Marcus Jones


Bathrooms Need Ambience

If you feel like you could use some bathroom ambience, you’re not alone

Public bathrooms are always awkward. (Kristen Frier)

I’m going to be real honest here: I hate public bathrooms. There’s nothing like needing to drop one and waiting for the next person to get out only to recoil in disgust at the Lovecraftian-horror that was once a porcelain seat greeting you with open arms.

Sometimes, the urinal clogs up, and people apparently don’t clue into this until you realize that a foul pond is smiling up at you. I don’t think the girl’s bathroom could be any worse, but from what I’ve heard, forbidden rituals used to summon the Great Old Ones into this mortal realm are conducted there.

That’s beside the point. The bottom line is this: Ambience, or at least some kind of background music, needs to be played in bathrooms. Bathrooms are where you conduct your business in privacy.

That being said, there’s nothing likes sitting down and getting ready to let your guard waiver for a second when the elderly man in the stall next to you hacks up a lung, jumpscaring you where you sit. On more than one occasion, when you’re in a stall and another person comes into the stall next to you, you can hear everything that goes on in there — from the weak cough to the rustle of newspaper. Hell, it gets so quiet that you can even hear what the person in the stall next to you is thinking.

This is a problem that can be solved with some ambience like ethereal music or a calming soundscape, as it cuts through the air of awkwardness in the bathroom. By focusing on the music that is playing instead of whatever disturbing noises are emanating from the other stall, one can enjoy privacy.

Either soft jazz music or modern pop music will suffice — anything that isn’t an empty silence punctuated with the sweet sound of cracking porcelain and agonized screams as Mr. Hanky enters this world once more.

I’m not kidding! I know I’m not the only one who believes that there needs to be some kind of noise playing in the bathroom, not only in university but in public bathrooms in general. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been to the Strawberry Hill Cineplex bathroom and had to listen to multiple instances of “I’ve held it in all through the two-hour movie and now I shall reign down hell” unfold beside me.

Privacy matters. Yes, I know it sounds clichéd, but who wants to leave the bathroom mortified by hearing the horrific fucking aftermath of what happens when you mix a Taco Bell binge with a pot full of chilli?