This summer we spent days upon days on youth baseball fields, which means one thing: PortaPotties. Well, it means all kinds of things actually. Including feet sunburned with sandal patterns, raw tongues from sunflower seed overindulgence, children in doubleknit polyester...but also: PortaPotties.
PortaPotties that are not regularly maintained, emptied, cleaned out...whatever it is they do to above ground temporary toilet facilities sitting awkwardly and not quite level on old pallets in the middle of a ballpark. And, while I've learned to totally avoid hydration or elimination of such on these days, my friend Anne's little girls are not quite so finely in control of their bodily functions and are forced at least once per game to enter the fiberglass hulls of stench. Their little whimpers of "Momma? I gotta go..." usually come at a really convenient time of the game, like when their brother is up to bat or about to steal home. This is when I offer up a silent prayer thanking the powers that be for male children who can pee pretty much anywhere.
At one such game, Anne sent the older of the girls to the potty ahead of her so she could watch their boy's at-bat with the stern advice: LILY, DON'T TOUCH THE SEAT. Seconds later, she ran to catch up, opened the door and found her freckly-sweet curly haired angel proudly sitting on her hands so her bottom wouldn't be on that icky seat. Her blood-curdling scream nearly stopped the game.
I hearkened back to a Phillips 66 station in New Mexico, circa 1972, where my stunned and horrified mother saw exactly the same thing. We had always been warned to not let our bottoms TOUCH THE SEAT. Stand. Squat. Anything, but there were malicious diseases and terrible consequences to be had should any part of our little backsides came in contact with strange porcelain. Considering all these factors I did what any self respecting five year old would do to keep their bottoms off of something. Sat on my hands. And I'd been doing it for years before I was finally caught.
A question. What disease exactly enters from a non-porous surface through the back of the thigh? What germ is quick enough to stick to your leg and crawl its way up to your nether regions while you pee? We wear shorts on public buses. We wear shorts on amusement park rides. We wear shorts on grody ballpark bleachers and community park picnic tables and tree stumps. Why oh why oh why is it horrible to sit on a toilet seat?
I'll tell you why. Because of the Hover Generation. The very same people who holler at us not to touch the seat are the very reason we cannot. Because of their SHS Technique (Squat, Hover, Spray) we are all forced to do the same. Their paranoia caused by some middle school hygiene class from 1954 has made every public restroom and outhouse in the country disgusting. If men peed all over the seat women would throw fits, write books and call Dr. Phil. But they think nothing of hiking up their skirts around their midsections, blasting urine all over a public place, smoothing their skirts and smiling kindly at the next poor being waiting for the stall.
I would like to propose the following, slightly inspired by Fonzie.
Just sit on it.
Sit the hell down.
All of us.
Every woman out there. Save your thigh muscles for the gym. Relax. Put your bare ass on the seat and pee in the water, friends. It will be liberating. It will be tidy. It will put the creepy wax paper toilet seat cover people out of business. Which is probably an eco-friendly gesture. You'll save the planet and little girls all at the same time.