Cold porcelain will be your friendJuly 27, 2009
There’s a social oddity going on in Japan where students will eat in a bathroom stall rather than eat alone in the cafeteria. The reason for this is explained by a communications studies professor in the linked article.
For these students, it is better to eat in a toilet than to be perceived as friendless and spotted dining alone in the school cafeteria.
Now as someone who has eaten many a meal alone (as well as downed many a drink alone) I can say that it has never occurred to me to eat in the bathroom. But I have an inkling the idea might have an audience with a few lonely people I know.
“I’ve eaten meals in trees, in drop ceilings, in closets, but never a bathroom stall,” says Ninja Vicki. “I would be mortified if someone in the next stall over heard me chewing.”
“I’ve had a beer while pissing before,” says Anonymous Doug. “But that’s usually at a party. And I find it funny that I’m drinking and pissing at the same time, like I’m pouring the beer right down my throat and out my dick.”
“I just didn’t eat when I was that lonely in school,” says Tina the Lesbian. “So these kids are just trading anorexia and bulemia for e.coli and Hepatitis, which won’t help their loneliness at all.”
“If the girl next to me in the bathroom was eating her lunch, I’d tell her that little metal box in the stall is not for throwing away burger wrappers,” says Ninja Vicki.
“I’ve done a lot of things on the toilet,” says Anonymous Doug. “Did my taxes on the john. Solved a Rubik’s Cube. Watched seasons one and two of Knight Rider. But never ate a meal on the john.”
“It would save bulemics that long walk to the bathroom to throw up if they just ate right there in the stall,” says Tina the Lesbian. “Then again, if no one sees you eat then they’re going to know something’s wrong with you. That’s like Rule Three of Bulimia Club: always eat in front of people so they don’t suspect anything.”
“The bathroom’s not even a good place to hide because people are always coming in and out,” says Ninja Vicki. “How is a socially isolated teenager supposed to eat and cry alone like I did in high school in such a high traffic area?”
“I’ve been in hotels where there’s phones set up right next to the toilet,” says Anonymous Doug. “Perhaps it’s only a matter of time until we just do everything in the bathroom. Maybe I’ll start off small, like with a bag of Doritos on the toilet, and then slowly move up from there. By the end of the month I could be up to a microwavable Hungry-Man dinner.”
“Maybe you eat less when you dine in a bathroom stall because it limits what you can take in with you,” says Tina the Lesbian. “It would sure beat going back to being bulimic. The acid reflux, dehydration, and fainting spells sucked but damned if I wasn’t a lean mean lesbo machine that magical spring semester of junior year.”
I don’t believe we’ve reached a consensus on this issue, except on the point that Ninja Vicki, Anonymous Doug, and Tina the Lesbian have more issues than I thought they already had.