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December 4, 2011 6:27 AM   Subscribe

Toilet gaming. [bbc.co.uk] When men use a public urinal they are cruelly left in full view, with nothing to do as they answer nature's call. Until now. British company Captive Media thinks it has developed a product that fills a gap in the market - a urinal mounted, urine-controlled games console for men.
posted by Fizz (87 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nintendo Wee.
posted by MegoSteve at 6:29 AM on December 4, 2011 [9 favorites]


Peestation

XXBox
posted by ian1977 at 6:32 AM on December 4, 2011


I personally hate stuff like this. I just want to do my business and be done with it. A few years back I was travelling and had a layover in Amsterdam, at the airport all of the urinals had screens above them and one was forced to watch inane advertisements while pissing. A kind of adverape.
posted by Fizz at 6:32 AM on December 4, 2011 [10 favorites]


Ah, I mean XYBox.
posted by ian1977 at 6:32 AM on December 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


I look forward to when they port Angry Birds to this.
posted by Naberius at 6:34 AM on December 4, 2011


There are "good anatomical reasons" that women can't use the original device, Mr MacSween says.

Maybe we can base it on loudness or sound instead? Like Pop Idol for pissing.
posted by Jehan at 6:38 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always been jealous I couldn't write my name in the snow, either.
posted by Cocodrillo at 6:43 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite is the Melt the Ice game. It always lifts my spirits to see the disgusting pile of urinal pee ice shift and settle as it melts from the output of my boilerroom.
posted by ian1977 at 6:44 AM on December 4, 2011 [13 favorites]


So now when someone looks over at your highscore they can say "Hey, nice score. What equipment are you using?"
posted by episodic at 6:44 AM on December 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Cheerios would be cheaper.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:47 AM on December 4, 2011


It calls it the first "hands-free" video gaming console of its kind.

Phew. I saw the iPad looking screens and thought they were using touchscreens.

And really, if you're going to game in the bathroom, at least have the decency to do it quietly in a stall with a smartphone like every other self respecting person.
posted by clearly at 6:49 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you have to play a game, why not something simple. My favourite pub has this in all of the urinals.
posted by Fizz at 6:49 AM on December 4, 2011


Presumably it's a first-person shooter platform?
posted by spitbull at 6:51 AM on December 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


I guess if the game was really addictive people would drink more at the bar.
posted by delmoi at 7:01 AM on December 4, 2011


Whenever I encounter a bar that has LCD displays above the urinal, I immediately make a mental note to never go back. Having a leisurely piss is me time, advertisers. It's where I get a minute away from whatever inane nonsense the idiot I'm drinking with has been on about, and instead I can think about how awesome it would be if you had a ferret that was the size of a man and you trained him to play cricket and wear bolo ties.
posted by cmonkey at 7:11 AM on December 4, 2011 [19 favorites]


So, peeing on the shoes of the guy next to you is no longer entertaining enough? I still find it amusing.
posted by tomswift at 7:11 AM on December 4, 2011


My local railway station has a bar/club on an upper level. The mens room in it has a trough urinal set in front of a one-way mirror overlooking one of the passages to the platforms, so as you're pissing, you can sort of imagine that you're pissing on the people walking below. That is drunken entertainment.
posted by cmonkey at 7:14 AM on December 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


When men use a public urinal they are cruelly left in full view, with nothing to do as they answer nature's call.

Speaking of cruel, it doesn't have sound and flashing images and so on, does it? Because that would make the pressure much worse for a pee-shy guy when he steps up to the urinal and everyone else is waiting for his game to start and the poor guy can't even get going.
posted by pracowity at 7:16 AM on December 4, 2011


I am glad that I have never yet found a urinal that has advertising on screens above the urinals. (I guess I don't live in a big enough city, or go to enough fancy clubs.) I had no idea that this existed but now that I do I suddenly feel the urge to carry one of these jobbies everywhere I go.
posted by Scientist at 7:19 AM on December 4, 2011


Pissle Command.
posted by ga4ry at 7:24 AM on December 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Streaming video.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:27 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


We no longer live in a William Gibson novel. The world has clearly moved on to Warren Ellis now.

But yeah, I'm happy to keep playing Don't Let Your Feet Touch the Floor Because it's Lava and the seasonal variation of ...Because it's Antarctica, thanks.
posted by byanyothername at 7:32 AM on December 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tecmo Bowl.
posted by Chichibio at 7:32 AM on December 4, 2011


It's only a matter of time until this game is tainted by a juicing scandal.
posted by argonauta at 7:33 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lord, this is taking multi-tasking to extremes. if there is a time to be "in the moment" expulsing pollutants from the body should be one. I don't need conversation or distraction, just focus on one of the three vulnerabilities that all people on the planet experience each day.
posted by jadepearl at 7:43 AM on December 4, 2011


I'm really really pee-shy. Like, many of the sort of bars I'm prone to frequent tend toward the trough filled with ice kind of urinal because public penis displays are encouraged. But I can't go there. Or I can, but as soon as anyone else walks in, things just shut off. If I'm very lucky there will be a stall with a not-stopped-up toilet that I can use. I'm willing to wait because relief is required and there's no way I'll go with someone standing next to me.

(I blame a lot of this on growing up a clueless gay kid who was always curious and deathly afraid of being seen as being curious and was conflicted about sexuality thanks to a narrow Presbyterian upbringing and living in a town with no gay subculture to use as reference.)

Anyway... I welcome places like truck stops which have print ads posted above urinals. They give me something to concentrate on while I try to relax enough to go. If I can't find that, I either read the text on the top of the flushing mechanism letter by letter to myself "R-O-Y-A-L" or I count up by 5s or something to distract myself from my public urination.

I don't know how I'd feel about these video games. I've never encountered one yet. It might be a good distraction, or it might just increase my frustration and shyness.
posted by hippybear at 7:46 AM on December 4, 2011


Related.
posted by mkb at 7:47 AM on December 4, 2011


Nobody's mentioned Philip K. Dick?
posted by trip and a half at 7:55 AM on December 4, 2011


Encountering one of these things at a bar, I would almost certainly piss on the display. Unless I walked in and saw a row of men lying on their backs, unzipped and visibly electrocuted.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 7:55 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was at a restaurant once that had something similar to what Fizz linked, except it was like a slot machine where you had to line up the three reels by, um, moving the stream.
posted by Kosh at 7:56 AM on December 4, 2011


Is "Urinal Boredom" a big problem for you guys? I, personally, have never experienced urinal boredom but then there are so many activities involved with lady peeing: figuring out what to do with purse, unzipping, pulling/hiking up clothes, removing panties, hoovering over seat, getting toilet paper, etc. Also, just as a side note: I pee a LOT less than my husband mainly because I drink a lot less. So maybe this is a factor?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:57 AM on December 4, 2011


Is "Urinal Boredom" a big problem for you guys?

I suspect that "Urinal Boredom" is a polite euphemism for "needing to be distracted while peeing so you don't look like you're trying to catch a glimpse of the penis next to you" combined with "pee-shy".
posted by hippybear at 8:00 AM on December 4, 2011


Maybe we can base it on loudness or sound instead? Like Pop Idol for pissing.

Or maybe by starting and stopping the stream, you could play some kind of Resident Kegel adventure game.
posted by hermitosis at 8:08 AM on December 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was at a restaurant once that had something similar to what Fizz linked, except it was like a slot machine where you had to line up the three reels by, um, moving the stream.

Good lord -- what did the jackpot pay out?
posted by PlusDistance at 8:09 AM on December 4, 2011


As I think about this, the probability that a tipsy patron will become confused between these devices and a regular barroom vending machine, or a countertop blackjack machine, is intolerably large.

P.S. To anticipate, yes, "that's what she said."
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 8:22 AM on December 4, 2011


You know, I'm 100% against any kind of device that encourages guys to wave their cocks around while pissing. The only acceptable game is one that rewards your stream for being still and centered.
posted by mkultra at 8:22 AM on December 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Back in the good old days (harrumph, harrumph, obligatory comment about kids and lawns), we used to play Sink the Cigarette Butt.
posted by vitia at 8:25 AM on December 4, 2011


I'm not touching any video game console attached to a urinal.
posted by Renoroc at 8:26 AM on December 4, 2011


there are so many activities involved with lady peeing: figuring out what to do with purse, unzipping, pulling/hiking up clothes, removing panties, hoovering over seat, getting toilet paper, etc.

You! Yooooooouuu and your ilk are the reason that women's restrooms are filthier than men's by a factor of ten. Women who think if their delicate buttocks come in contact with public porcelain they will get toilet AIDS, so instead they hover over the bowl in an awkward crouch while they spray urine like a randy tomcat all over the floor and seat. Which is of course too icky for them to wipe up, leaving it for the next women who find it so disgusting they hover also and continue the vicious cycle. We WILL NOT contemplate the hoverers who further choose, with arbitrary aim to defecate from midair. 

I propose a pee-gaming counterpart installation for women's restrooms: you rack up points or win a free Coke, whatever, only if your posterior flesh stays in full contact with the toilet seat as long as the stream of liquid is in motion.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:44 AM on December 4, 2011 [19 favorites]


You! ... women's restrooms are filthier than men's by a factor of ten.

wtf?? Having spend roughly a quarter of a decade in both restrooms sequentially) I can attest that women's restrooms are far cleaner as a rule.

Women who think if their delicate buttocks come in contact with public porcelain they will get toilet AIDS, so instead they hover over the bowl in an awkward crouch while they spray urine like a randy tomcat ....

Seriously? Not only is that kind of offensive but I really think you need to seek therapy for issues dealing with women.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 8:58 AM on December 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I'm not touching any video game console attached to a urinal."

Good news - you won't have to (it's stated pretty clearly in the article). My only issue with this is that I personally don't enjoy watching television at all, and would rather not have some form of advertising literally right in my face as I'm taking a piss.
posted by Evernix at 8:58 AM on December 4, 2011


And then there's this....
posted by Fizz at 9:09 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Poet_Lariat: I am a woman (who refuses to use truck stop bathrooms anymore). But your automatic concern for my mental health is noted; I think we would all be be better off with regular psychological therapy, you included.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:10 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Urinal etiquette fascinates me. It's such an intricate dance, and there are so many rules, all unspoken. It's this completely different world. Are there regional and situational variations, for instance, on optimal urinal positioning?

Placing ads above urinals always struck me as a genius move (evil genius, but genius.) You really can't look away.


The only urine etiquette I usually have to deal with is women who are not nearly as pee-shy as I am. You know them. The "Come pee with me!" ladies - the ones that cannot fathom urinating without having a confidant and assuming that all other women are the same. The ones that have NO CONCEPT that Pee Time is Me Time and I won't be able to squeeze out a drop unless I imagine that they are in the next county, even though they have wedged themselves into the stall with me. And when you try to ask them to leave, they point out that "we're both girls" like I hadn't just had the opportunity to observe that fact explicitly for myself.


Oh, also, seconding that hovering is the bane of my existence. That and the jerks that fill all the toilets with paper so they overflow and nobody else can use them. I have heard people claim that this is accidental, but I assure you that it is not, it is deliberate, and it is a Dick Maneuver, regardless of your lack thereof.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:10 AM on December 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


(p.s. apology to Secret Life of Gravy: my wangsty complaint was not really directed at you specifically, despite the, uh, melodramatic "Yoooooouuuu!" This is counterintuitive, I know.)
posted by nicebookrack at 9:18 AM on December 4, 2011


"Trade paper Adweek calculates that on average men are rooted to the spot for 55 seconds while they relieve themselves - nine months over the course of their lifetimes."

I'll use that factoid to explain why I'm carrying my own pee bottle around with me. Walking to the washroom was just wasting way too much of my time.
posted by Net Prophet at 9:29 AM on December 4, 2011


Heh, I am aware through observation that there are women who talk on their cellphones or text while taking a piss, but do people really need to be entertained while taking care of their business? Wouldn't that imply that you want to spend more time, than what is already needed, on the toilet (or in front of the urinal)?
posted by DisreputableDog at 9:42 AM on December 4, 2011


The cool thing about this is that the other fellas will be distracted in case you want a peek.

Not that I would ever do such a terrible thing.
posted by sonascope at 9:45 AM on December 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


Whatever happened to reading the graffitti?
posted by jonmc at 9:45 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


apology to Secret Life of Gravy

Heh, I laughed. My whole reasoning for hoovering* is the previous pee dribblers have left their mark. That and I grew up in California with mandatory paper seat covers and now live in NC with nary a paper seat cover to be found. It makes me feel a bit squeamish. But I promise you I leave the facilities as clean as I found them, sometimes cleaner.

*Sorry. My misuse of hoover for when I mean hover has become a bit of a family joke to the point where I am totally screwed up. I have to think long and hard about which one I mean and apparently I posted too quickly.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:50 AM on December 4, 2011


Also, hovering is the work of the devil as far as we facility managers are concerned. We can create the most wonderfully clean, tidy, and fresh-smelling restroom in the city (my comfort stations at the Visionary won actual awards, thank you very much), only to have some germ-phobic panicky idiot who can't be bothered to read take that hovering ski-jumper posture over the toilet, guaranteeing that their explosive jets of despair will spray the chromework, seat, and back wall of the stall like Jackson Pollock.

Will they then clean up what they've done? Heavens no. If no one saw them, they just skulk out like the filthy animals they are...not that I'm bitter about this, oh no (feel free to ask me about Patch Adams at the next mefi meetup, though).

Honestly, though, I'm not a fan of the seated position in the public theater of evacuation, but if a toilet seat looks gross to me, I dampen a paper towel, add a drop of soap, wipe the seat, dry it with a second paper towel (both of which go in the trash because paper towels never EVER belong in a toilet), have my ursine respite in the woods, then wash my hands. Complicated, but life's complicated and there are underpaid custodial staff that have to deal with the nauseating aftermath of the pathological hoverer.

Don't hover. It's a bad, bad thing.
posted by sonascope at 10:04 AM on December 4, 2011 [15 favorites]


Whatever happened to reading the graffitti?

It was recently reported to me that the drawing/writing of graffiti is still alive and well. On a recent restaurant visit, I was informed that someone had drawn "The saddest little vagina" next to the urinal. "It looks like a donut with hair," the report continued.

Unfortunately, I do not have a photo, and was unable to check for myself, as the room was occupied when I went back for a look.

Anyway, I highly recommend drawing mustaches and crude dongs on urinal ads. They have violated your space; you are perfectly justified in violating theirs.

My whole reasoning for hoovering* is the previous pee dribblers have left their mark.

Oh my, if you were hoovering the work of the previous dribblers, that would be something quite different, and a little bit heroic.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:10 AM on December 4, 2011


have my ursine respite in the woods

Your euphemism, I will use it.
posted by louche mustachio at 10:12 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


GOD FORBID I GO 55 SECONDS WITHOUT BEING ENTERTAINED ... OH THE HUMANITY
posted by caution live frogs at 10:17 AM on December 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


sonascope, I understand and appreciate your perspective on this, but many public restrooms are as far from comfort stations as possible. First off, there are no paper towels in the stalls. If there are any at all, they're at the other end of the bathroom, by the sinks. There might not even be any paper towels left, or worse, there might be a roll sitting in a pool of water on the sink counter.

Sometimes the same goes for soap.

Then you have to worry about the fact that you must "check" each stall to see if there is anything other than urine on the toilet seats. If it's just urine, you can wipe it down, sure. But you know as well as I do that some ladies leave other things -- like random wads of toilet paper strewn all across the seat for some unknown reason.

Once you find a stall that has only urine on the seat, and nothing else, and you don't have soapy paper towels but just your own sad little wad of toilet paper with which to wipe the seat, you still have to think, "Do I sit, or do I hover?"

The reasonable answer to the question is that you must hover. It's probably been hours since anybody on the cleaning staff came to look at this godforsaken pit. Other things may have been on that toilet seat. You don't know what, but judging by the other stalls around here, you hover, dammit.

And then, if you're a good person, you wipe. You wipe yourself and you wipe the seat. (Unless someone has left one of those "if you sprinkle when you tinkle" signs. Then you still wipe the seat, but after you've washed your hands you return to write something rude on the sign with a Sharpie.)

In all of this distress, you have no use for any sort of gaming device. The only "game" I can think of that a woman would play in the toilet of a public restroom would be a sort of Foursquare/Yelp for rating establishments' toilets, in which you note whether there is a hook for a purse, a second hook for a coat, toilet paper, clean seats, automatic flush/faucets, soap, paper towels, seat covers, and so forth. This would be a truly excellent game.
posted by brina at 10:35 AM on December 4, 2011


Why is it so hard to just take a moment? Why is it so unthinkable that we might just piss and whistle for sixty seconds?

I swear, ADHD didn't evolve, it was created. By something black-hearted and far beyond evil.
posted by Decani at 10:36 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just wipe it with some TP and sit down. If you sit down, you never have to wipe the seat after. If everyone sat down, no one would have to wipe at all. Hovering is evil.

(The only time I don't sit is in portapotties, and then I use my pstyle. But I put up the seat first, ferchrissake. We're not animals.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:41 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Come to think of it, why don't all ladies who hover put the seat up? You can use some TP to lift it if you're scared. If you're not going to grace your butt with the seat anyway, there's really no reason for it to be there, and you'd be saving the next lady grief.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:43 AM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, when I travel, I always carry a few of the premoistened towelettes you get at BBQ places in my wallet. They're good enough to clean a toilet seat, small enough to flush (unlike the other toilet demon—fucking baby wipes), and you can carry two or three in a man's wallet without making it all bulgy. If I lived somewhere with a higher percentage of lousy restrooms, I'd carry some basic supplies in my manbag as a cost of living, and map out where the good places are.

This is, of course, why I know where virtually every public installation of those Japanese magic ass-washing toilet seats can be found in NYC (where my local friends always complain that I take too long in the restroom, but the detail wash is just too nice), unless I'm feeling particularly narcissistic, in which case I use the mirrored toilets at Veneiro's.

That said, I'm a bit odd.
posted by sonascope at 10:44 AM on December 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


That and I grew up in California with mandatory paper seat covers and now live in NC with nary a paper seat cover to be found.

People actually use those? I thought they were invented by Kimberly–Clark to encourage us to buy more paper from them. I've seen them in foreign countries, and always have a good giggle, then bless my luck that England hasn't yet sunk to such lows of neuroticism.

Toilet seats aren't going to give you diseases unless you do some really weird shit with them (yeah, yeah rule 34). I'm kinda glad sometimes in winter when a person has just finished taking a shit on a toilet I then use. So warm on bottom! Thankyou mystery shitter!
posted by Jehan at 10:48 AM on December 4, 2011


Germophobia is so selective that it is clearly mostly neurotic and not adaptive. The most dangerous thing you do in most public restrooms is breathe, the second is opening the damn door, and the third is handling your cellphone or whatever while you do your business (there was an alarming study a few months back out of the UK, I think I saw it on MeFi, that said some huge percentage of cell phones were contaminated with fecal bacteria). Your ass, in most cases (barring open lesions of course), is pretty well defended because it doesn't (hopefully) come into frequent contact with your hands or, thereby, your mouth.
posted by spitbull at 10:56 AM on December 4, 2011


Don't hover. It's a bad, bad thing.

Germophobia is so selective that it is clearly mostly neurotic and not adaptive.


Excuse me if I do not want to put my naked buttocks in the same place where many previous people have put their naked buttocks. I also use a paper towel to open the door when I leave so as to not put my naked hands on the same place where many other naked hands have put theirs. You can rant all you want, but it won't change my habits; I reserve the right to protect myself as I see fit.

Besides what is all this nonsense about spraying urine everywhere? It is perfectly possible to keep yourself a fraction of an inch above and not spray pee about like a machine gun.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:17 AM on December 4, 2011


Maybe for you, but the seats reflect the fact that it's not true for most women. Seriously, please consider putting the seat up next time you're going to hover. I would give you a psychic hug if you do.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:21 AM on December 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


sonascope, would you be willing to share your list? Not with everyone. Just with me. I promise, if you tell me where those Japanese toilets are, I won't hover. WHERE ARE THE JAPANESE TOILETS?
posted by brina at 11:22 AM on December 4, 2011


Japan
posted by jonmc at 11:23 AM on December 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Paper seat covers (aka Cowboy Hats) are also essentially useless if there's any liquid already on the seat. It just seeps right through. Also, my office has toilets with the delightful tendency to flush hard enough to spray water on the seat each time, encouraging colonization of the toilet seats with fecal bacteria.

However, it is a delightful place for the pee-shy; we've got privacy panels on the urinals and a high-energy electron beam next door that makes enough noise powering up to enable urinitiation. You just have to ignore the radiation badge on the wall.
posted by Existential Dread at 11:56 AM on December 4, 2011


Speaking of "comfort stations", lavatorial entertainment, and differing male/female attitudes to such matters, this reminds me of the time I visited a Major Aircraft Manufacturer. There, a manager, explaining how concerned they were by the passengers' welfare, and noticing that the lavatory was the least comfortable place in the aircraft, they had asked an all-female team to design a more comfortable, female-friendly concept loo. He proudly presented us the result, which looked extremely enticing indeed (and let's overlook the well-meaning but awkwardly patronising idea of building an "all-female design team").

However, I had to spoil the moment by pointing out that, at 30,000 feet, there's an even more uncomfortable place than the lavatory, namely the queue in front of it, and that perhaps it was not a good idea to make the toilet too cozy, if he caught my drift. To which the manager sheepishly admitted that the airlines had already made the same observation. The concept toilet was quietly shelved...
posted by Skeptic at 12:12 PM on December 4, 2011


explosive jets of despair

...is the name of my Joy Division cover band.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:17 PM on December 4, 2011


can't believe that after 67 posts I'm the first to say: "Urethra moment" - what a sub head. Genius.
posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 12:19 PM on December 4, 2011


The reasonable answer to the question is that you must hover.

This really depends on whether your objection to touching a toilet seat is a matter of faith or science.

Matter of personal preference? Fine. Immunocompromised? Better safe than sorry. Believing you are actually protecting yourself from catching diseases [not just getting something touching your butt]? Incorrect.

"To my knowledge, no one has ever acquired an STD on the toilet seat -- unless they were having sex on the toilet seat!" says Abigail Salyers, PhD, president of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).

Then again, I eat candy off the ground. Hey, free candy!
posted by jessamyn at 12:28 PM on December 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Excuse me if I do not want to put my naked buttocks in the same place where many previous people have put their naked buttocks. ... You can rant all you want, but it won't change my habits; I reserve the right to protect myself as I see fit.

Why? That alone is not an significant infection risk. You're not protecting yourself from anything physical, just soothing a learnt neurosis. Some folks have made a lot of money by putting the fear of germs into you and then selling you things you "need" to get rid of them. As an outsider to your culture, paper towels for toilet seats are hilarious when I think that people might use them seriously.
posted by Jehan at 12:29 PM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually, it's the shit-hoverers who constitute the most severe problem, largely because people have an amazingly inaccurate idea of where their actual butthole is in relation to a toilet seat and even less grasp of how hovering can have the same untangling effect on the lower G.I. as a squat toilet, leading to friendly fire incidents. It's not so much hovering with skill that's the problem—it's that most people just never manage to learn how to do it properly.

The best way to navigate a toilet, if you're super concerned over the horror of third person ass-pressage, is to use the trick that my many Vietnamese coworkers in a previous career taught me. You flop up the seat, remove and hang your pants on the hook, climb up and stand on the porcelain rim, and squat in the manner of one using a squat toilet. Of course, a few of them broke their collarbones doing this at my job, but squat toilets are healthy, aside from the broken collarbones.

I'm admittedly a bit of a crank about this stuff, but it's from experience and from having to come to grasp with the fact that, of all living humans, a majority percentage will do vile things in a bathroom out of a sense of entitlement or complete indifference to the fact that actual people, and in America, that's usually under-paid and under-respected people of color, have to clean up afterward.

Darn, missed the trash can. Oh well, I don't want to pick it up off the floor. Floors are dirty. Eww. Someone will pick that up.
posted by sonascope at 12:30 PM on December 4, 2011


Wow, I had no idea the womenfolk had to deal with the indignity and discomfort of seat spray from inconsiderate users. You have my deepest sympathies.

Now guys, we really need to talk about lifting the seat when you're peeing in a stall. I mean really, you're so prissified that you can't at least grab it with a wad of toilet paper and lift it out of the way so the next poor bastard who actually has to poo isn't tasked with cleaning up your disgusting mess?
posted by calamari kid at 12:35 PM on December 4, 2011


The fact is that you can go into a public women's restroom at damn near any time of day, any day of the week, and you will find a toilet seat that is wet. I just do not get the hand-wringing over your butt cheeks touching a surface that other butt cheeks have touched. But if you insist upon doing it, please wipe up afterwards. I think it's not the practice of hovering that I find so offensive - you do whatever you want, this is your time - it's the fact that most don't bother to clean up after themselves.

But oh how I laughed at "they spray urine like a randy tomcat". Oh how I laughed!

Also, I really don't need anything to do when I'm in there. I don't want to use my phone, I don't want to talk to my neighbors, I don't want to hear you talking on your phone. I just want to quickly handle my business and leave. I certainly don't need the pressure of trying to leave behind a high score.
posted by sm1tten at 12:38 PM on December 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Patent infringing?
posted by FrereKhan at 12:38 PM on December 4, 2011


"Your hands and your mouth are the dirtiest things, not your butt."

[Penn and Teller, on safety hysteria - I'm done now, this is a bit of a hobby horse for me]
posted by jessamyn at 12:41 PM on December 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I once argued with a germophobe, until I realized it's his deal, not mine, so why should I care and why should I continue to harass him?

I do object, however, to someone else's urine on my ass if I sit down on the public toilet seat. And not from a potential-infecting POV.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:45 PM on December 4, 2011


we've got privacy panels on the urinals and a high-energy electron beam next door that makes enough noise powering up to enable urinitiation.

I worked in a brand new building where they had obviously spent a lot of money putting in a totally silent air circulation system. Combined with (again quite expensive-looking) tile on every surface, the result was a tomb-like silence in which every single drip, plop, or grunt could be heard with perfect clarity.

It was both the cleanest and the most disgusting bathroom I've ever used.
posted by bjrubble at 1:06 PM on December 4, 2011


There's the germ thing, which I think we can agree is a phantom menace, and then there's the ick factor, which is how I read Secret Life of Gravy's comments. We all have our irrational ick triggers, and if naked buttocks touching the same surface as other naked buttocks is one for you, I don't think there's any amount of reasoning that can get you past it, and it's a little disrespectful for others to try. But I also think it's important to take responsibility for the actions prompted by our ick triggers, which is another way of saying that if you're going to hover you really ought to be sure you haven't left a mess.

On the topic of electronics in the restroom, I had a policy for a while of flushing whenever I heard a co-patron on the phone. Just to let the person on the other end of the call know.
posted by nickmark at 1:12 PM on December 4, 2011


Good lord -- what did the jackpot pay out?

Satisfaction with a job well done, I suppose.
posted by Kosh at 1:25 PM on December 4, 2011


Until this thread I was not aware of women attempting to defecate in midair so their butts do not touch the bowl was a thing. Thanks Metafilter!
posted by Renoroc at 3:38 PM on December 4, 2011


Hey peace. I'm not judging the neurosis of germophobia. God knows we all have our neuroses.

Fact of the matter is that modern humans relieve themselves in conditions so sanitary they could not have been imagined, let alone implemented, a couple of centuries ago. There is, as epidemiologists will tell you, a certain value to maintaining a robust level of exposure to common pathogens in any case. And most of the gestures people attempt to avoid coming into contact with common pathogens are symbolic more than practical, given the ubiquity of those pathogens in the urban environment in which most of us live and work.

Keep pumping that Purell. It's all good. But if getting some bacteria on your butt was dangerous, we'd be long gone.
posted by spitbull at 3:56 PM on December 4, 2011


"Modern humans in the developed world," I should say...

Plus a couple of centuries ago no one knew that germs caused diseases, whereas now we have been conditioned to fear the microbial unseen as much as a 17th century English villager feared witches.
posted by spitbull at 3:59 PM on December 4, 2011


jessamyn: ""Your hands and your mouth are the dirtiest things, not your butt ."

[Penn and Teller, on safety hysteria - I'm done now, this is a bit of a hobby horse for me]
"

Well, I was coming in to say something like "Well, that's a pissy game" followed by "How do they keep the floor clean?", but now, thanks to Jessamyn, I am going to have to say "Yay for rimming!"

Not my fault. Can't leave me those openings and expect me to not dive in headfirst.
posted by Samizdata at 8:17 PM on December 4, 2011


I personally hate stuff like this. I just want to do my business and be done with it. A few years back I was travelling and had a layover in Amsterdam, at the airport all of the urinals had screens above them and one was forced to watch inane advertisements while pissing. A kind of adverape.

I had the opposite experience at Shipol Airport, Amsterdam. All the urinals had a little realistic fly graphic printed on the bowl. Presumably a simple game of 'piss on the fly' meant people were concentrating on their aim. I thought it was genius.
posted by panaceanot at 10:24 PM on December 4, 2011


Why is it so unthinkable that we might just piss and whistle for sixty seconds?

Because you should never whistle while you're pissing.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:52 PM on December 4, 2011


Two anecdotes:

Once I went into the bathroom at work, and as soon as I opened the door I heard a guy in the stall on his cellphone. Stepped up to piss, guy kept talking, and then I heard a second phone ring. Guy ends his conversation on the first phone, then answers the second. Brilliant.

I also recently went to China for the first time. In Beijing I went into a public restroom to take a piss. Over every urinal was a sign that read, in English and Chinese (I assume), "A step closer keeps the place cleaner." Only then did I realize the entire floor was covered in piss. Apparently they go for distance, at least in that restroom.
posted by Existential Dread at 10:04 PM on December 10, 2011


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