Yes, I am posting once again about something bathroom related, and yes, I am doing so one day after musing about the greatness of our nation upon electing Barack Obama. Sue me. I'm a multifaceted guy who has a lot on his mind. Just like my last men's room related post, this is about situations that are not what they seam, but can lead to embarrassment. Unlike the last one, this is about a situation you can't just walk away from. At least, not without leaving your pants behind, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
When a guy needs to take a leak, we have one of the top 10 greatest inventions of all time to use in order to expedite the process: the urinal. If you chose to step up to this thirsty pee receptacle all you need to do is: unbuckle, unzip, withdraw, aim (kind of), pee, shake and then replace, rezip, and rebuckle. It really couldn't be easier, and it saves the horror of sitting on the seat while thinking about all the other things that have touched it. Face it ladies, you know that you're jealous.
All that said, there are major drawbacks to urinal based pissing. First, there is the unspoken code of the spacer-urinal, which calls upon men to leave one open piss pot between them, kind of like bro-seats at the movie theater. It's one of the million little ways that men will try and prove that they are not gay each and every day. The second issue to be considered during upright tinkling is inadvertent cock spotting, and, it's natural defences. These are the upward gaze, the maximum ten degree head turn and the back away. The first two speak for themselves, but the last is a maneuver where you take two steps backward from the urinal, as to avoid pivoting in place, which of course could lead to cock spotting.
The last issue to be considered at a urinal is splash back. Sometimes when you pee, you do so with such magnificent force that physics insists that some of your waste will bounce so forcefully off the porcelain that it will be able to cover the distance back to your person, or in layman's terms: you get piss on yourself. Then you have to walk around with little stains on your pants that shout to the world: Hey world, this guy is such a fuckwit he can't even keep from peeing on himself.
One tactic to avoid this outcome is to piss on an angle by aiming down and to one of the sides. This should ensure that the splashback doesn't come directly back at you, but it's not 100% effective. Another defence is to flush while you go, which causes the pee to be pulled down with the rushing water. This was a much more plausible game plan back in the day, when each toilet used about 80 gallons of water on each flush. It's a green world now which has lead to low-flow toilets, and this just doesn't work as well as it once did.
Which brings me to my last point... finally. Many "green" bathrooms feature a sink that rations the water out for you, by making you wave your hand under a sensor or press a button. The problem with these is you never know how much water will come out, or with what force, and this can lead to the worst situation of all: false pee spots. It's one thing if you actually inadvertently pee on yourself, and you have to deal with repercussions. It is a whole other thing, however, to turn a sink on, only to get blasted in the crotch with water that will masquerade as piss to anyone who sees you.
When you walk past someone, you try and shield the spot with your hand, but that only serves to make you look like you are grabbing at your junk. That my fly for 6 year olds, but it is frowned upon for 32 year old men who work on a college campus. The only other option would be to hit people with a preemptive strike, a Bush Doctrine if you will, and say "that's not pee by the way. It's water from the sink that splashed up on me when I was washing my hands. See, I'm not a disgusting pig, I wash my hands after I pee, and this it what happens, it makes you look like a disgusting pig..." or something like that.
In the end, the ultimate solution is either A) sit down to pee or B) install a plastic shield, not unlike the sneeze guard on a salad bar to protect us. I'm talking about a guard along the edge of the counter at the sink you understand, to stop the water. I'm not saying that there should be some sort of plastic shield at the urinal itself to protect from splashback. I'm not proposing a gloryhole type set up where you would poke yourself through a hole in the plastic... which would allow you to go with reckless abandon... and no concern for pressure, aim or dripping... wait a second... I think I'm on to something here!