Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

The Walls Tell All

October 8th, 2009 · 2 Comments

We’ve long believed that there’s far more wisdom scrawled on bathroom walls than is to be found in, say, the average self-help manual or Chick tract. And we know we’re certainly not alone in that contrarian assessment. But until this morning, we never realized that loo graffiti was also a subject of serious academic discourse (PDF) out in our native state:

Whether or not graffiti writers take the permanence of their writing implement into consideration can only be definitively proven by acquiring the identities of the graffiti writers and asking them if they take this into consideration. Without the ability to do this, based on my research findings I think graffiti writers do consider the temporary/permanence of their messages dependent upon the importance of the message to themselves. A graffiti image such as the grout theme messages written on the grout of the tile are not very serious messages. These messages are often a play on the word grout and how that word can be substituted for other words in a popularly known statement such as “ the grout lebowski; grout expectations, oscar the grout; Wayne Groutski; etc.” These messages were mostly written with pencil. I propose two reasons for the use of pencil in writing grout messages. 1) The messages are not very personal to the writer. 2) The messages are less likely of being spotted by the custodial staff and removed. These two variables would appear to be the basis for the use of pencil in grout writing as opposed to pencil being used in writing on stall walls.

Plenty more interesting factoids throughout the thesis. We had no idea, for example, that our XX-chromosome peers were so fond of penning vulgar ditties regarding ovulatory cycles. So much for our sugar-and-spice illusions.

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