How My Mind Wanders.

03 Nov

As many of you know it has been a difficult couple weeks for me, I lost someone very near, and quite young in a tragic auto accident.  My niece will be missed by many, myself included.  This is a post on how I avoided thinking of that tragic event as I drove the 923 miles from my home to Louisville KY to attend her services.

First off I will say that under no circumstances will I never again rent a vehicle from Hertz.  A once proud company, with the best vehicles in the fleet, and prices to match the quality of vehicle, is rapidly working its’ way down the shitter.  I drove a 2 year old Crown Vic that was a beat up POS (piece of shit).  I had reserved a much nicer vehicle, and I didn’t get it (and Hertz made no real effort to meet or honor my reservations) and circumstances dictated I drive what was provided.  At some point I will most likely write an entire blog about Hertz, and use it as my complaint letter to them.

The vehicle I had, had only a AM/FM radio, no port for an IPod, no XM radio, it had a CD player but I wasn’t thinking I would need to bring a dozen or so C D’s to keep my head occupied.  So in an effort to keep my mind off the reasons for this trip a story line for a post came to life.  Ladies I am going to spend the next 1000 or so words talking about men’s bathrooms and in particular urinals.  I even have pictures I am going to share. So just be warned.  My wife did tell me I am crazy for writing this, and when so far as go La La La, La La La whenever I started to talk to her about the story line.  But folks when I don’t want to think about something, I force my mind to think about something else, it doesn’t have to be pleasant, it just needs to be about something else. Anyway, there is a story here someplace and we are moving on to the story.

In order to talk about men’s bathrooms, I need to share with you my limited knowledge of Ladies’ bathroom.  My wife is my soul source of info regarding Ladies Rooms. She told me just how nice the ladies restrooms are in hotel lobbies, nice restaurants, and how normally they are spiffy at her place of business.  My wife did confirm that some actually had vending machines which sold those special woman’s products. This only confirmed the impression I had developed from all the TV and movies I have watched, where the scene takes place in a woman’s bathroom.  But honestly I have only been in one woman’s bathroom (actually girls’ room), and that was when I was in the 3rd grade.  Not only did I get kicked out of the bathroom, I got in big trouble in school as well (which wasn’t the 1st time I had been in trouble nor would it be the last).  I didn’t get much of a view before the screaming and shouting got so loud I had to run for my life. But my single experience, it seemed like the girls room was just like the boys without the urinals. All guys hear the rumors about couches, and flowers, TP, and conversations that take place in the Ladies’ room; very few have actually witnessed this phenol.

But for as tasteful as the Ladies room is, the men’s room is generally the polar opposite.  I am 64 years old today, young tomorrow.  I have been in a lot of men’s rooms, from fancy hotels, ballparks, racetracks, restaurants (all manner), schools, workplace, rest stops, airplane, bus, RV, and even a gentlemen’s club or so.   There are urinals in all shapes and sized, but generally they are one of the following three types: type 1

The best and a great installation

The best and a great installation

   or type 2

Useful, but installation practices must be improved.
Useful, but installation practices must be improved.

or type 3

Great for sports venues, hard  to mess up installation.

Great for sports venues, hard to mess up installation.

The only thing they have in common is that they are attached to the wall.  Being honest I have no issue at all with either type 1 or type 3, though given a choice type 1 would be my choice.  Type 2 is far and away the most common.  You will find this (or any of its’ million variations) in 85 percent of men’s rooms, with the exception of sporting venues, which type 3 will be in 95 pct, with a few type 2’s throw in. These statics come from a renowned authority me.  These represent a lifetime of experience in men’s rooms.  I don’t particularly care how that last sentence sounds but what the hell, I have been in a lot of men’s rooms over my lifetime.

A few general remarks about men’s rooms, every woman has a thought about what it must be like in the “Men’s” room.  I would say that she is approximately 99 percent correct.  The only place I have consistently found the men’s room to be clean, tidy, and relatively fresh smelling is in the lobby of nicer hotels.  I can’t say that about “nicer” (nicer = expensive) restaurants, some of these are terrible.  Some of the worst men’s rooms I have had to use were in “gentlemen’s” clubs or gas stations. And for as much traffic that goes thru the rest stop restroom, they are relatively clean across the board.  I don’t even want to discuss TP in men’s rooms but I really hate that mile long roll that breaks off one square at a time.  I mean, really, why can’t they figure that out.  Also why is it where there is soap, there aren’t any paper towels, and conversely  when there are paper towels there isn’t any soap, at least you can rinse. LOL.  This will be my last remark about Men’s Rooms before I move on to topic of this post.  The nicest Men’s Room I have ever used was in a strip club in Albuquerque New Mexico. The room was spotless, smelled fresh; it also had a shoe shine stand and a porter.  When you were finished your business the porter gave you a warm wash cloth and a dry towel, and a variety of cologne’s were available to freshen up.   I really do wish I remembered the name of the club because they deserve a shout out.  But then it must have been a hell of a bathroom if that is my main memory after spending the evening in a strip club.  Anyway time to rant about urinals.

I am not a urinal engineer, nor am I a urinal accountant, nor do I sell urinals, I just use them.  But if you were to ask me, someone needs to check the industry standards for installation and maintenance.  Of the 3 models I have provided pictures for #1 clearly would be the easiest to get the install right.  I won’t go into installation details, because I don’t know them.  But looking at the picture it would seem rather straight forward.  You would have a difficult time messing up the install, but if you put them to close you have messed it up.  So lateral spacing would be the only significant issue. Once you have that solved there should be no mess no bother.  A few other tid bits, there is no peeking in the men’s room, and if you are standing a trough be very careful in engaging others sharing the trough in conversation, some turn their entire body when responding (this is not good for you).  Also if you’re using a type 1 or 2 urinal, and there is no separator, etiquette demands a skip one position rule.  If at all possible.

Just remember this entire post was being put together in my head on my drive to Kentucky. 

Finally the reason why we are here today, I want to bitch about how number 2 urinals are installed.  Folks there is no rhyme or reason; the installers just slap them up on the wall.  You would think there would be an established height off the floor for the bottom of the urinal but there isn’t.   If you look hard at the picture of type 2’s (and this is just a random internet photo) you will notice that the one on the left is higher than the one on the right.  The one in the middle is for kids and I have no issue at all with that.  But I am 5 foot 8 inches tall.  I am not a giant, I am not a midget, I am somewhere close to being average (according to goggle 5’10” is average in the US).  I will not be called less than average, but in this case I am vertically challenged. The problem is that these urinals are installed without thought.  Assuming that the average guy is 5’10” that would put his belly button somewhere near 40 inches off the ground.  His wee wee, or junk, or ding dong, or penis even, would be somewhere around 8 or so inches below it.  Given this slight bit of information, you would think that would give the geniuses at MIT, USC, Stanford, or the Georgia Institute of Technology, and other schools of higher educations the base line information needed to figure out what an industry standard would be for bowl height to accommodate guys ranging from 5’6 to 6’4   (95 pct of the male US population), which would ensure ease of use, and the least miss and mess.  But sadly no that’s not how it is figured.  Most likely these installations are made spur of the moment with some guy looking at the wall, looking at himself, probably leaning forward a bit, and going YELP! That’s about right.  Then he moves either left or right, goes thru the process again and yelp that’s about it.  And again moves left or right, but this time call’s in his shorter or taller buddy, and say’s how’s this look and the buddy studies the install, probably leans forward, and tell the installer he should move the height up or down according to this new view, and the process continues.  Two or three guys do the next rest stop using these procedures, and another group does the next. And so it goes.  Sometimes I walk into a restroom feeling like a midget other times a giant.  And folks these groups of installers move from state to state, rest area to rest area, doing their magic.  And no one bothers to check; no one goes gosh this doesn’t look right, no one goes “that’s now how we do it in Kentucky!”

Folks I have wasted a lot of your time if you have read this far.  But this is an example of how my mind works.  It is a clear example of how it works when I don’t want to think of a particular thing.

I hope you have enjoyed the journey.  I have a similar rant about Hertz, which I am sure I will turn into a fun filled post.  Please take care, and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share this with you.  If you have any thoughts, comments or concerns please ask.  Thanks and take care — Bill


Posted by on November 3, 2013 in Grandpa Stories, Observations, Ramblings


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11 responses to “How My Mind Wanders.

  1. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    November 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Nice balance to all the sorrow to take about we we take dumps. My heart’s with you daily wishing your lungs to clear, along with your heart. About bathrooms, I’ve had my experiences in plenty of men’s rooms, being that when I have to go I hafta go and women lines are usually much longer. That’s my secret out of the bag. I’ve had dirty looks from men I’ve kept waiting as well. So if any men who I’ve made wait happen to read this post, my humble apologies. Sending you hugs and again wishes that each day gets you better in all ways.

  2. Chatter Master

    November 3, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I have long advocated for all persons to have private bathrooms no matter where they go. Because public bathrooms are disgusting. It is RARE that I find any, no matter how nice of an establishment, that are kept clean “enough”. I found this to be quite humorous! 🙂

    • Marlyn Brook

      November 4, 2013 at 4:07 pm

      Thanks a lot Pal. Besides my other issues my ribs are now killing me from laughing so hard! I’m glad at least it was about lavatories as I pissed myself laughing besides splitting my ribs….I never saw a trough before & will never be able to tell you the scenarios I came up with & I do mean NEVER:) LMAO
      you are on the mend for which I am very grateful

      • FlaHam

        November 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm

        Marlyn, if I hurt your ribs I am truly sorry, but I sit here and will volunteer to rub them and make them all better. I am so glad you enjoy the wanderings of my head. The post developed as I drove north stopping from time to time to enhance my research. I am not surprised you haven’t seen a trough before, why would you, even when you butted in line to use a men’s room you probably never got far enough in to find the trough. As I read your comments and you claimed to have scenarios (as in more than one), my immediate thought was here was a woman after my heart. LOL LOL. I am glad you had a good time with the post. Please take care, bet better soon, and you may want to check out depends LOL LOL. Take care, Bill

  3. Julie

    November 7, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Ok, I have work to do. (Real work I mean, not researching mens rooms, or reinstalling urinals.) I can’t possibly sit here and read all day. Meaning I would like very much to read more of what you think about, but I also need to make some money, and continue to make money, not get fired for reading somebodys ideas about men’s rest rooms, or whatever else you might or might not have here that I will not be reading because I have work to do.

    • FlaHam

      November 7, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Julie, Smiling, I really didn’t mean to take up that much of your time. LOL LOL. What kind of work do you do? I know one Julie, but I don’t believe you are her, do you know a Gutsy? I have about 170 different posts, some of them may actually make you smile or giggle if you give them a chance. Trust me I am not telling you to forgo work just to enjoy my writing. But if you get a chance in the future, give them a read. If not, thank you for spending part of your day seeing how my mind wanders. Please take care, Bill

  4. Karen Ellis

    November 7, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    BIll, my sincere condolences go out to you.

    2 things, I recently had a similar Auto rental experience that makes me think, their corporations are ridiculous.
    The other thing is that this blog post was quite fun to read. I know you wrote it while in grief, but it certainly gave an entire perspective a ‘voice’ to those of us who don’t know.
    Thanks for the laugh.

    • FlaHam

      November 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      Karen, Thank you for your kind words, Cassi was a beautiful young woman, who left us way to early. But the thoughts and construction of this post came about because as I said I wasn’t going to think about Cassi as I drove. I wrote, 99 pct of it after the funeral, when I was home here in Tampa. So I had some mental time off. This mental time off also allowed me to put some humor into the post, as I am prone to doing. Thank you for taking the time to read and enjoy my post, thank you for understanding the perspective of it’s creation. Hopefully you will enjoy more of my posts. I know you will love the next one. I decided to write about my Hertz experience. There will be some humor and crap in it. Please take care, Bill

  5. adinparadise

    November 10, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I’m so sorry about your niece. It must be such a sad time for the whole family. Hugs to you all.
    I’ve been in quite a few men’s bathrooms in my time. Some accidentally and others by design when the line for the women’s has been too long. Of course I didn’t use the urinals, so can’t comment on them. 🙂

  6. Wanda

    November 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    It’s good you had something else to think about on that long ride besides the reason for the trip and how mad you were about the rental car rip-off. And I agree with the other commenters–this post was a lot of fun to read.

    I can only think of one near-personal men’s room experience (I’ll share it sometime–it’s of the sea story variety), but I did read a newspaper account a few years ago that I thought was hilarious.

    There was a fancy dress affair held at a large facility. The organizers realized early on that the men’s and ladies’ rooms were about the same size and that there were as many of one as of the other. They also realized that women’s restroom breaks tend to be a bit longer than men’s, and that would be exaggerated even more due to fancy attire, etc. So they decided to temporarily convert some of the men’s rooms into women’s facilities. The biggest problem–what to do with the urinals!! Their solution: they filled them with large, colorful, and fragrant floral arrangements. I bet those men’s rooms haven’t looked that good since!

    • FlaHam

      November 15, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Wanda, Once in my life I have been to an affair where they commandeered some of the men’s rooms to be used as ladies for that event. I managed to overhear two ladies say, that “the men’s room wasn’t as bad as they expected. I am sure if they had seen it as it normally was, their quote would have been a lot different. It is amazing how one’s mind can wander when it has to. Take care, Bill


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