First, as can be expected, this column is not for the ladies. I don’t know what exactly you do in there; all I know is that you have to face it in pairs and the whole place smells like moisturizer. So, this is a lesson for the males. The females in our audience are welcome to look on and to try desperately to understand the twisted world of the male psyche. Good luck to you.
The single most important aspect of bathroom etiquette, and therefore the focus of this column, is urinal use. The urinal situation is very tense. Going to the improper urinal can cause a guy to panic. To state the reason why would be to set off those people who write said liberal tirades. Therefore I will neither condone nor condemn such behavior, but merely report that it exists. The following are rules to follow in choosing the right urinal for you. While well circulated, I have noticed recently that some people have apparently never been warned. It is my civic duty to provide you with them.
Assume a five-urinal bathroom, urinal 1 is on the far left, 5 on the far right.
The second guy in MUST choose the farthest urinal from you, #5. I don’t care if he’s the most secure man on earth, he has to be as far from you as possible, no excuses.
The third guy in will not be happy. There’s only one choice for him: urinal 3. You’re in the red zone now, you can’t break from this procedure. You need the buffer urinals, 2 and 4, to keep everyone calm. In this situation, it is imperative that you stare DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF YOU, at the wall, no movement. Any wandering eyes will be blackened or removed before anyone leaves.
Should a fourth guy enter, he must either wait or use a stall. I will not even entertain the idea of the use of urinals 2 and 4. If there are no available stalls, either wait or find an inconspicuous corner of the room. OK, those are the basics. Nothing new. Now, you need to know how to deal with the mutant arrangements that somehow crop up occasionally. 1,2, and 5 are occupied (it happened to me once, don’t think it can’t). You have to go to 3. No false moves here, this is rough on everyone. If you go to urinal 4, you’re coupling yourself with the guy at urinal 5. I need not tell of the terror that may result.
Now, say 2 and 5 are occupied. Interesting scenario. You’re coupled no matter what. Go to the closest available urinal. If they know you’re in a hurry, they’ll forgive you. But only if you act like you mean business. No dawdling. Race up to that urinal and start flooding the area like you’re putting out a fire. Make some unobtrusive noises of relief and you’re in the clear.
The last test is this: any four of the five are occupied. You may take the last one, since everyone knows you’ve got no choice. They’ll understand your dilemma, and inside, they weep for you. If you believe this, you have failed the test. I hate you and everything you stand for.
One last lesson: the case of The Trough. The Trough is the long, steel bathtub thing that winds around the wall of some public bathrooms. You just stake out your territory and let it fly. My only admonition here: Respect the personal space of others. Please. Your personal space is your country, and you don’t want little Elian drifting toward you, invading your borders, causing all kinds of splashback.
That’ll be all. There’s much more to cover; please refer to the guy handbook. I have run out of space, so in closing, I will simply say this: let’s be careful out there.
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