I have got this damn thing down to a science.
For women, this will obviously not be familiar but may be an eye opening look at just how social interaction occurs in a men’s bathroom. For men, this will obviously be a familiar look at the inner-workings of our secret societies, behind the ceramic wall.
For everyone else (which includes chimps who are currently being taught by the government to search the Internet for terrorists), this will all appear insignificant and incoherent. To you, I apologize.
Math and the men’s bathroom have a lot in common.
When I enter a bathroom, my first concern if I am planning on “going number one” is that I can do so at a urinal where I am nowhere near any other person “going number one.” Urinals are setup in a row of 3 to 9 (always odd numbered) and against a wall. Which one I choose is dependent on many factors.
1. In a perfect world I can choose a urinal that is only next to one other urinal and a wall. This allows me to look at the wall on my left or right which helps me concentrate and not focus on any other people or sounds going on around me. Sometimes if I just stare at the wall side of this perfect scenario I can imagine I am somewhere else, like out in an abandoned alley in the bad part of town. Still, it’s comforting to be guarded by such a wall.
2. In a semi-perfect world, I can choose a urinal that is between two other urinals that are not occupied. This is always my second choice if there’s no wall to be comforted by. Even if there is some guy two urinals away, as long as I look down I will never see him in my peripheral vision. Therefore, I am pretty much alone. This will help me to concentrate.
3. In a not so-perfect world, I will find that the only urinals available are next to someone else doing their business. In a nightmare world, the only open urinal has someone on either side. This is more uncomfortable than a flight in coach on American Airlines…and I will most often opt out for an actual stall in the bathroom.
4. In the worst case scenario, I will go into a stall but pretend that I am not going in there for “number one” because then everyone else in the bathroom will know that I am just plainly uncomfortable going “number one” between two men in a urinal sandwich. Why I care, I’m not sure. But if I am forced to go into a stall as a result of my avoiding the “urinal sandwich”, I will wait until everyone has vacated the outer area to continue. For if they hear that I am only going “number one” in a stall, I will be forever looked at as a “urinal avoider” and this is a label I will never be able to live with.
5. In the worst-ever, nightmare scenario, there are no stalls available or there are available stalls with no seat protectors and dirty floors. In this scenario I must force myself into the “urinal sandwich” which most often puts me in a scenario where I am unable to perform (so-to-speak). This is where the math comes in.
6. Although some treat it as an urban legend — indeed, by doing multiplication in your head, you will find that you will eventually be able to perform. For me, multiplying odd-numbered 4 digit numbers helps extremely well. Long division isn’t half-bad either.
And when all else fails, and none of the above scenarios can be met with certain success — there is another halfway decent solution… Fasting.
In other news — let no human say that I don’t tackle the tough issues.