Public Washrooms need fix'n

Two things kill me about public washrooms: the insanely long lines that form outside of women's washrooms, and the utter silence that is ambient in nearly all washrooms.

For the latter, this is disconcerting. I have heard people pat-pat on their blackberry behind a stall's doors. I have heard of people who answer their cell phone. I have also heard other sounds ... sounds which, while universal, I don't want to hear; or to have others hear.

The following public places use music to help offset awkwardness: elevators, taxis, airplanes during boarding, doctor's offices, dentists offices, waiting lounges, tunnels that connect two subway stations (live music, no less), hotel lobbies, movie theatres before a screening, etc.

Washrooms, on the other hand, are made of a material so hard it can echo the crash of tossed dandruff. Doesn't it seem time to throw a little white noise, or Luscious Jackson ... even Jermaine Jackson ... or anything in there to muffle the fluffles?

As for the lines outside women's washrooms, this no doubt was a source of pride for men in the year 2400 BC when drinks at the Coliseum were 2 crowns a piece and people were usually hammered by the third mauling of a Christian, but I'm not sure I feel the same pride today. I wouldn't feel proud if a boy couldn't pee because no one had thought to install a 2-foot-tall urinal. People do think of that, because it's ergonomic (in the original meaning). Why, then can washrooms not be designed for equal rate of use, not equal square footage. If 10 men and 7 women can use a washroom in 10 minutes, and human physiology could take 5 million years to adapt to this, why not just move the wall a bit so it's roughly equal. It's not about empowerment, it's just dumb the other way around.