Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Poop on the Shelf

Location: Art Building and Museum First Floor

Utilities: 5 sinks (automated), 5 urinals (automated), 2 stalls (1 handicap, both automated), foam soap dispensers, paper towels

I was on my way home from Cypress Bend Cafe one afternoon when I decided to try a bathroom in a building I'd never been to before. As it was immediately to my right, I decided on the Art Building and Museum. Entering from San Jacinto near 23rd Street, I found the restrooms easily located down the hall to my left.
Upon entering, the layout was a little confusing. The sinks were placed to my right, but the stalls and urinals are down another hall to the left. The walls and floor were covered in two inch tiles that all looked a little too grimy for my taste. Personally I don't like little tiles like that. They're unpleasing to the eye, and because there's more grout gunk gets caught in the tile easier.
Everything about the bathroom seemed pretty standard. That was until I went into the handicap stall. First off, the seat was kind of rough and not well attached to the toilet. But more importantly there was no toilet paper dispenser. At all. Instead they had put a shelf in a corner of the stall with toilet paper rolls on it. And the shelf wasn't even low enough to get to from the toilet. You have to pick up the roll and hold it while you go. Its not the worst thing in the world, but its really inconvenient and not a difficult problem to fix.

Overall I give it a 2 out of 5. Feel free to pee here, but unless you enjoy handling your own toilet paper, poop elsewhere.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Like Peppermint and Sick

Location: Fourth Floor Texas Union on the North Side

Utilities: 2 Stalls (automatic), 2 Urinals (automatic), 2 sinks, Paper Towel Dispensers (automatic), soap dispensers

I've found that the further up you go into the Texas Union the cleaner the bathrooms are (particularly because the homeless are so fond of the second floor). This is why I often make the trek up to the fourth floor to the nicest (albeit smallest) of the bathrooms on the north end of the building. When you come up the north stairwell the bathroom is only a short walk down the hall.

Everything about the bathroom is relatively standard. The stalls are usually very clean and well stocked with the standard one ply toilet paper (the Union custodial staff does a pretty good job).

However when it comes to the sinks the water never seems to effectively rinse all the soap off of my hand. Upon further inspection it turned out this was a problem with all the faucets in the Union. For some reason, its too light to get the soap off which kind of bothers me.

My only other complaint is the smell. Like all the other bathrooms in the Union, this one contains a sent dispenser meant to cover the normal smells of the restroom. However, unlike the other restrooms, this one is about a third of the size. Unfortunately, the sent dispenser is not similarly down scaled so that the concentration of sent, a sickly sweet sort of peppermint, can be annoying at times. That isn't to say its rendered unusable because of this; it simply means it can hit you a little if you aren't prepared for it.

Overall, its a simple, clean restroom with a few forgivable problems. I give it four flushes out of five.

The Worst Bathroom I've Ever Seen

Location: First (?) Floor Battle Hall

Utilities: 4 Urinals, 2 Sinks, Soap Dispensers, Paper Towels, 3 "stalls"

I figure I ought to begin with the bathroom that inspired it all.

The location is pretty manageable. I first discovered it while walking from Dobie towards the West Mall. There is a pair of unassuming doors off of inner campus drive next to an outdoor set of stairs. I walked in and only had to turn a few corners to find the gates of hell.

When you walk in you can already tell something is wrong. The sinks are not attached to the wall, not including the pipes, but are rather balanced on a single porcelain leg. This is clearly a sign of the devil's magic at work. They are also roughly the size of bath tubs which make them great for washing blood off of your forearms.

The urinals seem fine enough, and the smell isn't even really that bad. But this is all probably because this bathroom never gets used due to the fact that...

THE STALLS ARE HORRIFYING. Now I'm not saying they are unclean or anything. They're relatively sanitary. Its actually the toilets themselves. You see, most common public restroom have a flat porcelain top on which a plastic seat can be rested. For whatever reason the plastic seat has an opening at the front so that the seat doesn't make a complete oval. On these toilets, instead of a flat porcelain top to the toilet the porcelain at the front is raised about an inch and a half, and the toilet is just short enough that sitting on it comfortably means resting your genitals on this nasty raised bit. This is all compounded by the fact that the plastic seats aren't even designed for this type of toilet. Instead, the part of the seat that would overlap with the porcelain has just been sheared off and not cleanly either, so it just jabs into your leg the whole time. The entire experience feels like a tiny man is simultaneously holding your junk up with one hand and stabbing your leg with the other.

So that's it. The most poorly designed bathroom I've ever been in. I give it zero flushes out of five (and a get the hell out of there while you're at it). Consequently that is the baseline for my bathroom scale, so keep that in mind as I review others.