#404 When someone’s leaving the bathroom at the same time as you so you don’t have to touch the door

Germs are real.

Tiny baby bugs, squiggly creepy-crawlers, and mini-millipedes are camping under your nails, hot-tubbing in your sweaty palms, and putting their feet up in your fingers.

Coughs and colds jump hand to hand and mouth to mouth — latching onto you through handshakes, high tens, and those dreaded bathroom door handles.

Basically, anytime you finish scrubbing your hands in a food court bathroom it’s time to get out without germing yourself up using an old classic:

1. Paper pusher. Here’s where you use crumpled paper towel on the door handle to avoid full contact. Of course, now you’ve got to find a garbage can or toss the paper towel on the floor like a litterbug, also known as providing passive aggressive feedback to management about where to put trash cans. Bad style points.

2. Sleeve saver. This is when you furrow your brows, shake your head, and curl your fraying hoodie sleeve over your hand while reaching for the door. Now you walk away with clean paws but could have a urine stained shirt to show for it. Bad style points.

3. Bum first. If you’re lucky enough to get a push door you can always back into it with your plump, doughy ass instead of touching it with your hands. Careful though, you might smack someone in the face or shatter their wrist while looking the wrong way. Bad style points.

Bottom line — getting out of the bathroom without getting all virused up ain’t easy. So when you find yourself washing hands beside someone else it’s time to start slow-racing them so you can follow them out. Soap strong, dry slowly, and squeeze out right behind them, making sure to use the classic Toe Hold Move to wedge your foot in that quickly closing door. Now just smile and zoom outta there with an empty bladder, clean hands, and a bright future.

Great style points.


Photos from: here and here

57 thoughts on “#404 When someone’s leaving the bathroom at the same time as you so you don’t have to touch the door

        1. That is a super cool little invention there.. I’ve never seen one of those.. (and I like how there is a little instruction panel on the door to explain how to use it!)

            1. I love those!! It makes me feel so much safer now that I don’t have to worry about sitting on someone else’s pee! Although, I’ve only been to a couple airports that have them.

  1. I always carry hand sanitizer in my purse for reasons such as this.
    When I do the paper towel door open thing, I usually just hold the door open with my foot, lean back and toss the paper towel in a trash can in the bathroom. 9 out of 10 times there is a can close enough to the door.

    1. Shucks.. you beat me to it.. I rushed down here to the comments as soon as I saw the title, and haven’t even read the post yet…

        1. That list of tick marks must be getting pretty long by now. And I hope it’s a real one and not just a mental list, so when we get to #1, you can regale us with how many poopie posts are in this blog!

          1. jdurley – to be fair – I’m a member of 1000awesomething.com’s west coast contingent, so should get at least 3 hours of lee-way in terms of avoiding your “prompt posting purgatory”..

            Plus, things here are just a little more laid back.. so my posting four hours later than you, is in fact like me posting earlier than you! (How’s that logic for ya?)

            1. I don’t know if I can accept “logic” from someone whose nerd status has been revoked. (see #405).

            2. Nope, illogical.

              See, if Neil posts at midnight his time every night, that means you are able to see it at like 9 p.m. your time, right? So you could see it in the evening without even having to stay up too late.


  2. Get over it. They’re just germs. If everyone stopped overusing the hand sanitizer, people’s immune systems would be stronger and there would be less drug resistant viruses/bacteria out there.

  3. Sure, I too love to slip through a door when somebody is coming in, but, people, there is NOTHING wrong with touching the door handle! You will rarely get sick and you will not die. All of this germophobia is worse for you than the actual germs. Our bodies are capable of withstanding most bugs like these (or else we’d be sick constantly). This culture of fear is pathetic….

  4. Hmm. I never thought of it as passive aggressive feedback to management. Now I won’t feel so bad. Also, my ass is not doughy.

  5. Heck yea! Totally near the top of my list. As an added bonus, you get to avoid looking like a total OCD case by covering your hands in paper towels, then using your foot to hold the door open, while you awkwardly lean in to throw the paper back into the bin. Or erm, so I’ve heard.

  6. My oldest daughter, who is 31 and a mother of two, will simply WAIT until someone else comes along to open the door. And it doesn’t really matter to her how LONG she has to wait – she refuses to even attempt to touch the restroom door. I’m still waiting for her to be locked in some night as the store closes.

  7. Ha! The only problem is when you misjudge how long you should spend washing your hands and have to run of like a crazy person with still damp hands just to catch the door before it closes, and I also do the must fix my hair, clothes and anything else I can think of just to keep from leaving before my sink buddy does, lol

  8. You’ve cracked the mystery of why girls go to the bathroom in pairs. I eat lunch with a friend and we usually go to the restroom together so one of us can step on the trash can pedal while the other holds the door with the paper towel. Then we toss our towels in the trash and scoot out the door. Bathroom buddies rock!

  9. Germaphobia is not cool. We need to strengthen our immune system, not weaken it!
    Having said that, I notice that every time someone at work gets a bug, we all get it. Ever so much better since we switched to paper towels and not the same hand towel each day!

    I still cringe at the level of others hygiene tho’ and take precautions with door handles, seats etc in public places.

  10. No one has ever satisfactorily explained to me why bathroom doors open in. If they opened out, all of these issues would go away.

  11. Most people don’t know this, but using a tissue to protect your hand from a germ-ridden surface will do NOTHING against the transmission of said germs. Even a couple of sheets will still allow copious amounts of bacteria to infest your hands. But that is ok, because our hands are constantly covered in them, no amount of washing will clear that up… Even the desinfecting fluids will not clean your hands entirely of bacteria.
    I’m not saying you should stop washing your hands, but realize germs are erverywhere, and they are here to stay!
    So people, stop being such bacteriophobes and push the handle with your bare hand.

    1. E-coli is just fine in the colon, but I don’t want it on my hands (especially if it came from someone else’s colon). Enough said!

  12. You forgot the elbow move! Or am I the only one who is trying to open the door with her elbow and then pushing it open with my bum?

  13. That’s interesting. And it works for more than the rest room. I love when I get to revolving doors and there are people going in and out so I don’t get to push… And I always expect my friends to push too. LOL

    Same feeling as when lights turn green just when you approach them.

    After you, Mr. President. LOL

  14. for me it’s like the weight of the world has been taken off my shoulders :) It’s like getting out of a cell I’ve been locked in for days…

  15. I have OCD, so this is a huge problem for me. But most of the time it isn’t so bad – going into the bathroom, usually the doors will push in, and often there isn’t even a handle… so you can use your foot!

    On the way out I either:

    1. Wait for the person in front of me to leave
    2. Wait for someone to enter so I can leave
    3. Use a paper towel, then throw it out immediately
    4. Kick up my foot, push the door handle with it

    Or, just not use public bathrooms at all. ;)

  16. Heck yea!! Those icky bathroom doors KILL me! I used to touch them, and feel that thick crap all over the handle. I would wipe my hands on my jeans and totally regret it. Though now, I try to bootie-bump it open, or as you say, classic toe hold.
    SO TRUE!!!!! People who think otherwise: guys!! Germs STILL EXIST!! SO QUIT THINKING YOU WON’T GET SICK, BECAUSE YOU VERE WELL COULD!!! What if somebody had just thrown up? *Shudders*

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