When I wrote this, I had the voice of Ira Glass (from This American Life) stuck in my head. I greatly suggest reading the below in his voice / style if possible — Don
I work in a huge office building where people are forced to keep to themselves. Small talk is not just frowned upon, it typically results in termination or, worse, you might make a friend. Instead, we of the 35th floor spend our days looking at computer screens and yelling into speakerphones at people who we are not certain are real. The hallways are filled with zombies who stare at their shoes as they shuffle coffee and items from the printer back to their offices. Sometimes I wonder if I’m actually dead or dreaming or maybe the subject of someone else’s boring dream. It’s at times like that, when I feel myself losing hope, that I turn to the bathroom.
The bathroom is a completely different scene. My floor only has one men’s bathroom to serve the exactly 463 dudes who call the floor home. This absurd ratio of men constantly ingesting coffee and donuts and all natural cane sugar sweetened kombucha to bathrooms ensures that the bathroom is never empty. Never.
But our bathroom isn’t home to the typical mundane bowel movements and hand washing that you’re probably imagining, either. Our bathroom is predators and prey, coming and going all day. When we enter that bathroom we are able to cast off the chains of our office jobs and finally be men again. And sometimes, for the briefest of moments, we can become something greater than men: we become free.
What makes our bathroom special is the fact that we compete at stuff like taking leaks and dropping turds. Between the guttural war cries from the gladiators of the sink to the constant echo of farts the place is all man. I have literally never seen a woman in the men’s bathroom.
I’ve also never been in another men’s bathroom like the one on my floor.
Competition 1: Pissing the Loudest at the Urinal
My friend Jack once told me he didn’t trust people who peed quietly. That was the day he became my best friend Jack. A weak urine stream is a sign of bladder shyness, a narrow urethra, penis cancer, or something worse. All of these are decidedly unmanly.
So the object of this competition is simple, you just have to make more noise using your flow than the guy next to you. Your manliness is a direct reflection of the volume you’re able to produce. While seemingly pretty straightforward, this is probably the most hotly debated competition in the bathroom. There are two basic camps: those who piss onto the back of the urinal and those fucking asshole cheaters who piss into the water. There’s also a grey area of people who aim right at the edge of the water making a weird fizzy noise, but those kind of people are just cowards. No one likes them.
The righteous back of the urinal pissers believe that the cackling of their flow as it smashes into porcelain is what God intended. It’s natural. It’s a level playing field where the pressure a man is able to produce is the only important factor in determining his volume. I’ve heard claims that this aerates the urine and causes that sour smell to linger in the bathroom, but it was a woman who told me that so I was all like “what the fuck do you know about it?” to her and she didn’t say anything else.
Those who jet directly into the water are clearly trying to hide something. They’ll often attempt other things to distract you too like spitting into the urinal, clearing their throats, or whistling. The weakest men will even attempt to talk to you, looking in your direction even though they know that eye contact between two men who are peeing instantly turns them both gay.
I mostly just piss on the floor because I got bad blood with the cleaning lady.
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