An interesting thing happened to me the other day. I went to the Sunshine Coast for the day and needed to use the bathroom. I found the public toilets and was greeted by a row of unmanned urinals. I did the right thing and lined up the 1st urinal to do my business, leaving 5 free urinals to the right of me.
Mid-stream, another gentleman walked in. With five spare urinals beside me, it was a no-brainer but instead, he pulled up in the one right next to me! I was a little confused and a whole lot uncomfortable. There were so many other choices! Why did he have to unzip 50cm away from me?!
I quickly finished things up and bailed on the situation. Still baffled by the experience, I have come up with some golden rules for urinal etiquette. Women will not understand this, but they just don't get it...
1. If you are the first to arrive at the urinals, choose the first or last urinal, leaving maximum urinal possibilities for others that may come in during your evacuation. If there is only three urinals, do not use the middle urinal. This choice would force urinal user number two to have to select a urinal next to you.
2. If someone is already at the urinals, choose one that gives maximum number of urinals (minimum 1 urinal) between you to give least opportunity to sneak a peek.
3. If there are already people at the urinals and there is no option allowing you a minimum of one urinal between you and the next person, use a cubicle.
4. If there are already people at the urinals and there is no option allowing you a minimum of one urinal between you and the next person and all cubicles are in use, you have no choice but to use a urinal next to another user. This may be undesirable, but you can't look like you are uncomfortable unzipping next to another man by standing back to wait when there are clearly urinals free.
5. No talking. No one wants to talk to a stranger at such a private moment but there are exceptions. If you started the conversation before you approached the urinal it may continue or if you have known the person for a number of years, you can show that you are comfortable around them by talking at the urinal.
So that is my 5 golden rules for urinal etiquette. Follow those and you can never fail. If you are laughing to yourself and think that they are stupid, perhaps you should consult the International Center for Bathroom Etiquette (http://www.icbe.org/) and I think you will find that they agree with me.