Lemme see your hands – guys and girls – how many of you are actually excited for this one? (Side note: I’m considering “Thank God it’s not a soccer post or a sappy post” as “excited” too… so put your damned hands up, people!)
As a young professional, I feel compelled to remind the rest of the world (and ladies, any of you who are “oh so jealous” that guys get to perform one of two actions whilst standing up… this is also for you) of a few simple rules. There is an entire culture surrounding how men use the restroom. It’s a culture complete with unwritten understandings and respect as well as common sense in the act of itself. Ladies, you know how you have your lipgloss and your gossip and even the occasional pregnancy test that just can’t wait until you get home? Yeah… that’s NOTHING compared to the rigors of Male Water Closet Procedures (herein and henceforth to be called MWCP) (I won’t refer to it as this ever again).
Are you excited?
The first Three Laws, you learn in the preschool and kindergarten era of life.
- You lock the door when you are in a stall.
- You do not look under the stall, even if it is locked and you have your doubts about someone being in there.
- You do not need to pull your pants and underwear ALL THE WAY DOWN to use a urinal.
These three are pretty much the most basic that come right after “wash your hands.” All three of which should be cemented in your memory along with your social security number and your mother’s birthday by the time you get to college. Rarely do I have an encounter with any breach of these Laws that is not prompted by excessive alcohol intake. Breaching 1 and 2 get you the wayward look at the sinks if you mess ’em up. Breaching Law 3… oh dear lord… do you hate yourself that much? How drunk must one be for this to happen? (And yes, I have encountered it at least once a year in a bar’s bathroom… pretty hilarious but relatively harmless to the rest of the users). All in all, these three Laws, while probably the most ingrained and habitual, are nothing more than hilarious and nothing less than a minor nuisance when breached. Easy come, easy go, partner… and thanks for the laugh!
The next set are learned around elementary school… right around the same time the class-clown-jackass kid decides to see if he can pull a “Kobe” into the urinal from the far wall.
4. YOU DO NOT STAND AGAINST THE FAR WALL AND TRY AND MAKE IT INTO THE URINAL… JACKASS!
5. Conversely, you probably shouldn’t lean into the curve of the urinal lest you look like you’re passing a kidney stone… also, that’s kinda gross.
6. Say it with me now, gents. “EVERY. OTHER. STALL. STARTING AT OPPOSITE ENDS.”
Number 4 and number 5 are pretty common sense. Don’t be weird. Don’t make the experience weird for others by doing weird things. Nobody wants to see you arcing bodily fluids 5 or more feet and nobody will be proud if you can do that. Also, if you are leaned INTO the curve of the urinal, you look like something’s seriously wrong… which could prompt someone to break Law 7… (we will go into this in a moment). Number 6 is also fairly easy. If you have the room to skip a urinal, do it. If there are only two urinals and one is in use but the stalls are open, guess what? Use the stall. I don’t want to hear weird stuff about “but it reverberates” or “I’m claustrophobic.” If those are the case, then it is more than acceptable for you to hold it and wait. Only as a last resort do you take the urinal immediately next to one in use.
The next three Laws, along with number six, seem to be the first four laws “forgotten” once a gentleman gets up over the age of 50.
7. NO TOUCHING OF ANY KIND WHILE URINALS ARE IN USE! There should be at least a foot distance between a person using a urinal and the next person waiting or passing by.
8. No talking while equipment is in use.
9. No singing or humming while equipment is in use.
To be clear, if someone’s having some sort of an issue or looks to be in distress (that is more than a kidney stone passing or old man noises), do be a good person and check to see if medical attention is required. I don’t wanna be that guy who has a stroke while at a urinal and is left for the latter part of the day because nobody did anything… I’d rather not die with my dick in my hands, thank you very much.
NOW… after that… There is no touching of any kind while using the urinals. If you’re in a stall, you should be alone and if you’re not… find a classier place to get frisky. This means: No back slaps, no back rubs, no hair ruffling, no picking dirt or bugs off shoulders. None of that. You don’t do it. I don’t care if you’re just trying to be a friendly 65 year old… YOU. DO NOT. TOUCH. A MAN. AT A URINAL.
Next, talking and singing. Sure, you could have a great conversation going with a friend. You could even have that new 1D song stuck in your head… nobody cares. If genitals are exposed to the elements, you pause what is on your mind. I have been at several urinals where all I want to do is get in and get out but someone has to interrupt my attempt to find serenity while urinating in a public place with their drivel – meaningful or meaningless, it’s all the same. And yes, we all know how catchy boy bands’ music is… but it doesn’t help anybody declench nor does it provide a relaxing atmosphere. Stop.
Now we come to the personal preference and situational section of the Laws and Practices.
10. Wash your hands, even if you just peed.
11. WASH YOUR HANDS, EVEN IF YOU JUST PEED.
12. The Handicap stall is always preferential… so use it if it is available… but for the love of God don’t you dare take forever or do anything to defile its sacred status.
How common sense do we need to be here? Fellas, come on now. Even in the dead of winter, at some point during your day, you’ve gotten sweaty balls. Do you want to shake someone’s sweaty-dick-and-or-balls hand or want them to hug you? Do you want to feed yourself with your sweaty-dick-and-or-balls hands? Just freaking wash your hands. Please.
The handicap stall. It’s spacious. It has a way more comfortable seat. It’s an oasis of comfort in an overused porcelain mecca. It is to be cherished and appreciated… NOT MESSED UP IN ANY WAY, SHAPE, OR FORM. What it is to you, it is to others… respect that.
Flushing. Really now? Why is this even an issue that must be brought up? There are times that I have no faith in humanity…
Next up: Sex-things in the bathroom.
14. No sizing up.
15. No toe tapping.
16. Do you not see where you are? No sexing. It’s not hot to screw in a men’s room. It is repulsive.
Sizing up………… why this happens, I have no idea. Sizing up is useless unless you’re sporting a boner and if you are sporting a boner at a urinal… well… standing on your head to relieve yourself must be the worst. I don’t care if you’ve got Godzilla’s package dangling between your legs or if you need a microscope to find it… what you’ve got, you’ve got. Be confident enough in yourself that you’re not constantly looking to compare. AND IF YOU COMPARE YOU NEED TO KNOW that those are skewed comparisons due to the aforementioned boner-issue.
You know that awesome song stuck in your head that you don’t get to hum? Yeah… still keep it in your head. I don’t care if the beat’s SUPER CATCHY… you don’t need to tap your foot for any reason. And if you do it, nobody will believe that it’s just “That Jackson 5 song where I blame things on the Boogie.” You will forever be equated with this guy…
And if you manage to break all of these rules and nobody is there to call you out, shame you, or interrupt… please have more dignity and self-respect (and respect for any prospective partners) than to get your freak on in a public restroom. Do you know what goes on in there? Do you realize the purpose of these rooms? Why would you want to utterly ruin a great experience with a shitty (SEE? It’s a Pun!) setting?
There we are. There are, of course, several more amendments, preferences, alterations, etc to these rules. Gentlemen, are we glad we had that refresher? Ladies, do we now see that there’s more to “standing up to pee” than just standing up to pee? Can we all go back to our lives and see a little more beauty in the world now? Good. I’m so glad.
See you, space cowboy.