April 1, 2005

Ruminations on Sanitation

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For some it may be the weather, for others the sudden inundation by country music. For me, however, the telltale sign that I’ve arrived in upstate New York is simply this: the region’s shocking lack of toilet seat covers. To go from the automatic, hands-free, saran wrap technology of O’Hare (Don’t pretend like you haven’t wasted seat covers just to see the plastic circle go around and around!) to the naked, open invitation for germs that is John Hancock can be a traumatizing thing, but for those of us who have the privilege of flying cross country every time we want to go home, it is a sad reality to be faced alone.

The toilet seat cover rejection epidemic has reached even Cornell, home of world-class dining and climbing. We have one of the top ten library systems in the world but we don’t have simple safeguards against bacteria? This isn’t so much a rant as it is a sad lament because I seriously don’t foresee the University taking sudden action to install a toilet seat cover dispenser in every stall. They’ve got more serious things to take care of, like regulating on the second piece of fruit you take from dining halls or making sure you pay for the super-secret-special piece of rare plastic that Cornell I.D. cards seem to be made out of ($25? Really??). Anyhow, the problem is too prevalent and widespread now to fix. For those of you unable (or too lazy) to do the traditional squat-and-balance, the only solution lies in the foraging method where toilet paper must double for the seat cover that is lacking.

What am I so afraid of? I’m sure those of you who’ve experienced the gift of bathroom cleaning at your residence of choice are quite familiar with the art of toilet maintenance. Imagine my horror when as a na