Hissy Fit - March 2022 - Nature’s Calling: Better Flush

...because everyone needs one every once in awhile


March 2022
by Elizabeth Skenes Millen 

Ladies, I love you, but we have a problem—how nasty women become in public restrooms. As the final story in this month’s #Nature’sCalling issue, this Hissy Fit is going to get down
and dirty about when nature really calls.


I don’t get it at all. I was recently at a Ducks Unlimited Banquet and the ladies bathroom had signs posted all over it: Please flush after use. Who needs this notice? Do you need a reminder to flush the toilet after you have done your business, because I don’t. I’ve known—and followed—this rule since the day I was potty trained. In fact, it’s a rule I have no desire to break. I may have wanted to smoke in the bathroom at school in the 10th grade, but I’ve never not wanted to flush the toilet. Nor have I ever thought it was just too monumental a task. Gee, I would flush the toilet if I just weren’t so tired. Whatever!

Here is another thing that annoys me: Wads of toilet paper on the floor. Who put it there and didn’t pick it up? Why would someone not clean up after themselves? They are the only ones who know where that toilet paper has been. I have to wonder what that lady’s home looks like. Do they leave wads of toilet paper on the floor and never flush the toilet? Or is it just a complete disregard for those workers who have to come in and clean up after them? I don’t know about you, but I am thankful for those people!

Then there is the overflowing of the trash can and those women who keep stacking their paper towels on top. They see them roll to the floor and do nothing about it. The trash is full! Perhaps you could take the clean, though damp, paper towel with you and place it in the garbage outside, and while you’re at, it let someone know about the garbage can. And, don’t even think about flushing that paper towel. You know the rules!

Then there is this: Women tinkle on the seat and leave it! Oh no you didn’t, but unfortunately you did. Find me one person who wants to come in the stall after you when it looks like you sprayed a garden hose on the toilet seat. That’s just gross! Can you not be considerate and wipe up your mess? And, we are not going any further when it comes to talking about mess. If it’s worse, Girl, you better own up and clean up!

And then there is the other Captain Obvious sign that almost every public bathroom still posts: Do not flush sanitary napkins, tampons, disposable diapers, paper towels or any thing other than toilet paper down the toilet. Who doesn’t know this? Who would attempt to flush a Pampers down the toilet, and more importantly, why? What are you thinking, and where is your baby when you are flushing the toilet over and over again until it overflows trying to get that baby diaper to go down? I hope the overflow of water spills onto your shoes and grosses you out because you deserve it. Ladies, we all know none of these things belong in the toilet, so why, why, why does there still have to be notices everywhere? That’s like a notice in your car—Do not put water, soda or whiskey into the gas tank. Well, duh! That’s a given.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I have to assume the majority of women have been taught some kind of restroom protocol and manners from their mothers. When I was little my mother would go with me and clean the rim if it was a nice restroom. She would hold me over the potty if it wasn’t. Then she always flushed (though when you’re little you want to do that part and watch it go down) and then we went out and washed our hands. Never once did we not flush, throw TP on the floor, or throw the paper towel at the trash can instead of in it.

Perhaps if we all had to clean a public toilet just once, we would take more care. The sign on the outside of the door states ladies, not potty pigs, so please act like a lady when you are so privileged to use a bathroom you do not own. Wherever you are—gas station, rest area, restaurant, grocery store— they are kindly providing you with facilities, toilet paper, soap, paper towels or hand dryers, heat or air conditioning depending on the season and lights. In addition, they are paying someone to clean and buying the necessary cleaning supplies. It cost the owner of the public restroom real money for you to use it. Please honor and respect that. It is the most basic of needs, and without the graciousness of businesses opening their facilities to be used, we all would literally be up you-know-what creek without a paddle!

The best sign I’ve seen in a ladies bathroom was in a little sandwich shop in Bryson City, NC. It stated: Please do not flush paper towels, sanitary products, or your hopes and dreams down our toilet! It’s so pleasant to add a little humor for those of us who know better. Indeed, it takes a village to keep a bustling public ladies restroom clean. Just think how wonderful—and respectful—it would be if everyone did their part.