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Picking Which Urinal to Use

I had an interesting dilemma the other day. I had just drank a dangerous amount of shasta, and felt as if my bladder was going to burst. I ran to the nearest washroom (this was at a small local movie theater). As I walked in there were rows of stalls in the back, all taken. There were two rows of urinals, one to each side. In each row there were five urinals and the row to the left was full, so I looked to my right. Out of the five urinals, two were taken, in a way like so:

1_____  2_____  3_____  4_____  5_____
|taken| |     | |     | |taken| |     |  
|     | |     | |     | |     | |     |
|_____| |_____| |_____| |_____| |_____| 
\____ / \____ / \____ / \____ / \____ / 



Now we all know that the rules of washroom etiquette are the most important unwritten laws for men, and you must make sure that your other washroom users don't feel uncomfortable in about any way, so I had to pick very carefully, but I was running out of time. I decided in a few seconds (trying to look like I wasn't trying to choose) to choose number 2 because either way I would be next to another user. But number 4 promptly left, and I was left smothering number 1 in the corner, looking very awkward. I had broken the rules, but since 4 left so quickly I still had a chance to move! I had already chosen my urinal, if I moved could that rectify the situation? Or might it worsen my situation? I decided that since I had already broken the rules, I had nothing to lose, so I quickly jumped to the next urinal over and mumbled gibberish so no one could hear.

I did worsen my situation. It was a mistake that I shall regret, for I know that inside the hearts and minds of the others in that room that day, I shall be banished forever. Please learn from this.



Update, Nov. 1:

Thinking about this again, the true proper way for users to fill the urinals would depend on whether there were an odd or even number of urinals. Even there were an odd amount, for example 5, then they should be filled in way so that no one person fills the spot next to a person who just got there, like so:1,3,5,2,4. Or if it was nine, then:1,3,5,7,9,2,4,6,8. This way, it would take two people leaving at the same time to disrupt the formation. This would follow FordPrefect's principle.

If there were an even number of urinals, then they should be filled outwardly then moved in, so if there were 6, then they should be filled like so:1,6,2,5,3,4. Or if there were 10, like so:1,10,2,9,3,8,4,7,5,6..

It may be hard to count so fast, but you could probably just tell just by looking.
hackthemainframe made the best of a bad situation. The culprit here was the guy on urinal number 4. He should have chosen either 1 or 5 when he arrived. (assuming 1 was empty then)

People like that make me sick.

hackthemainframe had no choice. The above situation, and situations like that are compounded by the presence of the deaded "shorter than the other ones" urinals. These are also to be avoided at all costs. Do you want the gimpy urinal? Why do they have those in adult bathrooms anyways? There is no way out.

This adds another rule to urinal ettiquette: Through the implication of any other rule, never [squeeze another man into the shorter urinal. Bad karma look upon you!

The real situations also arise when there are only even numbers of urinals: (U are urinals that are taken, underscores are urinals that are occupied)
1 2 3 4
U | _ | U | _
Now which one do you take? 2 or 4? 4! Why? Because in urinal 2, you are violating two men. With the choice of urinal 4, you only upset one guy. This is an important strategy that every man must keep in mind. Careful not to daudle in making the decision either. There are dangerous consequences for those who do. Maybe not now, but some day...

My chemistry teacher used the process of choosing a urinal to explain orbitals. The electrons fill every other orbital first, and only when they have to do they squeeze in between. I haven't seen a more effective way of getting this concept across (at least to half of the people) than Urinal Theory.

I hate to criticize your choice hackthemainframe, and I may have done the same thing, but we must remember, hindsight is 20/20. When in this situation where you have 4 or 5 urinals, two of which are occupied, it is best to take a corner if possible. You will then only disturb one urinator, and you have a corner which you can turn into a bit, to give the violated urinator a little privacy in this awkward situation. This is not to mention that the guy in urinal 4 (as noted above) is probably the first rule breaker anyways, by not taking the middle or corner himself, which would have saved all parties involved any violation whatsoever.

Today, at the public library, I did something terrible.

50 fluid ounces of Coke can do something to a man, and even more to a 13-year-old semi-adolescent such as myself. Not wishing to do the "potty dance" (if you will) all the way home, I dropped by the men's room in the lobby before leaving.

Now, in this bathroom, there are 2 urinals and 2 stalls. Perhaps the city could have spent less money on fancy carpets and more on proper facilities. Anyway, making the situation even worse, one of these 2 urinals is a "kiddy" urinal. Thoughtlessly, I took the good one. Of course, as soon as I choose, a grown man walks in.

I forced this man, who must have been at least 8 inches taller and 40 years older than me, into the child's urinal! I have committed the ultimate crime!

From now on, I shall respect my elders. Sir, if you are a member of Everything, I give you my humble apologies - I was the kid with the striped shirt and the backpack.

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