The following is a part of Above Average’s Cheek Week. Click here for more butt stuff.

We’ve all been there. You’re halfway into a poop at work, perfectly relaxed, when all of a sudden the bathroom goes dark. It’s those motion-sensing bathroom lights and now you’re trapped on the bowl.

You have two options. Poop in the dark like a frightened bear hiding in a cave. OR pull a move like this:


It’s barbaric. It’s embarrassing. It’s the modern workplace as we know it.

And we think it’s time it came to an end.



We’re Matt and Andrew, two writers at Above Average, a comedy website named after the idea of being larger than the sum of all the numbers in a set divided by how many total numbers there are.

We come to you with a problem, a serious one that so many across our nation face. The problem of motion-sensor activated bathroom lights. We’ve been trapped like poopy cave bears several times in our office bathroom — so frequently that we decided to see exactly how long this stingy technology is actually giving us to do the deed.


In our office we have exactly FOUR MINUTES, 20 SECONDS before the lights shut off in the bathroom. Only four minutes twenty seconds from the moment we lock the door to the moment we step out of the stall. Lest we face darkness. This leaves us with at most, three and a half minutes for the actual act of pooping.


The current timer-based lights encourage dangerous, high-speed pooping behavior. A proper bowel movement shouldn’t require excessive pushing or straining; a poop should fall naturally, without effort. It should be given its due process.


This is a visual representation of what reckless, high-speed pooping can lead to.

Even if you’re willing to stand up and re-engage the lights, that means an uncomfortable physical exertion mid-poop. The entire flow of your bowel movement is interrupted and you may not be able to pick up where you left off.

Also, let’s not forget the psychological element. If you ignore the timer and decide to be a Mr. or Miss Poop Bear, someone could walk in and think you’re the freak that poops with no lights. Nobody wants that. It’s a stigma that’s hard to “flush away.”

And if you think this is just two dudes worried they don’t have enough time to poop, you’re wrong. We reached out to the American College of Gastroenterology to get their professional opinion on whether a safe, healthy poop can occur within the four minute time frame. This was their response:

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WOW. They were so disgusted with the four minute, twenty second time frame that they couldn’t even muster a response. That’s telling.


Completely abolish the use of motion-sensing bathroom lights.

That’s it. There is no compromise. We aren’t fighting for an extra minute or two — we are fighting for freedom from tyranny. We don’t believe in compromise when people are being shamed for a very natural — perhaps the most natural — activity. We want these lights banned in every single office in America. We’d like to take this fight global as well, but one step at a time.

We understand that these lights are designed to save energy, which is a cause we support. However, we’re talking about saving an inconsequential amount of electricity and causing an unacceptable amount of human suffering. What is gained is not worth what is lost.


Those lights are the way they are because we let them. The only way for things to change is for more people to take action and speak out. Sign our petition, organize your co-workers and press your boss for better bathroom conditions. Spread the word on social media, speak out to your friends and family, and talk to your stall mate next time you’re in the bathroom. It will be uncomfortable, but change is not always easy.

It’s easy to be apathetic but we are asking to look within yourselves and answer the question, “Can I really push all my excrement out in just four minutes?” The answer is no. And the answer is signing our petition.

“Thank you and good night.” -George Clooney

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