As an English major, I feel it is my duty to give serious respect to all forms of literature, celebrated or not. Over the last four years, from comic books to Chaucer, I have sought the most honest and raw form of the written human condition, and my research has led me straight to the toilet. Well, the toilet and all of the stuff you read on the walls.
Gentlemen visiting the first stall of the third floor restroom in Denney Hall have been offered the opportunity to complete a survey during their most intimate moment/movement. The poll simply asks, “How many people love to smoke pot? Leave a check.” Below are a bevy of sloppy but proud check marks in various shades of ink, pencil and marker.
In my research into bathroom graffiti, I’ve found a shocking amount of these delinquent surveys The most fascinating states, “Those who have pinched one, leave your mark!” followed by a long chronology of dates and names. Interested parties are encouraged to bring their pens and, um, materials to the second stall of the first floor men’s bathroom of Hopkins Hall.
And just because you’re taking care of business during your busy school day doesn’t mean you should be deprived of a little privacy. Perhaps a lot of privacy, as the case is with the unisex can on the first floor of Hughes Hall. Upon entering, I noticed a sign that read “Please lock the door behind you.” Once inside, I was welcomed by the expanse of two rooms complete with a vinyl orange couch, lounge chair, a locker for personal use and three empty stalls to choose from. Considering the number of stains on the walls, I chose not to relax upon any of the furniture.
Surprisingly though, in my search for scribbled stall messages in this swank little lounge, I found nothing more than the charmingly simple script, “Free Cowboy Hats” written on a seat cover dispenser. With its bizarre fluorescent hum and faux marble floor, the bathroom is something out of a David Lynch movie. I have friends living in smaller dorm rooms with less amenities than this crapper meant for a single resident. The secret’s out. Music majors and I would expect some out-of-towners come Spring.
In terms of technology, OSU bathroom perverts have come a long way. The most insane display of cowardly bigotry, hatred, and sexual propositions/innuendoes on campus can be found in the basement of University Hall, most notably in the middle stall. I also counted no less than fifty invitations for carnal companionship, many of which are accompanied by e-mail addresses. Unfortunately, OSU21BIBOY4FUN@hotmail.com could not be reached for comment; but apparently he frequents that particular stall on Sunday evenings. I have also heard from a very reliable source that the ladies restroom in the same basement is just as lurid.
After years of scribbling and thousands of spent sharpies and magic markers, it is finally time for the fans of the heavy metal band Slayer to be recognized. Their painstaking renditions of pentagrams, skulls and other token redneck art have caused the band to rise above competitors such as Pantera and the Insane Clown Posse. If any of the members of Slayer were to wander into one of these bathrooms, they would pinch a loaf of pride to see the sacrifice and craft that has gone into maintaining the band’s popularity over the years.
Let this report come not as an attack on the hard-working and trusty janitorial staff of our university; for they have tried, time and again, steel wool in hand, to rid the sanctums of our everyday relief of such graffiti. But as long as there are people who are willing to express themselves in an anonymous setting with their pants down, you’re bound to have some crap get on the walls.
Lee Keeler is a senior in English and can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.