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Are you a crass doofus?

Whatever you do, you don't want to be this guy.

Yes?  No?  Hopefully not.  But even if we pretend to ourselves that we are not, I'll wager that there are many more instances of terminal, or even occasionally unintentional doofusism, than many men would care to admit to themselves.  Especially when it comes to visiting the men's room.  It's ok though because in most instances a guy can avoid coming across to others like a crass doofus with just a tiny bit of care, forethought, and, yes, consideration for others.  Here are thirteen tips that might help when nature calls.  Ready?  Here we go. . .

1) When answering the call of nature, simply excuse yourself for a moment without loudly announcing "I'll be right back.  I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM!"  Is there anything worse than hearing some loudmouth broadcast to the world that his bladder is full and/or bowels need to move?  I cannot tell you the number of times I have overheard similar pronouncements while out and about during the roughly last 30 years of my adult life.  Jeeze Louise!  You'd think I would know better by now and not continue to be surprised, but I am always and without fail taken aback by the base level of many men's general behavior.  And this is just such a case.

2) Once you finish in the men's room, and whether you're wearing jeans, chinos and sports jacket, or a full suit, it should go without saying that you check twice to make sure your pants are zipped up before washing your hands and returning to the rest of the world, boys.  I mean, come on!  You don't want to be that boob -- We've all met 'em -- who walks around for hours totally unaware that  the barn door is open, and the cow is about to bolt through it at the first available opportunity.

3) On a similar note, make sure there is no toilet paper, an errant gum wrapper, or other trash stuck to your shoes before you leave the restroom.  Or, Heaven help us, trailing from the waistband of your pants.

4) It might also be a good idea to take a gander in the mirror to be sure your shirt collar and jacket lapels are not rumpled or sticking up in the back.

5) And if you're wearing one, it might be a good idea too for you to glance in the bathroom mirror and straighten your necktie as and when necessary.

6) Likewise, double-check your face and address any issues.  Just think how embarrassed you would feel (or ought to) if someone quietly took you aside and informed you that you had something hanging from your left nostril, food in your beard or 'stache, or a crazy corkscrew hair sticking out of one ear.

7) It used to be -- before the world, it seems, began going through waking life with perpetually rumpled bed head. . .  or those ridiculous Bob's Big Boy-Ed Grimley fauxhawk hairdos -- that guys checked their hair in the mirror and made the necessary adjustments.  Come on, boyos!  All it takes is a small pocket comb and 30 seconds to restore your part and smooth out any cowlicks or rumples.  Check your hair and comb it if necessary before leaving the men's room in other words.

8) And don't forget. . .  Straighten your suit coat or sports jacket, Maynard.  Especially if you have had to remove it to, ahem, take care of business while using the facilities.

9)  Once in a while, even if making a routine quick stop in the men's room, if might be a good idea to re-tuck, or smooth your shirt and hitch up your pants before fastening your belt and washing your hands.  When you spot a guy with a tucked in shirt and actual belt these days -- an increasing rarity it seems -- as likely as not, part o the shirt has come untucked, exposing either his t-shirt, or flabby belly below.  This has to be one of the most common doofussy looks around.  But it can be an easily remedied problem if a guy simply cultivates the habit of checking his appearance while in the men's room and fixing things if necessary.  And no.  Paying attention to the details of your personal appearance makes you neither vain, nor effeminate for the love of God.  Get with the program!

10) This is a less major point, perhaps, but it is always a plus when your necktie, belt buckle, and shirt placket line up neatly.  That way, you don't look like you've camped out at the airport for 36 hours because you missed the flight out to Kuala Lumpur or Jogjakarta, yet you were too cheap to book a hotel room during the interim beore the next one. . .  you suave international man of mystery and intrigue, you.

11) Here is an important point that many guys seem to forget.  Respect others' mental and physical space while in the men's room and avoid bothering others.  Yep.  In other words, give people some privacy for a few minutes.  Ok?  Not everyone wants to carry on a conversation about the weather or whatever while standing at an adjacent urinal, or in the next stall despite the apparent habits of late president Lyndon B. Johnson.  Ugh!  Take care, instead, of whatever you need to, wash your hands, and leave the premises without launching into a soliloquy on whatever arcane thought drifts through your mind at that particular moment in time.  Continue, for instance, your monologue on George Brett's batting average during the 1981 baseball season later, once everyone has reconvened elsewhere, for Pete's sake!

12) Following a visit to the men's room, under no circumstances should you discuss your activities therein once you return to your company.  Were you raised under a rock?  While that habit might be the norm in some families, believe me, most of us don't really want to know why you went to the bathroom, or what transpired therein.  Keep your spastic colon to yourself, thank you very much. 

13) Finally, here's a bonus tip for those of you still reading.  Don't, whatever you do, clip your fingernails, toenails, or perform other grooming rituals in public!  It's really far more pleasant for everyone if these kinds of things remain behind closed doors.  Know what I mean?   I would even argue that these are activities best attended to at home, in the privacy of your own bathroom, rather than in a public restroom.  Or, as I have sadly witnessed on more than one occasion, in places like boarding areas in airport terminals and. . .  in seminar rooms during allegedly professional meetings (Shudder).  It's judgmental, yes, but clearly there are people on the loose among us who just don't know any better and behave as though they were raised in a barn.  That's not really how we want to come across now, is it?

There you go.  As always, there might be some additional relevant points I have failed to bring up here, but those I mention above will go a long way toward helping you to avoid being a crass doofus.  Remember, style, grooming, and sophistication have more to do with how we conduct ourselves than they do with the precise length of our sports jacket, structured versus sack silhouettes, single-breasted versus double-breasted versus three-piece, or whether we wear tasseled loafers with a suit.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


  1. Keep up the good work with your civilizing mission.

  2. Thank you Old School! I try, I try. But I fear that many guys are beyond help even at a fairly young age i the male figures in their lives as children have not set good examples.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich von B.


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All opinions are welcome here. Even those that differ from mine. But let's keep it clean and civil, please.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

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