(warning: The following column got me in “trouble” as the editor of The Piggott Times. Oddly, it was one of the most popular columns I ever wrote—well, that and the first one, that is. Seems the publisher was way out of touch with the reading public, not a big surprise to those who know him. However, do consider this a fair warning…this is bathroom humor…and while I do not intend to be crude, everyone has their own definition of such. If you feel you might be offended, skip my blog today!)
I’ll be the first to admit that men are the luckier sex when it comes to using public restrooms. Most of the time, the business we need to conduct can be done standing up. Women do not have that luxury. Of course, when men need to sit down, few of us would ever dare touch our bare rumps to what must be porcelain, even if it doesn’t resemble porcelain any more.
Something that I have never been able to understand is why many men will head to the stalls when their duty only requires standing up. All women’s toilets are stalls, toilets with private little doors, but men’s restrooms all have “urinals,” essentially buckets mounted to the wall.
Men are notoriously…ah…messy when it comes to performing their business. We’ve all seen those “cute,” little signs: if you sprinkle when you tinkle, please be sweet and wipe the seat. They are so cute that it probably makes some men sprinkle intentionally.
Going to a stall when urinals are available is almost a slap in the face to the guy who must sit down. It nearly always leaves a mess for him to clean up. Most men will only sit down in a public restroom in the case of an emergency. And then it becomes very frustrating to clean up the mess left by the guy who wouldn’t use the urinal.
Men will be the first to tell you how dirty their public restrooms are. While men care less about the condition, they do much to contribute and exacerbate those conditions. After all, when water moves at such a high velocity at such a short distance, there is going to be some splashing—some residual effects.
Men are accustomed to two main types of urinals: the aforementioned “buckets” on the wall (those made for the “men in training” tend to be placed lower on the wall so they can reach it—these are also referred to as “ankle splashers”), and there are built-in/sunk-in wall units. These are built quite literally from the floor up to about waist high. Some places of business have fancy wall units in which they’ll paint little targets that remind me of those water gun games at the state fair. I keep waiting for one of them to add little race cars that will run up the wall as the men relieve themselves. Someone on the internet posted a picture of one that featured an image of Hillary Clinton as the target.
There is a third, less common type. We could call it the cattle urinal. Many places of mass attendance (such as concert halls and football stadiums) use these. They literally resemble a cattle food trough. They are no partitions, no natural separations—just one big long trough and shoulder to shoulder standing room.
Men never look at each other in the restroom, either, and especially not when standing shoulder to shoulder. When the door opens, blinders go on. While standing at the trough, there are three main viewing areas: up at the ceiling, the wall immediately in front, or the target zone. Never ever do men look around or at the man standing next to him. The only real eye contact comes at the bathroom door entering and exiting.
The bottom line for a man is this: stand up, sit down, either way you gotta shake.