Monday, June 11, 2012

A Very Serious Problem

 I come to you today to discuss a very serious problem.  Not my own problem, mind you, but a problem that afflicts man males, including children, adults and even those know it all teenagers.  Its causes are unknown, its cure is elusive and it inflicts an estimated loss on our economy of nearly $1 billion (Note: this figure totally made up and may not reflect actual loss).  It does not discriminate by race, religion, height or hair color and afflicts both poor and affluent people.  And it causes great pain and embarrassment to its victims.

If you haven't guess by now, and judging by the perplexed reflections I'm seeing in your computer or smart phone screen, you haven't, I am talking about Male Urinal Streamaphobia, or MUS for short.  For those unfamiliar with MUS, it is NOT totally fake and made up.  Let me describe it for you with two real world examples.

This cost 10 cents more than a small
Image you’ve been trapped in a staff meeting/in a car for two hours and during that time you drank a pot of coffee/ a Big Gulp's worth of pop.  Imagine for the last twenty minutes of the meeting/car ride you've been crossing your legs, watching your eyes turn yellow as they fill up with urine.  You ask are there any more agenda items/ when can we stop next but you notice a sign that says next exit 20 miles/ three more agenda items.  Holding in your pee takes the strong contraction of every muscle in your body and even though music is playing / your boss is talking all you hear in your head is "I gotta pee!  I gotta pee!  I gotta pee."   If you were a dog, you'd be at the back door barking.  Finally, you see the rest stop sign /  your boss has finished his final "One more thing" and you leave the keys in the ignition / your coffee cup and notes on the conference room table and you hurry, nay, you  sprint to the bathroom.  You sneak around fat tourists/ Carl from accounting and race through the door, careful not to touch anything / talk to anyone.  You open the door.  The bathroom is empty and you step up to the first urinal, open your fly / flip your tie up over your shoulder and get ready to unleash the fury of what you been holding in for so long.

Carl from Accouting
But then in walks the fat tourist / Carl from accounting and even though there are six other filthy / clean urinals, the fat tourist / Carl from accounting decide to sidle up in the urinal next to you.  If you are lucky, the urinals at least have a metal divider hung between them and the fat tourist / Carl from accounting keep their eyes focus forward and their mouth shut.  If you are unlucky, there are no dividers and your feet are touching the fat tourist's / Carl from accounting's feet and the fat tourist / Carl from accounting start talking to you like you are best friends.  At least Carl knows your name.
And then, you can't go.  You know you need to, you know you have to and you are trying everything to push out that urine.  You are, in fact, telling your brain and all of your muscles to expel urine from your bladder, out through your urethra and into this urinal that looks like it was last cleaned three years ago / earlier today, but the stream is dry like the Las Vegas River in summer. 
The Las Vegas River

That, ladies and gentlemen, is MUS in a nutshell.  It goes by other names, as well, and is most commonly referred to as stage fright.

Now let me reiterate: I do not have this problem, but one of my close friends, let's call him Ekim, does.  When we go to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, he bypasses Wrigley's famous bathroom troughs and head for a regular toilet stall.  He misses entire innings of games, which this season isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Most efficient and dirtiest bathrooms ever.

So far there has been little research into the causes for MUS and even less research has been spent finding a cure.  A Google search turns up no websites…. Wait a second.  This was supposed to be a joke, but there is something called Shy Bladder Syndrome, or Paruresis which sounds a lot like MUS.  Holy crap, this is on Wikipedia, it has to be real.

"People with Shy Bladder Syndrome may experience urinary hesitancy in public restrooms or in locations where they believe people may walk in on them of overhead them as they urinate.

Wow, this turned out to be the worst blog post ever.  But now that this is real I, er, my friend Ekim might just apply for disability benefits.

Thanks for reading.

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