Tuesday, March 17, 2009

So you think you know how to pee?

I’ve been debating on whether to share this story that happened to me recently. But here goes. Hi, my name is Rob and I was the recipient of a bathroom encounter gone all wrong.

Some background is in order for those of you who read my blog, particularly of the female persuasion, who likely don’t know the etiquette we men have for choosing a urinal in a public bathroom. Prepare to be educated.

There is one simple rule in the bathroom. Stay as far away from the other guys as possible. All men know this to be true. We are born with an innate gender-knowledge of this one truth to which we cling.

This simple credo, removes from each man’s bathroom experience several important and potentially uncomfortable things:
  • Eye contact,
  • Conversation,
  • and finally, physical contact (dear god there should never been any of this in the men’s room for heaven’s sake.
I think this desire for our public bathroom experience to be as private as possible is basically carried over from our homes. For it is there that we husbands sometimes have our places of sanctuary reduced to the garage, the basement or the bathroom. Now while the garage and basement are only for some men having hobbies and whatnot, the bathroom is the clear-reigning king .. ruler over all places sacred to men. Thusly, in public places, when called upon to do our duty (no pun intended) we have the aforementioned simple rule and its glorious benefits. And we cling to that rule with our very lives.

For your review, I submit to you the Urinal test. Go take it, see how you do and come back.

I’ll wait right here …

Urinal Test (Drinknation)

Whistles …
Checks watch …
Smiles politely at passersby …
Frowns slightly …

Oh! Back so soon? Let us continue.

You see the other day in the bathroom at work I was unfortunate enough to get caught at the urinal alone, when my boss’ boss enters to do his business. There are 3 urinals.

I was in the far right one as stated in the test on which yes, I received a flawless score.

The big boss enters and occupies the farthest urinal from me. Good man. I smiled on the inside; reveling in the fact I am employed by a man of such good character as to be well in tune with the urinal rules. Then suddenly however, in the midst of my reflection, everything went desperately wrong.

He began to speak. Wildly I briefly convinced myself he'd lost his mind and was jabbering away to himself for this would have been far more comforting. But he was I realized with a certain measure of terror, speaking to me. And not even about work (not that that would make any difference though). It was just idle prattling.

I shuddered and responded. Now guys .. if you find yourself in this situation where you are forced to answer, everyone knows what to do right? Say it with me. Speak as little as possible. Good answer. And so I did.

But he was not to be so easily dissuaded.

He kept talking, now bringing in topics about work. Which only pours on the necessity of more conversation. I burst into sweat, profuse and unrelenting. Because now, heck, here is my boss and I’ve got to give him an impromptu status report. I can't escape, bound as I am by my task at one end and my taskmaster at the other.

Time began to get that really slow feeling and I was sure that I was beginning to have an out of body experience. And then it happened. Terror of terrors.

He looked at me.

NO! No! No! Never ever, ever, EVER make eye contact at a urinal! Even worse, NEVER look down while even remotely facing the direction of another guy! Mercifully I was spared being evaluated in addition to giving my unexpected status report.

I didn’t know what to do with myself at that point. I mean that both figuratively and in the physical sense of the word. Do I continue talking? Should I cut this short, casually stroll to the other bathroom and finish my business there? And why AM I still peeing anyway?

There was nothing to do but endure. Well eventually the whole business came to an end without more to tell than I have already. It was uncomfortable on so many wrong levels.

Friends .. neighbors .. fellow bloggtreymen, lend me your ears. Learn the urinal rules. Even if you’re a woman. Perhaps you’ve got a guy that may not know them. I certainly wish my boss’ wife knew the rules and could have communicated them to him. So please, I implore you. Educate one another. Don’t let this news stop here.

Let’s start grass-roots effort, nay, a urinal puck level effort to change men’s restroom etiquette ... one person at a time.

That’s all for me. I’m off to write my petition to Congress to have Urinal Manners Awareness Day added as a recognized holiday on the calendar.


Heather said...

Oh My Gosh! :D I know this probably wasn't suppose to be as funny as it was, but GEEZ - I laughed til I had tears. I will leave it up to you, dear, to teach our son THAT book of knowledge, as I only scored 30 out of 60 and probably wouldn't be able to keep a straight face doing it. Thank you for the laugh - I needed it!

Jon said...

I shuddered right along with you here Rob. Funny read. :P