To the males who inhabit my building, I pose the following question: Seriously? When I arrived in the good old 08540 so many months ago, I had long since learned what I understand to be the laws–facts, perhaps, is a better word. Call them what you like–of life. These are they. Just these. Really–it’s not a very long list.

1. Don’t kill. Unless it’s absolutely necessary. Folsom Prison aspirations can, maybe, count. But really, don’t play with guns kids.

2. Eat vegetables.

3. Be nice to strangers. You never know how famous they are or how influential they may be in your future–for better or worse.

And now boys, pay close attention. This one trumps the previous three. Combined. I swear (don’t Nuh-Uh me. Don’t even think about it.) What follows take with you to the grave, and from the pearly gates of Heaven, thank me for the role I played in your deliverance.

4. Flush the fucking toilet. Honestly. It’s not that hard.

There are a few reasons why this maxim is of such grave importance. I’m not going to spell it out this time, dears, so try and follow along. I promise to keep the paragraphs, as well as the sentences, short and to the point. I’ve read this often makes them easier for the Y-chromosome kind to decipher. But wait. Pause, in fact.

I don’t want to give the wrong impression. Let’s get something straight. I am hardly anti-man. I won’t go into details about this. Space simply does not permit it. I will, however, say this much: when my dear, sleep-deprived friend and editor asked me to draft this tome, the only alternative I was actively considering was–wait for it–doing laundry.

That’s right. Laundry, boys. And not only my laundry. Boys’ laundry, too. In short: I am the home-ec. classes that my ‘progressive’ high school refused to offer. Embodied. I am them-plus. I like cooking. I like cleaning. This may be a compulsive habit, but let’s not go there. Here’s the important point to hold onto – I am not a man-hater, nor am I man-eater. Understand, I implore you, I am only trying to help.

In case you didn’t understand the last sentence, here it is rephrased for you: this is for your own good. But, like any potent pill, this might hurt a bit on the swallow. I can promise you, though, that the taste won’t be too foul. Plus–get this!–you can come and yell at me (or even, if you like, challenge me to a real-life duel, but bear in mind my sabre skills) if reading this gives you (all five of you who are, in fact, to read this) hangovers – be they physical, psychic or both.

Okay. So let’s cut to the point. My demands–let’s not even call them that. Let’s call them constructive criticisms–are modest. Even my most bizarre of suggestions (regarding the lav) is one which, I can’t iterate enough, is a boon to you much more than to me.

Here goes: your habit. It’s gone on for far too long. The party, as They say, is over. Over. This is kind of like Game Over (the message that pops up when you lose at your videogames). But back to the urine. It’s gross. I don’t come into contact with the ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow’ phenomenon particularly often, but when I do, I vomit a little bit in my mouth. Just a little. But enough.

And in this case enough really is more than enough. But ‘Why so mad?’, you ask. Let me explain. In addition to the pungent odor that wafts from the spattered basin in question, something else strikes me as I try to exit the bathroom in warp-speed. This is it (the thing that strikes me, it’s a thought, in case you missed that, darlings).

I think: What were you thinking? Does the cadmium-colored fluid sitting stagnant in the commode not repulse you? Not even a little bit? And then, then boys, I realize. No–I don’t realize ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.’ Not quite. But almost. I realize this: it’s not your fault; at least not really. You simply cannot help it.

As a favorite biologist of mine once observed, there is no statistical mode by which to determine if group behavior is due to a common, simultaneous impulse (in this case, to pick up birdseed from the ground), or rather, if perhaps once one little chick eats a seed, the others look confusedly at each other and then follow suit. Most of you flush at home, when you’re mommies are around, don’t you?

My apologies. The preceding sentences were super-complicated. Really long, too. Here’s the reader’s digest version: I can’t blame you. You lack the insight to know any better. I’m glad we’ve had this little chat. Now piss off. But this time, please, if you can, humor me, and try to remember to flush.