Keep Your Coat Off Public Restroom Floors, Please.

What I saw...sort of.

Last week here in the book store, I was in the restroom washing my hands–scrub 20 seconds, kids!– when I glanced to my left and saw that someone was in the nearest of two toilet stalls. He wore dirty white Reeboks, the kind I would have loved in the early 90s. Big deal, right? Well, the guy had his coat on the floor in front of him.


As soon as I enter a public restroom (even the “clean” ones) I start walking like the floor is covered with poisonous snakes. I’m up on my tippy toes and I feel myself becoming lighter to lessen the force applied to whatever is on those floors. I weigh 85 pounds in public restrooms, really. I scan the floor right to left, left to right for wet spots, brown spots, weird spots–just…spots! And if there IS a snake in there, I’ll see that too.

What kind of messed up human being puts their coat on the floor 12 inches from a public toilet? Do YOU do this? If I’m offending you, if you’re face is growing red with indignation and you’re thinking: what an ass! This guy doesn’t realize that it’s common to throw your coat down on public restroom floors, then please stop reading because I don’t want you to feel bad. I’m going to continue in my belief that it’s not a common practice.

I washed my hands for a full 40 seconds, twice the necessary time, because I couldn’t take my eyes off that blue coat. My hands were squeaky clean yet I moved them in a circle under the spigot to trigger the sensor. More water, please! I’m still washing here!

I pictured a dirty, dirty man, unshaven, wearing wrinkled pants. Then I looked down at myself, then into the mirror and realized I had just described myself. So I redrew my picture into an even dirtier man, but one with a tiny, tiny head and short, stubby arms. All of a sudden, my anger dissipated because if the guy looked like that I could understand the whole ordeal.

I pumped the towel machine, ripped 18 inches of paper , dried off and looked over there again at those Reeboks. Any empathy had disappeared. I thought: this guy doesn’t have a tiny head; this guy is a sociopath! I’ve been in there, I know there’s a hook on the back of the door; why didn’t this cretin use the gosh darn hook?

I have used the hook. Let’s call it the “keep your coat from touching poo” hook. If–Jesus help me–my coat ever fell from that hook my body would spasm with disgust. I know what goes on in there and I know that this world is full of dirty men with normal sized heads who care not about leaving messes for their cleaner brothers.

Okay, I’m outta here! Obviously, this guy wasn’t going to end his “coat on the floor session” until the room was empty. I used the towel to open the door.  I paused at the water fountain right outside thinking I could hydrate for several minutes and wait to see this guy, but drinking fountains that close to the restrooms freak me out a little, so I just went back to my table and sat down.

Then, whatever groove I had been in before I saw that coat was totally destroyed; I couldn’t concentrate. I sat there a mess, scanning the place for men of all head sizes wearing blue, poo-stained coats and dirty white Reeboks. No luck. I decided that he must have just wandered in off the streets–an escaped lunatic!–and ended up in a bookstore. He probably didn’t know that these rectangular things with scribbles of ink were called “books.”

I hate my mind sometimes.

261 thoughts on “Keep Your Coat Off Public Restroom Floors, Please.

  1. No your mind is fine. When I was in school we did petri dish tests. You know the ones. The restroom at school was filthy, the door handle going OUT! I always use the paper towel I dried my hands on to open the door and throw it away outside of the bathroom. Of course there is never a trash can handy, but hey. I also keep my hand sanitizer with me on my key chain. I dont think people can be too carefull in places where we all poo and pee. I will send you a pair of toe shoes (ballerina pink) to use when you go to the Borders potty room!

    1. Very, very well written. Love the details — the exaggeration of your reaction — the imaginary visuals you created of who this “crazed lunatic” was. It was relatable and cute. 🙂

      And on a deeper note –
      hopefully, this will touch someone,
      and move them,

      to either HANG their coat/ jacket/ hoodie/ dispensable outerwear on a hook at a safe distance from the ground or..

      to just not take it off.
      -Aun Aqui

      1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed it. YEAH, even throw it over the top of the door if a hook is not available. I mean, come on!

  2. I feel like that in public restrooms too!! They are sooo nasty!! If I have a purse and no hook to hang it on, I am doing the balancing act- holding my purse and using the restroom!!

  3. All I have to say is: Ewwwwwwww.

    Thanks for the laugh — and for helping me understand there are people out there with similar minds to my own. I would have proceeded exactly as you did…just out of sheer horror/curiosity!


      1. Neurotic is good, and being nurotic myself, I would normally proceed in exactly the same way, perhaps even, expecting a croc to be sleeping behind the toilet seat. Anytime I spend 10 minutes in a public loo, I would usually spend the first (almost) 3 minutes checking to see that some snake does not jump out at me, and spend the best of 5 minutes while on the job, being extra vigilant, just in case something DOES crawl in… I find your writing therapeutic, because it provides for lighthearted humor, which we all need. Keep your mind active. (can you imagine yourself any other way?)

  4. OMG! That is so disgusting! I cannot believe someone would do that. When the owner of the bar I frequent was doing a remodel I informed him he needed to add hooks on the stall doors for my purse! HE DID! And he didn’t even remodel the bathroom (it had been done the year before).

    Congrats on being freshly pressed 🙂

    1. Well, that’s a thoughtful bar owner right there. Bar bathroom floors can get especially gross. Thanks for commenting!

  5. I’m totally with you here. But I can one up you. I live in Haiti, where men habitually urinate along the side of the sidewalks, even along city street. So I walk in the street. I know this is dangerous, but I’m grossed out by the thought of what I’m walking in.
    Wishing you happy bath-rooming from Port-au-Prince,

  6. I think we were separated at birth.

    I would have totally waited to see who the offender was AND THEN I would probably have had to leave the store if I saw him… I would only be thinking about the things that jumped ON his coat from the floor that would be jumping OFF the coat and all over the store.

    That floor coat placement may be on par with eating in the bathroom. Blech.


      1. And I thought I was the only one so obsessed about cleanliness and hygiene. You know what, that guy probably didn’t wash his hands. If he could leave a coat on the floor, why would be bother washing his hands?

    1. I am so with you on those things jumping off in the store. And whatever and whoever he brushed up against would then have those things!

      And you know if the door handle going out of the bathroom is that nasty as one commentor said… the knob on the water fountain right next to the bathroom probably looks the same under that petri dish!

  7. Nice post! I enjoy your style.

    My particular “Public Toilet hate” is the ones here in the England that are situated near the outside doors of indoor shopping areas. These are the ones that the people I always refer to as “outdoor beer enthusiasts” use to “unburden” themselves in a variety of ways!

    Believe me, some of those make the one you describe seem like a hospital O.R. in comparison!

    Keep up the good work.

    Alfie (

  8. Haha! I try to avoid breathing in public restrooms. Just hearing about a piece of clothing on the FLOOR of a poop-tinted bathroom is enough to make me itch.
    I’m off to wash my hands…maybe with bleach 🙂
    Great/GROSS post & Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    1. Ha Ha, Yeah, I think I hold my breath without even realizing it. Thanks for commenting! Oh and your blog looks interesting, I’m going to check it out.

  9. Listen, your mind is fine! When my sons were little they used the restroom with me ‘The Ladies Room’. Of course as the got older they moved to the room with “MEN” on the outside.

    After the boys first MENroom experience,their father came out of the restroom saying it was embarrassing and questioning my parenting skills because my sons had used only their elbows to open the stall doors and turn on the sink water. Both boys refused to touch the door when exiting. I can still hear their Dad shouting, “If I wasn’t in there to open the door, the boys still be inside.”

    I think I trained them well. The boys are teenagers now and I can only hope my germ phobias and their Dad’s ‘Manly Man” bathroom habits meet half way producing non-public bathroom coat dropping citizens.

    1. Ha Ha Ha. I’ve done the same thing to my daughters. They both now go into the ladies room where I hope they are continuing the stuff I taught them.

  10. This is hilarious!!! You seriously had me laughing out loud.

    I am the same as you. I try to keep my time in public restrooms to an absolute minimum and touch as little as possible. If I enter stalls that are without hooks, I have been known to keep my coat on pulling up the coat tails and holding them under my arms. Bath room floors are icky.

    Excellent post!!!

    1. Thank you, glad it made you laugh. Your blog looks interesting. When I started this blog I wanted to write more about that kind of stuff, issues that are SO important. But when my fingers move, potty humor comes out.

  11. I totally agree! If I’m carrying a coat, I put it on before letting it touch the floor. Even if the restroom was a million degrees (well, maybe not at a million as I would have immediately vaporized in that heat, but you get the idea). I hate when restrooms don’t provide hooks and no those little purse shelves DON’T count! I don’t know what tiny little clutch they’re supposed to hold and that’s just as nasty a surface as the floor. Even the hooks kind of gross me out ever since I read an article saying toilets spray water up to 10 ft when they flush! I hate those auto flushers for exactly that reason. And don’t get me started on people who don’t provide a trashcan near the door or paper towels with which to open it!

    1. You gave me some great topics for future use. Men don’t get any type of shelves (that I’ve noticed). I was once aware of toilet spray, but I guess I have suppressed that foul memory. Thanks for sharing!

      1. The only public bathroom that I’ve felt generally ok in is the Chicago O’Hare Airport. The seats have this plastic thing on the toilet seat that rotates and a new sheet comes on when the flush sensor goes off.
        The only thing that still needs work is the stall door. I say someone invents a new system !

  12. Geez, don’t tell me such people exist. O_o
    I’m kind of a clean-freak too, and oh, how I hate when those hooks are broken at the campus, or even worse, never been there, as the campus building is so friggin old. And with the nice long lady-coats the doorknob is not an option either. Anyway, doorknobs, yuck.

    By the way, I’ve just stumbled upon your blog, and your Brussels sprout post really cracked me up. You might be the only one in your country to eat them, so as I am in mine. Still, you beat me, ’cause Hungary is not a huge country, really. 😀

  13. Oh sick. That is totally disgusting. That’s what the hook is for. I’m not surprised since there are people who actually eat in the bathroom.

    Great post and congrats – even though this subject is totally ruining my baguette. 😉

    1. Eat in the bathroom?! Not public bathrooms, I hope. But then again, the world is full of all kinds. Sorry about the baguette.

  14. Hells no, that is disgusting! I don’t put anything on the floor of a restroom and if that means holding my purse up while I hover over the toilet that so be it. I would rather not touch ANYTHING in a public restroom, and I am not a germophobe in any sense of the word, believe me. Public restrooms just gross me out.

  15. I felt the same way you did until I visited my first squat toilet. Those are the ones that are just a hole in the ground that you squat over to do your business. People ALWAYS miss in those. There is no way to avoid getting it on the bottom of your shoes. And when you think about it, whatever is on your shoes in there gets tracked out wherever you go next. (and this is true of your non-squat toilet bathrooms as well.) Following that to the next logical step, other people are also standing in poo and pee (dog, cat, human) and tracking that wherever they go next.

    Think about it, some people put their feet up on the seats on a public bus after standing in pee or poo…

    I understand your disgust at putting anything on the bathroom floor. I would never do that either. I guess I am just saying that we have to try not to think about it too hard, or we will all end up wearing bubble suits and afraid to leave the house.

    1. Thoughtful! I agree. I’m trying to enforce a “take your shoes off at the door” rule at home because I’ve thought too much about this topic. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I can’t imagine the type person (over the age of 8 or so) who would leave their jacket on the floor of a public restroom. 3 second rule – it must be trashed after that. That being said, I was reading this post thinking how fun it would be to mess with you and your germophobia. Just a little!!! Nothing bad! Is that mean of me? That’s mean of me, isn’t it? I take it back. *slap hand*

    1. It should be a law…adequate hooks in public restrooms. I wouldn’t mind a shelf or two as well. Thanks for commenting!

    1. lol. I’m curious about people, but I don’t like to engage. Loved your “Finding Porn in the Silliest of Places.”

  17. Ewwww is right! That’s what they have hooks for. And if they don’t have hooks then just hold on to it. I don’t even like walking in the stalls because sometimes it’s sticky. They should have those things like at the petting zoo where you wipe your feet in that wet floorboard thing. I don’t know what you call it. Because I work in a store and have to use the public restroom once a day you find yourself doing certain things. After you dry your hands you use the paper towel to open the door then toss the paper towel. When using the toilet paper I always tear off the first piece and toss it because the person before me probably held on to it to tear it off and I don’t want to use their germs when wiping…haha. Sorry even that sounded gross. I’m not even a germaphobe (sp?) but there just habit things I do. I love the description of your title BTW. Great post!!

    1. Ha. Ya know, I have never thought about tossing the first square of toilet paper, but now, thanks to your warnings, I will be. Since I drink coffee while I write I find myself visiting the book store restroom about three times in three hours. Eeek! Thanks for commenting!

  18. This was so totally hilarious to me! It’s nice to know there are men out there that get just as freaked out in public restrooms as most women I know. I feel the same way when I see a woman’s big tote bag or purse sitting right in the middle of the stall close to the door. Then, I think maybe she put it there so everyone will see the stall is occupied and no one accidentally opens the door while she’s in a very delicate, compromising position. (Couldn’t she just sing or hum something, make fake sneezing noises…something?!)


  19. excellent detail on the horror and shock experienced in a public restroom. GRODY TO THE MAX! I’ve balanced a backpack, purse and coat in an airport restroom just to avoid touching anything .. couldn’t get out of there fast enough, or wash long enough. Great post!

    congrats on being fresh pressed, too 🙂 MJ

      1. au contraire .. just desparate and a bit of a contortionist! I put the coat & backpack on and then slung the purse around my neck, tucking it into my shirt! Oh the lengths we will go .. 🙂

  20. Wonderful post! I’ve been in a similar situation and it’s one of horrifying experiences you never forget (as hard as you may try). I would have never thought to write about it. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Reading this post made me realize I’m not the most anal person in the world. So thank you for that. I agree, laying a coat on the floor of a public washroom is absolutely disgusting. I can’t stand it when I step into a stall with a missing hook – are we supposed to do our business with our bags and coats on our laps?

    1. From the comments, yes, it seems many do balance a bunch of stuff on their laps while they do their business.

  22. Stranger habits are always intriguing. Who would put their coat on the floor and why? Hmmmm….
    Clean shoe fetish?
    I persoanlly practice and preach the helicopter technique to my tribe of younguns.
    Though at home I have noticed that the 5 second rule for 18 month old Hoo is “as long as it didn’t fall in to the toilet rule” gross but true.
    Thanks for the laugh and (gulp) food for thought.

  23. Yeah, being a girl, there’s even more ninja tactics when entering a public bathroom. I never sit on a public toilet seat. I put everything on the door and I use towels for the doors too. I keep washing my hands, gotta keep washing your hands…


  25. He He….:) I thought it was only me who had a toilet fettish. My bugbear is…you wash your hands then you have to use the germy door handle to get out of the washroom.

    Have yout tried Turkish Loos? I was forced to use one in Lyon.

    Congrats on being “Freshly Pressed”

    Kind regards,

    1. You have never seen two people no make that three with more of a toilet fear than me, my mom and my daughter. We will do almost anything not to use a public toilet. That does make travel a little difficult.

  26. Clearly he needs to read the various women’s magazines that publish stats 2-3 times a year about how GROSS your purse gets after resting on the bathroom floor.

    At least though, even if this man wasn’t using it, this bathroom has hooks. I wish this were true of all bathrooms. Especially bathrooms in gas stations.

    1. Ewwww, gas station bathrooms are usually scary. I don’t read those mags, but I’m still fairly knowledgeable about the grossness. Thanks for sharing!

  27. Every time some doctor is quoted in an article or on tv as saying that we are all too paranoid about public restrooms, I seriously doubt that they have ever been in one. I have also witnessed what you’ve written about here, and my jaw would have dropped if I hadn’t been standing in a public restroom.

  28. Oh-my-gosh that’s hilarious! And disgusting. My husband asked me awhile ago (because he’d just read some article) if I set my purse on the floor in public restrooms.. I was all “Eeewww sick! Are you kidding me?? I would never ever ever do that!! Ick!!” I was kind of offended that he’d even question that I might!! (oh, and I am also in your ‘don’t use the fountain near the restroom’ club …shudder….)

  29. Oh stop! No, you don’t, this was hilarious. I especially liked the question “What kind of messed up human being puts their coat on the floor 12 inches from a public toilet?

    Congrats on being fresh pressed!!

  30. It’s best you didn’t find him. He would have had poopy fingers, too. People who toss their coats on stall floors probably don’t wash their hands after doing the deed, either.

    You do seem a little squeamish, though. You probably ought to allow yourself to get a little dirty (not poop!) every now and again. Start with dry dirt, then a little mud. It’s good for your immune system, too.

    Thanks for the fun read!

    –the Gassy Guy

  31. I hope I’m not breaking the female code of silence, but many of us have seen, under the door of the handicapped stall, a BABY lying on the floor. You’re dancing up and down in disgust at the thought, I’m sure, but what are you supposed to do with them if you gotta go, or they need a change?

    What disgusts me, is you can’t make a “clean” getaway now that so many places have done away with paper towels. Um, I actually did a post on that topic last week, by the way. Called “To Serve Man”. Just FYI. Not a plug or anything so blatantly self-promoting.

    (Congrats on being FP!)

    1. A baby on the restroom floor!!!!!!!!!!! Oh I know that I would probably call DSS right then after I finished throwing up. Would a normal human actually do that to a baby?!

  32. Same here! that is if I will even go into a public restoom. I will go to great lengths not too. I see people touching all parts of it! It makes me gag. I was with a young child once who after washeing her hands leaned on the trash can! and then sat one the floor. I about had a stroke. I am a germaphobe and proud of it. Anyone with any sense is.

    1. linda:
      I don’t think everybody needs to be a “germophobe” because being exposed to germs is healthy and builds our immune systems. However, public restrooms are completely disgusting and unsanitary – sitting on the floor?! YUCK!

  33. That was just nasty and I don’t blame you for feeling like you did. I always try and have feelings for other people but people that do sick stuff like this…FORGET ABOUT IT!

  34. Oh and just imagine working in a huge wareshouse. I could tell you some horror stories but I had better not. Still trying to blot out those memories myself. Some people acutally stood on the toilets! Yes I now know why but damn someone really could have explained to them how it works here. I’m sure I said more than my share of really loud really bad things during bathroom breaks when I worked there.

  35. Oh my goodness that is awful! I hardly want to let my SHOES touch the floor, let alone any of my belongings! WHY would anybody even think to set their coat on the floor of a public restroom? I don’t like touching the door, the sink, the door to the stall, the toilet handle, anything.

    I kind of have a small phobia of any type of public bathroom and I can’t even imagine that.

  36. I also dislike public toilets. When I go on trips, I always eat very little, chew gum and mainly just cater to thirstiness. If I am forced to go, I do the hover and also try to balance my bag. My bag is usually a big one as I tend to carry my digital SLR camera in it so it requires some bathroom gymnastics.

    I also dislike having to use the faucets after washing my hands to turn it off. Seem to defeat the original purpose of killing germs. I also dislike the toilets minus the lids because I want to get away asap when it starts to flush. I also dislike coming to bathrooms with toilet paper scattered on the floor or people who have hovered incorrectly…. ok, i’ll stop. Too much.

  37. I’m the same way! And if there’s no hook, I hold my coat and my purse! Very awkward, but that’s what I have to do sometimes.
    I know how you feel- I often hate my mind, too!

  38. Seriously, Ewwwww and more Ewwwww!!!!! What a Hell was he thinking???? So gross.

    I’m a public bathroom phobia. I avoid public bathroom at all cost and if I have to hold it all day, I would. But I have two little girls and when they have to go, they gotta go! That’s when my germ rader come in to full effect – I use my elbow and tip of fingers to open the door, wipe the toilet like crazy, use 3 – 5 sheet cover for them to sit. I don’t allow them to stare at the toilet when we flush because you know, the water mist has gazillions of germ in it.

    Anyway, I have to thank you for this post – I totally totally get it, and it made me feel like I’m a sane person:)

    Have a great weekend!!!

  39. That was hilarious!
    I also personally think it’s disgusting.
    I’m one of those people who don’t like to even touch the bathroom door.

  40. Wow. I agree. Public bathrooms are horrid. At work, I saw a women place a dish of fresh strawberries complete with spoon on the counter of the sink in the office bathroom. Oh yeah, her freshly poured cup of coffee was right along side it. She proceeded to go into a stall to “take care of business”, leaving the poor abandoned fruit & beverage to absorb God knows what. I was horrified and left. Who could enjoy those strawberries and drink that coffee? SICK, WRONG & Gross.

    Almost as bad as people who answer their cell phones while “taking care of business”. Don’t they think the caller will be horrified hearing toilets flush (and maybe other absurd noises) in the background. Furthermore, how much e-coli is floating around now on their cell phone…wow. I could go on forever.

    Thanks for the entertaining post, it’s the stuff we all think about.

  41. Funny article but germaphobes in general are really sad and pathetic. Granted putting your coat on the b-room floor is stupid in general but carrying antibacterial lotion on a necklace? Thats de-evolution and its lame.

    I don’t wash my hands because the door handle is so filthy its pointless and because my immune system is bored to tears with normal germs. My immune system is gangster and fears no poo. “Hi I’m Mazz nice to meet you!” (shakes your hand)… LOL!!! Son I pick my nose like 4 hours a day, get a grip, we’re filthy humans and nothing any of you do will ever change that, you will just live in fear of things so tiny you need a microscope to see it… which makes you a man how?

    NEWSFLASH #1: You know any toothbrush anywhere in a bathroom WILL test positive for fecal matter right? RIGHT?!?

    NEWSFLASH #2: You people sleep in piles of dust mites everynight by the way. Clueless idiots…

  42. I was in a museum in Washington, DC (I think it was the new Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum near Dulles), and they have foot pedals to open the restroom doors. I thought that was a great idea.

  43. I’ll be honest — posts by germophobes usually annoy me. But yours was so funny I laughed out loud. Congrats for being Freshly Pressed (even though that DOES sound rather unsanitary, doesn’t it? I mean, being squiahed in there with all those other unwashed blogs, and all…..)

  44. As soon as I read this, I understood completely.
    I wouldn’t consider myself a clean freak or even a germ-aphobe, but I hate it when things aren’t the way they should be/in some sort of order. THOSE HOOKS ARE THERE FOR A REASON! Why would you risk getting sick or having your clothes touch a bunch of nasty junk when all of that could be avoided?
    I guess it’s not the nasty-ness that bothers me as much as the stupidity and/or carelessness (not to offend anyone who thinks that leaving your coat on a bathroom floor is wise and careful).

  45. Try traveling in Eastern Europe with a big backpack!!! In a ‘squatty potty’ there is NO where to put your pack, so you’re forced to squat with your pack on! Talk about a workout and a balance issue!!!! And HOPEFULLY there’s hot water, if running water at all!!!!

  46. I work in a bookstore, and am amazed at the amount of clinically insane people I encounter regularly. As for public-restroom etiquette, belongings on the floor are a no-no-no-nooo-NO! and definately no touching of surfaces!

  47. I am going to think positive and hope that the hook was broken off, and the coat was draped over the door and slid to the floor after the owner was seated…
    That may not be the case, but it makes me feel more comfortable to think that someone would not deliberately put a coat on a public restroom floor. That is wrong!

  48. Funny but true. I once went to the movies and the moment I thought I hung my coat properly on the bathroom door hook, IT FELL onto the horrendously germ-infested floor!!!!! You know that people say there’s a 5 second rule for objects touching dirty surfaces to remain “clean” (I never believe in that- not even the 1 second rule), but even though my coat fell onto that floor for a fraction of second, I didn’t take a chance. I refused to wear it and carried it home on my way home even though it was minus 5 – 10 degrees. I didn’t wear it until I had it dry-cleaned.

    NO PEOPLE, you NEVER put your coats on the bathroom floor- not ANY floor!

      Some of my friends are so paranoid that they use the sanitiser before entering the washroom and after leaving as well. I would NEVER keep my bag/coat or anything that has constant skin contact on the floor of a public washroom.
      I like this post, its really funny.
      PS: I imagine snakes in my bathroom when I go for a wee- hour pee.

  49. Totally laughed to myself like a crazy person when I read this post! I admit, I am have germaphobe tendencies, but putting an article of clothing on the floor in a public restroom…WHO DOES THAT?! Any restroom for that matter. Hook or no hook, have some decency and hang it over the door at least.

    I am a nurse (see: germaphobe, above) and you would not believe how many patients I see walking around the hospital sans socks/slippers! Seriously? In a hospital where germs roam freely and unabashed. Don’t come crying to me when you get a gnarly staff infection!

    Great post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!


  50. 😛 i see how one could have freaked out. especially when you’re back outa the loo and wondering how many people out there have been keeping their coats on the floor. nicely put 🙂

  51. I saw something on the news recently about ladies handbags – we put them down on the restroom floor, we put them on the table whle we eat at a cafe….the thought of it makes me a little bit queasy really.

  52. I am the only human being I have ever witnessed exiting the restroom via paper-towel-over-handle method. Hell….I’m the only one I’ve ever witnessed actually *washing* my hands – most people do that three-second rinse with no soap (why bother?!!?!?! argh!).
    I don’t want to freak you out, but there’s a disturbing trend I’ve noticed in ladies’ room for most of my lifetime, so I can only imagine that it’s even worse in the men’s room. Handles and floors aren’t the only threat – be *very* cautious around walls. Despite the handy roll of toilet paper there, people feel the need to smear their boogers all over the walls. I have even witnessed this in restrooms of workplaces–restrooms with a rather limited number of visitors. I don’t understand it–from a moral, logistical or hygienic perspective–yet it tells me just as much as the writing on the wall.
    Anyway…thanks for posting this. 🙂 Good to hear of others who might also agonize at the thought of “oh god…i have to go to the bathroom….here…!” and make light of it. Take that, Coat-Moppers!

  53. That’s disgusting.

    Although I had to use squat toilets all through China, and that was an awful experience, (you get pretty good at opening the door, pressing the flush with your foot and jumping out before it actually flushes) I for some reason found this worse:

    Here in Australia, where we SHOULD know better we have no excuse, once I used a bathroom and was drying after washing my hands when a girl dressed in all black emerged from a stall and just walked out without washing (oh that grosses me out when people don’t wash, or they just rinse but no soap!!!) but to top it all off, I quickly followed her so I didn’t have to touch the door and….

    …she walked straight behind the bar of the club I was at and started making cocktails. You know, with chopping fruit and all.

    I literally nearly threw up and could not finish the drink I had waiting at our table. I had to leave!!!

  54. This is sooo true! I also don’t get it why people would leave their coats or even their shoulder bags on the FLOOR. I’ve always wondered whether those people know how dirty the floor is, like do I need to give them a microscopic view of the number of bacteria and germs are on the floor? Sanitation is serious, people.

  55. Haha I can understand how it feels. And don’t worry about your mind if you don’t mind me saying that – Err – I know lots of people who are a mess after such a sight and that includes me.
    PS.: I loved the snake-y image. 😀

  56. Never have I ever seen anybody just leave their clothing on the floor in a public area, let alone a public toilet. It’s disgusting that people do.

    When I enter a public toilet to carry out my business, my attention is focused on myself and myself only so I guess there could of been someone that has done this before. That said though… ewwwwwwwwww.

  57. I am so glad to find there are other people out there with the same (almost obsessive) disgust I have for public toilets! I too walk as though there are pressure buttons on the floor of these places, and if I press too hard with my foot, I will be covered from head to toe in the filth and grim, urine and poo that cover each and every floor tile. And that smell! Urgh!
    Thanks for the laugh.

  58. I went straight for your entry in freshly pressed the moment i saw your title. I encountered similar experience and much worst! It was a fashionably dressed young lady and she actually threw her very beautiful fur coat (Yes! FUR COAT!!!) on the public bathroom floor when she was washing her hands. I was utterly disgusted by the thought of the amount of bacteria that she is going to collect in those fur!! Can’t believe she was going to put that “coat of bacteria/grime/slime” on herself! Yucks!

  59. I appreciate the tip – the next time I reluctantly drop my purse or coat on the stall floor, after scanning the walls for the hook that doesn’t exist or trying to balance my purse on the tiny little shelf because I’m physically incapable of hanging on to it while holding up my coat while also dangling my ass strategically above the bowl and then executing the necessary wiping mechanisms without everything mentioned above falling on the floor or into the toilet, I will be on the lookout for neurotic vegans with hung-two-feet-from-the-fecal spray sparkling clean coats who may have mistaken me for a psychopath and might do me violence with a bottle of hand sanitizer, and will be prepared to deploy my placed-on-the-floor-two-feet-from-the-fecal-spray filthy coat like a force field. I will then, of course, wash my hands with extra soap and plot my escape from the towel-free bathroom without touching the door handle with exposed skin, as usual…

  60. Too funny!!!(But the snake shot freaked me…snake phobia)…..On another note, you should see me on my way to the toilet in a plane! I hold on to my Sagrotan Spray like it is a parachute!!!!:-)

  61. I love this post (I have one about hand-washing w/ a link to the CDC too!)!! Don’t hate your mind, because it is hilarious in print! 🙂 It is totally like the way my mind works in the restroom when I see women not use soap (or even water!), or when they put their purses on the floor! ICK! I became so horrified at bathroom etiquette in my workplace, I made a work of art and a blog post on the topic ( My new goal is to get the word out to as many people as I can, so I’m attempting to distribute the piece all over the U.S. (or world if possible). The world needs a little in-restroom civility I say! 🙂

  62. Great post…that was so funny. The water fountain at my work is on the wall between 2 bathrooms…people are always asking me…”I can’t believe your drinking from that…do you know where that water is coming from”? I just laugh & say “Yea, & it’s so good”! There is no way that I would lay anything of mine on the floor though…nothing wrong with what you are thinking!

  63. You don’t know the ‘jacket as floor mat’ trick?
    This is a easy lifehack my buddy in college taught me and I’ve been using it ever since–the fellow you saw was most likely doing the same thing.
    The trick is to carry an extra jacket with you to the bar when you go out (or anywhere really) and if you have to ‘drop the deuce’ you’ve got your extra jacket to lay out on the bathroom stall floor to rest your feet on and then wipe your feet on afterwards. When finished up, you can just kick the jacket under the sink or shuffle your feet on it to the door and leave it there.
    I’ve done this plenty of times and if you keep up your thrift store shopping it a) doesn’t need to be expensive and b) keeps your shoes from getting wet and/or nasty even the grimiest bathroom.
    Bonus, you’re going through new jackets and you keep your look fresh.
    It is a no-brainer. You put down the toilet seat liner and layers of toilet paper on the seat right? This is the same idea. My whole dorm floor got hooked on it and I think that’s probably what the person in your blog was doing too.
    Your Fellow Germaphobe,
    Ryan McGivern

  64. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. That’s how I found you and now I must go back and read some previous posts. I agree with alot of your replies, especially the ones that mention the stalls where the hooks have been RIPPED off the door leaving two holes and no place to put purse or coat. Arrgh!


  65. I can totally identify, I try not to let my elbows touch stall walls and it even grosses me out if a long shoelace touches the floor – eeeewwwwwwwwwwwwness!

    So funny, thanks for the humor!

  66. Some nutty, unclean people would say you’re a bit obsesive compulsive (OCD)- on Yahoo Answers once I got flamed like crazy with OCD-word just because I was not sure about hot-tub etiquette while visiting a friend: “Do I shower first?” “I WANT to shower first” etc. etc. I AM NOT OCD, and NEITHER ARE YOU! You’re what we call fastidious and social.

    Gud on you, brother!

  67. Well this just made my day! I don’t know about you sir, but I find your mind to be very amusing and interesting nonetheless. I just have a question though, how do you know that the man’s coat was not already on a hook and just happened to fall to floor?

  68. Great post, very funny but so true. I hate it when I see the door doesn’t have a hook I get rather angry at the stupid design of the restrooms.

    My personal hate is at the train station when you have luggage with you. No matter how long the journey is I never use the toilets on trains because I wouldn’t trust the door not to open before I have finished… So I always go before I get on the train but then I have the dilemma of what to do with my suitcase, I daren’t leave it outside in case someone steals it or worse it gets removed and destroyed for being a suspicious unattended package! I find myself struggling to fit it in the cubical and being able to shut the door while touching as little as possible. I always open the door with a paper towel too, I feel physically sick when the person in front of me doesn’t wash their hands then touches the door handle.

  69. Dr. Oz did a show on what happens when you flush your toilet. It actually splashes little bits of feces everywhere when the toilet flushed with the lid open.
    Well, in public restrooms there are no lids most of the time. So, now we are dealing with poop on the floor whether you see it or not!!! Yes, they have wonderful attendants who bleach those places, but how many people go in there between cleanings? I am an RN and maybe a bit phobic about germs, but E.Coli is deadly!!! E. Coli comes from poop!!!! So, it is wise to use caution in public restrooms. Clothing and purses should not be placed on restroom floors!!! You are carrying the germs home with you. Now, how many people want to expose their children to everything and everyone that came in that restroom. Use some common sense here!!!

  70. …however…there is no proof here that your mind is NOT crazy. Usually the real nuts don’t know they’re crazy. So…

  71. So I thought I was worried about germs, but you are slightly crazy about it. I am the most thorough hand-washer ever, but if my coat lightly touched the bathroom floor I wouldn’t go into a spasm. Yes, I “pop a squat” every time I use a public toilet, but geez, if you’re that worried about wet spots in a public restroom, you’re in the wrong place to be using a bathroom. There are always messes in public restrooms. As disgusting as it is, we need to accept it and do what we can to stay healthy in a dirty world 🙂

  72. Congratulations on being freshly pressed! This is a super cute and funny post. (Don’t hate your mind… it keeps you well sanitized!) Keep up the great work!

  73. Being a plumber I have been in thousands of bathrooms, public and private. I have been up close and personal with many a toilet. 🙂 Do you think yours at home are really that much cleaner than a public one?!
    Yes, I would not put any clothing on the floor in any bathroom. At least those to be worn again before going into the wash.
    Taking off shoes at the door…well they may still go into your bathroom. What are they bring out of there on their socks? Where have those socks been? Come on people get a life! You pick up germs any and every where!
    I would make a list but I would have some of you in a panic attack! 🙂
    Fun article! Saw the snake pic and thought, oh no snakes in a bathroom?! Congrats on being FP!

  74. HILarious. Just curious whether you’ve ever attempted to take a child (yours or someone else’s) into a public restroom – to use the restroom?

    As a mom of a newly potty-trained 3 year old and germphobe myself, this has to be one of the worst experiences as a parent. Even with potty seat covers that come with adhesive tape to better stick to the toilet seat (and thus avoid little fingers touching – gasp- the toilet seat), sometimes I am forced into ‘gag mode’ when my child accidentally touches the toilet (any part) with her hands, or worse, the canister that is usually attached to the side of the stall in the most inopportune places for “feminine hygiene products.”

    Usually a trip to the public restroom at Costco is quite traumatic – for both of us. I am one very thankful mama for soap, and of course, for hand sanitizers. 🙂

  75. Here is the dilemna I sometimes face… what if you have a coat on, go to the bathroom, and there is NO hook for you to hang it on? That’s when I have to dance around keeping it still on and hoping it’s a short coat and it is just a mess. I also don’t like setting down my purse on the ground, but it’s hard to balance a purse, watch out for your coat, and so all this while trying to go to the bathroom. It just gets so complicated!

  76. HaHaHa! I don’t find this uncommon at all! I’d say I’m quite the germaphobe. Having my pants/shorts touch the ground even a little bit while using the toilet grosses me out! Also peeves me when you see these grimy looking fellows who walk out of the stalls and pass the sink. Anyways, I would definitely be annoyed to see someone throw their jacket down on a bathroom floor.

  77. Yeech!! Especially the ones at the interstate Rest Stops. How bout this: How many people actually cover the toilet seat with toilet tussue to avoid a “bare-ass on the public seat” moment??
    Kudos on your freshly pressed like a paper towel under the hot air hand sanitizer status! lol

  78. Haha, I totally react the same way when I notice something gross like that. Like whenever I notice that someone “forgets” to wash their hands, and then proceeds to touch the door knob, I imagine them as being a filthy person living in a completely unsanitary house. With traces of poop. Can’t forget the poop.

  79. Loved this! Good to know I’m not the only crazy germaphobe left in the world. Although, coats on bathroom floors? I hope you don’t have to be a germaphobe to say “ewww” about that. 🙂 Great site!

  80. Congrats on making the front page again!!! This is the 2nd one of yours that has made it since I joined up. Your really a fabulous writer. Perhaps a book of short stories is in your future? ((((((Hugs!))))) and those ballarina slippers are on their way!!

  81. Well I have to say, you have a tallent for keeping readers intertained over absolutly nothing….its fantastic! 😀
    But more importantly funny, thanks for the laugh. And I wish you luck with your next bathroom expierence 😉

  82. First of all congrats on making it to freshly pressed, again! Ive visited your blog before, and I must say it’s always fun reading your views on things. This time, I am most definately inclined to agree with you. To throw your coat, or any other article of clothing on the floor of a public bathroom is GROSS. It is very very WRONG. Bravo for chastising all the wrong-doers!

    Do check out my blog if you have time 🙂

  83. Wow that’s pretty nasty! All public restrooms make me feel dirty and I don’t want to go near them if I don’t have to.
    Something must have been a little off with a person that would leave their coat on such a floor. . . .
    Or … maybe he had to go really badly and just didn’t have time for logistics.

  84. I have a similar response to public restrooms. The other day I saw a woman at work put her notebook on the bathroom floor. I was disgusted thinking about the path that notebook would take to a conference room table that I might later sit at. The irony? She stood up and flushed the toilet with her foot. Seriously?! She’s so afraid of germs that she flushes with her foot, but puts her notebook on the floor? *Cringe

  85. This was freakin hilarious! I so can relate. I always get grossed out when ladies put their purses on the floor, then take that very same purse, and glibly go back and set it ON THE TABLE at a restaurant. Mega nast! Thanks for a hilarious take!

  86. Firstly, this post makes me laugh. You remind me of my best friend whose obsessed with eliminating germs. I must admit that I have put my belongings on the floor but only if there were no where to hang my items. Of course if I see that a bathroom looks like a scene in one of those “Saw” movies, I won’t even use it, but If it appears to look clean I don’t think twice about what appears beneath the surface.

    I do find it a bit obsessive that you tried to stalk the man down, but that just reminds me of the show “Monk”, which also makes me laugh. I want to add that I’m not laughing at you personally, but at the act itself, so this is not me lashing out at your post because I did not find it offensive at all.

  87. Yeah, that is gross. But, I’ve seen some guys that use the restroom that don’t even wash there hand when they get through!!!!

    At least wash your hands! I seen that one time and wanted to tell that dude to wash his hands! lol

  88. You don’t have to be the least bit neurotic to be grossed out by that scene. I am totally with you… a public restroom means ‘touch as little as possible’.

  89. Great post – don’t hate me now but occasionally I have had to put my coat on the floor too. I hate it but when there is no hook and my coat is long there is nothing much else I can do. There is no way I would trust throwing it over the door!!
    I figure if it’s put down on a clean enough looking patch and its on the back I’m not really going to be in that much contact with the dirtiness – thats how I rationalise it anyway haha.

  90. It’s interesting to see how people put blogs to use lol. I agree that this is quite a disgusting habit.. and there’s always a way around it. Hooks, over the stall door at least? In any case you don’t know what germs are in a public bathroom and I definitely wouldn’t want to wrap them around me afterwards lol.

  91. Oh my! I feel your pain! That would have just skeeved me out so bad. Once,at a festival, I was waiting for my sister to come out of the Johnny-On-The-Spot, feeling bad because I forgot to take her purse for her. Suddenly, coming out of the one next to hers was a man carrying a Big Gulp! A Big Gulp in a latrine!!! Ewwwww!!!!! And then he took a sip!!!!

  92. That’s right up there with people walking barefoot into a public restroom.

    Reminds me of Chicago Airport back in the ’90’s. I was careful to hang up my coat on the stall door hook and prepared to get down to business when the hook began to slowly twist. As horrified as you at the thought of my coat on the restroom floor, I launched myself at the door to trap the coat from falling. The hook wasn’t the only faulting hardware. The latch was shot, too. Slamming into the door, it gave and I launched myself from the stall giving an old man at the sink a heart attack. I’m dancing to right myself, coat in hand, pants hanging down, NOT wanting to fall on a PUBLIC RESTROOM FLOOR while this hand-washing innocent is traumatized by being alone in a bathroom with a maniac. As I try to explain, it dawns on me he speaks no English and I no Chinese. Nothing will help this poor guy realize I’m not a maniac. So I smiled, tightened my belt, and went off in search of a different restroom.

  93. Ever went to the john at Fenway? Some people probably wrap up their shoes with garbage bags before makin the trek in there, at least if it’s as dirty as it was the last time I was there(in the early 90’s).

  94. I enjoyed this post. I too feel this unsettled and paranoid about public restrooms. If I’m alone in a public restroom, I would do the paper towel thing. But if there is another person in there with me, I’d wait until they opened the door and I’d stop it from closing with my foot so I can slip through without having to touch anything. Then with my newly sanitized hands, I’d hold a tight fist or stick them deep in my pockets to protect them from exposure to people like your antagonist!

    Don’t be too hard on your mind. Keep writing.

  95. who would put there jacket on the floor i wouldnt you never know whats been on the floor then when you pick your jacket up you transfer that to your hands yuk

  96. my oh my… hate to think of what he was doing for sooo long since you did wait for him to come out in vain…he he he he.about your extra long cleaning, dont you think you pulled out a seat which had been pulled out by someone who picked his coat from a ten minute stay on a loo floor…he he he

  97. I totally agree with you. I hover so far from the seat just so that I don’t accidentally sit on it! If you think that’s bad, wash your hands after you’ve been on the London Underground, I guarantee you your hands will be grey!

  98. how about walking on your living room carpet with shoes on? When the soles of your shoes have actually had contact with poisonous snakes.

  99. congrats on being “pressed” – forget public restrooms. if you want to be really skeeved, go into the restrooms of a couple corporate headquarters buildings….makes the restrooms at gas stations look like hospital ORs..

  100. This took place in a bookstore, did it? Could it have been that the person had discovered a book he wanted to read, took it to the stall and read it there? And that the book was so engrossing that, when went to return it to the shelf, he completely forgot about his coat? (Of course, the next question is: What kind of person could enjoy a book while sitting on a toilet? Maybe someone who enjoys reading “toilet humour”?)

  101. Great post! I feel the same way, even about women who put their bags on the loo floor. You carry that bag right under your arm, tight to your skin!
    But then again I don’t let my bare feet touch a changing room floor when trying on clothes!

  102. I am not sure if I commented on this or not but I just read it again and I agree that is really nasty. I have a phobia of touching anything in a public restroom. The people charged to clean it most likely hate their jobs, and care little about doing a good job cleaning. I am sure they do it all in fifteen minutes. I am sure if you went through these bathrooms with a black light you would see some nasty s**t

    1. I always say that if I owned a business with a public restroom, I would hire a person to clean it constantly, all day and pay him or her well.

  103. Hi,
    Last week here in the bookstore, I was in the bathroom to wash my hands scrub 20 seconds, kids! I looked to my left and saw that someone in the next two toilets. He was wearing a dirty white Reebok, the guy in the 90s. Big deal, right? Now the man had his coat on the floor before him.

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