Now that I have successfully transitioned from working a full-time job to being a (participation) trophy husband, I have taken on a much larger domestic role.
And believe it or not, I take great pride in keeping the bathrooms in our house sparkling clean. In fact – as weird as it sounds – it has become my favorite household task, one that I do almost every day and take very, very seriously.
I like to think of it as a domestic superpower and myself as a crime fighter.
Or maybe a grime fighter; I won’t quibble over labels.
And as long as you stay on top of the “facility situation” it never has to get disgusting, like when bathrooms start to look like what I call “gas station toilets.”
That description should be self-explanatory but, if not, imagine walking into what appears to be a crime scene that smells of urine, rotten opossum and desperation.
Throw in fecal matter that has been randomly distributed throughout the facility and a condom machine, and the picture is complete.
(It should be noted that some gas stations bathrooms are well-maintained and I salute those fearless souls who make it so. The worst ones are often the “Mom and Pop” variety found on secondary roads – the establishments where you have to ask an attendant for a key that’s attached to a large board with a “Keep On Truckin’” sticker on it).
The worst I’ve ever encountered was on a back road while I traveling from Greenville, South Carolina, to Augusta, Georgia.
I was low on gas and felt the need to get a delicious and nutritious bag of potato chips, and I came upon an old convenience store.
As is my custom, I always take the opportunity to make the bladder gladder on any travel stop, especially since my bladder is, apparently, the size of a peanut. So, after gassing up and securing chips, I asked the attendant where the restroom was.
“It’s out back,” he said. “But the lock don’t work.”
That was fine with me; all I was planning was a splash and go, anyway.
But once I pushed open the door, what I saw can never be unseen.
This bathroom looked as though it had – quite literally – never been cleaned.
The sheer smell was overwhelming, and it became obvious that over time dudes stopped even trying to aim when they peed.
As for what was in the toilet, the better question is, what was not?
If it could be expelled from a body, it had been expelled here, and over time the unholy union of various forms of human waste had created what I call Excreta Maxima – a sewage super villain.
I have a relatively strong stomach, but this triggered my gag reflex big-time and there was no way in hell I was going to venture any further into this house of horrors.
I ran to my car – I’m pretty sure I was crying – and as I drove away I vowed to never, ever allow any bathroom in any house I live in to be anything but pristine.
Just as Batman swore vengeance against all criminals and Spider-Man protects the “little guy,” I shall forever battle the forces of poo.
So if you ever come to my home and need to use the facilities, you’ll be treated to shiny fixtures, fresh-smelling towels and a chamber pot as clean as any you’ve ever seen.
This is my mission.
This is my promise.
I am … Toilet Man.