an epiphany the other day. Thereís a small window in
my downstairs bathroom through which a bright focused beam of
sunlight was shining directly into the toilet. It
provided that kind of illumination that lets you see suspended
dust particles in the air. As I stood there peeing into
the pot I noticed that as my stream hit the water there were
minute particles of spray that bounced out of the toilet and
onto the rim and a few over the rim and onto the floor.
Now those that escaped the toilet, I admit, were very tiny
droplets but there they were nevertheless. I now know
that when I am standing and peeing into a toilet, I am
probably at the same time peeing on the floorÖ not very
much, but something.
Now the truth
is that most of the time I have gotten into
the habit of sitting down when I pee. A few years ago I
had a problem with an enlarged prostate that was, for the most
part, corrected with laser surgery. Prior to the
surgery, my urine stream was not always predictable and when
urinating standing up I would get some drops on the toilet rim
which I always wiped up before flushing. Sitting down when I pee
saves me the trouble of that extra step. Another symptom
of this condition, then and now, is that after urinating there
remains a drop or two that I need to squeeze out
and wipe before I zip my pants. So before I pee, I
always grab a bit of toilet paper to wipe myself after.
bit of toilet paper before I go has been a habit of mine for a
number of years now and this is why in a menís rest room,
whenever possible, I use a stall rather than a urinal.
And if I choose on any particular occasion to pee standing up,
I wipe the rim of the toilet after I go no matter where I am,
whether itís in my home or in a public rest room.
Iíve been standing up a little more often than I used to.
Now, having seen the light so to speak, I will do so less
frequently, at least when Iím home.
experience with my prostate and my attention on urination has
raised my consciousness a bit. And now I see, after all
this time, here we are in the twenty first century, Iím 68
years old and I never knew that when I stood up and peed into
a toilet that I was also peeing on the floor. And
thereís no getting around it. Even when a urine stream
hits the water, if the splash itself does not propel droplets
out of the pot, there are usually some bubbles that formÖ
and when those bubbles burst, I saw that that pop is sometimes
sufficient to propel and allow a tiny droplet to escape.
If you donít believe me, get a bright, highly focused light,
and try it yourself. How come no one ever told me this
It is not
unusual to go into a public stall and see that some fellow or
fellows before me didnít bother to lift the lid before they
went. And after they did go, they didnít bother to
wipe up after their sloppy selves. Sometimes itís
embarrassing to be a member of my gender. I always lift
the seat before I go and then wipe the rim of the toilet
after. For years now, I have made it a point to always
wipe the seat of a menís room toilet if I see that the
person before me ďforgotĒ to. This has been my
unselfish unsung gift to mankind. I would not be
mentioning it now except that maybe someone else will find it
useful to know that there are all kinds of ways to make a
difference in the world, even if it never gets noticed or
amounts to much. You never know.
So, this is
what Iíve learned about men: When no one is watching,
a lot of them donít clean up after themselves. This
means that a lot of men canít be trusted. You can see
it in the menís room and you can see it in life. When
I think of certain men in public life, I can almost guess
which of them probably wouldnít think to clean up after
themselves after peeing on a public toilet seat.
Now I donít
really expect a lot of men, after reading what I have just
written, to change their behavior and begin to pee sitting
down, even though they probably should. I suspect that I
am not the only one who has for most of his life unwittingly
been peeing on the floor. But once some men form a
habit, particularly when that habit has gender overtones (such
asÖ this is what real men do), itís probably not that easy
to get them to change.
We should be
teaching our boys to sit down when they pee and/or at least
clean up after themselves when they pee standing up. If we
teach them now, maybe when they grow up it could make a
difference. The world already has enough men who donít
give a damn where they pee or how the way they pee might
affect other people. Unfortunately, there are a lot of
adults in this world, particularly men, who never learned to
clean up after themselves, and way too many who refuse to admit
that they should.
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