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Nashville Scene Stand Up, Sit Down

New bathroom tricks to try at home or on the beach

By Walter Jowers

JULY 5, 1999: 

A girl who hiked o'er the land
Once showed me a trick with her hand.
She zipped down her pants,
Adjusted her stance,
And peed out my name in the sand!
Three weeks ago, I wrote a column about bidets. While I was on the Internet learning about bidets, I accidentally learned about a couple of other things. I figure it's time I shared them.

Stand-up peeing women

There is a cult of women who want to pee standing up, and there's an Internet Web site to support them. On the Web site, there are detailed instructions for stand-up whizzing, and testimonials from women who've converted to the stand-up method.

A Huntington woman writes: "WOW, I'm truly excited. After 40 years of hovering, I can finally stand to pee. I tried [the device-free method] after reading this site and I WILL perfect this! Actually, the first try was really accurate! I wish I knew this technique when I was plowing snow! It'll work fine on the beach too. THANKS. I've passed it along to all my female friends."

I'm not going to get into the fine details of how women can pee standing up. I'll leave that to Denise Decker, RN, BSN, who hosts the Web site. I will say this: I read Decker's directions, and they sounded plausible to me. It all comes down to ready, aim, fire. I followed along pretty well on the ready part, but I got a little lost when she started talking about aiming. It was push this out of the way, pull that up like so, do something with your hips.... My mind's eye went fuzzy on me, and I gave up trying to figure it out.

I do know what the "device" is, though. It's the Caring Hands TravelMate, a 5-inch-long plastic gadget (think plastic spoon with a tube for a handle) that enables a woman to open her fly and just go. You can order your very own TravelMate from the Web site--just 13 bucks for the gadget itself, a swell denim carrying case, and 25 towelettes. The TravelMate alone is just 3 bucks. Sounds like an excellent stocking stuffer to me.

When I first started reading this stuff, my first thought was, "Why do women need to stand up to pee?" Well, as it turns out, they've got some darn good reasons, for instance:

1. Dirty public toilet seats, like at county fairs and outlaw biker bars. Even with the high-quality public seats--the ones that automatically wrap plastic over the seat before you sit down--I've often wondered if they just keep putting the same two or three pieces of plastic on the seat over and over again.

2. Time is tight. Stand-up peeing can be done in a fraction of the time needed for a sit-down job.

3. Quick emergency relief. Eighteen years ago, I was stuck on busy Woodmont Boulevard in a snowstorm. My bladder was about to blow. But there was no place to pee and no place to hide. So I took the batteries out of a flashlight and used the flashlight for a urinal. A woman equipped with one of the handy TravelMate devices could've done the same thing.

Commode-squatting cats

Many years back, wife Brenda was looking through a catalog, and she found a gizmo that promised to teach cats to relieve themselves not in a litter box, but in an actual made-for-humans commode.

I resisted the notion. At the time, we were living in a house that had only one bathroom. "I will not," I told Brenda, "walk into the bathroom and find out I've got to wait for the cat to get off the commode."

"She wouldn't take but a minute," Brenda said.

"I'd snatch that cat up and sling it down the hall," I said.

That was the last I thought about cats on the commode, until I found a Web site (http://www.karawynn.net/mishacat/toilet.shtml) dedicated to teaching cats how to invade and use human commodes.

Basically, the routine goes like this:

1. Move the catbox into the bathroom and put it right next to the commode.

2. Always leave the bathroom door open, the commode lid up, and the seat down.

3. Over a period of several days, move the catbox up higher (using phone books and such) until it's level with the commode seat. This will get the cat in the habit of climbing up onto the commode seat.

4. Remove the catbox.

5. Affix a metal mixing bowl to the underside of the commode seat. Put a couple inches of kitty litter in the bowl. At this point, the cat should squat on the commode seat and go in the metal bowl.

6. Over a period of several days, reduce the amount of litter in the mixing bowl until there's none left.

7. Remove the bowl.

8. The cat is now potty-trained.

Just as with the Jowers family's self-cleaning electronic catbox, the above toilet training should not be done with little kittens or really old and feeble cats. You'd hate for one of 'em to fall in. Wouldn't you?

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