A Guide to Proper Etiquette in the Men's Restroom

Ever since man crawled out of the primordial ooze, he has built himself structures to contain the processes of bodily waste removal. These have been known as "restrooms," "bathrooms," "outhouses," "commodes," "men's rooms," and several other names. As with any exclusive organization, wholy half the human race aren't allowed through the door, and a number of exceedingly complicated customs have arisen to maintain a sense of order and dignity.

General rules

1. Don't talk to somebody you don't know. You may chat quietly with an acquaintance, but must absolutely not call attention to yourself.

2. A quick glance in the mirror is permissable, but absolutely don't spend a significant time arranging hair, clothing, etc. Zit popping is only permissable after checking to see nobody else is around.

3. No profanity of any kind. This is reserved for locker rooms, only.

4. If you must wait, form a single-file line, ragged, and be sure to keep looking around. Read grafitti.

Grafitti rules

5. All grafitti is anonymous. If there's any chance somebody can trace your grafitti back to you, don't do it.

6. Writing grafitti in the open section of the bathroom is only acceptable if nobody can see you. Writing in the stalls is similarly acceptable.

7. If the bathroom is sufficiently public, feel free to insult different ethnic/racial/sexual groups. If the bathroom is used by a small few, restraint comments to amusing anecdotes or chit-chat about secretaries. If visiting dignitaries from other companies or the government may tend to use the bathroom, grafitti is forbidden. (see disclaimer)

8. Traditionally, all pictures feature women in various states of undress. Modern standards often include portions of male anatomy, discretely placed. Homosexual grafitti is generally frowned upon but is gaining popularity.

9. Pictures must only be drawn in toilet stalls.

10. Any sufficiently interesting graffiti will be painted over by the management of the bathroom.

Urinal rules

11. Given a string of unoccupied urinals, you must choose one on the outside. When one outside urinal is occupied, use the other side, then middle. Avoid standing directly next to somebody at all costs. For example, given seven urinals, here are acceptable configurations:

            X......    (X == occupied, . == empty)
            XXX.X.X  <--- These are only acceptable when significant
            XXX.XXX  <--- "privacy" dividers are available.  If the
            XXXXXXX  <--- urinals aren't divided, use a toilet.

12. Always look at the wall. Looking down means you're obsessed or don't know what you're doing. Looking at other people is threatening.

13. Flushing is optional. Over time, the water will become a rich orange. At this point, flushing is mandatory.

14. Don't start unzipping until you're protected by the privacy of the urinal. Don't step back until you've closed your pants again.

Toilet rules

15. Reduce noise at all costs. Grunting is not acceptable.

16. Always flush.

17. When you find an unflushed toilet, leave it alone and use another.

Special cases

18. Some university dormitories have co-ed bathrooms. New rules apply for dealing with the females.

19. Port-O-Let's and similar constructions are evil. Use them only if absolutely no other option is available.

20. In the woods, far from civilization, restrooms typically aren't available. Get behind sufficient growth that you are completely invisible to the remainder of your party, before you begin. Check carefully that you aren't near any sort of animal or insect den. Ants are especially bad. If you forgot toilet paper, bring a leaf identifying guide. Poison oak makes a poor substitute.

I got this useful set of rules from somewhere in 1990.