When you’ve gotta go, Michael Sykes would like you to keep his etiquette advice in mind.
DON’T use the restroom stall or urinal next to someone else unless you have no choice. DO wash your hands. DON’T talk on your cell phone. And if you’re a guy in a public restroom, DO refrain from you-know-what.
For 15 years, Sykes has been providing this kind of helpful advice at the website of The International Center for Bathroom Etiquette (“Performing #1 and #2 in comfort and style since 1995″). He serves as president, founder and rulemaker.
Sykes is serious. He’s a native of Canada who works as a researcher at The Scripps Research Institute and lives in Carmel Valley with his family. And he really does want to bring better etiquette to restrooms and bathrooms. With the help of media organizations from around the world, he’s become the world’s leading expert on the proper way to take care of business.
It’s good to have a hobby. But, as an FAQ on his site puts it, is he mental? His answer: “Possibly.” Whatever the case, he agreed to sit down — at a table outside a coffee house, mind you — and talk about his role as the “Emily Post of the Loo.”
How does a nice guy like you become an expert in properly going to the bathroom?