Saturday, November 18, 2006


Didja see any of the new Miller Lite ManLaw commercials? I checked their website but I didn't find any of the real man-laws there. Not going all girly-eek-eek when a bee flies into your ear isn't a law. That's a status thing. If you freak-out you'll lose status points. If you take it stoically, you're ok. If you casually pull the bee from your ear and bite off its head, you gain points. Extra points for not remarking on the event, and acting like this sort of thing is always happening.

But there are real man-laws, and almost all of them have to do with your conduct while standing in front of a urinal. It's not just the obvious "don't pee on other people's feet." It starts out with which urinal you choose when other men are present. It's not as simple as you would think, geometry is sometimes involved, and though the aim is to stand as far away from the other guys as possible, sometimes wet floors and low-boy urinals can complicate your calculations. Regardless, a manly clearing of the throat is required whenever the situation forces you into the proximity of another urinal user.

There are penalties for blatant disregard of the rules, and they vary depending on where the infraction takes place. Some sins can get you a fat lip in high school. Or get you labeled as the bathroom weirdo in the workplace. Or, in some bars it can mean a "world a hurt."

By far, the most serious infractions involve where you aim your gaze while standing there. You can look down - no really, it's allowed, just once to see that you're aim is straight into the porcelain and that you're not standing too far forward or back. So say it's a crowded bathroom, say at a sporting event, and you look down, just the once, but the guy next to you sees you in his peripheral vision, and so he turns his head to look at you (and make sure you're not looking at him) .... see where I'm going? And you see him turn, so you turn, and well, it's just awkward... but it's ok, so long as you both acknowledge that no unmanly staring was going on by making appropriate man-comments: about sports, or NASCAR, or auto repair. Still, if you're new at this it might be best to always just stare straight ahead at the tile and risk peeing on your own shoes. Shoes dry, bathroom faux pas can earn you psychic trauma that it takes years to get over.

The more I think about it, the more nuances, caveats, sub-rules, and exceptions come to mind. I'm sure a book could be written. Call it Urinal Wisdom. Al Franken needs work, so he could write it, but it'd probably be better if it contained humor. Still, I'll bet Al learned every lesson the hard way.


Wrymouth said...

'google' Dave Barry, who had a (to me) hilarious treatment of urinal positioning in 'Dave Barry's Book of Guys.'

lumberjack said...

Ha! I knew I wasn't alone in this. Good news too, you can search "urinal" and find the text (pages 110-113) from the amazon link:

I was afraid the post was too weird for some but I feel better now. Dave has even got diagrams.

George said...

They aren't gonna sell much beer with those commercials.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, lumberjack. Spoken as someone who's been there, done that.

lumberjack said...

Been there, done that, got the T shirt.