The increasing number of women serving in the armed forces led the U.S. Army to study whether urinals could be used to reduce the lines outside women's rest rooms. The study, which reportedly cost more than $300,000, came to the startling conclusion that women can't pee standing up.
Caring Hands Inc., an organization devoted to restroom-related issues, publicized the findings and immediately challenged the conclusion. Caring Hands took issue with the army's contention that women would have to use a funnel to pee standing up. "Just check out our Web site," says Denise Decker, the organization's director (and a registered nurse), "to view the various techniques most women can use for urinal relief."
The site does indeed suggest methods women can use to urinate while maintaining a vertical stance. There is also a device for sale that reportedly aids women who have difficulty peeing standing up because of anatomical variations.
This skill takes practice. "On my first attempt," Denise told this reporter, "most of the pee went down my left leg. That was because I was applying too much pressure to one side of my lips [labia]. I tried an hour later, after my bladder had filled up again. This time no pee went down my leg. The stream went forward about 24 inches, but was a coarse spray. With each new attempt I got better. The whole key to success in my case was knowing exactly where to put my fingers, how much pressure to apply, and in what direction to push. After each attempt you get more familiar with the feel of things 'down there' and learn a little more about where to put your fingers to get the desired stream.
"In a way, it's like learning how to whistle. You have to learn how to position your lips for the best results."
Bob Rubel is a high school dropout who made it big in small-time publications. Working at NBC News and The Chicago Sun-Times, he learned never to let the facts stand in the way of a good story.