The three urinal problem

I was at a bar not that long ago and I decided, in the term of one of my less couth* friends, to syphon the python.

The toilet, as I believe the title of this post**** may have given away, had three urinals in it. But it was the configuration of them that was most interesting to me.

First, you must know that there was only one cubicle in the room.

Second, you should know that if one were to stand in front of the first urinal, one would block the entrance to the cubicle. So that urinal was out. As was the cubicle.

The middle urinal was out because it was the middle urinal. That is the law, passed down from ancient times. ‘No man shall stand at the middle urinal if all urinals are available.’

Last, but not least, the last urinal was wedged in behind the sink so that if you wanted to use it, you had to stand with your backside wedged against the taps.

So my question is this – what would you have done?

* You can be ‘uncouth’, but ‘couth’ itself – what is that?**

** This and other opposite words that don’t exist are discussed in my new book “things that should be true but are the opposite of true”.***

*** Since the publication of my book, the word “false” has been brought to my attention. This alters almost nothing.

**** “It is quite a three pipe problem, and I beg that you won’t speak to me for fifty minutes.” – The Red Headed League*****

***** “I do not take 50 minutes to go to the toilet. That is not what I am implying.

8 thoughts on “The three urinal problem

  1. fourstar says:

    Is the cubicle occupied? Just go in there 🙂

  2. Alex Andronov says:

    I’m not sure that’s really allowed either. If you don’t need to use the cubical for everything that it’s intended.

  3. fourstar says:

    I don’t go to those sort of clubs any more.

  4. fourstar says:

    “…those sorts…”?

  5. Igor says:

    Two comments:Firstly I don’t believe that: ‘No man shall stand at the middle urinal if all urinals are available.’ applies in the modern world as I have witnessed too many a ‘Modern Man’ favour centre stage.The second point is regarding the ‘couthness’ of “siphon the python”, here I look to the originator of the term, the fictional but stereotypical character Barry McKenzie. Was he uncouth? Does that make his countrymen automatically uncouth? I suggest that this question can only be answered in context… Who was the comment directed at? Was it an appropriate audience? The answer of course was, the audience were readers of ‘Private Eye’ in a comic strip written by Barry Humphries. In other words the term is entirely appropriate depending on the audience; Alex used it with us so he must think it ok…Oh and by the way, just as popular was ‘Point Percy at the Porcelain’ which of course led to fertile minds developing:Aim Alfred at the Aqua FortisBully Bertie to the BurlingtonCorner Cuthbert in the ConvenienceDrain Dennis at the DrainEmpty Egbert at the EarthenwareFire Ferdinand at the FloorGrip George GentlyHandle Hector as a HoseInduce Ian to the IglooJostle James to the JohnKorner Kevin in the KasiLeak Lionel on the Linoleum…Open Orpheus at the OasisPOINT PERCY AT THE PORCERLAIN…Unleash Ulysses at the UrinalOnce upon a time the alphabet was covered; alas poor memory…Now who is uncouth?

  6. Alex Andronov says:

    I had a comment from somebody too polite to comment who said, “I believe you have ignored the sink”.

  7. Alex Andronov says:

    Grip George Gently made me laugh a lot!

  8. kris says:

    I’m assuming that the author simply turned around and walked out again.

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