Let's face it, you could relieve yourself on the floor and write your name on the walls with your own feces without significantly impacting the cleanliness of most public restrooms. So, when you find one -- a men's room mind you, not just a unisex bathroom -- that has pretty little handsoaps near the faucet, extra toilet paper stocked neatly beneath the sink, and wall tiles sporting a repeating flower print, it's a safe guess a woman was in charge of the design. And a urinal positioned at a higher altitude than any other urinal in the history of modern plumbing is the final indicator of a non-user calling the shots.
Moreso than as an inconvenience to myself, I considered how utterly useless a high-mounted urinal is to my 11-year-old sons. The entire point of a urinal, as I've always seen it, is to keep men from peeing all over the seat of a standard toilet, thereby reducing the risk of inconveniencing the next seat sitter to come along. If you're then going to mount the urinal so high that men who are not professional basketball players have to stand tippy-toe and arc a stream four feet into the air to avoid free-form urinating all over the restroom, then what possible hope does the average kid have?
Of course, I'd rather have to aim high than pee on my own feet, like those old-timey urinals that run all the way down to the floor make you do. You don't see them around much anymore, but when you come across one you'd better hope your not wearing sandals.
Which reminds me of my favorite urinals of all time, that really weren't so much urinals as a step-down groove in the concrete floor. These were the specialty of some of the racetracks our Dad would take us to from time to time when we were kids. It's amazing how quickly hundreds of beer-filled men can relieve themselves when all they have to do is pee semi-indiscriminately on the floor and let gravity take over. Even the cows at our Uncle John's farm had a more sophisticated waste removal system. You knew you were at a fancy racetrack when they had that twenty-foot-long bathtub in which to pee instead of the floor groove.
So here's a little friendly advice for any ladies out there who might ever find themselves in the position of having to tell a contractor how exactly to mount a urinal:
- Higher than the toilet.
- Lower than the sink.
Oh, yes, don't forget dividers if you're going to install more than one. I'm already trying not to pee all over myself. I don't want to have to worry about the mouth breather next to me who smells like his trip to the restroom is already five minutes too late.
© 2012 Mark Feggeler