Sunday, June 28, 2009

Flare to Land ... Squat to Pee

As I mentioned, some time ago I won a silly contest. Where the prize was a Go Girl, a device designed to allow women to pee standing up.

It's smaller than I expected. So just like what it emulates, really. The whole thing is packed in a tube just a little fatter than the English Smarties tube. (Much fatter than the unrelated American Smarties roll). I need a more international basis of comparison. To tell the truth, it's pretty close to the typical flaccid size of what it's emulating.

I open up the tube and and it contains a rolled up plastic bag with a sticker on it. I peel the sticker of and a silicone thing pops up into shape. It's a funnel with a specialized shape and a this-way-up arrow. There are also instructions, for those who need instructions on peeing into a tube.

So I try it out. Following the instructions, just in case. I have no problem relaxing my bladder while standing up facing the toilet, but some people might have trouble. I understand that for some people they can't let it go unless they perceive they are in the 'right place.' I used to do long distance racing where the right place was without checking your speed during the race. I think it was mainly the guys, however who couldn't just let it run down their leg indistinguishable from the sweat. So it works for me. The pee comes out the correct end, and nowhere else. It pretty much all runs out, and then you've got to do the same little shake the guys do. With the same that's-why-you-put-the-seat-up results. Then you have to wipe both yourself and it. Weirdest part: having to put the seat down after using the toilet.

The makers suggest that some people will want to throw it away as a single-use item. I rinsed it out in the sink. In a public restroom, you'd want to take a paper towel into the stall with you to wipe it. You could wash it easily, and probably pretty discreetly while you wash your hands. I'm not sure how I'd manage in a port-a-potty, or other environment where, the manufacturer suggests, you'd want to use it because you didn't want to sit down. I don't really see it useful for that, because in any situation where it would be more appealing to use this than to sit, it would be more convenient to squat than to do this. My kind have been squatting to pee ever since we learned to walk upright and I find it a pretty effective way to go. I was hoping I could use this to pee while flying but it kind of requires standing. Maybe it could be hooked into a receptacle of some sort, but I'm not yet ready to simulate that with experimental apparatus.

Both flaring to land and squatting to pee are risk management techniques. They make the operation slightly less efficient than it could otherwise be, but leave a lot more room for error. I've got to admit, that if you can get it just right, flying an airplane right onto the runway without flaring makes for a very fine landing. You have to know exactly where your wheels are. And if you do it wrong, it has a fantastic potential to make a mess. As anyone who has cleaned a bathroom knows, the penis analogy remains sound here.


The Flying Pinto said... were definitely the perfect winner for this...because I knew you would write a great post about your experience...and you did! That's too bad that it won't work for the FD: ( It makes total sense that it's really only convenient where you really don't need it! Too bad...I guess squatting is the way to go: )

Thanks for the post...and the laugh!

Geekzilla said...

Leave it up to Aviatrix for a clinical and sterile analysis of such a device. Mr. Spock would be proud! :o)

N6349C said...

Why is it that women insist that men should put the seat down after use? I live in a house in DFW with 3 women (married to one, procreated the others). Why can I not insist that they should raise the seat for MY convenience after they have used it? Or what I really want, just leave it like it is and each person take responsibility for correctly positioning without howls of despair?

(vent mode off)

Unknown said...

I would think the size-comparison would be about the diameter of a sweeping-broom handle.
If that's "pretty close to the typical flaccid size of what it's emulating", that makes me seriously under-endowed...thanks for the instant inferiority complex. ;-)
Apparently, in Elizabethan times, when women wore Crinoline dresses, they simply spread their legs and let it go, standing . (outside, of course)....Needless to say, knickers were only worn by low-class women of ill-repute!-how times change.

I can live quite happily with the seat up/down thing , but the average woman's irrational need to unravel about 2 metres of toilet-roll for one quick dab, really bugs me.

Not all of us have a poor(usually careless) aim. but I can't claim to have greased an aircraft onto the deck.

Unknown said...

Err, I was going to comment on your previous post's title.....fnarrr, fnarr.
smutty schoolboy in an ancient body.

Anoynmous said...

The prototype I saw was hard plastic, not silicone. It was obviously made by modifying a...thing for which I do not know the name. Measuring spoon-vial? This thing.

In my opinion, the proper state in which to leave a toilet after use is neither seat up nor seat down. It's lid down.

As for the quantity of paper expended, it took me a very long time to realize what Sheryl Crow was thinking when she suggested only using one sheet.

Callsign Echo said...

I had long accepted that standing to pee was a male prerogative, until I found this hilarious (and coincidentally very practical) book, "How to Shit in the Woods." There is a chapter dedicated to "women's issues" in relieving oneself, and has an interesting tidbit: in many cultures, women can and do pee standing up.

It is apparently a matter of getting your hips into a very precise angle, and also may explain why women were assigned skirts when the ancients were handing out uniforms; it makes this maneuver much easier.

I haven't tried it myself so I can't attest to it's practicality, but thought it was interesting, just like Aviatrix's posts.

The Flying Pinto said...

Hahaha...the reason the seat has to be down is because, we (girls) fall in!! It happened to me in the middle of the night once...not fun!

A squared said...

Hahaha...the reason the seat has to be down is because, we (girls) fall in!! It happened to me in the middle of the night once...not fun!

I've had a couple of episodes of sitting on a toilet with the seat up. Interestingly, in every single instance, I blamed myself for not checking beforehand, not whoever went before me and left the seat in a position which didn't match my unsupported assumption.

There is a unspoken subtext to your statement that women are inherently less capable less capable of personal responsibility.

Are you sure you want to take that stance?

Anoynmous said...

Reading a squared's comment about falling into a toilet accompanied by the phrase my unsupported assumption made me laugh. So did the comment's final sentence: Are you sure you want to take that stance?

Sarah said...

Ha! I'm not sure what's worse in a dark small room, an "unsupported assumption" or peeing all over a closed toilet lid. Maybe it behooves us all to make a quick check. I know I do, having sat rather lower than intended a time or two.

I am glad to hear the product reviewed, though disappointed it would not be useful without modification in a seated/reclining, i.e. "flying" position. That will take a rather more invasive bionic plumbing attachment I'm not sure I'd explore either. There are limits to the woman/machine interface.

The Flying Pinto said...

A squared :No, subtext...I'm more than capable, just used to living with males who have manners: )

A Squared said...

just used to living with males who have manners

Ahhhh, so now it's a principal of etiquette, not an operational necessity deriving from female inability to look before sitting.

My interest is piqued; does this principal of etiquette also demand that you in turn place the seat in the position most likely to be used by the next person? Or is this a unilateral, non-reciprocal kind of etiquette which demands that it away be placed in the position most convenient for you personally, without regard to whether it is convenient for others who may also be using the same facility?

If it the latter, I am puzzled by this, as that sounds less like manners, and more like self interest without regard to others, which is generally understood to be the antithesis of manners.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement:

Women are equal to men, and should be treated equally.

jinksto said...

Fantastic post... thanks for sharing!

For myself I tend to err on the side of leaving the seat in the position that will have the least impact on the next user. As a male, if I happen across a toilet with the seat down the impact to me is relatively minor whereas the opposite is true for the female contingent of our household.

Luckily(?) we keep ferrets as pets which necessitates a seat-down, lid-down rule that inconvienences all equally.

When using toilets in non-public settings elsewhere I try to follow a strict "as you found it" protocol.

Sue said...

Great post, Trixie. Thanks for the product review. I remember being at a board meeting (this was a housing complex) in which a complaint was raised about contracted maintenance workers peeing on the grounds (presumably because they needed to and they didn't have a key to our common bathroom). The president of the board, a woman, said that she didn't think we could do much about that sort of thing. Then she said, "Truthfully, if I had one of those things, that would be the first thing I'd do with it -- well, maybe the second." As for the rules in my house, @jinksto has said it all: we don't want the pets drinking out of the toilet, so it's seat and lid down.

Dagny said...

you know, that kind of thing could really have come in handy on long flights with too much coffee in me.

Now I can just land where ever I want. ;) Haven't had to yet though. LOL

big dave said...

Great Post...CC
a squared: Babe, don't get your panties in a twist...if it makes you feel more "equal" I will leave the seat up.

Kam Yee said...

Thanks for the comparison, Aviatrix. I'm a student pilot and did my first set of touch and go's tonight. I'm struggling with flaring. Pounded down on that nose gear more times than I want to admit. I pitch up too high for the roundout and then over correct on the entire flare. It really does help to think of it as peeing standing or squatting. On the next lesson, I will be sure to think of it as peeing: get the right angle and make minor adjustments. Now I only hope I don't laugh out loud when I'm flaring. My instructor might think I'm crazy.

Aviatrix said...

You'll get it! Hold the approach attitude longer than you want to: most students start flaring too early, because the ground is scary, and run out of energy. Look at the far end of the runway in the flare, make tiny adjustments and --you have the right name--patience is key. Don't be in a hurry to land.

nec Timide said...

@jinksto Ferrets Rule!

@Sue Ferrets don't drink out of the bowl, but they will fall in. And won't be able to get out.

Aviatrix said...

And on the subject of seat up vs. seat down, I've never understood how moving the seat could induce someone to fall into a toilet. Either way there's a hole in the middle and a rim around the outside, so if you don't fall in with the seat down, why would you fall in with it up?

The reason the seat goes down after use by standing persons is the same reason it goes up before use: stray pee. You raise the seat so the splatters don't go on the part someone has to sit on, then you lower it to hide the mess you made. Your alternative would be to clean the toilet after every use. I'm fine with that, too.