Bathroom vandalism: world’s greatest art form


photo by Peyton Whittington

Title: “Lies” Artist: Unknown Date: c. 2016 Medium: Sharpie and plastic

Peyton Whittington, Managing Editor

On those rare occasions I give in and use a school bathroom or any public restroom, I make sure my visit is speedy and short-lived. There are a select few, however, who take these bathroom trips very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they would take the time to draw a dolphin with breasts on the toilet paper dispenser.

This clearly is the future of artistic expression.

Bathroom vandals are innovative creative geniuses. Just think about the planning that goes into bathroom vandalism: you need to conceal and transport a writing utensil into the bathroom and choose the placement, design and nature of the vandalism itself, all while having your morning pee. It’s extraordinary. Bathroom vandals are true masters of multitasking.

Five distinct varieties of bathroom vandals exist: the camp counselors (“Jesus loves you,” “Love yourself”), the grammatically confused vandals (“Your stupid”), the angsty teens (“I hate this school,” “Satan is coming for you”), the minimalists (writing “green” on a green tile) and the doodle-bugs (remember the dolphin?).

There is one, however, who claims a category of his own: The Poop Bandit™. Now, there’s an artist. The Bandit once roamed the halls of this great school, using the bathroom walls as his canvas and his own defecation as paint. But The Bandit got too proud and too (as the wise Donald Trump once said) braggadocious, and was caught. Alas, nothing gold can stay.

In the case of The Poop Bandit™, bathroom vandalism truly represents the duality of man and the fleeting nature of human existence. What we think and choose to grace the bathroom walls with at our most vulnerable moments, sprawled out on our porcelain thrones, reveals the troubled inner machinations of humans as a species.

What must go on in those gifted minds? What glittering imagination says to itself “Now would be an excellent time to let the world know I hate the gays” or “I know exactly what this wall space needs: my articulate criticism of the American public education system” while sitting in a poorly lit bathroom stall? The mind of a bathroom vandal is something to be cherished and appreciated.

So next time you see depictions of phalluses in Sharpie or racial slurs scrawled in the script of a third grader on your next trip to the bathroom, remember you are standing where a true artist once stood.