We have become, quite literally, a nation of slobs. In our easy, “use-it-once-on-the-run” lifestyles, everything from doughnuts to underwear is packaged in a “to-go” or “one-use” manner. We eagerly consume, use and wear things dear to our hearts paying scant attention to the holder of these things–the packaging, which quite often is larger than the product. So as we run hither thither tearing open T-shirts and taco chips, popping open bottles and beers and thoughtlessly disposing of “disposables;” we blithely distribute detritus throughout the land.
On a recent road trip, I had the opportunity to visit our state-operated rest stops. Stopping to rest my eyes and relieve my bladder, I got the opportunity for a real “drop it” look at our litter-leaving way of life. The ladies bathrooms were appalling! Paper products, plastic products and other products littered the floors.
Is there an energy crunch going on in the movement of the human hand, demanding that toilet tissue be dropped where used rather than find its way beneath a bottom; and paper towels lie sodden a foot from trash bins? I won’t even address the bottles and cans and other very suspicious items decorating the corners of these rooms.
Having given public bathroom engineering some thought, I realize that toilet-technology people have now redesigned bathroom couture in an attempt to counteract our garbage-strewing proclivities. Toilets now flush automatically. This scared the hell out of me the first time it happened. “What the flush?” It is now clear that because women seem to not be able to manage the handle-tipping action required to actually “flush” a toilet, they have been designed to do it for you. And though I hate those hot-air hand drying thingies, they now make perfect trash-prevention sense as I hand-dry my clean fingers on the seat of my jeans.
I did not venture into the men’s pit stop at any of these “sanitary” facilities, but my travel partner did tell me that his experience was much the same. So this bathroom-debris-dropping behavior is not exclusive to the fairer sex. And, yes, ladies, I was assured that urinals automatically evacuate as well! Wonder what kind of jump that gives our guys as they do a shake-a-leg or two?
After this experience, I spoke with people and did some “unofficial” research, as is my wont when preparing to write an article. Some people thought that this blatant carelessness was caused by a belief that “others” were there to pick up after us as we travel. Some thought that people were lazy. Some thought that it was okay. Some wondered why I wanted to know. And, one nice lady said, “Don’t worry about it, dear, it will give you more wrinkles.”
As I have pondered the slobby-bathroom issue a bit more, another very interesting idea has made its way to my consciousness. There actually is a totally-free, no-conditions nor added-expense mode of butt-reduction and belly-slimming exercise to be had here. If we all made it a point to bend (or squat) down and pick up some of this junk we would be getting a physical workout along with some good muscle-strengthening stretches.
Think about it. Bathrooms beautiful and bottoms beautiful all at the same time!