Lately, I’ve been spending a good deal of time in the bathrooms on campus. Just ruminating.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself why I would choose to chill in such rancid places, pitted against the lingering stenches from defecations new and old. But let me tell you: When you’re sitting on the pot, there’s plenty of time to think. Plenty of time to push out creative passion. Plenty of time to take out a pen and graffiti the bathroom stalls.
Or so it seems.
And while at first such destruction to the walls of our pristine, porcelain waste disposers seems a cultural faux pas, in reality, this is where some of the most interactive and progressive university learning can unfold.
Come, take a walk with me around campus, and I’ll show you what I mean.
We’ll start at the library, the central hub of information, that, when viewed from the top, slightly resembles a giant nipple. Inside this beacon of knowledge resides a hidden philosophical treasure of sorts. It’s one of the many artifacts around campus, secluded and tucked away in the side alleys of our buildings’ hallways. Twentieth and 21st century hieroglyphs, if I may. And they reveal as much about our culture, particularly the masculine portion, as almost any artistic or historical artifact in existence. Ever.
So in order to see such treasures, simply follow me to the men’s bathroom just outside the 24/7 area in the main library. Here, in one of the first stalls, you’ll find one of our acclaimed Aztec artist’s renderings of a hand flipping the bird. Notice the texture on the knuckles and the attention given to the middle finger, how it stretches to the sky, staring right at you. That’s right, I said right at you. Picture it.
In the next stall, we move from fine art to philosophy. Written on the backside of the door, in elegantly hand scribbled English: “God is a mathematical equation that is present in all life.”
Deep stuff, right? The first time I read it I sat there and resolved the meaning of the quote for at least a half hour before finally putting the seat up. And then, the next day, when I went back to that same oracle of an inside outhouse, someone had responded to the original phrase.
This particular hater countered with a rejection of God’s mathematical omnipresence: “No, God is fiction created by man as a crutch for the weak.”
You gotta’ admit, whichever side you’re on, this back-and-forth discourse, the stroking of the ego, has to stimulate your mind, right?
However, the sad crudeness of our culture is also exposed in this particular lavatory near our library. In addition to the religious debate, another of our community’s opinionated authors has penned a “Top 5” list of his favorite porn stars. Here’s the rundown:
No. 1 Jaime Hammer, No. 2 Jenaveve Jolie, No. 3 Jelena Jensen and No. 4 Jasmine Byrne.
Curiously, the list stops at No. 4. No one knows why. Or why the author was so obsessed with the letter J. Some think, like the Anasazi culture in the southwest, this artist just up and disappeared. Unexplained.
Moving on. As we walk to the northern edge of campus, we enter the Professional Studies and Fine Arts building. On the third floor, in the journalism wing, the men’s bathroom awaits. We enter with a warning in one of the stalls: “Don’t fall in the rabbit’s hole.” Just above the creed, a large animated picture tells an ancient tale. A figure that resembles Bart Simpson plays on the ground near an elder caricature. The piece of art displays the intimacy of their relationship with actions better left unsaid. But maybe Alexa Hall could give you an idea of the image. Her name is on the wall as reference with her phone number written nearby.
Other cultural pictures and artifacts include a phallic tank with a large gun shaft, strangely asexual race cars and a penis hamburger.
But ultimately, this stall’s brilliance stems from a daunting challenge set forth by someone who has come before: “Anyone can piss on the wall. Be a hero, s— on the ceiling.”
With that idea left festering in your head, we enter the men’s bathrooms at Storm Hall, where a stall proclaims, “They say The Boulevard is no place to die,” and that one should, “Acknowledge that you deserve nothing. You’ll be entitled to enjoy everything.”
Solid words of advice, no doubt. Additionally, a tally on the wall demonstrates a democratic vote on the sexual appeal of white women versus Mexican women. The results are mixed but still ongoing with white women holding a slight advantage.
Our last stop on the tour of No. 2 Townhouses is the Adams Humanities building, where, on the third floor you’ll discover, “In the U.S., more people voted for ‘American Idol’ than in the presidential election.” However, a candid observer notes the reason being: “Age limits, dumbass.”
In this running dialogue another contributor responds: “That is truely sad.”
And as the conversation continues: “This is college and people still can’t spell.”
And last: “That is the least of their problems.”
-Ty Thompson is an MFA grad student in fiction. For a good time, e-mail him at email@example.com.
-This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.
*Note: The Daily Aztec does not encourage students to write on the walls of the bathroom.