If you follow the news at all, you have heard all the brouhaha, or "brew ha ha" as reality-challenged former baseball dramameister Curt Schilling says, about the biggest problem in the whole world being who gets to go to which bathroom this summer.
Totally ignoring the fact that people have been switching genders since Georgina Washington was elected first female president (you hadn't heard???), people are just certain that goon squads of transgendered toilet trolls are going from store to mall to restaurant, hitting the buttons on the big hot-air hand dryer of society and doing their business just anywhere. It's awful.
And just as the wise person learns not to ask someone if they are pregnant without being very, very sure that the answer will be "yes," it's a good idea not to ask someone in the lavatory at BiSumMor Food Market if they, in fact, have always been a woman, really for sure.
But, listen. Of course there are 1,001 greater problems facing the world than which Tinkletown to use, but I'm a realist, and I expect soon to see the day when all restrooms will be open to all, and women will use men's rooms, and they ought to know a few simple ground rules that all men follow when visiting the throne room.
1 - eyes at shoulder height or above at all times. If you drop your wallet, phone, comb or whatever, too bad. There is no stopping, squatting or kneeling allowed. Eyes straight ahead. No exceptions.
2 - during the "elimination round," it is required that all participants hum or whistle some lighthearted tune, one of own's own device or a Broadway showstopping uptune. For instance, anything by Ethel Merman is perfect. "Some People," from Gypsy, is my go-to air.
3 - if one is "stalling," as we assume women will be loath to use wall-mounted plumbing, it is ok to make a phone call, but expect Wise Willie two doors down to answer your questions and butt in with his thoughts on why Jason keeps forgetting to pick up the kids after soccer.
4 - again, in the stalls, it is sometimes necessary to pass paper products when one "sitting room" is out of Scottissue. It is perfectly fine to reply to the request to pass some over by rolling it into what looks like a cardboard cannoli and tossing it over the wall as long as you shout "incoming" as the projectile clears the walls.
5 - there may be times within the sanctity of the water closet that someone experiences an unfortunate passage of wind. Put that person at ease and banish his embarrassment by hollering, "Talk Back Trembling Lips!"
6 - You might see a man make a purchase from a vending machine on the wall, a small latex roll-on device. Again, it's a nice icebreaker to see him hopefully make his purchase, and say, "Old one dried out, eh?"
7 - Always carry a small knife with you, so in case they just installed a brand-new hot air hand dryer, you can add #4 to the rules for operating the machine (as below):
1- wash hands, shake dry
2 - push button
3 - rub hands briskly in warm air flow
4 - wipe hands on pants.