Friday, August 20, 2004


From Pete (A Perfectly Cromulent Blog) comes this fascinating news item:

German men are being shamed into urinating while sitting down by a gadget which is saving millions of women from cleaning up in the bathroom after them.

The WC ghost, a £6 voice-alarm, reprimands men for standing at the lavatory pan. It is triggered when the seat is lifted. The battery-operated devices are attached to the seats and deliver stern warnings to those who attempt to stand and urinate (known as “Stehpinkeln”).

“Hey, stand-peeing is not allowed here and will be punished with fines, so if you don't want any trouble, you’d best sit down,” one of the devices orders in a voice impersonating the German leader, Chancellor Gerhard Schroder. Another has a voice similar to that of his predecessor, Helmut Kohl.

The manufacturers of the WC ghost, Patentwert, say they are ready to direct their gadgets at the British market.

Their prototype English-speaking WC ghost says in an American drawl: “Don’t you go wetting this floor cowboy, you never know who’s behind you. So sit down, get your water pistol in the bowl where it belongs. Ha, ha, ha.”

They also plan to copy the voices of Tony Blair and the Queen.

So far 1.8 million WC ghosts have been sold in German supermarkets.

But Klaus Schwerma, author of Standing Urinators: The Last Bastion of Masculinity? doubts whether it will ever be possible to convert all men.

“Many insist on standing, even though it leads to much marital strife,” he said.

In German, the phrase for someone who sits and urinates, a “Sitzpinkler,” is equivalent to “wimp.”


Marital strife, eh?

If a few random drips of urine on the floor or toilet rim are going to cause “marital strife,” your marriage is pretty shaky. And what about the miserable couples who fight over who left the seat up or down? Or whether the bunwad roll wraps over or under? Jeez, get a piece of TP and wipe it up! Even better, don’t piss on the floor!

What I’d really like to see is a “Wash Yer Stinkin’ Pissy Hands” WC ghost. That’s right - use the facilities and try to leave without washing your hands, and the Voice o’ Doom gives you a real lecture:

“Where the hell are you going, buddy boy? Yeah, you. Wash them disgusting mitts RIGHT NOW!”

Or the door locks automatically and an endless tape loop begins to play “Muskrat Love.”

Reminds me of a story. A Harvard man and a Yale man are standing side by side in the restroom at the bank of urinals. Harvard man finishes and heads for the door. The Eli calls out after him, “At Yale, they teach us to wash our hands after we urinate!” The Harvard guy shoots back,“At Harvard, they teach us not to piss on our hands!”

Leave it to the Germans. These are the same excretion-obsessed folks who brought you the famous “Check Out Your Turd” commode design, which provides a neat little shelf-like Mr. Hankey Landing Zone in the bowl. And I’m impressed with Herr Schwerma (any relation to the sandwich? probably not), who convinced a publisher to roll out an actual book on Pissing While Standing Up As God Intended Men To Do.

Gee Whiz. Joyce Kilmer probably would have this to say to all y’all sitzpinklers:
I hope that I shall never be
A man who must sit down to pee.
Citizens of the Urine Nation, unite!

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