The Rammifications of Thought

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Of Urinals and Toilet Bowls

Warning: This post may be deemed gross to some. You have been warned.

Not too long ago I heard that the Japanese are doing away with urinals. Their reason is, men are simply too embarassed to be peeing into a little bowl in full view of other patrons of the toilet. Well, maybe not in FULL view, but as any man can attest, it does feel that all eyes are on you while you're doing your business. (Remember the time when boys used to compare their little bros' sizes during toilet break? Some people can't get over the trauma, it seems.)

I'm not a big fan of urinals either. Partly it's because of the reason above, but the thing I hate most about the bowls are that sometimes my pee seems to splash onto my pants when I'm at it. You walk into the washroom praying that your bladder won't burst, find the nearest urinal (no time to wait for the toilet cubicle-hogging morons), fumble with the zipper, point, and shoot. Whoosh...what a sense of relief. Only when you've done emptying that bladder of yours that you realize something amiss: you looked like you had wet your pants. There's liquid splatter all over the groin area (a la CSI style), and you know it isn't the morning coffee that you just had. Embarrassed, you try to wipe it off with that stained hand of yours, but all it does is wipe your hand clean and make the pants get worse. Damn, where are those liquid-absorbing cleaning cloths (as advertised on TV) when you need them? So you hobble out of the washroom hoping no one notices that little tell-tale stain you got on your pants.

Guys, familiar with that situation? I dunno but I seem to fall victim to those evil urinals from time to time. Is it something wrong with the flow of my pee? Maybe being tall is the reason, like, you know, when you pour water from the second floor and the splashing is much greater compared to pouring water a few feet from the ground. Add one point for the midgets short people. But then I'm not an expert at fluid mechanics so I can't really say. Or maybe it's because of the design of the urinal itself? The splashing phenomenon doesn't always occur, I must stress. Some urinals are fine with me, but I'd definitely avoid certain ones like those along the NSE. Again, I'm no mechanical engineer here so it remains an enigma.

Of course, this pee splashing phenomenon isn't just limited to urinals, you get it when you're in the cubicles too (those with old school squat toilets). When you're ONLY peeing, that is, and I assume most guys do that standing. Only this time it's your feet/shoes that get hit by the warm flowing liquid. If you don't aim properly, it gets worse and you might end up having to wipe or wash your feet when you're done. Of course, if you've got a pair of shoes on, and you don't mind staining those shining Hush Puppies with human excrement, this won't be a problem at all.

So I guess there's no running away from this universal, natural phenomenon. Whatever you output in the toilet, some of it will come back to haunt you (for guys anyway...girls, like to share?) Maybe we should take a cue from the ladies and start peeing while SITTING ON/SQUATTING OVER the toilet bowl. If only our public toilets were cleaner......


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