Issue: 7/03

Take it from a guy who's been kicked outta a dozen skools. They just don't make skool washrooms the way they used to.

Back in the good old days, a guy like me could get some kicks by stoppin' up somethin' to get even with the prissy English teecher for tryin' to cram Shakespeare into my brane. Know how nobody wants to use a toilet or urinal that hasn't been flushed? Think how much fun it is when all the potties in a john are stopped up! Hah hah, makes me bust a gut just thinkin' about the look on the faces of all those nerdy A-students when they had to go and couldn't find a place to do it.

Mostly, I did that stuff in my younger days. As I grew older and more sofisticated, I graduated to breakin' everything, like that thingamajig inside the toilet tank. Whatcha call it?

Get outta here. NO WAY!!! Boy, I wish I knew that back then. That would have cracked up my buddies.

Once I got the hang of wreckin' stuff, before long there wasn't a faucet handle made that I couldn't figure out how to remove in the time it took to write the F-word on a toilet stall. Me and my friends would get such a big kick watchin' a dammed-up sink overflow with no way of stoppin' it. Next thing ya' know, the floor would be so wet the clumsy kids would be slippin' all over the place. Sometimes you'd see the water tricklin' all the way into the hallway, and the principal would freak out! That was almost as much fun as mockin' cripples.

I'll never forget the time Jimmy put a gash in his finger tryin' to put a toilet outta action by breakin' off the flush handle. The skool nurse couldn't figure out why the rest of us kept snickerin' while she bandaged him up. Stoopid crybaby. He almost blew the whole thing, admittin' it happened in the bathroom. Johnny kept tellin' her, no, he got hurt in shop class, while I had to mouth words to Jimmy over her shoulder, tellin' him to play along. Finally, he caught on. "I mean...mean, it happened in shop class, not the bathroom," he stammered. I don't think she believed him, but who cares. Three of us said so, so that's that.

In my heyday, the janitor would go through a case a toilet paper every few days. Bet he thought we were eatin' the stuff. Might as well have been doin' that, for all the rolls we stuffed down the toilets. Heh, heh, get it?

Alotta times we used to cut class and hang out for entire periods in the washroom, smokin' cigarettes and foolin' around. Usually, we'd sit on the sinks, and that's how we discovered ya' could break those things, too. At first, we never even tried, 'cause they were pretty sturdy and connected to the wall and all that. It seemed more trouble than it was worth to bust 'em loose. Wasn't until Fatso Johnson decided to plop his monster keister in a basin one day that we found out it wasn't that hard after all. Granted, none of us had as much mass as Fatso, but a couple a guys kickin' and tuggin' together had the same effect. Made me glad I stayed awake once in physics class.

A Career in Ruins

As I said, those were the good old days. Ain't like that no more. Can't hardly flood or stink up a bathroom anymore, what with all the fancy-schmantzy gadgets they put in there.

Heck, most johns now protect paper towels like they're made of gold. The dispensers are all recessed into the wall, and you can only take, like, one measly piece at a time. They also got stingy with toilet paper. Nowadays, if I want to stop up a sink or a toilet, I almost have to use the shirt off my back. That really takes the fun away.

A lot of johns don't even have paper towels anymore. They put in all those stoopid electrical hand dryers. Once in awhile, ya' find places that have both paper towels and automatic hand dryers. I love those, because ya' can wad up the paper towels and stick them in the dryer opening, then watch the sparks fly! Only trouble is, every place I've done that, next thing ya' know, ya' can't find any paper towels anymore. People who run the skools take all the joy outta life.

Plus, the hand dryers are gettin' harder to tinker with. The original models used to be pretty easy to break, but the modern ones are made of sturdy materials and built into the wall. Ya' almost have to be, like, a mechanic to figure out how to put 'em outta service. I'm better at bein' an un-mechanic, if ya' get my drift.

Faucet handles are also gettin' hard to find inside of skool washrooms. First, they came out with those springy versions that closed automatically. Those made it a lot harder for us vandals to have fun--until I found out it's not real hard to remove the handles to flood the floor instead of just leavin' them turned on. But, geez, that's like doin' maintenance work, only in reverse. Last thing I want is to be a sucker that needs to work for a livin'.

Nowadays, it's gettin' to the point where ya' don't even find faucets with handles anymore. A lot of skools have those electronic gizmos that go on and off like magic. They don't stay on for more than a few seconds after ya' take your hands out from underneath. At first, clever guys like myself figured out ya' could still start an overflow by stickin' around and constantly puttin' yer hands underneath the faucet. But that takes too long. It eats into time I need to steal little kids' lunch money.

And just try to muck up the works of those gizmos. It doesn't seem like it would take much to pull out a few wires, but just try to find them! They put 'em behind a wall or in other places ya' can't even see.

A lot of skools also put in toilets and urinals with them electrical eyes. Too bad. Tinkerin' with those big flush handles over the urinals used to be a true test of a vandal's I.Q. Only the best of us could screw them up so the urinal would keep runnin' and runnin'. Now, ya' can spend half your day figurin' out how to mess with the equipment in the john. Who's got time for that?

Ya' wouldn't believe all the other stuff they're doin' to stop guys like me from doin' what we do best. Everything gets built into the wall nowadays--soap dispensers, toilet paper rolls, paper towel holders. Things get fastened with screws that ya' can't pull out. They even make mirrors outta stainless steel instead of glass. Toilet stall partitions are made outta material you can hardly write on, and when you do, it can be wiped off with a swipe of the hand. In the old days, a girl's phone number would last on a restroom wall till she had kids of her own. Now, it's gone by the next day.

Hey, and who the heck is gonna try to tear down a sink when they put in those big fountains where three or four kids can wash their hands at the same time? Some skools even put sinks in hallways outside the washroom where teachers can see ya'. And don't even bother tryin' to get outta skool early by startin' a washroom fire anymore. Almost everything ya' find inside a skool john nowadays is fireproof, for cryin' out loud.

With all that's goin' on, who's stickin' up for the rights of us vandals? That's what I'd like to know.