Burt's pee bottle in Semi-tough

Hi! In the 1977 movie “Semi-tough,” Burt Reynolds’ character has to attend an all-day self-improvement seminar where the participants aren’t allowed even to go to the bathroom for the 9 hour (or whatever) duration. In prep, Burt buys this contraption which consists of a flask he can strap to his leg under his pants, a tube, and a receptacle to go around his penis to catch his urine. Do these things really exist, and if so, what are they called? (Searching for pee or urine bottle on the internet just hits the medical kind which aren’t designed for, among other things, discretion.)

Originally they were called “motorman’s friend,” in honor of their use by streetcar operators with four-hour runs. David Sedaris has a funny story about his “Stadium Pal,” here read on the Letterman show.

For pilots of gliders and other aircraft, this is not an amusingly theoretical discussion. The master covers the similar issues faced in space travel.

Great, thanks!!!

Sounds similar to a condom catheter. Except it’s usually a plastic bag rather than a ‘flask’.

They are fairly commonly used for incontinent men, such as just after prostate surgery, elderly men in nursing homes, or men/boys in a comatose state (motorcycle riders who didn’t use a helmet, etc.).

Oddly, I had one of those seminars at work, but supposedly two 4 hours sessions with lunch. Around 10:30, I needed to urinate, got up quietly and went towards the back door. The Moderator asked me where I was going, I replied, he said that wasn’t allowed and I said under various regulations the break is required. I just went out, and minutes later, many others did.

Really, nothing he could do- after all, we were government employees, and those are the labor laws.

In hindsight, it was rather funny, watching him get all mad but unable to do anything.

Yep, as Mr Downtown mentions above, there’s at least one commercial version of this device that has been sold online for over ten years now, called the Stadium Pal. It looks like it costs $29.95. In this case, I believe it has a flexible 1000ml bag that straps to your calf and has a valve you can use to empty it into a urinal or toilet, rather than a flask, but hey, close enough, right?

They had something in Thailand called the Comfort 100 back in the 1990s, but I’ve not heard of it for a while. For people to use while stuck in our horrendous traffic jams. It proved very popular, and there was even a lady’s version although I don’t know how that worked. They seem to have disappeared about the time our elevated train, the Skytrain, began service, in December 1999; we still have traffic jams, but the Skytrain and then the subway helped to some degree.

I’ve heard of a similar device in Taiwan called the Easi Pee.

They are also called Texas catheters.

As near as I can tell bathroom breaks are covered under OSHA regulations. I’m not sure if there if there are any rules under non-employment type situations.



There are doubtless regulations that cover this.

Employment is not a matter of paid work it is an, effectively compulsory, activity whose content is determined by another party.

There is no way in hell that detaining a person for this length of time would be legal, and in fact such a restriction could easily lead to serious medical problems, I wonder how the self help leader would look when he got his ass sued right off.

I distinctly remember the scene where he pulled up a pants leg, and there in his boot was the device, called the “Trucker’s Friend” LOL

Pilots always have the best stuff!


Trucker’s friend? Now the problem is “trucker bombs.”

They’re (usually) Gatorade bottles that have been re-filled and chucked out onto the shoulder or median. Gatorade bottles are preferred as the opening is large. A regular pop bottle will work, but I’d imagine aiming carefully while driving is difficult.

It’s actually been a problem for the past 20 years or so, and it’s especially bad for mowing crews as the bottles explode when hit by a mower.

My dad was a private pilot, and in the back of his aviation magazines were advertisements for similar products. One that stuck with me (because of the name) was the Human Element Range Extender, or H.E.R.E, basically a bottle with a funnel.

On an unrelated note: What was the point of the bathroom limitation in these seminars?


They might not have said the name, but that was a famous part of est.

The theory is, you can’t let people duck in and out of the seminar. Either they’re in for the whole thing, or they’re out. Going out to pee and have a smoke and get a snack and call your spouse and check the sports means you’re not committed to the training. Something in the training making you uncomfortable, you decide you need to pee rather than deal with the psychological discomfort. Classic reference to displacement behavior.

Of course in real life lots of people really do need to pee more frequently than some people think.

ROFLMAO I have spent enough time in hospitals in my life I can pee or crap in front of people. If someone really tried to force me to stay somewhere by locking the door is the first time they will see someone crutch their way to the front of the session, drop trou and pee on the floor.

I actually saw an article in the Sacramento Bee stating that the CHP was still puzzled by the appearance of soda bottles filled with urine found in the trash containers at (large) rest stops - the places where truckers pull over to sleep for the night (or morning).

I had to believe somebody at CHP was having some fun with a junior reporter.

Peeing is for closers only!

Uh… So how do the feminine versions of these things work anyway?