Sunday, February 06, 2005

Won't You Take A Seat, Sir? 

BeeBee has a post up about men and bathrooms that reminded me of this story:

When I was nineteen, I'd just started at University and needed a job. There was one of those slide and ball-pond activity places in the mall, where parents could drop their kids off for a hour or two. I thought that watching kids play, and getting paid for it would be pretty cool, so I went along and, because I was planning on teaching after Uni, they hired me.

How, how could I have been so innocent? I still have nightmares about that place. I can't stand the noise, the lights, the bright colours even now. It really wasn't the place to be when you've been out the night before, and you're hungover as hell.

Anyway. All the other girls are trainee nursery nurses, and have some experience with little kids. I had no experience with kids at all. With boys, none.

One day I was asked to take this little boy to the bathroom. He must have been two. He wasn't tall enough to take aim. I'm eyeing the potty and thinking, "No. I can't deal with that." I decided to lift him instead. By the waist. So there's me and this poor child who was probably wondering what the hell I was doing. Probably didn't even use the toilet as home. Pee going everywhere. Why? Because I didn't know that boys could pee sitting down. It just hadn't occurred to me! I guess I must also have thought that boys stood up and took aim at the potty too! When I get home, my mother can't stop laughing. "No. They sit down and poke it down." Thank God I live in the U.K. I think I'd have been sued else.

Another thing I didn't know.

Men down use toilet paper after a pee. It's there an all, but they don't use it. No. they shake. And where do these droplets end up? On the tiles. That you have to clean. The walls. The bath. All the places that your children's hands touch. Now I don't just hoist my clothes back up and "drip-dry" after a pee. Wouldn't dream of it.

And, as BeeBee points out, men have "aim" issues from time to time. Especially when drunk. That would explain the "Trainspotting" like state of the men's bathrooms in pubs. Alex knows several people who have mistakenly peed in the wrong place when there has been drink taken. I know a man who peed in his baby son's room, in the cot where he was sleeping!

Which brings me to my point. Why won't men sit down? I mean, is there a practical issue? Or is it just habit? And what's wrong with just drying it?

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