Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. After a sixteen-ounce cup of coffee and a morning glory muffin who can blame you? You’re only human. You’re just the way God made you. You’ve gotta do what all good people do… you’ve got to relieve yourself in a cafe bathroom. Sometimes this can pose a difficult situation – and we know just how to pull it off without raising an eyebrow.

Pick the perfect time.

The cafe is busy. The baristas are at full capacity. The line is to the door. There’s some weird glitchy electro-pop playing. This is the best time to sneak away with the bathroom key. There’s too much commotion, there are too many grinders grinding, and nobody’s paying attention. This is your time.

Tidy the situation.

If the bathroom was left amiss by the last user, take a moment to take care of the bathroom with an impromptu paper-towel glove. Clean up the towels on the floor, put the new roll of toilet paper in the toilet paper thing, the puddles below the sink – just get it nice and presentable. We know, this isn’t your job, but as the great Robert Baden-Powell once said, “Leave this world a little better than you found it.”

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Don’t let a knock disrupt you.

This will happen. The door is locked, the bathroom is occupied, and you’ve just sat down. The knock will come at the door. Ignore it. Plug your ears. This is your time. The person knocking does not exist. It is just you now.

Leave the toilet seat up.

In any other situation, leaving the toilet seat up is de mauvais goût, but nothing confuses the next bathroom user more than entering a foul room with the toilet seat up.

Light a match.

This is advanced-user advice. Always carry a matchbook. Nothing covers up tracks better than lighting a match. If you have one, kudos you. Use it. Heck, use two. Always ignite, then extinguish the flame underwater to ensure the fire is out.

Don’t make eye contact.

This is key. When you leave the facilities and someone might be waiting, do not make eye contact. Making eye contact is just awkward. What kind of face do you give the person waiting in line? Whatever face it is, it isn’t a face you want to be making. Face the floor and make a bee-line back to your seat. You’ve finished your mission. Congratulations.

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