The former world boxing heavyweight champion, Iron Mike Tyson once said: “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” As humans, we believe we could rehearse our reactions or response to situations. We remind ourselves to remain cool and tight-lipped when someone steps on our feet in a rush hour train. Or we could easily psyche ourselves to punch the air and scream when our favourite team wins the league cup. Our response during some of these situations could easily go according to the script. But it could differ in certain unpleasant circumstances like being greeted by a foul smell and faeces ravaged toilet.
How do you react to an unpleasant sight and sound of a public toilet?
Public toilets at marathon events, train stations, pubs or shopping mall may not meet our hygiene standards. This is because these are shared facilities, whose maintenance is out of our control. These facilities are reliant on the management for hygiene standards. We often expect the best but are prepared for the worse when visiting a public toilet facility. This is easier said than done.
Here are some of the common reactions to an unpleasant toilet
1) Toilet stage fright: The urge to use the toilet can easily cease when we encounter a poorly kept facility. How does this stage fright occur? Imagine you’ve just stepped into a portable toilet facility in a festival or a standard toilet at your local train station. In an acceptable toilet state, your brain transmits the right signal to your butt to relax the necessary muscles in your sphincter to stay contracted until poo is ready for discharge. On the contrary, if the conditions are not right, your brain will feel uncomfortable about the given state of the toilet and your mind communicates with your butt to desist from discharging by clenching the sphincter muscle
2) Screaming: A few people are likely to scream at the sight of toilets with remnants or splatter. The scream is usually as a result of being used to clean facilities and rarely expecting to meet a disgusting unit. In some cases, the scream could also lead to stage fright or the dissipation of the urge. The yell could cause a bit of uproar in these public toilets and leave other users surprised.
3) Spitting: One could easily spit when you’ve just encountered an unfriendly smell from a public toilet facility. Saliva is important because it keeps our mouth moist and comfortable. In the face of a strong and obnoxious smell, we are likely to eject the saliva forcefully as a gesture of discomfort.
4) Vomiting: This is a severe reaction and should not be taken lightly. Ones physical state or allergies to smell can cause vomiting. Some individuals easily throw up at the sight of someone else’s vomit. Whilst most vomit can be as a result of food poisoning, an ulcer, gastritis or bulimia, encountering a toilet in a filthy state can also be a cause.
5) Closing the toilet lead forcefully: Opening the toilet lid and being stared by the remains of someone else’s number two can lead to a sudden and loud closing of the lead in utter disgust. This could be an immediate reaction of the sight of a grimy toilet.
These are some of the instinctive reactions to unclean public toilet facilities.
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