Unintelligent Design.

If you've been around here long, you know I talk about bathrooms a lot. For example, there's the reason I've become a stall man, there's the disgusting bathrooms where I used to work, and the bathrooms in our building where people do odd things like this and this and this and this. I'm sure there are posts that I'm forgetting, and they're probably best forgotten.

Well, I'm going to do it again, in order to point out something that should be fairly obvious, but apparently is not. It has to do with intelligent design, and the people and companies that are in charge of this -- this one single thing that they have to do, and yet they consistently fail miserably at it. Case in point: Badly designed urinals. As punishment, these designers should be pummeled into unconsciousness and then dragged to lie underneath their own urinals, to illustrate to them the reasons that I believe they clearly have no idea what the hell they are doing.

I had this epiphany the other day, and I think I've figured out another reason (besides not being able to see your own junk) why the floor in the bathroom where I work is always covered in a sticky, partially-dried coating of pee.

It was early in the morning, and as a result the floor looked pretty clean, so I chanced the urinal, which looks kind of like this:

This is just a picture I found on the web, but it's close, other than the fact that it sensibly has walls on either side of it, while ours are literally 2 feet apart with no wall in between, which is great if you want to get up close and personal with someone else's shaking technique, but not so great for me and most everyone else. Anyway, I digress. Take a closer look at that picture and see if you can figure out what's so incredibly wrong up there.

Give up? It's a matter of surface area. More specifically, a level surface area. In all the wrong places. Let me explain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up.

Listen up urinal manufacturers: There's two things wrong here. One, there's a fucking SHELF of porcelain around the whole bottom of this abomination. Because of a little thing called surface tension, combined with another little thing called disgusting slobs, errant urine just sits on top of that wide, level lip in large, ever replenished puddles. That's number one, and it's bad enough.

Number two is simply this: If you're not hung like Ron Jeremy, and you want to avoid adding to the puddle -- or worse, becoming the victim of your own splashback because you stood too far away -- you'll actually have to stand fairly close to the opening. This can be a recipe for disaster.

Why? Let me tell you. Because this urinal is square in front. This means that the two corners of the urinal are fairly close to your legs. As a result, you're only one bad pantleg-crease away from inadvertently contacting the stagnant piss pond on that ledge, which will instantly wick into your pants like they were made entirely of Bounty paper towels. At that point you have two choices: (1) Walk around the rest of the day with someone else's pee staining your pants, or (2) grab a giant handful of wet paper towels and -- in an effort to avoid simply tearing off your pants and running outside and rolling around in a snowbank -- rub frantically at the pee stains until you make yourself look like you just drained your bladder directly into your Dockers.

Don't ask me how I know this.

The solution from a design standpoint is simple. The edge of the urinal bowl should be sharp. A knife edge. That way, if you happen to lose control of your fire hose your urine goes one of two places -- on the floor, or into the bowl. At least that way the only thing you have to worry about is pissing on your own shoes -- and you can do that all day and I won't give a shit because I'll take one look at the floor and be heading for the stall.

This one has it almost right, since there's no way your pants can make contact, and the ledge is tipped in, but still, it could be sharper:

I took another look at the equipment at work, and it says "American Standard 1.0."

I was hoping for their sake that this was a version number, and their later models were better engineered. I did a quick search on the 'net and I found the American Standard model 7.0:

I still don't think they get it.

feed: humor-blogs.com


  1. Just yesterday I was sitting in a training and the man delivering it seemed to have had the exact problem that you describe.

    I felt like a total dirty perv but it was very distracting! I think it was pretty awkward for everyone. I still wonder what the training was about....but all I could think of was how that all happened. Now I know. Thank you.

  2. We were talking this over at school today, except it wasn't urinals. Since we have unisex bathrooms, it was the toilet, and how the men spray, drip and dribble all over the place. The suggested solution? Put a message on the message board asking the men not to do these things. Who really thinks that's going to work? Yeah, me either.

  3. You know what, WAAAHH!!! Your a guy, at least you have a chance, albeit a small one, of going to a public restroom without getting piss on you. Have you ever thought what a restroom experience is like for women?
    We either have to do the whole squat thing and chance spraying yourself and the seat.
    Or use one of the toilet seat covers, if the dispenser has actually been filled. But then you take the chance of that automatic flusher spraying toilet water on your ass.
    Or you can just say F it and sit....
    Sigh....I'm all done now. Sorry.

  4. on the other hand, you are a woman, and as such, should be able to pee without getting pee anywhere but in the bowl. WTF, women? Stop standing on the seat to pee. I have no sympathy.

  5. Interesting. I'm kind of a newbie around here so I'm not "up" on your urine issues. I'll have to go back and read a few of your p-entries. I've recently been made aware that I have a fecal theme on my blog which was actually news to me...oops...I digress...

    Your blog, comme d'habitude, cracked me up. You're a funny, funny, fucked up man. I dig it!


  6. This post was a blast to the past for me because I grew up with 4 brothers who I'm pretty sure tried to decorate the toilets. Our bathrooms always smelled gross. I hate unisex bathrooms, men piss all over everything. WTF is that all about and ditto to women who hover and piss all over the seat. All these pisspoor pissers should burn in hell. I'm bitter about this.

  7. Isn't that last model called the Monica?

  8. I had no idea that it was so perilous to pee if you're a man.

    I love the internet. You can get educated about so many things that you never even knew existed...

  9. Men and women both suffer in public restrooms, and it's not because of poor design, it's because of the filthy disgusting pigs that come before you! That's my take!

  10. I so agree with you. I'd add in the need for someone to better sculpt the back of the urinal to help avoid splashback. Each new urinal I try I spend most of the time trying to find an angle to hit it at that doesn't cause spray to come flying back. Using a urinal wearing shorts and flip-flops/thongs (ie cheap beach sandles) is an horrific experience.

  11. I'd like to add a tip for the installers: Not every urinal has to accommodate people under 4 feet tall--in most multi-urinal bathrooms, one shorty is enough. If you bring the target closer, the bullseye is easier to hit.

    The bathroom nearest the cafeteria where I work had a floor drain between urinals. The floor drain was necessary...

  12. Nicole's got it right. Just yesterday, I made the mistake of not hosing down the toilet seat at work. There is not enough toilet paper in the world to make you feel clean after that.

  13. This is what you need. Definitely.

    I think the yellow orchid or the pitcher plant urinal would meet your sharpness/ledgeless needs nicely. And they're pretty!

  14. Wanted to mention also that as a member of the 'house committee' for my fire station I take my turn cleaning the bathrooms. Recently while they were all poring over a fire training school catalog deciding whether to take Rope and Rigging or Bus Rescue I suggested they take a Hose Practices refresher.

  15. My biggest fear when living with a "boy" was this pee everywhere problem. But my hubby came trained to sit down - THANK GOD! :) never any pee anywhere on the floor or seat at my house.

    And yes I agree Johnny - life would be easier for all of us if women would just sit the fuck down in the bathroom and stop trying to hover over the seat. If you insist on hovering at least do it like a man and put the seat up first. Nothing grosser than going into a public stall and finding it's been sprayed by some chick who then can't be bothered to even clean up after herself.

  16. cathcatz11:15 AM

    good thing you don't have this problem.


  17. What's even groser is trying to perch your 3 year-old on the side of a toilet that some pig has just hosed down. Her little pants get all rubbed against the side (I don't ever put her on the front) and she can't seem to resist touching the seat and stuff. Then I have to cary her around with her tainted little pants all against my hands and arms. Sometimes, when practical, we just to "tinkles in grass" outside of the rest stop or wherever. Sometimes I just suspend my girls over the bowld, doing the "daddy potty" technique. It never fails though, whenever we have an emergency some poor soul has obviously had some sort of horrific raucous trauma right before us. YUCK!

  18. The things you learn from reading blogs.....lol


  19. How many people got the Princess Bride reference? The other problem I see with the subject urinal is the little pink pad with holes in it. If you aim for the backstop, the piss hits that perfectly square edge of the pad on the way down and you get splashback. Don't even try to hit directly in one of the holes, you get spray in every direction. Hate those things. I'm well familiar with the problem you're describing. It's the kind of urinal you have to look like you're making love to - feet back, pelvis pushed way out, hand holding your pants back just below your junk...

  20. Although the urinals at my school always seem to be overflowing...

  21. The absolute worst is when you walk into a stall and find pubic hair sitting on the pot. How does shit like that even happen? Wax, you bitches.

  22. I work in a small office and we have to share our little four stall bathroom with about 60 women from the office next door....I could write a NOVEL about all the crap (sometimes literally) that has been left in there to be viewed by me.

    gotta pee

  23. Anonymous6:45 PM

    Wow, I never imagined the bathroom could so inspire your blog.... Of course, rather new to your blog, I had to check out the pisstory, and the link that led me to your drawing of "Fat Slob" left me laughing all day...

  24. Anonymous8:54 PM

    There was an old man in my office who used to use a paper towel to hold his weinie when pissing. Afterwards he would scrub his hands for like 10 minutes. I often wondered why he felt like his weinie was dirty. We called him "Pee Pee Man."

    And then there was the fat chick in our office who never washed her hands after going potty. We nicknamed her "Stink Finger." She brought in a big pot of chili to our office for food day and I stayed far, far away from it.

  25. urinals are a mystery to women :D

  26. Pisstory - I love that.

    Everybody's Bro - you've nailed the pose perfectly.

  27. Clair,

    The only time I can say uni-sex bathrooms are good is when you are working with a transexual that hasn't had the final "removal." I'm thinking to myself, is this person a dude or a gal, and what the heck am I going to do if I see "this person" in the women's room? Thank goodness for the uni-sex rooms. BTW, women are just as bad as men on the errant pee thing. Don't know how some do it but they do...

  28. kristina2:30 PM

    Freakin' high-lair-eee-us!!

    My theory: most people don't care when it is not their own (home).

    Seriously, does anyone leave pee, crap or other bodily fluids/functions on the fixtures at their own home? (If they do, well "eew"! I mean. just. EEW!!

    The same things occur in every workplace, in the male/female/unisex bathrooms, in the kitchen areas, on desks, door handles, elevator buttons, stairwells - most people do not care because it does not belong to them, so they don't clean up after themselves...

    I always say that is the problem with society nowadays - there are far too many people in this world who "step ahead" and all over other people, usually because they just don't care about anyone else and they are far too self-centered. They do not take the time to understand the impact of their actions on other people. They truly don't care if they are bothering or inconveniencing anyone else, as long as they get what they want. /rant

  29. Why don't you do what I have been doing for years - piss in the sink. Dollars to donuts you will be the only one in the whole building doing it, so it will be free of everyone's piss (but your own, but let's face it, your piss isn't gross like everyone else's).

    The trick is to figure out how to do it without getting busted.

  30. Anonymous8:47 PM

    You're gonna love this one...

  31. Yes, but have you ever come into work and found a giant black pube on your desk? Next to the Kleenex box??? I'm sure they don't mind that I set fire to the desk.

  32. No, but I did come in one day to find that my wife's picture had been moved and had strange fingerprints all over it. At least I hope they were fingerprints. Gah.

  33. I have just read your "pisstory" and now, I don't need to do sit-ups tonight. Very funny, it makes me glad that I was raised in a house where the boys were taught to sit down.

    My dad learned on the farm - when 8 men are using an outhouse in the middle of winter, Mother & sister don't want you to have been standing! And at -40 you don't want to be out in the wind - which is where Grandma would have sent them.

    As for the "ladies" that squat, yes, you can pick up all sorts of nasty diseases from toilet seats, from women that dribble on the seats! You get more from door handles and shopping cart handles.

  34. petunia3:26 PM

    thank god JV lives in the woods and has an outhouse...no fancy urinals to worry about.

  35. rosie-b10:53 PM

    I HATE people who pee all over everything. How could anyone be that gross? You just know it's going all over their shoes and socks.
    The other thing I can't stand are the women who come out of the stall, go to the mirror, fix their eye make-up and never even glance at the soap and water. Yes, your eyeliner is perfect but now you have pee all over your face. EEEWWWWWWW

    Concerning your post about the foreign guy who blows his nose in the sink: As your token Muslim-American reader, I have to say that while he apparently is performing a ritual cleansing before formal prayer, there really isn't any reason why boogers should be flying out of his head. It seems to be one of those things that Muslim men do to be extra thorough. I've never seen any women do it. Same with the hack-gargle noise. Anyway, if it does happen by accident he really needs to clean up after himself, that's nasty.

    Also, the armpit thing: If he's from overseas he may not understand the importance/usage of deodorant. I've had to discreetly tell more than one person the difference between perfume and deodorant. Many really don't know.

    And as the Token Muslim American Reader I must say that I am completely against terrorism in all forms (including snot and body stink)God bless America. Please don't anybody yell at me.

  36. What about those who don't flush? Are they afraid the flush thingy has germs?

  37. Miriam, probably. I use my foot.

    Rosie - It's so cool I have a token american muslim reader. Also, good to know on the flying snot thing.

  38. chrisceb11:51 AM

    Dude, it's all about the Kohler! Check it out...


  39. Yeah, those sharp-edged bastards would work great. But did you see this one? Jesus.

  40. I never know what u will come up with next! Have you seen that picture of the men's restroom in Germany? It has women painted on the wall with all these funny expressions like they are watching the whole man/urinal dilemma ...ha ha. Its funny!

  41. I found it for ya Johnny!

    Check it out...http://www.flickr.com/photos/henrik_s/89560663/

  42. chrisceb11:22 AM

    Yeah for only $1600 you and your buds can all piss together at the same time! SCARY!

    Although based on reading about your upbringing, with your 2 brothers, your mom might have really benefited by something like this!

  43. Holy crap that's funny.

  44. Melissa2:35 PM

    Me ME! I got the Princess Bride reference! :)

  45. I once saw a toilet with an angle so sharp, I bumped it by accident ad had to get stitches. True story

  46. Anonymous10:42 AM

    I live in China - talking about bathrooms... we just have a porcelain hole in the floor at home or in public. My problem is that I have to be desperate to use public bathroom. So by the time I get up the courage to enter one, there is no turning back. I look in each stall (I am a girl, the men's bathroom is no better, yes I have looked to see if it might be an option) to see how much pee is on the floor. I find the least offensive stall. I quickly enter, pull up my pants legs, hold my breath and lower my pants. All the while I am praying, praying that my I don't drop my pant legs into the pee on the floor, praying that I can get out of the deep squat position without hands, praying that I won't look up to see a curious native looking over at me, just praying to get out alive. The thing is I can pee into the hole, no problem. I have only been at this for 8 months but no mess, not once. How the hell do you spend your entire life peeing into one of these holes and continue to miss? Honestly, the government dictates everything else, it is time for a mandatory class on how to pee in the hole.

  47. I love you for using an obscure Princess Bride reference!

    If we weren't married (to other people) I might have to move to Upstate NY and start stalking you. ;)