Today’s topic is about the one situation where all men are called upon to stand and deliver.
They stand and deliver together, often in pairs or in rows of many men, all facing the wall, avoiding eye contact and conversation at all costs. It is a sensitive topic to be sure, but one I can no longer avoid stepping up to. Today’s topic is the salient, sensitive issue that sooner or later becomes a burning topic for all males. I’m talking, of course, about the relatively new phenomenon of Urinal Sports.
I’m not talking about seeing who can trickle the longest, or stand back the farthest without splashing, or any of those other urinal pastimes of amusement, I’m talking about legitimate personal, individual solo Urinal Sporting events such as hockey, soccer and football.
I encountered these games of skill during the recent World Cup of Soccer. I was visiting a friend in Calgary, having lunch in a popular pub, the soccer game blaring away on all 157 flat screen TVs, when I took an obligatory trip to The Smallest Room. There it was. It was sitting neatly in the urinal, on the little matt. Perched dead centre on one of those colourful plastic pads that are often placed in the bottom of urinals to prevent cigarettes and gum and other flotsam and jetsam from clogging the drain. Those little screens often have a little hockey puck deodorizing block sitting on them. Not this time.
This time, there before me was a little soccer net about the size of my hand, with a little soccer ball hanging on a little string, suspended in the middle of the goal. The soccer setup just sat there without explanation. It was, however, immediately obvious to anyone stepping up to stand and deliver, that the objective was to hit the little ball and make it swing back and forth, scoring a goal in the little net. Using only your deadly aim and your stream of consciousness, so to speak.
I laughed out loud in spite of the fact other males were in the vicinity, side by side absorbed in playing Urinal Soccer and avoiding eye contact and conversation, and after a stellar performance if I do say so myself, I practically ran back out to tell my buddy all about the hilarious soccer game of skill in the bathroom. He just thought I was crazy as usual and failed to show the juvenile excitement I felt the clever invention warranted.
Much to my surprise, he didn’t even immediately jump up to go to the washroom.
But I instantly called to the waitress for more beverages in order to load up, so to speak, for the next strenuous round of Urinal Soccer.
The next time I entered the “stadium” and started scoring goals I noticed some signage on the wall, a foot in front of my face, where you couldn’t possibly miss it.
Having missed it the first time, I took particular notice.
It said: “There is no ‘I’ in TEAM, but there’s two in URINAL GAMING!” and underneath, the logo read “TheWeee.com.”
So when I got home, of course I immediately had to check this out on the interweb. When I finally remembered that “Weee” has three Es, I promptly found their website and Facebook page.
Turns out, TheWeee.com company (slogan: “Revolutionizing the Way Men Weee”) took this idea from a urinal soccer game that for some reason became all the rage in Western Europe in the 1970s. No one is really certain who came up with the idea in the first place, but I’m guessing it must have been a soccer-loving male with a bladder problem.
Be that as it may, The Weee is getting great press all over the world. The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, Australia, calls it a “wonderful ablutionary invention,” which is an impressive review in that they found a way to use the word “ablutionary” in a sentence.
So TheWeee.com company took the idea and ran with it, adding to its restroom roster by introducing Weee Hockey and Weee Football for North American male sports fans who occasionally go the bathroom in sports bars and restaurants. In fact, I discovered a Urinal Football game completely by chance right here in a city restaurant (in the washroom), but have yet to come across Weee Hockey. I’m hoping this winter, if either the Flames or Oilers actually manage to win a couple of games, the ensuing hockey fever might result in some establishments outfitting their biffys with the little hockey net with the suspended puck. I might actually get to score a goal, which was something I rarely did in City League hockey.
And the importance of Urinal Sports isn’t just entertainment and skill development. It turns out to be a socially responsible initiative, too. Above the football urinal, a sticker said: “Wash Your Hands Before Leaving the Playing Field.”
And that’s not all.
Completely unscientific reports who that all that man-practice during an intense game of Urinal Soccer or Hockey or Football has apparently resulted in more accurate streaming. And this has ultimately resulted in cleaner washrooms across our great nation. A nation that apparently consists of a great many male sports fans with bloated bladders and bad aim.
In fact the Canadian Lodging News, a magazine dedicated to the hotel industry noted for managers: “The Weee games help keep your bathrooms clean and your clients and your staff happy by reducing germs and creating a positive buzz about your establishment.”
Which is a lot more effective than the sign I’ve seen often on men’s room walls and stalls:
“We aim to please, would you aim too, please!”
All it took was a little sporting challenge to make us males stand and deliver. And — bonus! — for once, this is one sport we know the ladies won’t be beating us at any time soon.
Harley Hay is a local freelance writer, author, filmmaker and musician. His column appears on Saturdays.