Men, you should know this already. Women, if you didn’t before, you will now. This is important so please read the entire thing. There are rules to using a urinal.
- Rule #1: If you can help it, don’t stand directly next to anyone.
- Rule #2: Eyes straight ahead or down. Especially never look at the person next to you.
- Rule #3: Don’t talk to your neighbor. Importantly, don’t make any noise you can help.
The rules of urinal use are extremely important and implicitly understood by every male on the planet. Knowing these rules may be more important to your future than knowing how to read and write . Rule #1 is a cardinal rule. It is to never be broken. Always leave an empty urinal between you and the next person if you can help it. Sometimes this doesn’t work out. Crowded sporting events rarely offer such openness at the urinal, for instance, and if there are only two then you have no choice. In these cases it is acceptable to take an adjoining urinal.
Rule #2 may be more important than Rule #1. Never ever look around. Never. Ever. Some men’s rooms are kind enough to put a newspaper on the wall, giving you something to look at while peeing. Otherwise, study the water patterns on the piping or make sure you aren’t splashing. But whatever you do, don’t let your eyes wander.
Rule #3 is critical, too. It is not the right time to ask about the weather or the time. If you started a conversation before stepping up to the urinal, stop until you have finished. In fact, while at the urinal, stay as quiet as you can. No clearing of the throat or other bodily noises, if you can. No one wants to hear it.
I used to think these rules only applied in the men’s room but have since realized that these rules apply to other situations as well. As an example, this weekend I was busy doing my workout on the elliptical machine. There was no one in the place and I picked a machine near the end of a row of 12 machines. About 40 minutes into my workout some woman came and TOOK THE ELLIPTICAL MACHINE RIGHT NEXT TO ME. What the hell was she thinking? There were 10 other machines she could have picked, none of which would have been right next to me, and she picked machine #11!? WTF!
To top it off, she spent the next 20 minutes clearing her throat every 10 seconds. Not only did this lady break Rule #1 but she also destroyed Rule #3. It was a miserable workout.
I can only assume, as a woman who doesn’t use urinals, she was not aware of these rules. So I thought it appropriate, as a public service announcement, to post them here. Now you know. There are no excuses next time.
 I’m not kidding. Not knowing how to read and write won’t get you punched in the face.