Maybe I’m a prude, or maybe I’m a bit too modest. Maybe I’m just way too self-conscious. But, there are some things I just can’t bring myself to do.
I just saw a picture of a public urinal that would take a bit of getting used to. When I say public urinal, I mean PUBLIC! All the correct body parts appear to be hidden from view, but there’s no doubt as to what you’re doing as you’re standing in one of these things.
I’ve also noticed that there are a few different variations on this theme. Some of them have you facing away from the public. Others actually have you staring into the eyes of onlookers. I’m not sure, but I think things would get locked up for me at that point. There would be no flow, as it were. It would definitely be a stressful situation. I just hope I never have to use one.
“They come in handy…”
Come to think of it, I’m not all that crazy about public restrooms either. They certainly come in handy for an old guy like me, but many of them leave a bit to be desired as well.
On the other hand, I’ve been in a few (a very few) that were as nice as my bathroom at home. The problem with those, however, is there is usually a guy at the door waiting for a tip. He usually supplies you with a paper towel and a little cologne. Still, I think I’d rather handle all that on my own.
I guess I’m just a pansy about these things. I’ve traveled abroad enough to know we’ve got it pretty nice in the states. For the most part, public restrooms here are a joy compared with some I’ve seen overseas.
That makes me wonder what it must have been like back in the days of Jesus. I’ve never seen a study done on such things, but it would be an interesting read if one existed. This seems like an important piece of history, and it gives new meaning to the old question—WWJD (what would Jesus do?).
“It’s just a fact of life.”
I’ve heard a few minor discussions here and there concerning the toiletry habits of various cultures. I can’t vouch for the veracity of any of those conversations, but one fact remains. Wherever there are people, there have to be restrooms, outhouses, latrines, or some sorts of waste management systems. I don’t mean to be crude. It’s just a fact of life.
The Bible doesn’t make many references to these sorts of things, so a lot can’t be learned there. There is the occasional mention of dung piles and such, but not much can be gleaned from that. I did find a fascinating website that deals with such subjects. In case you’re interested, it’s called The Toilet Guru. I have to say, I love that name.
I’m guessing it was from the New Testament period that we got the phrase, “Holy Crap!” I could be wrong, however.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]