Now that race season is in full swing, I am presenting my first installment of Race Season Rules for the Road. Well, specifically, for what happens on the SIDE of the road. In the Porta Potties to be specific. There, I said it. Yes, the Porta Potties. (The modern version of what we used to call “Stink Peuw Houses” when I was a kid….you know-the fly infested Out Houses you’d use when camping?)
One thing I am aware of in public places is the consistent lack of hygiene in the public bathrooms. Germ-a-phobe that I am, I can’t tell you the number of times I have held my breath and cleaned up after someone, or forgone the pleasure of relieving myself in a public bathroom due to the unspeakable nastiness that I have found lurking in, on, and around public toilets.
When did mothers stop teaching their children to flush? If your child is too young to tend to themselves, then for the love of Mary, please assist them.
What the hell are people eating?
Why don’t they do that before they leave home?
RUNNERS!!!! PLEASE! Head my prayer! At group events and organized races, I know you LOVE your port-a-potties, but please pay attention to the Race Season Rules for the Road!. Porta Potties are put in place for everyone’s comfort and relief. Be courteous!
Leave unto others that which you would leave unto you.
If you sprinkle where you tinkle, please be neat and wipe the seat!
If you splat where you shat, please be kind, and clean up that!
OK, enough poetry.
God knows I refused to step into a Porta Potty until I became a runner. Though they are disgusting little sweat boxes, when I am running a race I have been known to thank the Almighty when I finally see one on the horizon, and fall to my knees weeping for joy when there isn’t a line waiting outside one. But how many times have you opened the door and wish you could poke your eyes out with your own ear buds, or wished you had a hazmat suit to don before entering? Time stands still as you weigh the decision: “Do I enter and close the door, or just keep running and hope I make it to the next one before shitting myself?” Am I the only one that cries when the hand sanitizer dispenser is empty? Yuk, don’t touch the door handle!!!
So here are my Race Season Rules for the Road:
If it FALLS out of you, is PULLED out of you, PROJECTILES out of you, RICOCHETS off of your running shorts, or otherwise leaves your body at rocket speed, PLEASE take a few precious seconds and clean it off the seat, back, floor and walls of the “John”. Whether it is snot, vomit, pee, poop, or blood, nobody wants to navigate around it when they too are desperate to make their OWN emergency deposit. Sure you might be on your way to a PR, but this is just rude and crude, and makes you a bad sports person.
As someone with Celiac Disease and the lovely gastrointestinal “issues” that go along with it, I am fully aware that there are many times when the body does things to us that we could never imagine, admit to, or ever want to remember. I am not criticizing those that are truly sick, in pain, or otherwise shouldn’t have eaten that last double chili bacon burger 2 hours before their marathon. All I’m saying is, please, please be aware that there are other people in the world besides you and they deserve a more sanitary place to potty. Thank you.
Stay tuned for my next installment of Race Season Rules for the Road in the coming weeks. Do you have pet peeves regarding runner etiquette? Care to share? Be well. See you at the starting line.