A Tale of Two Toilets

The private, tenants-only bathroom in the office building where I work is an endless source of fascination for me. It’s like a tiny experiment in human behavior. Since the bathroom consists of only a toilet, a urinal, and a sink, and has a locking door, people seem to do things in there that they normally wouldn’t do in a public bathroom.

I know that sounds bad, but it’s really quite interesting. For example, today I walked into the bathroom and found that someone had left the toilet seat up. Normally, this would not be unusual, except that there is a perfectly functional urinal a mere three feet from the toilet. It’s a one-person bathroom and the quarters are way too close for two people to comfortably coexist in there, so it’s not as if the urinal was occupied. What in the world could have driven some poor man to go to the trouble of lifting a toilet seat before peeing, when he could much more easily have simply peed in the urinal?

I imagine it must have happened something like this:

(man walks into bathroom, heads for urinal)
Toilet: Ahem.
Man: (looks around in confusion, pants half-unzipped)
Toilet: Over here.
Man: What the hell?
Toilet: Yes, exactly. What the hell? Why are you using that urinal when you could be using me?
Man: Um.
Toilet: Am I not good enough for you? Am I not sparkling clean? Is my water not pure and fresh? Is my bowl not ready and willing to accept your foul offal?
Man: I…
Toilet: Look at that urinal. So ugly, so plain, so limited. Not only do I offer you a comfortable place to sit and rest, I am also capable of disposing of both liquid and solid waste in a clean and sanitary manner! I am a technological marvel!
Man: But…
Toilet: Look, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “But I only have to pee.” Well let me tell you something, my boy, have I got a surprise for you! I am so flexibly designed that, with a minimum of effort, I can be reconfigured to accept your liquid waste while you sit or while you stand!
Man: Well…
Toilet: I’ve had enough of your insolence! Unhand that foul urinal and pee in me, or else!

I feel sorry for the poor guy, whoever he was.