Pity Pee | Men and the Middle Urinal

Three Urinals
Three Urinals

How many times in a day do you pee?

I’ve heard it said that, on average, it should be 6-8 times. Interestingly, that’s about the same number of glasses of water I drink. But my trips to the bathroom far outnumber the actual times I peed.

Why? Simple: someone was using the middle urinal.

Unless you are a considerate man, such knowledge will not appall you. But, before I get carried away, men have these rules for the bathroom, especially the urinals. The first rule is: you do not pee right next to another guy. Of course, you can’t stop other men from using other urinals yet the preservation of personal space is of the utmost order ergo there is the call to have at least one vacant urinal in between.

Now with those rules in mind, imagine a vacant bathroom that has three urinals. You know—you are certain, even—that the leftmost and rightmost urinals are the most used. Does the least used urinal call out to you now that you are alone there?

Guess if urinals could talk about primary goals realized, they would not want to be the middle urinal in a set of three. Your stats are sure to have a poor showing. Being the buffer does make it sound pitiful, despite looking (and smelling) cleaner than the rest.

Possibly that is where the temptation comes in.

Men would use the least-used urinal for a number of reasons. It’s cleaner. It’s likely that it hasn’t been used since this morning. They sympathize with it so they gave it a pity pee. They can’t help but defile the clean one. Or they are just natural rebels when no one is around. I’ve seen that kind: considerate when with company, inconsiderate when alone; they will pee in the left or right urinal—just because someone else was also using a urinal. But, if they were by themselves, they would use the middle urinal without a second thought.

But what if another guy comes in while the first guy is still using the middle urinal?

Second guy has a few choices. First: use one of the stalls. While it is practical, it is strangely frowned upon by the polite circle, which I never really understood but my guess would be is that toilets are meant for taking a dump, not taking a piss. Second: stall, like check your face, hair, or teeth in the mirror. Third: leave. Fourth: pee next to guy.

Yes, you read it right. Peeing next to a guy is still an option. Not one that most men would consider but it remains an option nonetheless. It’s not exactly a declaration of “Hey! He broke the law. He’s not getting sanctioned for it. Why wouldn’t I break one myself?” but a matter of addressing an immediate need.

Know this: if you decide to take the fourth option, be ready to face the consequences, ranging from accounts of inconsideration to whispers of a supposed strange fascination. Despite the fact that you were forced into that situation because some guy chose to pee in the middle urinal, your gaffe is bigger—and more noticeable—than his.

Men’s bathroom: it’s a cruel world. And every man is for himself.



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