinky? “I get snacky sometimes.”

Tinky rated Rice Hall’s bathroom as a nine on the Official Restroom Rating Scale. At an extremely basic level, the Official Restroom Rating Scale is calculated using f(n)/(g*n^{logba}) where a = number of functioning soap dispensers, b = number of germs, g = acceleration due to gravity, f(n) is a mystery function, and n = number one or number two.

Tinky’s harsh rating made me look at myself in the mirror and consider what makes a public restroom stand out from the rest(rooms). What’s the X factor — the secret sauce — that makes some restrooms go the extra mile?

We must begin by discussing airports, prime examples of public restrooms at their finest. Some airports must spend their entire budget on bathrooms. I’ve experienced the same phenomenon many times — I wander into a public bathroom after an overnight flight and find myself inside of a dream. The fluorescent lights, the marble walls, the shiny mosaics, the wide sink basins, the spa music — it all makes me feel I should be carrying a briefcase. The one thing that makes it all come crashing down — peering into the infinite reflections of my bloodshot eyes in two giant mirrors facing each other.

If a restroom can’t achieve briefcase status, it tries to compensate with personality. For example, restaurants often label their bathrooms with “clever” signs. “Haha, look, that’s clever,” remarked a group of tourists as they passed by bathrooms labeled “Chicks” and “Dudes” in a beach-themed restaurant. I wanted to scream at them, “really? Is it really that clever?” Instead, I laughed and shoved down my burning rage. On a more serious note, it might actually be a clever idea to label bathrooms with non-discriminatory signs.

Perhaps the X factor is not about fancy sinks or clever signs. Maybe it is something one must discover on their own. It might require taking a quiet moment to stop and smell the soap-scented soap. In the wise words of Tinky, “It’s the tiny details that make the difference between a bathroom and a restroom.” With that, I encourage you to use your voice and nominate a public restroom for this year’s America’s Best Restroom Award.

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