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Scratching words and phrases with a pocket knife into the wall of bathroom stalls has never been a hobby of mine. I am however an avid reader when the opportunity presents itself.

Sometimes the creativity seen in those sordid places is quite remarkable. Other times, it’s the same old thing with disconnected phone numbers carved toward people who are resented or chiseled hieroglyphics from starving artists who probably failed art class several times in high school.

I can only attest that these things are displayed in the men’s bathrooms. If other genders exhibit the same or different arrays of artistic imagery, then that would be useful information for this writer. I don’t visit the women’s room for obvious reasons.

Those writings, drawings and carvings are usually not done in front of an audience. I’ve never walked into a gas station restroom and found somebody with their art tools out and advertising who to call for whatever time it might be. There’s something secretive about that. Maybe it’s the obvious lack of respect for the owners of the bathroom wall.

That seems to be changing.

A basketball coach at a game this week had some sort of black marker in his pocket that he was using to draw plays during a timeout.

The thing that stood out to me was that he used the hardwood floor in the gym as his scratch pad. As soon as the timeout was expiring, he reached down and smudged his markings on the floor with his hand until the markings appeared to be removed. There was a level of concern, interest and nostalgia to what I had witnessed.

I’ve seen old pictures of moments similar to that when coaches used chalk to draw plays on the floor. Those were a long time ago. The last thing on my mind when I saw those pictures was questioning whether that was appropriate.

The action at the recent ballgame was interesting because it seemed outside of the box.

However, my concern was that if the coach — or anybody — came into my house and started using a marker to draw on my hardwood floors, I’m not sure I would be so captivated about it. Would it still be ok that he was able to simply wipe it away with the swipe of his hand?

That basketball court was an expensive marker board and could be viewed as a bad example down the road.

When I married my beautiful bride, our car was covered in shaving cream and window paint. It was several months after the honeymoon when I was finally able to get all of those smudges removed. I’m grateful for those moments.

Writing in the dirt of a vehicle is also a hobby for some people and is something that I have and will continue to partake in during certain moments. Many clever illustrations and sayings come from the temptation of writing on a dirty car. A good rain can often still leave remnants of the previous doodling. Perhaps that’s justified because the car obviously needs to be washed anyways. A guilty conscience doesn’t typically last very long in those situations.

I’m not sure if the coach’s actions in front of the fans were appropriate, but perhaps he should leave that for his own floor.

Let’s leave the random scribbling in random situations where it belongs, the bathroom stalls and dirty cars in parking lots.

Now I’ll go back to minding my own business.

Rodney Beaver is a sports writer with the Harrison Daily Times. E-mail him at rodneyb@harrisondaily.com or follow him at twitter.com/rodneybeaver .

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