The tall man and the urinals

This essay was written on: Northeast Regional #193 | New York to Philadelphia | 10.22.18 | 5:27 pm

I was standing at the urinal in my office building early one morning when the bathroom door swung open hitting the countertop of sinks. I turned my head toward the ruckus and there in the doorway stood a very tall man. A giant really or at least to me at 5’6 he looked like a giant. He was easily 7ft tall, maybe more. He lingered there for a second like a cowboy who just entered a saloon. I thought to yell, “Hey partner,” but reconsidered.

The tall man and I locked eyes for a second which is something I avoid doing in men’s rooms as a rule. I want to get in and out of the public bathroom as quickly as possible. I’m not interested in chatting with anyone while simultaneously inhaling the stink of prior or current guests. I was once corned by a coworker in the bathroom who insisted on discussing timelines. “Can this wait?” I asked. “Sure,” he said. “When else are you available?” “Any time that we’re not near toilets,” I responded. The tall man darted into the nearest stall. He had business to conduct and was obviously in a bit of rush to get to it.

I assumed I’d have to endure the sound of wet flatulence for a few seconds before I was finished and out of there. Instead, the tall man began peeing into the toilet. His urine rained down into the bowl below. It sounded like someone was emptying a pitcher of water into a pool.

When I was a boy I’d go into the stalls of public bathrooms to urinate. I did this for a few reasons. One, the lip of most urinals were at my midsection so if I wanted to use them my father or a kind stranger would have to lift me up. Two, standing in a row next to men at a urinal is intimidating when you’re a child. And three, until I was nine years old I dropped my pants to urinate. I started using urinals once I was comfortable slipping my penis through the window of my underwear, which is when I was around 10 years old. I haven’t looked back and to this day I only use a stall for number one if all the urinals are occupied. I imagined the tall man hidden between the two grey colored walls, his trousers pooling at his feet, his hands on his hips while urine hosed into the porcelain container. Who does this guy think he is? He’s probably British, I thought. I don’t have a sound reason for thinking this but it just seems like something a British person would do. Urinals are too low brow for the Brits.

Later, I brought this situation up to a friend of mine. He theorized that because the man was tall he was worried pee would splash from the urinal onto his pants. The distance he had to cover would cause urine to ricochet violently onto his clothes. I wasn’t buying it. I may be short but I’ve got the same concerns about splash back as say, Lebron James. Most men are directing their pee slightly downwards to avoid this hazard anyway. No one is shooting straight at the urinal wall. We all fail on occasion of course, and pee splatters onto our clothes, but it’s not for a lack of trying.

My friend then suggested that because of the man’s height he couldn’t help but to look at other people peeing or at least he may be self-conscious that other people thought he was going to look at their junk. I don’t know what the hell goes through people’s minds but every guy knows the rule that you keep your eyes front. No looksies. And besides, I’d rather the dude sneak a peek at my dick than force me to listen to him fill what’s essentially a bucket with his own liquid waste.

The last idea my friend offered was that the man had a humongous dick. While at urinals his penis dipped into the water below, scaping passed the abrasive urinal cake. I laughed at first, but then quickly did some rudimentary math. His wang would have to be about two feet long. Not impossible, but highly unlikely. If you’ve got a penis of that magnitude then the urinal is the perfect place to make the joke: damn this water is cold…and deep. It’s a classic and for most people, it’s not true, which is why it’s instantly hilarious. My friend thought the tall man was sick of making that joke so he avoided it by going to the stall. But I was a new audience. This guy never met me before. Telling the same jokes to different people is the job of any comedian. He was not a comedian, or at least I don’t think he was, but still, have some respect for the people that are. If he was wielding a gargantuan dong and not making that joke every day then shame on him. I liked him even less.

In the afternoon, I was talking to a colleague in the hallway of the office. The tall man walked towards us and tried to squeeze by. I said hello. The tall man looked me in the eyes and said “Pardon” in a British accent. I smiled and thought to myself, I knew it.

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