If You See Something, Say Something

A friend once told me about a guy she knew who hated going to the bathroom anywhere but his own house. If he was out and found he suddenly had some, uh, business to attend to, he'd hightail it back to his own facilities rather than perch his buttocks on the rim of an unfamiliar porcelain throne.

Apparently, there is a guy living in my parents' apartment building who has the exact opposite problem.

The other day I was down in the gym and happened to spot a two-page (two-page!) sign taped to the back of the wall. The sign detailed all the things the management had caught residents of the apartment building doing wrong lately---like going barefoot on the elliptical machine (ew) or leaving their toddler to play with the free weights while they read Newsweek on the treadmill (argh)---along with a polite plea for them to stop doing them.

At the bottom of the sign, three particularly heinous crimes had been called out. "On several occasions," the sign read, "residents have been spotted misusing the common facilities. We have highlighted some instances of such misuse below."

The first crime was fairly minor. "One resident," tattled the sign, "was observed unplugging the water dispenser from its power source and utilizing the electricity for personal use."

While I figured that a little cord-jiggling wasn't so bad, I did wonder what sort of personal use we were talking about: charging a cell phone? Possibly forgivable. Plugging in a toaster? Maybe a little weird.

The second crime was slightly more bizarre. "A female resident," snitched the sign, "was noted washing personal laundry in the female restroom almost every evening."

It was the "almost every evening" bit that cracked me up there: what tragedy had befallen this mysterious female resident that had her soaking her smalls in a public bathroom, on a regular basis no less. Had her washing machine broken, perhaps? Did she have an embarrassing (yet reliable) case of incontinence and a fervent wish to hide it from the people she lived with?

The third crime, however, was the most hilarious. "A male resident," huffed the sign, "was seen hurrying from his apartment to the male toilet. He emerged five minutes later to return home."

Attention, residents of my parents' building! No longer can you sneak out of your apartment for a sneaky constitutional in the communal restroom by the pool, you hear?  Not even if that girl you have a crush on has dropped by to play Guitar Hero and the burrito you ate earlier is proving to have been an awful mistake. Your neighbors are alert and they're watching for suspicious activity just like this. Particularly if you're hurrying. Then it's just obvious.

1
Chris
May 28, 2008

Perhaps the girl hero was already using his facilities and he had a potty emergency?

Perhaps they should set up a sting!

2
ExSchutz
May 28, 2008

Who has time to spy on their neighbors and then post signs about it?

3
Phil
May 28, 2008

This reminds me of how my roommate, who has her own bathroom, likes to spend a great deal of time in mine. She doesn't actually use the toilet or anything, instead just standing there with the door slightly ajar and staring at the sink and the shower, and the toilet, and thinking about how much she hates the fact that the guy renting the room in her house (that would be me) uses the bathroom he's renting.

4
Camels & Chocolate
May 28, 2008

HA. That is so Singapore. All rigid rules and stuff.

5
emily
May 28, 2008

Oh, I LOVE the passive/aggressive notes left in apartment buildings! They are so funny. And sometimes not that passive, like the one in front of an apartment on my block that just says, "WE HAVE A CAMERA. WE CAN SEE YOU NOT PICKING UP YOUR DOG'S SHIT."

The guy with the publicpoopyproblem makes me laugh, though I must confess, I'm one of those people you mentioned, who can't poop in public places. I have about 4 places in the Chicagoland area that I feel comfortable going in - my apartment, my parents' house, my boyfriend's parents' house, my sister's. I'm trying to get better, though - I've been mantra-ing myself that my mid-day workout will suffer if I don't go before, at work. But it's an uphill battle.

6
Superfantastic
May 28, 2008

I have wondered whether some women I work with somehow hold off until they get here in order to avoid skunkifying their own personal bathrooms. Seeing as how I am perpetually late, I don't know whether there are signs of blatant hurrying or not.

7
slynnro
May 28, 2008

You know, one time my toilet was broken and I had to use the gym bathroom. I had no idea this activity put me on some kind of watch list.

8
Manda
May 28, 2008

I like to call this "Little Old Lady Syndrome." It's precisely why I never, ever call the cops with noise complaints ... there are some little old ladies in our neighborhood who have the 5-0 on speed dial when our resident college kids are screaming and throwing beer bottles at 3 in the morning. Once we even got a helicopter reponse!! WOO!

9
Jessica
May 28, 2008

dag, who is TIMING the pooper?

10
Tiffany
May 28, 2008

I don't know why, but I'm feeling so bad for that guy. There's got to be a good reason for it. Actually the girl rinsing her undies, too. I feel bad for them. Imagine the horror when they read the post. It will be like, "Oh no! They KNOW!"

11
Cait
May 28, 2008

Ha! You should totally post this on www.passiveaggressivenotes.com. I can't help but love reading ridiculous notes like this on that blog. It's just so very silly when people take the time to create little gems like these. :)

12
Jen
May 28, 2008

lol who has time to sit around and monitor these things? Awesome.

13
Moose
May 28, 2008

The neighbor who used to leave 3-page passive aggressive notes on my car has obviously moved to Singapore.

14
PInk Sun Drops
May 28, 2008

Hahahaha! Apparently every apartment community has their own nosy neighbor who has nothing better to do than to be up in everyone else's business.

15
Anne in SC
May 28, 2008

I had a neighbor here in Charleston that called DHEC on us for putting out ant poison (on a really large mound right at the base of the mailbox). We purchased our house on Thursday (last April - this is still a fresh wound), put the ant poison out on Saturday and the following Thursday had to have a meet and greet with the "SC Dept of Pesticide Regulation and Control" officer. The officer took a picture of the mound, the container of poison and the instructions on the label of the container to prove that we had, in fact, used it correctly.

The even crazier thing is that since my brother had actually been the one who put out the poison, the officer had to track him down to get his affidavit. We hadn't even moved in yet.

Neighbors - can't kill 'em, can't shoot 'em.

16
Kelly
May 29, 2008

hahaha! That's just hilarious! I'm with Jessica, who -is- timing him?

17
Gretchen
May 29, 2008

When we used to go on jet ski trips and stay in a rented trailer at a campground, the rule was "no crapping in the trailer toilet" because it wouldn't be cleaned out until after we left, and things could get stinky considering the place was populated with a bunch of guys eating lots of steak. By mutual agreement we decided that all crapping must be done at the public restroom facility at the campground.

But there was someone taking secret dumps in the trailer potty. None of the guys would admit to it, and we dubbed the perp "The Phantom Shitter." The mystery abides to this day.

Perhaps your parents' neighbor has a broken toilet and is too lazy or perplexed to have it fixed? I can't believe he has a chemical toilet.

18
B2G
May 29, 2008

Oh my gosh! How ridiculous! That guy's toilet was probably broken and maintenance hadn't shown up yet or something else completely innocuous. Ridiculous.

19
Meg
Jun 05, 2008

It seems really clear than the bathroom man was waiting for his roommate or wife to get out of the bathroom so he could so he could use the facilities. But washing girl? what's with that?

20
tshell
Aug 27, 2008

That is so funny...the only place my husband has the will sit another pot besides his royal throne at home, was the luxury restroom trailers we had for our wedding!!