All right guys, even if you accept that women are better than men at making decisions, running families, looking good, showing emotions, driving, managing employees, coping with stress, sex, shopping, arguing, being president, map reading, shouting and identifying little things which are wrong about the house... even if you accept all this, we can't deny the fact that women are hopeless at urinating. It's one point where we have to concede our upper hand.
Urinating is where men come into their own. It is one of the intrinsic male talents, up there with unscrewing the lids of pickle jars, killing wasps and hand-to-hand fighting. If you had to write a testimonial to manhood, however short the list of virtues, it would have to include "good urinator".
For a start, men have the best equipment. Aim is not a problem for the conscientious male lavatory user. His ergonomic "hose" type arrangement gives better directional control, longer range, faster in-and-out operation and finger-tip control of a variety of effects, from jet to mist.
In most other areas women's bodies are often of a more practical and versatile design than men's, able to adapt impressively to the exacting demands of babies, lovers and fashion designers. Women have a stock of extra subcutaneous fat to keep them warm, a cleavage in which to conceal their Derringer and to top it all, hair. But in the female urinary department all is confusion and fog.
It is as though God lost interest in women at this point and concentrated all his attention on the men instead, working late at the celestial assembly line, supervising trolley-loads of prototypes, giving the young men pep talks about good deeds and grass fires and sending them behind the garages to practice.
Envy though they will, women will never catch up, however hard they practice. They are simply not physiologically cut out for the job. From any discreet distance it's difficult to see what's going on at all, and anyone who has watched the process at close quarters (and many men have at some point in their lives paid good money to do just that) agree that it is a most unsatisfactory affair, more like watching a lemon being squeezed. Flow control is all awry. If you had a faucet that did that, you'd sack the plumber.
The moment of truth when a girl becomes aware of this inherent shortcoming can be heart-breaking. Picture a three year old girl following a trio of little boys to a hedge at a picnic. She positions herself at the end of their line, copying everything they do: she faces the fence, legs slightly apart, eyes rigidly ahead, and with her little fist gripping an air willy just below her belly. Then she wees down the side of her leg into her shoe. It is a hard lesson.
As you wipe away her tears you have to explain that life had a different role for her--a sort of squatting one. And that one day she would receive breasts as compensation.
This lack of directional control, which is a critical factor in the male point-and-go technique, makes women very dependent on seat-type lavatories. Women who are caught short outdoors are obliged to adopt that undignified squat, feet splayed at obtuse angles, a position reminiscent of an elephant trying to sit on a very small, invisible chair. The vexed question of pantihose doesn't bear thinking about.
On a windy road it makes a maldroit and forlorn spectacle. This posture makes women vulnerable to brambles, spiders, weekend photographers and practical jokers. They are sitting targets.
Yet because of their vulnerability women have evolved the extraordinary ability to stop mid-wee and then carry on at a later date. This is the only defence mechanism available to them when surprised by Sunday school parties or wolves. They are very cautious too about where they do it, especially outdoors. They spend a long time casing potential sites before committing themselves, relying on instinct to tell them when it is "right". Nothing, not even a bladder heavier than War and Peace can persuade them to relieve themselves if they take umbrage against even the color of a bush.
Husbands down the ages have been forced to adopt the role of valet/lookout on these occasions, standing knee-deep in undergrowth improvising elaborate screens with coats and straining to hold aloft hemlines, handbags, and half-nibbled sandwiches while shooing inquisitive squirrels away with their foot.
Men don't beat about the bush. Thirty seconds and they're back in the car. It makes a blithe contrast and we like to pretend indifference, but are secretly fascinated by the whole process, in particular the ritual of the guy's urinal--the architecture of the point-and-go system. It is a world barred to women, and so redolent of masculine mystique that any allusion to it in female company will usually command instant attention and comment, especially after a few cocktails upon seeing the line for the ladies room.
Don't think women don't know what guys do when they all gather round the campfire after a day of hunting, after a day of swilling beer and feeling more the man for having shot a helpless little deer.
There's got to be one man, bladder strained to its limit, suddenly inspired, who stands up at the communal campfire and makes a speech.
"If women are so clever," he says, "why can't they pee straight?" There's a hush, a first stirring of awakening consciousness. "Say it loud and say it proud," he says, "men are better urinators!" It is stunning: a truth that is startlingly obvious, yet inhibited by old fashioned notions of chivalry. But now that it has been spoken, there is a clap, a cheer, a mighty roar, a sense of liberation. Men spring to their feet and lift the speaker shoulder high. "Ask not why we leave the seat up!" he shouts. "Ask rather why women leave the seat down!"
Then in a unanimous gesture of solidarity, every man pees on the fire.
Because they can.