08 April 2009

washing hands and the irrational order of the men's restroom

We have an issue, people. There are all kinds of irrational behaviors in the world, but two particularly egregious examples have gone on unreported for too long and both take place in the men’s restroom.

Today, we address the male hand-washing pattern in the restroom. Tomorrow, we address the folks who exit the bathroom door using paper towels to grab the handle. This is a free-flowing blog-entry that may touch on mature subjects. You have been warned.

So, what is the deal with the way we’ve been taught to wash our hands as men in the restroom? I think we have it all wrong and can only explain by highlighting a few of the details of a man’s typical day.

Man wakes up.

Man showers, washing all body parts.

Man goes to work, holding various things, pressing various buttons, and touching various surfaces with his hands.

Man drinks coffee.

Man goes to use the restroom.

Man uses restroom*.

Man washes hands.

Man dries hands.

Man goes back to work.

Now, follow me here. Wouldn’t it make sense for a man to wash his hands before using the restroom? I mean, his hands are the dirty appendages at this point right? So why do we wash the hands after addressing a clean area of the body with dirty hands? If we washed our hands before addressing that (still-clean-from-the-morning-shower) specific area of the body, wouldn’t we leave the restroom with perfect cleanliness?

Somebody help me out here…

* - Only applies to usage involving “#1”. Other types of usage change the equation for obvious reasons.


  1. Ummm....without getting too specific; there are certain neccessary activities that a female does where the instructions specify washing hands BEFORE following through. So because of this your conjecture makes complete sense. So does that mean washing hands before AND after bathroom breaks??? If the answer is yes than that means dry hands!!! Make sure to have lotion at your desk:)

  2. that is hilarious, kerrie. and very delicate. nicely done.

    we may need you to develop a guest-blog-entry where you can educate the female readers. :)


  3. …it is also very interesting to notice that in a three urinal bathroom, it is “guy code” to pick the end urinal if you are the only one in the bathroom, to pick the opposite end if someone is at one of the urinals, and if god forbid the two end urinals are used, you fix your hair, wash hands, etc….and wait for an end urinal to free up. This of course only applies to bathrooms without heavy traffic, and at sports events all bets are off (then again after several budweisers you are free to play swords with your neighbor).

  4. I think bacterial growth is definitely something to be mindful of in dank, dark, nether regions. Thus, I don't think the squeaky clean thingy will be squeaky clean after sitting curled up in the dungeon cellar for too long. Just sayin'.

  5. forgot about bacteria.

    like that seinfeld episode - pimple popper md? skin cancer?