A notice from the Department of Unnecessary Euphemisms

November 28th, 2012 · 49 comments

I can only imagine the search queries that went into locating this delightful bit of clip art, which now decorates the ladies’ room at a medical school in Philadelphia. Now pour Lady Sansa some wine.


related: The Shark Week Scriptures

extra credit: Public Toilet Survival Kit

FILED UNDER: bathroom · clip art catastrophe · hygiene · office · Philadelphia

49 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Cake

    As a culture, are we really still so ‘icked’ out by periods that we need to refer to them with these (fairly decently creepy) metaphors?

    That picture pretty much seals in the creepy factor.

    Tulips don’t even come from eggs!

    Nov 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Tesselara

      Doesn’t this poster sound like something a Vampire would say in a thick Romanian accent?

      Nov 28, 2012 at 4:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   The Elf

      Tulips may not come from eggs, but “Red Flowers”? I think you can make a case for it there.

      Nov 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   Skittles

      I just think of that as strawberry milkshake week.

      Dec 2, 2012 at 2:02 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   ninjaduck bang

      Perhaps it’s a special planter. lol

      Dec 3, 2012 at 10:19 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   DaveGI


      You just gave me the mental image of Bela Lugosi in a dark suit and cape, picking those brown paper bags out of the trash. Though I shudder to think for what purpose!

      Dec 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   shwo! bang

    That flower looks a bit like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors. Which title, come to think of it, would be another good euphemism.

    Nov 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Tesselara

      Euphemism fail. This makes me picture, clearly and graphically, the mechanics of menstruation.

      Nov 28, 2012 at 4:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   The Elf

      “Feed me Seymour!” takes on a whole new meaning now.

      Nov 28, 2012 at 9:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   just me

    the fact that they need to put a notice like that is disgusting itself. mind your manners!!

    Nov 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   Wrench

    *Total skeeve warning*

    When I was in basic training, I was the “head PO” — in other words, in charge of keeping the bathrooms and showers clean.

    I cannot tell you how many times we found all manner of used sanitary items — pads and tampons — stuck to the shower and stall walls, stuck to toilets, under sinks. It was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen — I don’t do that IN MY OWN BATHROOM, much less when showering with 100 other women.

    What really disturbed me, though, is the knowledge that it meant that women were removing their tampons *while showering with 100 other women.* (It was open-room showers only.)

    I really… I don’t even. Women are disgusting creatures.

    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   The Elf

      Yeah, this, exactly. I’m all for being comfortable with your own body and not treating a basic body function like it is spiritually unclean, but that doesn’t mean we have to go all the way to transforming our used tampons into nunchuks and bolos for a little shower horseplay or playing a twisted version of hide and seek with the cleaning crew.

      Take it out, throw it away, use a new one. It shouldn’t be complicated!

      Nov 28, 2012 at 9:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   ninjaduck bang

      Women can be worse than men sometimes. When I was deployed, the bathrooms were horrible! It was mostly the higher ranking women who would leave their nasty messes because they were too good to clean up after themselves. The things they TRIED to flush down the toilet ASTOUNDED me. Flushing a bag of chips down the toilet? SRSLY? That doesn’t work stateside, why would that work there?

      Dec 3, 2012 at 10:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   makfan bang

    I seriously think “Your Red Flower is Blooming” is way more creepy than “having your period” or even plain old “menstruating.”

    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:37 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   JeffSaysICant

    Oh look! And a picture of a flower . . . blooming . . . out of an egg? And isn’t “flower” already taken as a euphemism for “virginity”? Maybe this jumble of symbols means something far more complicated than we think it means . . .

    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   SirenSong

      If you keep calling it that, no one will ever take it!

      Nov 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   tinkerbell2

      *high-fives SirenSong*

      Nov 29, 2012 at 7:54 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Tesselara

    Obviously, the author of this poster is the same guy in those old black and white movies who ties blondes to railroad tracks, cackling evilly.

    Nov 28, 2012 at 3:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Meme

      … and now we know he snapped after having to clean up one too many skanky lady’s washroom.

      Nov 29, 2012 at 9:40 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   Animal

    Let’s face it: humans are disgusting creatures. You may not like it, but it’s pointless to keep pretending it isn’t true. This also applies to the recent hand-washing post. The world is dirty and messy and we are part of it. Embrace your inner slob and you’ll be a happier person.

    Which is not to say people should leave bloody pads stuck to the wall (or dirty toilet paper anywhere it doesn’t belong) but, seriously, pre-bagging menstrual waste so other women won’t have to see the blood? Get real.

    Nov 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   kermit

      Pre-bagging isn’t done so other women won’t see the blood. It’s done for hygienic and health reasons as a courtesy to the cleaning crew. They shouldn’t have to touch blood, period.

      Nov 28, 2012 at 7:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   Animal

      that’s why it goes in the plastic trash bag, right? I guess they’d catch on soon enough, but the cleaners could more readily identify the threat if they could see it. But, presumably, they are doing their best to avoid touching the bathroom trash with bare hands already.

      Nov 28, 2012 at 7:19 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   Leaping Lizard

      ahaha…I see what ya did there, Kermit ;)

      Nov 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.4   kermit

      No offence, but maybe you need to work as a public bathroom cleaner for a couple of weeks, Animal. I doubt you’d be so flippant about embracing your inner slob if you had to clean other people’s shit instead of just witnessing it.

      Yes, workers learn to protect themselves, but that doesn’t give other people the right to absolve themselves of basic courtesy. I’d be saying the same thing about disposing of syringes or anything else that could harm a person accidentally.

      Nov 28, 2012 at 8:31 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.5   Jami

      1: Menstrual blood smells. Add to that the smell of the drops of urine that also build up on the pad – ew! Wrapping helps trap some of the smells.

      2: Pads, unless wrapped, can stick to the sides of trash cans or what not and have to be physically pulled off. Wrapping helps prevent this.

      I don’t know about tampons, other than the fact they’d stink from the blood too. And bugs would be attracted to that smell.

      Not being grossed out by menstrual blood is one thing. But I dare you to not be grossed out (if you’re easily sickened, DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS POINT) by flies feeding on a bloody tampon.

      Nov 28, 2012 at 10:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.6   Lil'

      Just look at the number of paper towels that make it onto the bathroom floor and imagine making unwrapped femine products the norm. I don’t think our bodily functions are disgusting, but we should maintain hygeine and decency. I don’t want to bump into or be the lady carrying her unwrapped tampon to the trash can. I don’t want my child to graze his hand across someone else’s blood as he throws his paper towel away. Do what you want at home but when you are in a shared space, have consideration for the other people who use it as well.

      Nov 29, 2012 at 8:49 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #8.7   L

      I wrap mine up in the wrapper at home because *I* don’t want to touch that. Why on earth would I not do that in a public place???

      Also, bio-hazard.

      Dec 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   Vex

    Wait. We’re supposed to throw away the brown bags?

    Nov 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   TRT

      Yeah. Don’t re-use them for your lunch or nothin’.

      Nov 29, 2012 at 5:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   redheadwglasses

      Vex, I was thinking the same thing. I thought the brown bags were just “liners” for that mini trash can in the stall. Sorry, cleaning people for the last 30 years. I’ll start using those brown bags appropriately now.

      Nov 29, 2012 at 9:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   anotherfool

    If you turn this note over, it goes on to say, “and then take THAT trash can and walk it three blocks away and put it in a hermetically sealed plastic container at the hospital supply store, 12.99. And then drive THAT to the local incinerator so that the icky thing that Cannot Be Named is gone from our consciousness forever. Signed, the woman who doesn’t have any orgasms because she’s so horrified by her own genitalia.”

    Nov 28, 2012 at 6:48 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   O, really?


      Nov 28, 2012 at 8:47 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Blinx

    Ok, I can help explain the system (but not the graphics). My old company had signs like these as well. The thing is, there were little metal trash receptacles attached to the stalls that held the little brown bags. I think it USED to be that you threw out your “waste” into these receptacles, but then they changed it to throw the brown bag into the larger trash can in the rest room.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb and say about 90% of women’s restrooms, you dispose of the waste while still in the stall, and to change this system throws us all for a loop, especially since there’s a little trash can in the stall!

    P.S. Since the sign is at a med school, you think they’d go the other way and use a highly scientific medical term/illustration!

    Nov 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Steph

      But if I throw away the little brown bag, what will the next lady do?
      I just wrap my tampon in a million squares of TP. That’s what I was taught.

      Nov 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   Katieriffic

    Now this is a new one. Reminds me of the delightful euphemism from The Order of the Stick: “The Red Knight is requesting lodging.”

    Nov 28, 2012 at 9:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Ali Longworth

    Not only is the euphemism both lame and creepy, it is completely unnecessary. If a woman ISN’T having her period then why the fuck would she want to dispose of her “feminine products?”

    Nov 28, 2012 at 10:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   H for Toy

    I’m with whoever it was that said, “Instead of periods, can girls just get a text once a month from Mother Nature saying ‘You’re not pregnant. Have a nice day!’”

    Nov 29, 2012 at 7:13 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   Adriana

    The brown paper bag reminds me of the Anal-Retentive Chef skit from SNL. Anal-Retentive Menstruater?

    Nov 29, 2012 at 9:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   redheadwglasses

    The note writer also says “pee pee” instead of “penis,” “hoo ha” instead of “vagina,” and “making love” instead of “fucking our brains out.”

    Nov 29, 2012 at 9:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   sushimama

    “Having your period” is also a euphemism. Just saying.

    Nov 29, 2012 at 10:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   Dana

    The bit that gets me is that you have to carry the brown bag out of the stall and bin it ! I would find that a bit embarrassing if the bathroom was busy !

    Also the pads then get thrown into the normal waste – shouldn’t there be a special disposal system ??

    Nov 29, 2012 at 11:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   Jamoche

    Nobody’s yet pointed out that this sign is at a medical school. Just what I want – a doctor who’s afraid to use proper terminology.

    Nov 29, 2012 at 12:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   DaveGI

      Doctors don’t clean the restrooms at medical schools. This was left by someone on the janitorial staff. Probably after being disgusted by having to pick this stuff up, or after the 10th time they had to snake these “feminine products” out of a clogged toilet.

      Even if it says on the package that the product can be flushed, don’t believe it! They lie! These are the #1 cause of clogged public toilets.

      Dec 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Aunt Flo

    The little trash receptacle in the stall should be usable. I shouldn’t have to leave the stall with my used feminine products in my hand, bagged or no.

    Nov 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   Dane Zeller

    I think I’m going to be sick. I’m suffering from eupheminasia. Excuse me while I pray to the porcelain goddess.

    Nov 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   Eileen

    The red flower thing reminds me of those films we used to watch in Health class. They were at least twenty years out of date and refused to use anything but cutesy euphemisms for our bodily functions. I never asked what the ones for the boys were like, but I imagine they were just as bad.

    Nov 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   meow

    “Your red flower is blooming” is Games Of Thrones reference. You are welcome, internet.

    Dec 2, 2012 at 8:20 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   Therita

    Not sure what country this post is from. In Australia -every- public/school/business bathroom has a special trash can that isn’t emptied by the cleaners, but by specific companies that deal with that type of waste.
    Wrap it in TP or (in the case of pads) in the packaging of the next one and place it in the bin.

    You only get little bags (never seen brown paper ones, these are typically white plastic ones) in hotels since you don’t have the special bins there.

    Dec 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   M

    LOL at the euphemism for menstruation but in all fairness, if that is what gets some ladies who weren’t properly trained to dispose of their used items accordingly, then carry on.

    Reminds me a few years ago when in my former job whenever I would go to use the bathroom, there would be used pads or tampons either on the floor unwrapped for one’s viewing pleasure or bits of blood still left on the seat. .:shudders:.

    Dec 4, 2012 at 10:53 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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