David Bjelland wrote this almost a year ago, but since I’m a terrible person, I am just getting around to posting it. Also, if you want to see your own bathroom review up on this site 10-12 months after you sent it in, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may not realize it yet, but you might have a legitimate reason to use the facilities in the Communications building. Now, chances are, if you’re not at this very moment skimming gigantic, black and white photocopied packets about “globalism” or figuring out how to use Prezi just because it’s not Powerpoint, then you are most likely not a Communications major. Take a quick break to pat yourself on the back. Good.
Now, the Comm building is not your home, but like me, you may have found yourself here for a math lecture, struggling to take notes in your 8.5/11-ish notebooks on desks apparently intended for 6/8-ish diaries. Perhaps, in trying to print MatLab plots for another applied math class, you have used the ICL in the basement, a floor with all the charm and intuitive layout of an abandoned warehouse. Finally, for those of you still using the postal service, there’s the copy center / improvised post office further along the desolate underground hallway.
But there’s more — imagine the plight of McMahon hall residents, more or less kitty corner to the Comm Castle. You could find that your latrine is up for routine cleaning by the janitorial staff at the most inopportune time. Or maybe it’s prime potty time in your cluster — no one wants their pleasant teeth-brushing and chatting and showering and towel-snapping party broken up by the cacophony of someone’s digestive system, and moreover, you don’t want to be that person. So? The less-than-soundproof ground floor restrooms are located right next to the exit from the dining hall. A little further than that but closer than Comm is Clark Hall, home of the campus’ ROTC detachments, but if you’re a long-haired male or “fad-ish” haired female, you’re sure to earn plenty of stern, “We don’t serve yer kind in these here parts” glare and possibly frisked (they’ve had some history, you see).
So, the Comm building is starting to look like a pretty good option. I arrive without fanfare between classes and decide to check out the 2nd floor men’s room, which has the honor of being one of very few bathrooms on campus with showering facilities. An eye-grabbing poster on the bulletin board in front of the stairs reads, perhaps prophetically, “Get out!” Turns out they meant study abroad, but maybe I should have gone with my first impression.
Turns out the locker room I envisioned looks as much like a cramped and grimy nook of a restroom as the next one. I am puzzled at the lack of the “unisex” shower advertised on the door — a closer examination reveals that its entrance is carved out of the side of the only stall. Carved may be too kind a word — it looks like the Kool-Aid man might have jumped through here decades ago in some kind of Dada-ist prank on a hapless, pooping student. I ponder the paradox of having a unisex shower that requires passing through (and having a constant view of) the stall of a reportedly “male” bathroom, and inevitably imagine one of those rib-tickling Freaks and Geeks teen nudity / dramatic irony gags taking place here (Editor’s note: the contributor has never seen even one full episode of Freaks and Geeks). I hope dearly that this wasn’t all designed by one of our own civie engineers.
As I stated, there is a single stall, with a single urinal, as well as two sinks. The windows have the good taste to not let light in, but if opened, seem to offer the possibility of escaping through into the nearest tree with a calculated jump, should that become necessary.
Entering the stall, I find that the right side of the toilet seat has been somehow chipped into what looks like a jagged incisor. In conjunction with the other inwardly-pointing edge of the seat, [trigger warning: arachnophobia] it creates the distinct impression of a spider’s fangs; the undamaged left side of the seat being the firmer, grippier fang that impales its prey by crushing it into the pointy edge of the right fang. Having come so close to relief, I nearly soil myself on the spot from the horror of the image. Still, in the name of journalism, I trek onwards.
Now seated, I find that having a jagged toilet seat sticking into your tush is not nearly as uncomfortable as you might imagine. The image of spider fangs still haunts me until I imagine the vindictive thrill of actual pooping into a spider’s mouth. Take that, you #&*$ed-up abomination of nature. Although, I guess spiders eat bugs and shit too, so it probably doesn’t even care. Still, it’s the spirit of it.
The toilet paper (translucent as ever, but that’s another rant for another blog) resists reach without contorting one’s wrist to a flamboyant angle, but the experience is otherwise painless enough. I take a moment to reflect on my surroundings — the shower, caked with soap-scum; the “Pump it up, Ben Dover” carving — and finish up, preparing to take my leave. The hand soap dispenser pumps out just the right amount of antiseptic foam. Well, you know what they say about the importance of last impressions.
Needless to say, I was overall unimpressed — we’re not talking the suppository scene in Trainspotting bad, but definitely less than you’d expect at a place you could be paying ~40k to be. There is some redeeming value, though, in the escape hatch. 1.5 out of 5 useless Comm degrees.