Rear Window Ethics Rear Window Ethics: Public Bathroom Handicapped Stalls

Monday, February 14, 2005

Public Bathroom Handicapped Stalls

Question:

Does anyone else think so highly of the large handicapped stalls in bathrooms, or is it just me?

Seriously, if I have to use a public bathroom for purposes other than those allowed at urinals or sinks (and this is usually rare), I always go for the handicapped stall. It's like having your own little apartment in the bathroom. You can hang your coat up, stretch out your legs, maybe even do a little reading if people have left verbose graffiti.

Compared to the luxury of the handicapped stall, regular stalls seem so cramped and restricted. Sometimes the toilet paper dispenser is too close to my knees or the door is too close to the actual toilet seat. I get claustrophobic in there. And for some reason they always seem dirtier than their handicapped companions.

My one worry, however, is that one day I'll be enjoying the spaciousness of the handicapped stall, just relaxing in the breadth of my little apartment, and suddenly a handicapped person who needs that stall will come into the bathroom and be mad at me for using it. I get nervous about that, and sometimes it makes me cut short an otherwise enjoyable time in my little apartment so as to avoid such a situation.

I mean, you never know. The next person in the door could be in a wheel chair and might have to go really bad.