Science: Health: Public Bathroom: Cubicle
Breakaway doors   (0)  [vote for, against]
For bathroom stalls, just in case.

Every time I go to flush a public toilet, I experience an unusual amount of fear that the thing is going to violently overflow. Don’t ask me to explain this fear, I have no idea where it comes from. It has never once happened to me, and logic tells that that it never will, but my for whatever reason, for a few brief seconds leading up to and following the flush, I am convinced that I am about to be witness to a very unfortunate mishap.

The worst part of this fear is knowing that I am essentially trapped in the stall with a ready-to-explode commode. Well, not really trapped, but it seems that 1) unlocking the door, 2) moving TOWARDS the toilet to make room, and 3) swinging the door inwards, are all actions that would definitely not help me get away from the spewing sewage as quickly as possible.

So in the event that my fear should ever become reality (God forbid), I want to just be able to turn and run, door be damned. I think the best implementation is to give stall doors breakaway hinges. When my body hits the door with the speed and ferocity that only true terror can supply, the hinges will simply give way and allow the door to open/fall outwards. This would shave precious seconds from my escape time, and hopefully minimize the trauma.

Theoretically, the design of the hinges would allow them to be reattached, insuring that you wouldn’t need to buy a new door every time this happened. But then again, seeing that it will probably never actually happen, it should be a non-issue. Just knowing that the breakaway capability is there should be enough to calm my fear.

(Yes, I know I’m crazy, but it’s too late to do anything about that. Also, I realize that there is probably any number of solutions about opening the door before flushing, but that just seems rude to others.)
-- luecke, Jul 28 2004

hydroletiphobia. http://www.unusualp...etsoverflowing.html
find category under Health: public bathroom [po, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

phundug's link as as a link neverthe less...
[po, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Thanks for the category help, [po]. This isn't really a health issue (maybe mental health), but it wasn't a home issue either, so I moved it.

Also, good to see that others share my phobia, although I don't know if that puts me at ease or reinforces the basis of my fear...
-- luecke, Jul 28 2004

are you quite relaxed around your own plumbing then?
-- po, Jul 28 2004

In submarines, I believe there is a system of valves to flush the toilet (remember there is very high pressure outside). I heard that a common prank is to leave the valves in the wrong position so that the next customer gets a high pressure face-full.
-- Ling, Jul 28 2004

I wonder what happened to my idea for Toilet Splash Safety Notices. The idea was that every public toilet had to have a government rating posted on the wall, telling you how "safe" the toilet was from splashback or overflowing (mandatory re-inspections every year). There was a rating scale from 0 to 5: 5 = Safest and 0 = Warning: Violent splashout likely!
-- phundug, Jul 28 2004

yes [po], I've been pretty comforatble with myself ever since those adolescent years...

Or I suppose you could have been questioning my comfort in my home bathroom, in which I have no fear. I don't know if that is because I am more trusting of the toilet itself, or because I have quite a bit more room than a stall provides.
-- luecke, Jul 28 2004

Toilet bowls are designed so that if the water level is at the correct height in the bowl to start with, then the toilet should accomodate a full cistern's worth of water. This is to prevent overflow should a blockage occur.

I know rational explanations are not much help when it comes to irrational fears, so maybe there could be a "maximum" line on the inside of the toilet. Thus if the level is below that line before flushing, some reassurance may be derived from the fact that there simply isn't enough water in the cistern to cause a flood.
-- egbert, Jul 28 2004

egbert: That would be fine for cistern-fed toilets, but in many commercial buildings the toilets are blasted with water direct from the water mains using a timer-valve. If the valve malfunctions, they could put forth a LOT of water.
-- supercat, Jul 28 2004

It's the unexpected flush whilst you’re sitting upon the seat that you want to watch out for. Those timer-valves are like time bombs just waiting to go off. That unstable porcelain shell could go at any minute. Do you feel lucky? Well do you?

Another solution to this problem could be the mandatory installation of at least one cubicle door with an opposing opening operation (where spatially possible).
-- silverstormer, Jul 28 2004

personal portable ejector seat.
-- po, Jul 28 2004

Poor [luecke]. I picture her crashing through the stall door, leaving a perfectly neat, person-shaped cutout, just as many an enemy of Bugs Bunny has done before.
-- phundug, Jul 28 2004

1. Open door.

2. Flush

3. Stroll/run away.
-- GutPunchLullabies, Jul 28 2004

[phundug] - I think I would have to crash through the door pretty darn hard to change myself into a female... but now you've guaranteed that even if this idea were to ever be implemented, at least I would have a new fear to worry about.
-- luecke, Jul 28 2004

You're a man, and yet you didn't think of the fact that there might be URINALS outside the door, whose users might be quite PERTURBED to have a steel door fall upon them while they are peeing?
-- phundug, Jul 28 2004

All these annos, and only one vote. So, [+]
-- ghillie, Jul 28 2004

To hell with them, [phundug]. If they have a reoccurring fear of being assaulted by doors while they are peeing then they can come up with their own silly idea of a solution. I try not to be selfish, but I think in this type of situation I would do just about anything to get away from an exploding toilet… hit them with a door, trample small children, scream like a girl (oh the irony...)
-- luecke, Jul 28 2004

I have a feeling this will create more neuroses than it cures, but I still wish you the best. (P.S. I'm not using urinals anymore if there's a toilet stall behind them.)
-- phundug, Jul 28 2004

//I would do just about anything // yeah its a phobic thing... me, its about knees bending the wrong way...

explain - oh the irony. in private if you prefer.
-- po, Jul 28 2004

[po] – Since grade school, the only person to call me a girl has been my high school football (American style if it matters) coach, and that was more of a generalization of the entire team, not so much myself individually. So I was amused to see [phundug] mistake me for a woman, and I felt that I should make some sort of defense of my manhood. But when I tried to explain to him how the needs of my terror outweigh the needs of others, I made reference to how I would indeed act very girl-like (stereotype, I know… but come on, you gals do usually scream a bit more than us men) in this situation.
-- luecke, Jul 28 2004

I read today that the loudest noise ever (human) came from a petite woman shouting... does it matter much here, if we are f or m?
-- po, Jul 28 2004

Why don't we run [luecke]'s idea through Gender Genie? That ought to settle this "man or woman" question once and for all. (Yes, it was wrong about me 2 times out of 3; however, I still believe it is the ultimate authority). Care to try, [luecke]?
-- phundug, Jul 28 2004

[phundug] all this time and you have still not figured out the link function?
-- bristolz, Jul 28 2004

Looks like the Gender Genie has the honor of being the third to call [luec] a girl. I swear that page is wrong almost 100% of the time, which makes it somewhat useful for telling what gender someone is not.
-- Worldgineer, Jul 28 2004

I'll give it a try, hang on...




The results came back, female 356 to male 353, sounds pretty close to me. But what does that say when both phundug AND technology think I'm female? Oh well, what can you do? Just as long as my fiancee doesn't find out...

(edit: oh, you guys already ran the test... didn't trust me to report back with the proper results, eh?)
-- luecke, Jul 28 2004

[bris] I planned to delete my anno since this link is not relevant to the topic at hand. Just being my usual efficient self :)

BTW, [luecke], did you choose "fiction", "nonfiction", or "blog" for the text subject? I have a feeling if you choose "blog" it automatically assumes you are female.
-- phundug, Jul 28 2004

fiction and non-fiction came back with the exact same results, so I didn't try blog... maybe there's hope yet
-- luecke, Jul 28 2004

Oh. Sorry, looks like there's *less* hope. However, I think you're a great writer. Very articulate and picturesque, and if that makes someone a girl, then I would be honored to be a girl, too.
-- phundug, Jul 28 2004

breakaway doors should be made of sugar.
-- PinkDrink, Jul 28 2004

Sign on anti-hydroletiphobic cubicle: For sanitary and maintenence reasons, please do not eat door.
-- Worldgineer, Jul 28 2004

At the catholic high school in my home town, the boys room had a long wall with 6 toilets in a row sticking out. No seperating walls, no doors. No evidence that doors or walls had ever been there. If six guys wanted to take a dump at once, they could hold hands while doing so.

This approach would avoid the possibility of overflow emergencies since you could just bolt up and off the pot. An additional safeguard might be a sloped room so overflow would run back against the wall.
-- bungston, Jul 28 2004

Very nice, [leucke]. +.
-- lintkeeper2, Jul 28 2004

What about the people outside the stall? Wouldn't the door flying off the hinges pose a hazard? or if the door came off by accident? Also the door would be damaged each time and would need replacing and would damage whatever they hit while falling.
-- christ_wurm, May 22 2007

random, halfbakery