Standing in Piss…

The column below was first published in December, 2000

There really is nothing more disgusting than men's bathrooms. I know you are thinking that this has nothing to do with my usual pop culture banter, but I couldn't help it. This needs to be said.

There are several times in life when I am embarrassed to be male. It seems one of these times is whenever I enter a men's bathroom. Ladies, you may think otherwise, but until you have stood at a urinal, you have lived the good life.

While I could spend about ten pages writing about the repulsiveness of the stalls, and the general odor of the room itself, I only have time (and the stomach) to concentrate on the urinal experience. Yes ladies, this is when the man stands facing a contraption with or without privacy barriers separating himself from other men taking a piss. The three things that I want to complain about are puddles, hair, and condensation.

Why must I always stand in a puddle whenever I want to take a piss? Am I standing in water, or piss? Regardless of what public men's room I use (stadium, nice hotel, restaurant), there is always a small puddle where I have to stand by the urinal. Does every toilet leak? Or do men "miss" the urinal? Or, does the puddle form from the final "shake" (after finishing the piss, the guy generally shakes loose the last drops of piss). I am generally forced to stand further back from the urinal, to avoid standing in the piss puddle. This is problematic for two reasons. First, I have to spray further, causing residual drops to bounce out. And second, it cuts down on my privacy to other pissers. Privacy walls help, but are not perfect. 

And what is with the pubic hair? Why must every urinal have several pieces of pubic hair stuck to the porcelain? Generally, the hair is stuck to the bottom of the urinal, and is held there by either water, or piss. Don't try to spray it off with your piss, or the backlash will blanket you with droplets, and you will cause even a bigger puddle beneath you. No matter how many times attendants clean the urinals, there is always a pubic hair or two stuck there. I guess if I were a bathroom attendant, I wouldn't want to wipe up someone's wet pubic hair either.

Lastly, why can't every urinal be automatic flushing. We must do away with the urinal handle. Not only does every handle have condensation (feeling handle condensation is not a great feeling), but keep in mind that every one touching the handle to flush has just touched his piece. Some more stringently than others. No matter how you look at it, you touch the handle, you touch someone's piece. 

So here I am, standing at a urinal in a puddle of mixed water and piss. Looking at someone's pubic hair stuck in the porcelain. Dreading having to flush because of the reasons given above. Listening to a guy in one of the stalls farting his intestines out. And the guy next to him does not give us a courtesy flush. My eyes are tearing, and I can barely breathe. And the guy next to me is 6'5" and can look right over the privacy shield if he wants to. 

I really dare you to tell me something (that you experience every day) that is more disgusting.

And what’s on YOUR mind?

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