Graffiti 1: I love the freedom of anonymity Graffiti 2: Nice try, Brian

Reidentifying Bathroom Graffiti? by joebeone http://www.flickr.com/photos/joebeone/3591048186/ CC 3.0

Bathroom stalls are always disappointing. Traveling home from my field trip, I was hoping for a juicy piece of gossip or a clever rhyme. Alas, no.

While I hear rumors about all the funny sayings and wise quotes scratched into bathroom stall walls, all I ever see is “x loves y.” Sometimes they’re embellished with a heart, but most of the time they’re just initials connected with a plus sign.

I’m not sure why I’m so disappointed. It’s not like I expect rest area stoppers to be Shakespeare. It’s just a weird cultural touchstone that I’d like to be a part of. Or maybe all those wise sayings are just urban legends.

And no, I’ve never felt compelled to scratch anything either. One, I’m not a poetry person. Two, my rhymes are always terrible. In order to be immortalized in pressed wood or plastic, I need something that will stand the test of time, be funny and be short.

People turn to me in card signing situations and ask for those types of quotes (funny, short, meaningful, I mean) and I always fail. Perhaps it’s performance anxiety. I want to think and craft and edit and tweak and make it sound effortless. I can’t do that on my toes. I need to be sitting in front of my computer with my finger hovering over the delete key.

Perhaps I really want to see stall poetry because I want to be dazzled by something I can’t do: spur of the moment graffiti.

Is there something seemingly mundane, or profane, that you wish you could do?


2 thoughts on “Disappointment

  1. The ground floor women’s room in my building is always good for some light, albeit at times confusing, reading. A couple of the stalls have been repainted several times, blanking out the canvas for new inspired writings.

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