People like to write about poop
By Robin Abrahams
... this is what I learned today, perusing my letters in response to Sunday's column. Nary a comment did I receive on my questions about flag etiquette or the appropriateness of Evites, but my goodness did people have suggestions for the woman whose co-workers are offended by the biological realities of life.
Which is fine by me. I sometimes describe my column as dealing with ethics, etiquette, and engineering. In other words, it's about creative--sometimes even technological--solutions to problems.
The most popular solution answered was to keep matches somewhere about, and light one after, you know. Another variant offered was to keep a candle burning. These are good solutions in a private home, but I'd be terrified, personally, to try it in an office bathroom--what if an overactive smoke detector went off? (One reader assures me that a single match won't do this.)
One woman wrote of this product, which she'd seen on TV but apparently not used. The ad copy for Just'a Drop Odor Neutralizer raises some interesting questions. For one, it claims the product "eliminates 98% of embarrassing bathroom odors at the source" (italics mine). That sounds as though it could be painful. It also claims that a bottle lasts 90 days, a calculation that would seem to require a fairly intimate knowledge of a person's habits.
A reader with a terrific signature line--"Walking around, paying attention"--has this to say:
"It is a violation of the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code to have an unventilated restroom. There must be mechanical ventilation (an exhaust fan) or natural ventilation (a window that can be opened.) Someone in that organization needs to tell the boss or the landlord to correct this unhealthy condition. This is likely to solve everybody's problem."
I wasn't up for fact-checking this one myself (reading the Flag Code was enough legal research for me this week), but it certainly sounds plausible.
A mother recommends bleach in the toilet after flushing: "With a houseful of kids and all their friends, I can attest to it as a tried-and-true fix! Trust me." I do, I do.
I'm less trusting of--but most intrigued by--this tip: "To stop odors in bathroom take two spoons of honey and two spoons of Heinz apple cider in glass of water daily." If any readers would like to attempt this and report the results to me, I'd be most interested to hear from you.