Many people have their own theories about the collapse of modern civilization.
Some even believe that the beginning of the end has already come to pass. Ask late night comedians, and they may tell you it happened the moment it became necessary to add “Do not drink” to the label of every bottle of motor oil.
Ask my step dad, and I bet he’ll say it was around the time Satan invented the Democrats.
However, I don’t believe that time has passed, but I can tell you with every bit of confidence that the truest signs of the fall of man shall come to pass within a men’s restroom.
As I am no shaman, I cannot divine the dark and terrible secrets that dictate the etiquette of the ladies’ room. However, my frighteningly high-fiber and Dr. Pepper-based diet has cursed me to spend my life as an expert on the inner workings of the men’s restroom.
You see, the men’s room is the modern man’s equivalent to an oasis in the African savanna.
Every animal must drink from the same oasis.
For a few minutes, predator and prey must become their most vulnerable, often only feet away from other animals that would kill and eat them at any other time. These other animals must refrain from violence in the hopes that they may be granted the same decency in their own moments of vulnerability.
The oasis in the savanna is the great equalizer of the animal world, and such is the nature of the men’s room.
Men of all ages and races, rich and poor, employers and employees: All must journey to the men’s room and become their most vulnerable.
Every man knows the rules of the bathroom. These rules are not written down. There is no Constipation Constitution. These rules exist in the hearts and minds of every man.
To break them is crime unequaled in its savagery and lack of humanity. The consequences of breaking these rules can be severe.
Most of the rules are in place to prevent any accidental visual exposure.
For example, the men of Earth have collectively decided that, inside public restrooms, we must act as if we are the only person with a dingus, and we must be ashamed of this fact.
We must not speak, lest we shatter the illusion that we are not in fact urinating into a hole in a wall along with multiple other men.
We do not mock those who prefer the shelter of the stalls, even though everyone is totally aware they had no intention of pooping.
And unless the bathroom is full, a minimum of one urinal must separate any two tinklers. To break this rule is the gravest of crimes.
A man who breaks these sacred rules has nothing to lose, even their dignity. These rules demand only the faintest sense of camaraderie toward your fellow man. When the time comes that these sacred pillars of the holy bathroom collapses, when man cares so little about his fellow man that they desecrate these palaces of peace, when sending a two-pound gas station burrito on a final journey to the ocean ceases to inspire shame: That is when civilization falls.
Reach the columnist at Jacob.Evans@asu.edu or follow him at @JacobEvansSP
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