Public bathrooms are already a horror story, but sometimes they're a sensible PG-13. You can generally get in and out without being too offended or horrified.
Then sometimes you walk right on into an NC-17 situation. Excrement in places it shouldn't be. People in spots they shouldn't be.
Sometimes it's like walking into a David Lynch film. Other times it's like the movie Saw. You pray for it to be one of the milder versions.
Here were those answers.
Warning: this is gross.
Alone In The Dark
The worst experience was one night in a large public restroom:
A guy turned off the light switch as he left, leaving me in pitch darkness while sitting in a stall at the far end of the room.
I had to feel my way out of there along a row of urinals and sinks, trying to find my way to the door.
Besides being disgusting, it was scary not knowing if someone else was lurking there in the darkness waiting to attack, or whether I was truly alone.
Direct Eye Contact
I've told this story before...As a child I went to Golden Corral, ate a plate of food, and excused myself to use the restroom. I walked into the last stall and there was a lady sitting there pooping and looking back at me. The door was open. Nothing was locked. We made direct eye contact. I backpedaled, saying "OH NO I'M SORRY," and she was like "Ah honey it's fine."
BUT IT WASN'T FINE AT ALL
No Clarity Of Mind
My gym was having a competition that I was competing in, but first I had to poop. The bathroom is a single stall in a room, and the gym was very crowded, so the next person in line was waiting inside the bathroom where the stall was.
The story isn't that I ended up pooping when a stranger could hear me, but rather what transpired afterward. The toilet was old and you had to press down on the flush handle until the bowl emptied, which took forever (like, over a minute), and then it took even longer (like 5 minutes) to fill back up again.
A piece of my poop refused to flush. I flushed maybe 3 times to see if it would go down to no avail. Now, this is like 15 minutes later and I was staring at this fraction of a turd in the toilet bowl that would just not go down the damn pipe. I reached in, with my hand, pulled it out, wrapped it in toilet paper, and threw it in the little trash can that was inside the stall.
Of course, this poor person who was waiting in line for > 15 minutes HAD TO ASK "are you ok?" to which I obviously replied "yep" even though I was mortified. So I walked out of the stall, right past the next user, and washed my hands with what I hoped was my best stone-faced, IDGAF look.
In hindsight, could I have left the turd piece in there and just walked without this ill-fated attempt to hide the product of a normal bodily function? Of course. Did I possess that clarity of thought at the time? No.
Dirty Little Secret
Stood up too soon before inspecting the damage, greasy little clinger fell right down my trouser leg. I didnt realise until about 2 hours later when half my colleagues had been commenting the office smelt like poop, and i discovered my trouser leg was stuck to my thigh - with what turned out to be poop. I initially thought it must be melted chocolate, but luckily the sniff test clarified that one.
Probably one of the lowest points of my career to date.
Chicago O'Hare. The lock on the stall jammed. First time as a European that I've ever appreciated those huge gaps under the doors of American toilet cubicles. Still, having to slide along the floor of an airport wasn't the best fun.
Once walked into a bathroom when I was little, 5 or 6, with my mum. It was the woman's toilet (im a guy btw) but it was fine BC I was so young. Anyway I walked in to see like 20 used tampons just in a pile..
Buenos Aires, Thanksgiving 2017. I was on my honeymoon.
My husband had booked us a 5 course meat dinner. The entire meal would be a delicious 5 pounds of beef and unlimited wine. I was concerned about being able to consume said 5 pounds of beef, so at a local cafe, I ordered their laxative british tea
My new husband cautiously advised me against my beverage of choice, reminding me we had at least another 30 minutes to our hotel, and we were, in fact, in a foreign country.
I brushed him off, insisting that the tea wouldn't work immediately. I would be fine. I would gently poop like a lady upon the return to our hotel.
I have never been so wrong in my life
Around five minutes after the consumption of my tea, I felt my stomach cramp in tight, painful knots. I clenched my butt cheeks together in horror as I turned to my husband and said I needed a bathroom immediately. Thankfully, we were outside a mcdonald's, so I rushed in.
This particular mcdonald's had a two stall women's room. One of the stalls had a hand made sign that read OUT OF ORDER, and the other stall was occupied by a woman I was certain wasn't going to the bathroom, but having a very loud conversation in Spanish. I paced back and forth in the tiny rest room, waiting for the woman to get off the phone. Finally, once my only option was to poop my pants, I pushed open the OUT OF ORDER stall, and gave myself sweet relief.
Naturally, upon emptying ny bowels, the woman in the stall next to me left, and a long line suddenly appeared. I decided I needed to wait out the line, as I was a blonde woman, clearly not Argentinian, and didn't want to appear rude for ignoring the sign. Further, the stall I used didn't have TP and I was in desperate need. And also, definitely didn't flush.
When the line seemed to have disappeared, I snuck out of the stall to find a short, Argentinian woman in a mcdonald's uniform waiting for me. She started screaming, CACA, and waving in fury at my stall that reeked of poop.
Horrified, I apologized in English and ran out of the bathroom. She decided to follow me THROUGH THE MCDONALD'S AND INTO THE STREET, screaming CACA. My husband locked eyes with me in horror as the small Argentinian woman chased me out of the McDonald's, and every single person stared at me in disgust as I ran away in shame.
I still needed to wipe, so I made my husband buy water from next door as I cleaned myself up, humiliated.
The dinner was fantastic, though.
Panera, womens' bathroom. I'm 12 at the time.
I'm in a stall when I hear a mom and little boy come in. She's berrating him for putting his feet up on the table they were eating at. I hear her spanking him. My parents never spanked me, I'd never seen it done to anyone, so I was kinda freaked out. That's not the horrifying part though.
"Are you going to do that again?"
Kid sobs. "No."
"Did you learn your lesson?"
"Now say, I love you, Mommy "
Kid sobs a couple times.
"Say. I. Love. You. Mommy!"
"...I love you, Mommy..."
Yeah... I didn't move a muscle until I heard them leave.
Once I entered the ladies' room at Walmart only to find an elderly couple having pretty heated sex with the door open, moaning and everything. They didn't even FLINCH when I opened the door and just kept going at it. Ah, Walmart.
Wash Your Hands Next Time
I stopped at a McDonalds on my way home from work to use the bathroom. I was looking at my phone so didn't pay attention to where I was going. I also noticed everyone else was looking at their phones. I get into the bathroom and go right into the toilet. While I'm using it I notice a waste basket and I thought it was odd. I didn't think of it, I only use the toilet. Then I hear a voice from the stall next to me, and I realize it's a woman's voice. Then it occurs to me why there's a waste basket in the bathroom.
This is not so bad, but I didn't want to run the risk of scaring some woman and getting the police called on me. I was lucky the woman left. I decided I needed to take the chance and come out of the womens' room. So I suck it up and stepped out, fortunately to the sight of everyone looking down at their phones. No one noticed me. I left and caught my bus, nobody came running out of the McDonalds yelling for the police. I started laughing at myself at how I did that without being caught.