Friday, December 5, 2014

Public Peeing

As the title suggests, the blog describes certain things quite explicity. Hence reader discretion is advised. Also, as a guy, I can only provide a guy’s perspective on the subject. Hence, only guys will be able to relate to the stuff written below. However, girls may also choose to read it, to appreciate that things are not as simple as it might seem in our worlds.

One of the most peaceful, stress-relieving and satisfying experiences easily available to a man is the pee break. It is definitely the most underrated of activities performed by man. Tell you why - It provides a moment of solitude and tranquility, bang in the middle of the mayhem in the world that surrounds you. Whatever the headache – a yelling boss, a nagging wife, noisy traffic, crying babies – a loo break is the instant solution. You just let go off things in that one minute (pun intended). There are other times in the day when you are alone, but what’s amazing about peeing is that the mind also lets u off for that brief instant. The brain just switches off. There are no thoughts, no tensions. How often have you heard yourself heave a loud sigh of relief while peeing. Isn’t that just the best feeling! How often have you heard yourself surprisingly humming or whistling a tune while peeing. Man just forgets the world in those few precious seconds.

But things aren’t always that perfect, are they. God always builds in a catch, along with all the enjoyable things he creates. And with this one, its public restrooms. Public restrooms, on most occasions, just screw the entire divine experience - and this pisses me off (no pun intended). Let me start with the rants:

The biggest let down is that it’s “public”. So you have people around -  peeing with you - literally.. standing beside you. If that’s not bad enough, you meet all sorts of wierdos in loos. Let me describe some:

  1. The peeking-peeing-pervert (PPP) :- In a row of 5-10 deserted urinals, the PPP chooses to use the one right adjacent to yours’. There are two types of PPPs:  The first one is more common – The discreet PPP. This type stands next to you and acts super casual as he whistles or hums a tune. He then casually rolls his head in your direction and quickly manages to get a glimpse. While doing so, he pretends as if his motions were completely involuntary, as if he didn’t intend to do so; like he was just swaying his head around and your view happened to come in the way; his expressions quickly change into that of a fake apology for committing an honest mistake, as he quickly finishes his business and walks off.
The second type are extremely rare, but I have had the honour of facing them twice so far  - The shameless PPPs. They will take the spot next to you and will literally bend their heads in your side of the urinal and enjoy a nice undisturbed view, for as long as you want them to. The first time this happened to me, I was so taken aback, I quickly wrapped up my business and ended up draining a few drops in my underpants. When I looked at him, he gave a wide smile back. Now what was the smile supposed to mean – was he happy at what he saw, or was he laughing at the size. The second time I was more prepared. I aggressively shouted at the man “Ae, apna khudka dekh na b***c**d”. He replied with a broad grin “le, tu dekh le”

  1. The spitter – This is the most common set of people. As soon as a spitter unzip his pants, he almost robotically, lets out  a disgusting grunt as he tries to accumulate all the saliva from the surrounding areas of his mouth and then vehemently discharges it into the urinal. I have failed to understand this phenomenon. In fact I encounter spitters so frequently that I have often thought to myself, whether men are programmed that way. Whether they naturally feel a desire to spit before they pee and whether people have taught themselves to control it. But I realized I don’t have any such needs. So what is the purpose that drives the others. Are they merely checking their position, before they shoot the gun.”If I get my saliva at the centre of the urinal, then I am standing correctly, with my thing symmetrically dissecting the urinal. My aim cant go wrong from here”. This might actually help a lot of pot-bellied guys who aren’t able to see their things while they pee right.  Or is this a game they play. After their saliva lingers around in the urinal.. “Okay! My task here is simple. I need to direct my spit into the drain by ably aiming my pee.”
  1. The show-off guy - Who uses none of his hands to hold his thing while peeing. They are either up against the wall, or resting on his back. This ain’t the circus freak, show your talents someplace else. But on a serious note, I would love to see (without actually seeing it) how he manages to pull that off (no pun intended).
  1. The shameless shirt tucker – Who after he’s done urinating, stands in front of the mirror at the wash area (which is almost always right at the entrance of the rest room) and then drops his pants up to his knees, so as to give everyone around a nauseating view of this fat hairy thighs, as he tucks his shirt in. I have seen guys who tuck their vest (baniyan) inside their underpants and then pull the end of vest from the other side (the thigh end) of the underpants, so that it’s tightly tucked in. This is not an exaggeration.
  1. The guiding father - Who keeps giving instructions for everyone around “Ok get your pants off”, “No hold it correctly… no downwards”, “Are you done? Are you sure? Okay, now wait.. shake it off before you pack it in” (Pack it! luggage hai kya uncle)
  1. The busy corporate guy – who holds his cell phone between his shoulder and face, as he talks while he pees. Just one slight error and his phone would be history.
  1. The life’s-too-short-to-waste-time-washing-hands guy – so he wipes them off his trousers.
  1. The conversation starter – you generally meet this guy in a pub. When both of you are more than just-a-few beers down, the guy knows it’s gonna take a long time to empty the tank. And since he’s a little light-headed, he doesn’t mind chatting up. So he starts with random statements like “Wazzup?”, “Crazy night right!”, “Woo.. it’s a fountain down here”, “Wow.. you look stunning…. What you looking at neighbor, I am talking to my d*** here”. I am sometimes this guy, but very rarely. :P
Now that I’ve talked about the people you meet, lets talk about the other things that annoy me:

  1. The Thick Curly Hair (TCH): Invariably, in at least 4 out of 10 urinals, you would find a TCH lingering around. You can’t blame the house-keeping staff for it. In busy places like airports where urinals are utilized almost 100%, there is no time to clean up between people. You can’t blame the guy who dropped it there. I mean, unlike toilets at home, there is no jet spray/ water/ tissues here to clear off the area. The only thing he can try doing, is draining it off with his pee. In fact, that is something we should all attempt to do, as a courtesy to the next guy using the urinal; even if the TCH does not belong to us. I know its disgusting, but someone has to do the job right. Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
  1. The missing drainage pipe: How often has this happened to you, that you start peeing and you realize that it’s all ricocheting off the floor onto your legs. It is a common occurrence in cheap restaurants, highway restrooms, and rural parts of the country. The problem is that it takes you a while to switch the tap off. Unfortunately, it does not function like an on-off switch. There is a threshold quantity you have to discharge before you are able to stop it. Until then, the damage is done.
  1. The stink
  1. An overdone design /concept: Some fancy restaurants/ hotels look at urinals more as a d├ęcor items than a utility. So you will have things like
    1.  A designer wall with water streaming down on it, to give it a really beautiful look. So there is no urinal, and you are supposed to piss on the wall. Unfortunately, its not effective. Some amount of ricochet is bound to happen.
    1. Disco coloured bright blue/red lighting all over the urinal
    1. Water-free urinals: They put in a blue ball in the urinal, which apparently sucks in all the liquid. An effort to save water, which is well publicized by the hotel in small posters above the urinal.  Doesn’t work. The urinals stink
Overall, I feel that public restrooms cannot replicate even 10% of the experience of peeing in one’s own private space. I hope this blog serves as a good guide for people as well as restroom builders around India, to make the peeing experience as pleasurable as it was meant to be.

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