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View Full Version : No more "showers for midgets." When?


rjk
11-17-2005, 02:44 PM
Prompted by the Men's Room Decoration thread (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=344948), I was reminded of a comedian I once saw whose routine included mention of the "showers for midgets" in the men's room - "Don't explain it to her, let her go look for herself!"

But now we apparently only have the small urinals that hang on the wall. There are certainly a few of the four-foot-tall stand-up ones ('Stand-up,' get it? :p ) in some older washrooms, but no new ones. I understand that the small ones are lighter and probably cheaper, but when did they take over?

(I've also seen the much older tile-wall-with-a-gutter style, but I hope those are all gone. Unfortunately, there's a restaurant we've been to that has one washroom sink wide enough for three sets of taps. It always reminds me.)

vetbridge
11-17-2005, 02:57 PM
As a teen, I frequented a drive-in that featured a bathtub in the men's room. Yep, an old claw foot tub right in the center of the room. Guys would stand around the tub to pee.

Gfactor
11-17-2005, 03:48 PM
Looks like they are cheaper and use less water.

http://www.plumbingdirect.com/presentationPage4.cfm?product_type=Urinal&pagename=plumbingapplicationsearch&requiredAttributes=true&application_type=Fixture&manufacturer=ALL&requiredAttributes=True&SpudConnection=ALL&SpudSize=ALL&Submit=Search

A google search for urinal history produced these two sites:

http://www.urinal.net/
http://www.restrooms.org/

But neither site contains any historical narratives about the history of the urinal. So I can't directly answer the OP, except to note that the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (http://www.ccb.org/docs/REGS/EPACT.PDF) (pdf) required urinals manufactured after 1994 to have a maximum water usage of 1 gpf. Even if the lower volume were not required (the plumbing site linked above contains floor mount urinals that comply with the law) less water means less money. http://www.eere.energy.gov/femp/technologies/eep_toilets.cfm Thatprobably has a lot to do with it.

deevee
11-17-2005, 04:27 PM
As a teen, I frequented a drive-in that featured a bathtub in the men's room. Yep, an old claw foot tub right in the center of the room. Guys would stand around the tub to pee.

They would stand around it in a circle? Peeing in each other's direction? That's just wrong.

vetbridge
11-17-2005, 04:43 PM
They would stand around it in a circle? Peeing in each other's direction? That's just wrong.

Yep. It was sick. Usually everyone was swilling beer so picture a bunch of guys elbow to elbow pissing in the bathtub. One other dude who can't wait pissing in the sink. Five guys shifting from foot to foot waiting for a spot to open. Nostalgia? No way.

FisherQueen
11-17-2005, 04:55 PM
They would stand around it in a circle? Peeing in each other's direction? That's just wrong.

That's the thing that struck you as wrong about that?

'Cause I think I could make a list.

AskNott
11-17-2005, 06:04 PM
When I was in elementary school, the boys' rooms had a row of tall urinals that all flushed in unison. There was a big tank up above with water continuously running into it. When the water reached a certain level, it flushed all the urinals.

CC
11-17-2005, 06:06 PM
Clearly, none of you guys has ever spent any time in Chicago. The world-renowned (according to Cubs p.r.) Wrigley field has bathrooms with long, stainless steel troughs. One bellies up, as it were, squeezes into a space between louts, and does his thing. The place often smells like a sewer, (surprise!), and I often feel most sorry for the young kids who have to take their place amongst a bunch of beer-swilling yupsters. Bad enough they have to deal with these guys up in the stands. xo, C.

jackelope
11-17-2005, 06:08 PM
Remember the men's rooms in older stadiums (older than I've beeen in lately; I'm sure they're still around), when there would just be a big trough along one wall?

I've shocked and disgusted more than one girlfriend with stories about those.

Mr. Slant
11-17-2005, 06:19 PM
Once upon a time I had a brother-in-law.

His father took him to a stadium.
He saw one of the "15 guys stand side by side in a row to pee on the shiny metal wall with water coursing across it" style urinals.
"Hey, Dad, we have to take a shower."

Gfactor
11-17-2005, 10:14 PM
Here is one from my childhood. (http://www.urinal.net/tiger_stadium/)

rjk
11-17-2005, 10:36 PM
Thanks for the replies, everybody. I'm browsing the pics at Gfactor's first link right now - some strange ones out there!

Mr. Goob
11-18-2005, 07:59 AM
I know of a grocery store that opened about two years ago. They've got a cafe in the corner where you can get a sandwich and coffee. In the mens room there is an old fasioned urinal that goes to the floor.

Spiff
11-18-2005, 09:13 AM
Remember the men's rooms in older stadiums (older than I've beeen in lately; I'm sure they're still around), when there would just be a big trough along one wall?

I've shocked and disgusted more than one girlfriend with stories about those.
Meh.

I'm not bothered by these at all.

But I can see how it might be tough for a guy with "shy kidneys" to use 'em.

And they might be a bit of a shock for a little shaver.

butler1850
11-18-2005, 09:23 AM
I miss the troughs in "bulk bathroom situations"

Let's think about this logically... In a MEN's bathroom, one would assume it's all MEN, who all have the same basic package (your size and trim may vary), and all have the same need, and want to get it done as fast as possible.

Shoulder to shoulder, package out, don't stop for a flush, is much more efficient than individually sanctioned, "privacy spaced" urinals are.

As for the embarrasment, get over it. It's not as magnificient as you think, and nobody cares how small you are. Do your business, and get back to your seat. I GOTTA PEE!!!

-Butler

arseNal
11-18-2005, 09:28 AM
Clearly, none of you guys has ever spent any time in Chicago. The world-renowned (according to Cubs p.r.) Wrigley field has bathrooms with long, stainless steel troughs. One bellies up, as it were, squeezes into a space between louts, and does his thing. Are they new or have they always been like that? (Never been to Wrigley.) Because I've seen one or two (relatively) recently opened night spots in NYC that have this setup.

vetbridge
11-18-2005, 11:52 AM
And they might be a bit of a shock for a little shaver.
I'd rather grow a beard. :D