I write this article perplexed. Dumbfounded. Stumped.

At work today, I needed to poop. It’s a fairly standard human need, we all do it. You do it, your partner does it – even your Mum does it. And she loves it.

Being honest with you, I’d had three cups of extra strength coffee and that was my first mistake. Normal coffee can act like a laxative to my belly, but extra strength – my stomach was bubbling like a cauldron.

So I went to the toilet at work – it’s a single toilet that we all share, men and women, boys and girls. I did what I needed to do. I cleaned myself, and was pleased that I hadn’t produced too much left over marks. Just a few in the water; which, as I understand it, is fairly average mess to be created from one’s coffee-induced poop.

So I was astounded when I came back to the toilet half an hour later to find a sign on the wall reading the following:

The state of this toilet was disgusting - clean up after yourself

I mean, seriously? What the hell is the proper toilet decorum nowadays?

Sure, there may have been a lingering smell. What do you want me to do about that? Go out into the garden, pick a bunch of flowers and smear them over the walls? There’s no window in the bathroom, the smell just has to stick around until it’s ready to go, nothing I can do about that.

Then skid marks in the bowl. Sure, if I had left them out of the water, I would have cleaned them up, without hesitation. Toilet paper does that job. But what do you want me to do about the skid marks in the water? Shove my hand in there and scrub them out?

You got to be kidding me!

I am appalled and disgraced. What really adds insult to injury is that the toilet paper in this bathroom is cheap stuff that makes my bum bleed. So not only do I have a passive aggressive note from these people, I also have a bleeding anus to go along with my troubles.

I was not best pleased.

So, to set the story straight, with all that I may encounter in this life of pooping, I have come up with my golden rules on toilet decorum. Here is my guidance, use it wisely.

The amount of mess you can leave a toilet in is dependent upon that toilet’s social status

The more public the toilet, the less you have to worry about the standard you leave it in. This is the unwritten rule.

If it is a work toilet, you must clean up after yourself, wipe the bowel, spray the air freshener if there is one.

A restaurant is slightly along the line; wipe the bowel, but don’t worry about it if it’s too gross, you’ll be anonymous to the next person.

The complete other side of the scale is public toilets that you come to in town. For all it’s worth, you can leave that place in a bomb site. Being honest, when you go in there, it looks as if someone has smeared their own faeces all over for the hell of it. This place is fair game.

Especially if it’s a toilet that has made you pay to get in, like at a train station. If you have to pay, then you don’t expect to be cleaning up after yourself!


You keep your eyes forward, mouth closed

At a urinal, you do not glance at another man’s business. You do not converse with them. Nor do you carry on a conversation you may have started with them until after you have finished peeing. Even if you are in the middle of a sentence, you pause it.

For example:

“So how is…” *pees* *washes hands* *dries hands* “… Jane and the kids?”

The exception is if you are separated by a cubicle door and you actually know the person. Then, it’s okay.


Pooing in a field is only okay for dogs.

Trust me.


Within the first six months of a relationship, you must not let your other half even get an inkling that you have bowel movements.

“You what? You, my beautiful girlfriend, poop? Are you kidding me?” is the reaction I am sure my partner thought she would get should I ever had any idea that she has pooped at the beginning of the relationship.

To be honest, I never thought she pooped. She’s too pretty. I thought she just farted tufts of lavender.

This changes when you live together. When you live together, it is fair game to discuss your pooping habits with your partner, even congratulating them on particularly sizeable or large quantity poop.


Pooping in a field is only okay for dogs.

Again, I know I said this, but you’ve got to believe me.


Never actually say you are going to poop.

We all know why you are excusing yourself, but you still use an excuse to disguise your real intentions. “I just need to go check my email.” “I think I heard my phone.” “Can you smell smoke?”

But if someone was to say “sorry ladies, I am just going to go take a monster dump” we would like at them like they just did it on the desk.

It’s the rule. You must dillydally around the subject, never quite concisely revealing your true intentions for departing with your company.


So next time I poop at work and someone leaves a note, I will print this post and place it next to it. I urge you to do the same.


So there you have it. My guide. Do you have any other tips on safe pooping? If so, please do comment.

Published by Rick Wood