Gravel Gertie Braves Bathroom Etiquette!

Some of y'all don't have a clue on how to handle your bathroom time. Shamey. Here's advice on when to flush, the need for male throne time, a reading list for the lavatory, and more!

Dear Gertie,

Please tell me the definitive answer to the following ongoing debate. In the home, the toilet consists of 3 components, the bowl, the seat, and the seat lid. The women argue that men should raise the seat when they urinate, which I am in total agreement with, as so not to get any on it. But, when finished, should put the seat down so they don't inadvertently fall in when it's their turn. That's where I have a problem. I say, when a man or woman finishes he or she should lower the seat lid. That way the toilet is on equal ground for whomever uses it next. My female friends disagree, saying that only the seat should be lowered so that when they go in it is ready for them. Help me out here, tell me or point me the way to find out what the proper method is. I think the way I suggest is correct because it's equal for all. Let me know what you think

Thanking you in advance,

Dear PhotoHH, in a perfect world, there would be his and her bathrooms. But in my home my young sons use all toilets leaving seats down, but they leave a healthy sprinkling of urine on the seat.

My advice? Leave the seat and the seat cover down. That way no one falls in (females or young children) and the family pet (dog, cat, and Aunt Eunice) won't drink out of the toilet.

Dear Gertie,

How exactly does one use matches to dissipate the smell after going #2? Do you light the match after you go and before you flush, or after you flush, or what? Please enlighten us.

Elyse in Chicago

Dear Elyse, the timing of the match lighting depends on the quantity and texture of your output. For example, if you pinched a small loaf, then light the match after you flush and wash your hands. But if you are purging the remains of a triple-bean-extra-jalapenos-double-onion Mexi-melt, then I'd light four matches each before, during, and after dropping your load.

Dear Gertie,

How often do people change the porto-poopers? How would I go about buying a porto-pooper?

Jenn in Plant City

Dear Jenn, I called my buddy Darlene with the local waste management and she said that the frequency of changing the port-o-potties depends on how many folks use them. For example, construction sites have the port-o-johns serviced about once a week, while special events like the tractor pull and lingerie show need constant servicing.

Darlene said that everyone usually rents the port-o-joys because the waste management folks do all of the dirty work. She went on to say that mostly hunters wanting a pee-n-poop stop next to their stands buy the port-o-happiness instead of renting. If you want to buy your own port-o-smell, contact your local waste management facility and they'll put you in touch with someone that can help you. One word of caution though, Darlene said that if you buy your own port-o-poop, waste management folks can't service it for you -- it's against the law.

Dear Gertie,

Why do the toilets make such loud noises when you flush? That sometimes startles me!

Jennifer in Florida

Dear Jennifer, I've noticed that the bathrooms at the Wal-Mart or gas station make the loudest racket! The stronger water pressure, the louder the flushy-noise. Right before you flush think happy thoughts about how the rushing water is taking your stinky troubles away, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, flush. Don't be startled, be one with the water. Flushing toilets are your friends, non-flushing ones ain't.

Dear Gertie,

Why is it that a man doesn't use T.P. when he tinkles but needs a whole roll when he dumps?

Edierose in New York

Dear Edierose, that's a good question. It could be any number of things. Wet underwear doesn't bother men, but skid marks do. Or the smell of poops isn't as welcome as the earthy scent of urine. Or since they don't know how to change the roll of toilet paper, they save up their waste for one big poopy party when there's a fresh roll.


Why is it that some men can't be bothered closing the door when they go for a "number one"? My soon-to-be father-in-law does it, and it annoys the hell out of Lynda and I. I've heard of being born in a barn, but do people need to act like they need to urinate in one as well?

Bill in Biloxi

Dear Bill, I feel your pain. Many men shake the dew from their lilies whenever the urge hits them, and in their rush to empty their bladders, they don't have time to shut the door. Apparently as children, they were never taught how to "hold" it. Do yourself a favor, teach your sons how to hold it. Matter of fact, it wouldn't hurt to teach them aiming and flushing skills too.

In addition to this, men can just unzip their britches and go thinking the whole time that no one will notice them or their yellow stream arching and partially hitting the side of the toilet. Women, on the other hand, have to pull down layers of clothing (pants, pantyhose, underwear, girdles, etc.) to go. When we are finished, everything must be tucked neatly into place so that we can adjust our hair, apply lipstick, adjust our bras, and put our backsides to the mirror and look to see if there are any unsightly bulges. Most of the time there are lumps which make our posteriors look larger than they really are so we re-tuck our shirts and stare into the mirrors at our backsides a couple more times.

Dear Gertie,

I always keep cookbooks in my bathroom, because it's the only place I have privacy to look up new recipes. My husband says it's gross to eat somethin' knowing where the recipe came from. What should I tell him?

Ida in Ola, GA

Dear Ida, inspiration comes from all kinds of places. Besides, it ain't like you prepared the meal while you were percolatin' on the pot! Tell ol' Mickey that if he wants to eat creative and ingenious meals, then he should hush up and enjoy the fruits of your imagination, else he can relish the tangy mustard on his self-made bologna sammage.

Dear Gravel Gertie,

Every Sunday, it's the same thing. Momma comes to visit and Mitch grabs the newspaper and heads to the bathroom for an hour. Ten minutes or so before Momma leaves, Mitch flushes, exits the bathroom and leaves the door wide open so that he stinks up the house. What can I do?

Laurie in Maine

Laurie, men have to have their "throne time" and if they don't, they'll start leaving the duct tape out and spraying the walls with WD-40. Mitch is just exhibiting his male dominance by "marking" the house as "his." Put some matches next to his commode so that you can hold your breath and light one up after he lets one go.

Dear Gertie,

Going "number two" embarrasses me, especially when I'm at work and some one is in the other stall. How can I hide those embarrassing noises and smells?

Eva from Dallas

Eva honey, it's a natural thang. Don't be shy, just let it go, baby. If you just can't, then try these tips:

You really might want to practice at home so that you can get your timing just right. Bad timing in a stall ain't purty. Trust me.

Dear Gertie,

I've been married for three months, and my husband just insists on talking to me when I'm going to the bathroom. I'm not ready for him to see me sitting on the toilet! How can I tell him to back off without hurting his feelings?

Susan from Orlando

Congratulations, Susan! It takes a while before a couple is ready to go to the bathroom in front of each other. I've been married for over fifteen years and it still grosses me out. Since most men can't wait to ask their burning questions until you are out of the powder room, you'll have to either, (a) put a lock on the bathroom door, (b) make loud fart noises then shout, "HUH!?!?!", or (c) ignore them.


Every morning at work, I get my coffee and then go to our staff meeting. Fifteen minutes into the meeting, I get cramps and have to go to the bathroom. Can accountants make you have to go?

Roy in Raleigh

Roy, it's been rumored that accountants have that effect on people, but in your case, I really think it's your coffee. Have a cup after the meeting, sugar.

Hi Gert,

Is it polite to retrieve a roll of toilet paper from the cabinet when using a friend's toilet?

Darla in Dahlonega

Hi Darla! If you like to get rolls of toilet paper out for no reason, then, yup, it's bad manners. If the roll is almost empty, then discreetly inform your host(ess) and don't paw through the cabinet -- you might just get an eye full of something you don't wanna.

Dear Gertie,

I'm having a dinner party this next month and I was wondering if I should provide reading material in my lavatory. If so, what genre?

Milla from Macon

Oh Milla, a good hostess MUST provide stimulating reading. What reading list would be appropriate? Let's see...

Dear Gert,

My Momma said that I'll get sick if I sit on public toilets, so I have to stand. Is she right? How can I stand and take care of bidness without making a mess?

Sandra from Savannah

Dear Sandra, getting sick from the toilet seat could happen, so it's always better to be safe and listen to Momma. Always ALWAYS wash your hands (with soap!) after you visit a public bathroom. As far as the standing goes, just pull your britches and drawers down really far (you don't want them to touch the rim of the potty), back up to the toilet and squat so that your hiney hovers a couple of inches above the seat. (We womenfolk have strong leg muscles -- just for this purpose.) Then just let it rip! Of course, you'll probably miss, but don't worry -- you'll be acting just like your male counterparts.

Hello Gertie,

This is gross. Why are you talking about going to the bathroom? You're sick.

Linda from Lakeview

Hey Linda! I'm not really sick, just sympathetic toward my fellow human bean. Not everyone knows that they should shut the door and turn on the fan after they evacuate their bowels, nor do they know that it isn't polite to loudly announce to the masses, "I must go and urinate now!"

I'm just providing the best help and support I can, darlin', for a natural, albeit it, stinky bodily function. Now, pull my fanger!

Dear Gertie,

Why does drinking Pepsi cause gas? Also, why do men leave that nasty yellow puddle next to the commode? Oh, and one more, why can't men see the nose hairs they leave in the soap and all over the sink?

Deana from Oregon

Hi Deana! Pepsi co-coler is a carbonated beverage, and it causes you to swallow a lot of air. Not all of the bubbles are burped out, and the more bubbles you swallow, the more bubbles that eventually end up as air biscuits.

The leaving of nasty yellow puddles and body hair is what men (and boys) do to mark their territory. Just be glad that they aren't doing it on you or next to the sofa.

Gertie, how do I squat over a toilet and do you like the word squat over or hover and why do women not put tp or seat covers and just sit on a public toilet I was wondering how to squat so I could see what it is like for women to have to squat?


Dear Mr. Squad, first off what I wonder is why you want to know how to squat/hover? Probably cuz you want to empathize with your woman, right? Well, follow these steps:

  1. Stand with your backside to the toilet,
  2. Pull down your drawers,
  3. Back up to the toilet until your bare calves touch the cold porcelain of the bowl,
  4. Slowly lower your bottom until it is approximately two inches or so above the toilet seat,
  5. Count to ten to try and activate your bladder into letting go,
  6. Take care of bidness,
  7. Look around for toilet paper, since there ain't none, do a little shake of your bottom to get rid of the excess urine,
  8. Raise up, and
  9. Pull up your drawers.

Simple, huh? Now, why don't we womenfolk put down toilet paper on the seat? Most of the time there ain't no toilet paper in there and if there was any, it was wet from being dropped in the toilet or on the floor. Why don't we just sit on a public toilet? Well, it's simple! Momma taught us not to sit on a public toilet cuz we might get pregnant, catch a communicable disease, or worse - develop an uncontrollable urge to listen to gangsta rap and attend the Democratic National Convention.

Got a question about being behavin' in the john? Email Gertie!

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Copyright © 2000, Gravel Gertie
Revised - 01/07/01