Men Sitting Down on Toilets

With little kids there is no difference between boys and girls. OK, I know about those differences, but look at the title of the post, here, as in law, it’s context, context, context. To make it clear for everybody, for small kids there is no difference between the sexes when sitting on the thrown is involved.

But when the boy gets a bit bigger he wants to be like papa and ventures into standing up while peeing. This is handed down from generation to generation and never questioned – men stand up while peeing!

In the initial training phases it creates a mess around the toilet, but even mama does not mind because junior is so cute as he wants to be like papa. Over time a percentage of male adults develop a skill to deposit their waste into the container they are aiming for, but take note of my formulation – not all succeed in that laudable skill.

The first time I encountered that this law of nature can be questioned was at a friends house. Very progressive guy, married when we were still in high school, driving his VW to school without a driver’s license (a very serious offense in Germany) and being altogether very cool.

He and his wife had their own apartment and so all of us who still lived with the parents certainly loved to hang out there. And he was so progressive that it might have been him and not his wife to clean the house, including the toilet. He must have gotten tired of cleaning after all those buddies of his because there was suddenly the sign in the bathroom:

I don’t want to clean and have a fit,
therefore please, all men do sit!

The German version was similarly rough in terms of metric, obviously using different words. But imagine the impact. I don’t remember if it actually had the impact on me abandoning my training and actually sitting down – I tend to think that I did not – but I have not forgotten in so many years.

I don’t know why, but over the years I had turned into a sitter-downer and when our son joined us, we brought him up as a sitter-downer as well – there was no dad role model to show him otherwise. But he certainly tried all this when the peer pressure in school kicked in.

And then there were his buddies visiting – all stander-uppers. How do we handle this? As we asked politely, the universe gave us an answer in form of a low resolution jpeg image that attempted to educate in a funny way. The resolution was so low that it was not usable to be printed and used as a sign in the bathroom. It took me considerable time to get my act together and design a new document with appropriate resolution and I hereby offer the world this work. I am deeply indebted to the person who had the idea and made the first graphic – unfortunately I don’t know his identity, I would love to give him – or her – credit.

Here is a low-res preview version, but you can click the image to get a high resolution pdf version of the graphic to laminate (!) and hang in your bathroom.

ways to bee and ways not to pee

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  • Ha, I love those signs!

    Yeah, it makes sense, why not sit down, and avoid the mess.

    I think that maybe more people have come to that conclusion, but they don’t mention it. Like, it has often puzzled me when I’m in a household where there’s a husband and wife and maybe some kids, but the bathroom is clearly laid out to make it very hard or messy to pee standing up.

    For example, there’s a fluffy cover on the toilet seat lid, which makes it impossible to leave it up. That means, to pee standing up, one has to use one hand for holding that lid. Which, you know, might make it hard to avoid accidents with your zipper, if you have only the one other hand to handle it.

    Other people place books or magazine racks right next to the toilet, often on both sides, right against the bowl. To have reading material, obviously. But, hey, no matter how precise I might think I am, I will not be able to avoid spraying them a bit.

    I must admit, despite sizable obstacles like that, it strangely didn’t occur to me to sit down, and I didn’t guess that it must be because the man in the house also sits down that he doesn’t rebel. Quite possibly they have had a “discussion” about it at some point, and he either lost, or he saw the logic in the sitting down thing.

    I will consider changing my position. My peeing position, that is.

  • I believe there must be some other element also – the maleness factor or something like that. Because despite the clearly posted sign we noticed that there are still some visitors that just plain ignore it – no change of position there!
    And another little bit of tidbit: our short one grew up with sitting down, he never was trained in the maleness factor, but still at one point he had to experiment with the upright position – when he learned it from his peers – fortunately we could beat that out of him rather rapidly 😉