Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Something Deep and Meaningful

I feel like it's time for me to write about something deep and meaningful that will benefit mankind.

Something Deep and Meaningful

Urinal Etiquette is something that is instinctually engrained in a man's being.  When presented with a "urinal puzzle", a guy will invariably pick the correct urinal every single time.  It doesn't matter if it's a 4-year-old or an eighty-year-old blind guy.  They'll have a 100% chance of success.  Unless they purposefully try to throw off the balance of the universe.  Even still, they know what is right and wrong and choose to ignore it (which is a sin).

If you walk into a bathroom and there are four urinals along the right wall which we will also say is the same wall where the sinks are located (urinal #1 being the one closest to the sinks and #4 being furthest, close to the back wall), the first guy in there will pick urinal #2.  The second guy in there will pick urinal #4.  The third guy in there will pick urinal #3.  The fourth guy will pick urinal #1.

Why?  I don't know.  Social convention?  Dude protocol?  I don't know.  That's just the way it goes.  It's good manners.  Why don't you put your elbows on the table?  You don't know.  That's just good manners.  If you violate the basics of urinal etiquette, you throw off the entire balance of the bathroom and people become frustrated and upset but can't understand why.  It's the unfortunate truth that females most likely don't (and probably refuse to) understand.

There are a few types of urinal and urinal setups, and it gets a little complex.  There are some with dividers and some without.  There are urinals that go all the way down to the ground (and it feels like you're peeing on a waterfall) and there are some that are so high that you have to stand on your toes a little to reach.  There are some that are right up against the wall and some that protrude out and look like a regular toilet, but much much higher and lacking a seat.

I immediately give up and walk out if there is a combination of no dividers, high up, and protruding.  It's just asking for embarrassment in an already exposed situation.

When there is one with a divider, you are free to let your eyes wander a little bit.  You can stare down, look at the dude next to you (brief eye contact, only! be sure to nod slightly as you look away), look at the ceiling, or read the pleasant literature that is often inscribed on the side of the divider.  I've learned many-a-thing by perusing bathroom literature.  For example, there is someone out there that has difficulty spelling and likes to do disgusting things to my mom.  Also, apparently there's someone out there that thinks the previously mentioned individual sucks.  The secrets of the universe are right next to us and we often ignore them.

This is an important point that all men need to focus on - reduce splashback.  Peeing directly into the water in the urinal often has reverse-from-desired consequences and you get some water splashed back on yourself (hence "splashback).  That's gross.  To avoid this, men aim slightly higher than the water.

Be sure to lift your shirt high enough.  Every guy has a story where he accidently peed on his own shirt in a public restroom.  Don't be that guy.  Don't lift it too high, though.  Just below the belly button is the safe zone.

This should go without saying, but I've seen a few men violate this rule:  You don't peek over the divider.  It may be strangely tempting, but it's terrible and disturbing and you will forever be branded as disgusting and you will immediately have your Man Club membership revoked.  You don't even get a strike on your record.  We just take it from you.

If there are no dividers, you keep your eyes straight down like you're staring at a car wreck that you just can't take your eyes off of.  I, personally, look at the water in the urinal.  It may be tempting to look at how the other guy is doing, but then you are basically shunned for the rest of your short visit in the bathroom (and you don't want that).  For some reason, every guy feels the urge.

For me, it's not a desire to see another man's junk.  I'm just the kind of person that likes to watch people do stuff.  I like to sit in parks and watch them go for walks or play.  When I'm eating dinner, I like to watch other people eat.  When I watch a movie, I'm far more interested in people's reactions to the movie than in the movie itself.

This natural urge to observe carries over into the bathroom and I have to actively restrain myself from accidently ogling a dude's equipment.  It's not homosexual.  It's curious.  But not bi-curious.  Just regular-curious.

Nine out of ten guys agree that if you step up to a urinal next to a guy that's already using the one next to yours (read: peeing) and you finish before he does, you feel like less of a man.  I don't know why.  Of all the things to be competitive about, why does bladder size and the ability to empty it slower than the other guy rise to the top of the list?  Eighth wonder of the world.

Most men rarely wash their hands upon exiting a bathroom.  We don't have much reason to.  We don't exactly need to touch ourselves to get the deed done.  It's not like an unattended fire hose that goes flipping and flapping and spraying about willy-nilly.  Everything is very clean and very efficient, so the washing of hands is merely a social convention that men only do halfheartedly.  There are really only a couple reasons for washing your hands.

One is if you have a legitimate reason for washing your hands - like you just ate some ribs or something and your hands are kind of sticky.  Probably the biggest reason, though, is to avoid judgement of the other men in the bathroom that are waiting for an open urinal.  But washing your hands just because you peed is something most men skip.

If a dude appears to be one a date, he'll splash some cold water on his hands and quickly do a poor job of drying them off with a paper towel, then make it a point to leave the bathroom while wiping his hands on his jeans to give the impression to his waiting date that he has just washed his hands, but the paper towels in the bathroom weren't adequate enough to dry his super clean hands.  Then later in the date, he tries to hold her hand with his secretly unwashed hand.  You may think it's lying and kind of gross, but so is makeup.

Occasionally there is the drunk guy in the bathroom.  This is always the highlight of the bathroom experience.  The drunk guy is the one that steps up to the urinal and completely drops his pants and underwear to the floor, exposing everything from the shirt down.  He's usually very hairy and kind of fat.

He then puts his entire body weight against the wall with one hand and uses the other hand to "direct himself."  During this disturbing display of ok-edness with his unflattering body, he moans and groans like he is having the most pleasant experience of his entire life.  His head thrashes about and he closes his eyes to make it all more dramatic than it really is.  During this animalistic display of idiocy, all the other men in the bathroom look at each other and try to keep from busting up laughing.  It's like we're all in on a joke that the drunk guy isn't.  Invariably, when the drunk guy stumbles out of the bathroom, someone will say "I'll have what he's having" and then we all laugh.

There are other things but that basically sums it up.

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