Wednesday, June 12, 2013

On commissioning a proper study into the toilet habits of the modern British male

A recent trip to IKEA competely wrecked by the toilet experience.

What happened was this: Given the choice of three vacant urinals, the gentleman in front of me ignored all toilet protocol and went for the one in the middle. THE ONE IN THE MIDDLE.

Sickening, I am sure you'll agree.

As we all know, the accepted practice given a row of free pissoirs is to take one on the end, leaving a natural space between you and the next person to arrive. Forcing another visitor to stand next to you is wrong and an invasion of your personal space.

I was forced, dear reader, to take one of the spares either side of him, and such was my rage I couldn't even go until he had left.

However, the experience got me thinking. How many other men are unaware of the correct urinal protocols? How many men have never been taught the rules of the toilet and do this all the time? I suspect that this kill is one being lost down the years, and that's the trouble with great unwritten, unspoken rules.

The first - and most important - thing to do in this case is to commission a study into gentlemen's urinal habits. This means I need to recruit a large number of people to stand around in lavatories with a clipboard and a camera, taking names and addresses of users and their comments on urinal use. This is, I am sure you will agree, the very cutting edge of social science that creates dozens of (albeit very temporary) jobs.

To get the richest cross-section of society, we will also need to put spotters into such diverse places as (naturally) the WC at IKEA in Southampton where it all began, the House of Commons facilities, a Yorkshire working men's club, and the gents at Millwall football ground.

Science will never forget the sacrifice these volunteers are going to make, and a major part of our research grant will go towards buying suitable headstones and memorials for the fallen.

Let's hear it for SCIENCE!


El Matador said...

Outrageous. Surprised he didn't break rule 2 and start talking to you.

Phil Parker said...

Urinal usage is one of the challenges that make mens lives so much harder than womens. After all, every time we go we have to decide "stand or sit".

Then, if in a public toilet, we are faced with a choice of urinals and have to decide which one based on a complex algorythm.

With all these decisions to make EVERY DAY, it's not wonder that we own so few shoes - there isn't the spare mental capacity to differenciate between them.

Pseusie said...

An interesting aside: when the Nymph family were travelling by train in Italy, Mr Nymph utilised the facilities and came back warning us of the strangeness of the Italian toilets, and how us females would struggle to use them.
Further investigation did require the use of the phrase 'it appears you pissed in the handbasin.'
We've never let him forget it.

Anonymous said...

It appears that someone has had a similar idea!:

Anonymous said...

Suede shoes. You dudn't mention wearing suede shoes... :-(

Raif Sarcich said...

I firmly believe that, in Australia at least, urinal etiquette differs between ex public and private schoolboys.

I come from a public school background. We learned quickly to leave personal space, look straight ahead, shut up and piss. On pain of violence.

The ex private school people seem different. They seem to swagger up to urinals right next to people, and jovially open their flies and start conversing. I find it weird, unsettling and invasive. How can I make them stop?

Gonzoland said...

Toilets, designed with glass walls and “pods” to reduce privacy, have been hailed a national success after preventing bullies loitering inside and are just one of 52 cutting edge designed honoured by RIBA.