Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The End of the Day

Some days are better than others for the working dad. Some days you come home full of energy and flush with free time. Other days you come home beat up and tired, with a tall stack of bills and paperwork waiting for you, or a list of chores a mile long. “Life maintenance” type stuff, as my dad calls it.

As a dad with three young boys, it is a rather chaotic event when I come home. Mind you, I am perfectly calm most of the time, but the kids get a little wound up. All the day’s happenings, as well as all the day’s frustrations are described to me in unison by three very loud, fast talking children. I am instantly needed for any number of very important art projects, outdoor games, indoor spy adventures and toy repair jobs. My second opinion is required on all the day’s court cases, reviewing the rulings handed down by the evil mother of justice. I, of course, always concur with the sentencing, much to the dismay of the guilty parties involved in the day’s mischief.

When the initial onslaught of rapid-fire conversations has tapered off, and I have been allowed to kiss their mother hello, I have a choice to make. To play or not to play.

On the days when I am coming home to a mountain of paperwork or chores, it is always tempting to tell my three boys that I don’t have time tonight to play with them. Daddy has a lot of work to do, and I need to go take care of it.

Now, there are times when that is a truly unavoidable situation, but most of the time, I find myself putting them off for my own convenience, not because of any true bill paying or door hinge squeaking emergency. It’s just that if I get some things done before dinner, I will have more time after dinner to do what I want to do. Namely, sitting.

I am making a conscious effort these days to resist the pitfall of turning into the guy from the “Cat’s in the Cradle” song, however. Most days, I put the chore list aside and go play some baseball in the backyard when I get home. These days I am reminding myself more and more that I am not going to get to the end of my life and wish that I had spent more time at work or more time doing chores. You only get one shot at raising your kids, and the only thing that they require from you is your time. If you’re around to play with them, you are 90% of the way there when it comes to raising them right. The other 10% is a total mystery, and if anyone knows what it is, please tell me!

One of the challenges to fatherhood is that going out and playing with the boys is not all fun and games. Many times I wish I could be doing chores instead. There are days when everyone gets along just fine, but I’ve only heard tell of them. I’ve never actually seen it happen. I always end up refereeing some kind of hullabaloo between two boys who seem to be constantly jockeying for position as Alpha Child. If Son Number One and Two were dogs, I would just let them fight it out, letting one of them finally establish dominance. But since my wife tells me we can’t do it that way, we always end up needing to “use our words” after they are peeled apart. Add a very opinionated Son Number Three into the mix, and emotions can run high in the backyard. We always have fun, but it is usually intermixed with some temper flare-ups and resulting disciplinary actions.

Still, even with the inevitable brotherly squabbles, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Not because of the fact that I’m spending quality time with them in their formative years. That’s all well and good, but it’s not the real reason I do it. I do it for the laughs, and I do it for the thrills. If you spend enough time around kids you’ll get a lot of both.

One evening a while back, when tempers and emotions were at a particularly high level, all three of the boys ended up in tears, crying about not getting their respective ways. I sat them all down and had a talk with them.

Me - “I want you guys to control your emotions, and use your words with each other. I don’t want you guys to cry when you’re mad. I want you to cry only when you’re really sad, or when you have broken your leg.”
Son Number Three – “Or your arm.”
Me – “Yes, or your arm.”
Number Three – “Or your peanuts.”
“Yes. It is definitely OK to cry then.”

That’s the kind of hidden comic gem that keeps you coming back for more. Also, the more time you spend with them, the more “teachable moments” you get to handle. Teachable moments for the working dad can be exhilarating. They are a lot like being at bat in a baseball game. You get your pitch, and you do with it what you can.

Just last night we were all out playing on the play structure and everyone was momentarily getting along. Out of nowhere, Son Number Two, the six-year-old, pipes up with, “I’m sexy and I know it.”

Now for those of you who don’t know, that is the tag line from a pop song that is currently all over the radio. (Just not the channels you listen to.) He sang it with the right inflection and beat that would suggest that he had heard the song, but I was sure he hadn’t. He also had the classic “testing the waters” look on his face, suggesting he knew it might not be appropriate, but I could tell he had no idea what it meant.

Stifling a laugh and forcing my best stern, concerned dad voice, I asked him, “Where did you hear that?”
Son Number One piped up and said, “Well, he could have heard it at first grade, too, because a lot of kids in my class say it.”
“Really? Well, you boys don’t get to say it, because it’s not a kid thing to say. It’s an adult thing to say.”
Son Number Two, now with a big smile on his face, asked, “What does it mean?”

Some days you get fastballs at your chin, and some days you get hanging curve balls that look like they are sitting on a tee, just waiting for you to knock them out of the park.

“Well, son, it means you think girls think you’re cute and huggable and kissable.”

BAM! That’s a 500-foot shot straight out over the center field wall. Kiss that ball goodbye!!!

You should have seen the look on their faces. I don’t think there is a more horrifying thing you could tell a six or seven-year-old boy than that. We won’t be hearing that again.

It’s parenting home runs like that that make it all worthwhile. Now if you will excuse me, I need to go play some ball with my boys, and later I need to discuss home schooling with my wife.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2012 Marc Schmatjen

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Summons

Today, I received the most dreaded piece of mail known to mankind. More hideous that an IRS audit notice. More dastardly than an eviction letter. It was The Summons for Jury Service. We’ll get back to that in a minute. Right now I want to talk about the DMV.

I had a very offensive accusation hurled at me once at the DMV. I had moved back to California from Oregon, and I was at a Los Angeles DMV office re-taking the written portion of the driver’s test to get my California driver’s license back. I tried just honking three times and flipping them the bird, but I guess an actual California driving skills test was not required.

Anyway, there were 20 of us packed into the testing room, and at 6’-1”, I was far and away the tallest person in the room. In the middle of the test I stood up straight to stretch my back from the crouching position I was maintaining at my assigned wall shelf testing location, when the permanently grumpy horn-rimmed-glasses-wearing DMV proctor lady looked me right in the eye and shouted, “You deah! Keep you eye on you own paper!”

That was the point at which I ignored her surly, broken English request and actually took a good look at the other people taking the driver’s test with me. You have got to be kidding me, lady!?! You think I’m cheating off these people? I will guarantee that you and I are the only two people in this room who actually speak enough English to have understood that sentence that you, yourself barely formed! The lady next to me has her test upside down, and this guy looks like he couldn’t spell “DMV” if we spotted him all three letters and gave him six tries!

I take offense to the jury selection process in the same way. People have a right to a trial by a jury of their peers. If I am selected to the jury, you’re telling me that I’m a peer to the neck-tattooed idiot over there who “allegedly” held up the convenience store at three in the afternoon in front of the off-duty cop? Honestly, why do we need to keep saying “allegedly?” Look at this mouth-breather. He obviously did it, which totally offends me. What about him make us peers? Warm-bloodedness, I guess.

But that begs the question, do you want a jury of his actual peers judging him? Unemployed meth addicts are unreliable at best. They would never show up on time for the already ridiculously relaxed court hours, plus they might invoke the classic stoner “duuuude, he was totally framed” defense.

I guess the term “jury of your peers” might be misleading these days. Maybe we should change it to “jury of normal people.” No matter what we call them, though, we still have to find twelve people with enough free time to spend all day at the courthouse without getting paid to be there. Now, full-time writers are a good fit for jury service from a logistics standpoint, but a horrible choice from a practical view. They have lots of free time, but we writers are a weird group with wild imaginations. Trust me, you do not want your fate decided by twelve writers! They will convict you just because it makes a better plot for the book they’re going to write about all this.

Unfortunately, I am not a full-time writer yet. Since I can’t support my family on the $13 a year I make as a writer, I still have a day job. The day job tends to take up a lot of my free time. That makes me a bad fit for jury duty, from my point of view. The only people who actually have enough free time to serve on a jury are the unemployed. In my experience, people are unemployed for many reasons, but the vast majority of them are unemployed for reasons that make it impossible for them to be considered a peer of yours or mine, or of anyone who holds down even a part-time job.

Retirement from a lifetime career of steady work should be the only acceptable reason for unemployment when it comes to jurist qualifications.

Now, on the one hand, since I have no time to miss work and serve on a jury, I will do whatever I can to get out of it (short of actual lying, of course, Your Honor). I have to assume that almost all people in my position, meaning my peers, would do the same. So if all my peers are trying to get out of jury duty, and we’re as smart a group of folks as I think we are, there aren’t going to be very many of my peers in the jury box.

On the other hand, if I am ever accused of a crime that requires a jury to help get me freed, it will no doubt be a case of false imprisonment, and I will really want a jury of my actual peers to help me. Kind of a Catch-22, there.

Although… come to think of it, I’m no brain surgeon. I’m not really even that bright. I mean, I can hold down a job and raise kids, but let’s face it; that’s not exactly rocket science. I don’t really want a jury of my peers. I want a jury of rocket scientists and brain surgeons. Those guys are wicked smart! They’ll see through the evil DA’s lies and deceptions. They won’t believe that crooked cop’s story. They’ll get me off.

The problem is, the brain surgeons are the ones who really can’t miss work. I can actually miss work, I just don’t want to.

Although… It says here on my summons that “state law prohibits discrimination or retaliation against an employee for taking time off to serve as a juror.” Hmm… I mean, truth be told, I’m not really that important at the office. I could miss work. Might be kind of fun…

Anyway, the more I think about this, the more I think that DMV visit might actually have been the root cause of this whole problem. Not the ridiculous and insulting accusation, but the fact that I probably re-registered to vote in California while I was there, which is probably how I got on the jury pool list. A lot of good that did me!

See you soon,


Copyright © 2012 Marc Schmatjen

Have kids? Have grandkids? Need a great gift?
Go to today and get your copy of My Giraffe Makes Me Laugh, Marc’s exciting new children’s book. Get ready for a wild rhyming adventure!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day, Part III

I think my wife is still mad about my handling of Mother’s Day two years ago. She exacted some amount of physical revenge last year by tricking me into a dangerous kids’ craft project, but I get the feeling she’s still not over it. Mostly because this year she said, “I’m going to Las Vegas for Mother’s Day. You’re in charge of the kids for three days.”

Hmm. Either she’s still upset, or she has absolutely no faith in my ability to provide a satisfactory and appropriate Mother’s Day celebration. Either way, I can’t blame her. But if she was going to leave me alone with all three boys, I would definitely be taking the opportunity to lock in my status as the cool parent. Unfortunately for them, I am far too lazy to actually take them anyplace awesome like the waterslides or the wild animal park by myself, so I did the next best thing to win their eternal love. I let them eat whatever they wanted.

My wife left for Sin City on Saturday morning. As soon as she was out the door I toasted Eggo waffles and doused them with whipped cream, syrup and chocolate chips. Yum! A few hours later we were off to the little league fields for Son Number One’s baseball game, so we ate lunch at the snack bar. Icees, nachos, hot dogs, and Drumstick ice cream cones for everybody! What’s for dinner? Pizza and donuts, of course. The next morning we had more Eggos, this time with extra chocolate chips, and Hershey’s chocolate syrup, just for good measure. Our lunch consisted of bacon. Just bacon. Sunday’s dinner was a little weird. Son Number Two had a can of black olives and half a gallon of chocolate milk. Son Number Three had two bananas and the other half-gallon of chocolate milk, and Number One had leftover pizza and a non-alcoholic beer.

I’m pretty sure I locked in my position as the cool dad with the older two, but I must say, their behavior, and their pooping schedule has been a little off. Probably just a coincidence.

To really seal the deal with One and Two, I announced on Monday morning that they would be getting hot lunch at school that day. That is a rare treat at our house, and I played it off like I was doing it out of the kindness of my heart. Truth be told, I was just far too lazy to pack their lunches in the morning.

Now, although I did a great job of winning the love of his older brothers, my efforts had the opposite effect on Son Number Three. He was upset with me for the entire weekend. Now, it wasn’t because of the menu, but because I wasn’t paying the usual amount of attention to him. My wife has always accused me of coddling him, even going so far as to say, “You’ve never told that boy ‘No’ in his whole life.” That is of course patently false, but she sees it differently than I do. That’s because I have never been totally honest with her about my handling of Number Three. It’s not that I am looking to give him special treatment, it’s just that I’m lazy. I think we’ve established that.

When you have the third child, you suddenly go from man-to-man defense to the zone. Zone defense, from a parenting standpoint, is a lot more work. Because of my inherent laziness, I have been “graciously” looking after the youngest since he was born.

It’s because he’s the lightest.

Invariably, my children want to be held in some fashion or another whenever we go somewhere. Hip, piggyback, up on the shoulders, you name it. I don’t really want to carry any of them, because they’re all pretty heavy, but if I cut my losses and volunteer to carry the littlest one, I’m instantly back to man-to-man defense, and relieved of looking after the other two. “I’ve got Number Three, babe. You’re welcome!” Like I said, I’m lazy.

My wife apparently never saw through my laziness, and assumed I was coddling our youngest. I guess Number Three never saw through my charade either, because apparently he was used to quite a high level of attention.

As soon as my wife left, I was playing zone defense big time. I was fielding eight to ten questions, requests for help, and emergency spill response calls every minute of every waking hour. By the end of the first day, I was ready to sell all three kids to the first person who offered me more than two dollars. I don’t know how my wife does it!

Anyway, when I kept telling Son Number Three that I couldn’t hold him right now, or that he would have to wait a minute until I was done helping his brother, he took it very personally. He kept getting progressively more and more upset with me, ultimately ending each evening in fits of crying and wailing at the slightest transgression by his mean old dad.

Either that, or his strange diet and lack of naps was affecting his mood. Who can say?

On Sunday night he had had enough. Shortly after lights out, he protested my rule of law and declared his never-ending love for his mother by peeing all over the bathroom floor, not six inches away from the toilet. Sure, he cried and claimed to be just as upset about it as I was (the man who was in charge of cleaning it up), but I know he was just putting on a show to avoid any trouble.

I saw through his sob story about how he “just couldn’t make it in time.” He was showing me just how he felt about my handling of the weekend.

I hear ya, buddy. Loud and clear. Mommy will be back tomorrow.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2012 Marc Schmatjen

Have kids? Have grandkids? Need a great gift?
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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Pinata

As most Americans surely did, we celebrated a Mexican holiday this past Saturday. No one knows what the holiday actually signifies, but we all love Cinco de Mayo. We spent a fun evening at a friend’s house, eating Mexican food, drinking Mexican beer, and watching the kids play in the pool. The pool was American. Oh, well.

My wife was in charge of the Mexican party game, namely, the piñata. Between the five families at the party, we had twelve kids raring to smack the two-foot long paper mache motorcycle in hopes of scoring some free candy.

I say paper mache, but actually it was a store-bought piñata, so it was really a cardboard motorcycle with shredded streamer material glued to the outside. We have neither the patience, the time, nor the artistic talent to make our own piñatas at my house. We also have no piñata party skills, as it turns out.

My wife filled the piñata with candy prior to the party. That was about the only piñata-related step we got right in the whole process. Two other things you need for a piñata are a string or rope to hang it from, and a bat to hit it with. We forgot both of those. The house we were at did not contain any string, so we ended up using a waterski rope from their boat, complete with the rainbow pattern nylon weave and the foam rubber handle. All things considered, it was fairly festive looking, so we were off to an OK start. As far as the bat goes, we couldn’t come up with one of those either, so we used a long, stout, fairly straight stick from the woodpile. That probably worked just fine for the inventor of the first piñata, so it would be fine for us.

We tied the waterski rope through the zip-tie loop on the top of the piñata, threw the rope over the basketball hoop in the backyard sport court, and we were ready to go. The first kid in line picked up the authentic piñata stick and hit the cardboard motorcycle fairly gently, which immediately broke the zip-tie, sending the candy-filled Trojan horse to the ground. All twelve kids rushed forward to pounce on it.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa! You have to wait until the candy comes out,” said my wife.

We pulled the piñata out from under the pile of children and threaded the waterski rope through the cardboard opening that the zip tie loop had previously been in. We strung it back up on the basketball hoop and let the first kid have another crack at it.

He made very slight contact again and ripped the rope right out of the top of the piñata. It hit the ground again, and this time some candy spilled out with it. When we retrieved it from under the pile of screaming, candy-crazy children again, we no longer had any attachment point for our rope. We could have prevented two injuries and a lot of near misses and adult stress and strife if we had just stopped right there and poured out the rest of the candy onto the ground. Unfortunately, we were determined to keep going.

Not having any place to tie off the rope, we simply hog-tied the entire piñata with the rope, wrapping it around and around the body of the cardboard motorcycle until we were sure it would not come loose and hit the ground again.

The second kid in line hit it so hard, he put a hole right through the middle of it and sent half the candy spraying across the ground. He threw the stick down and dove for the candy, along with the other eleven miniature candy fiends.

Hmm… This doesn’t seem right. How come he got such a good piece of it? Wait a minute… We’re supposed to be working the rope, moving it up and down to make it harder to hit! We forgot that part.

The third kid got up to the plate and swung for the fences, expecting an outcome similar to the previous batter. At the last second, but for the first time that night, I yanked the rope and pulled the piñata up and out of the way of his monster swing. He was so prepared to hit the candy-filled target squarely, that upon missing it unexpectedly, his momentum spun him around 720 degrees, and he landed face-first on the concrete. He came up crying, holding tight to an injured thumb that had taken the brunt of his spinning fall.

Whoops. Our first piñata injury. I don’t think that’s supposed to happen. Come to think of it, why did that happen? Why are they swinging like they’re up to bat trying to hit a home run? Wait a minute… I think we’re supposed to spin them around first to get them dizzy and off balance so they can’t get so set before the swing…

We spun kid number four, and he looked a little dizzy, but he still teed off on the thing. He knocked the front wheel of the motorcycle off at such a high velocity that one of the dads took a Jolly Rancher in the face hard enough to put him down, tragically spilling much of his Corona.

Wait a minute... I think we’re also supposed to blindfold them…

Kid number five stepped up to the piñata with a blindfold on, and after being properly spun around to disorient her, she was our first contestant of the night that reminded us all of a proper piñata at-bat. She had that awkward, drunken sword wielding swing of a slightly disoriented blind person, but she still managed to make pretty decent contact with the moving target.

Kid number six took a wild swing and made solid contact sending more candy flying. As the horde of children rushed toward him, he proceeded to take another cut at it, narrowly avoiding decapitating two of the kids. He was in the middle of a third swipe as my wife, yelling “NOOOOOOO” like a slow motion action film star, came diving across the group of children, trying to save them from certain piñata-stick death. She came within mere inches of taking the fast moving stick in the teeth as she tried to pull the kids back away from the piñata-crazed seven-year-old’s swing radius.  

After she got done chastising our oldest son for almost killing half the kids at the party, and his own mother, she declared in a rather loud and frantic voice the new rule of, “Everyone back ten feet and nobody moves!!!”

By the time kids seven through nine were done, the piñata had been hit so many times, I wasn’t sure there was any candy left. There really wasn’t much piñata left. It looked like it had spent all day on an artillery range. The only thing keeping it from falling to the ground in eight small pieces was the fact that it was completely enveloped in a spider web of waterski rope.

Why is this thing taking such a beating? This still doesn’t seem right… These kids are like piñata savants. No one is missing…

Kid number ten walked unsteadily toward the plate. He was obviously dizzy, but he was squaring up nicely on his target. When I yanked the rope and pulled the piñata straight up in the air, his head snapped up to follow its movement…

They can see through the blindfold!

The stretchy shirt we had been using as a blindfold, when finally tested by my wife, was found to be less than blinding. In fact, she said she could see really well through it.

Whoops. Either all the kids were in cahoots and keeping it quiet, or we really didn’t do a good enough job of explaining what a blindfold was and what it was supposed to accomplish.

Either way, from a how-that-whole-thing-was-supposed-to-work standpoint, it is safe to say that we universally failed at piñata.

Our failures only seemed to matter to us, however. The great thing about kids is they never knew the difference. As far as they were concerned, the piñata was a great success. They all got a bunch of candy, and they all got to hit something with a stick. Two things kids love.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2012 Marc Schmatjen

Have kids? Have grandkids? Need a great gift?
Go to today and get your copy of My Giraffe Makes Me Laugh, Marc’s exciting new children’s book. Get ready for a wild rhyming adventure!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Flushless Toilets

There is a disturbing trend happening in the men's room. No, I'm not talking about the creepy bathroom attendant that sits by the sinks and watches you wash your hands, then hands you a paper towel and offers you cologne in exchange for a tip. That is certainly disturbing, but I think (at least, I hope) it’s on the decline. I'm referring to flushless urinals.

Flushless toilet technology has existed ever since Adam first had to go Number 2. It was called squatting wherever you wanted to. This is still the case in much of the uncivilized world, but here in America we quickly developed the outhouse (still flushless, but more convenient), and then graduated to the water closet, today known simply as the toilet. In my opinion, beer and the flush toilet come in as number 1 and 2 respectively as the greatest inventions of all time. (Get it?)

Shortly after the flush toilet was invented, the public restroom was invented, and shortly after that, the first line to use the potty was invented. In the case of the women’s room, no amount of technological advancements could change the fact that women go to the bathroom in groups and stay in there forever, so their lines have remained long throughout history.

In the case of the men's room, it soon became evident that another technology could be employed to accommodate man's natural desire to pee standing up, making many of the bathroom trips faster, so the first urinal was invented. It was a flush toilet that bolts to the wall, and it was the third greatest invention ever. It improved our bathroom efficiency so much that men’s rooms now only have lines during halftime and the seventh inning stretch.

America has always been on the leading edge of good toilet technology. While the British invented it, we made it work right, and we mass-produced it. Widespread adoption of the flush toilet could be the single greatest environmental achievement of all time. It is certainly the single greatest improvement of the bathroom environment of all time. Not only did we Americans make the toilet functional and affordable to the common man, but we have also showed great restraint in not getting too crazy with it. To our credit, the wild Japanese talking toilets that are more like a car wash than a commode have not caught on here. We never even embraced the bidet. It’s been around as long as the toilet has, but still to this day they are only found in five-star hotels and really rich people’s houses, and they only pretend that they use them. They’re not fooling us.

Despite our track record of toilet-forward progress, sadly, with regard to the urinal, our country seems to be regressing. I am seeing more and more “waterless” urinals out there. I will explain what these are, since some of you men and most of you women have probably not seen these yet. It looks like a regular urinal, but there is no flush valve of any kind on top. Down where the water and the urinal cake normally live, there is nothing but a perforated plastic plate. When you pee into it, it disappears under the plate.

Regular toilets and urinals are very simple. Fresh water sits in what is called a “U-bend,” gracefully shielding the user from the unpleasant smell of the sewer pipe on the other side, and more importantly, protecting the bathroom and whatever it is attached to from filling up with noxious and potentially explosive sewer gases. When you place something that you no longer want in the toilet, and flush it, new fresh water comes rushing in to whisk your refuse away and replace the water in the U-bend with nice, clean, fresh, nothing-but-water, water. Simple, clean, and effective.

When you pee into a “waterless” urinal, you don’t get to send nice clean fresh water after it to whisk it away. So, where, you might ask, has that pee gone? It stays right underneath the perforated plastic plate, going nowhere until someone else replaces it with more pee, forcing your old pee down the U-bend. No fresh water in the equation. Hmmm. I’m no expert, by any means, but that plan seems ultimately flawed to me. We seem to be relying on a constant supply of “fresh pee” to keep things hygienic. You can surely understand my misgivings with that plan.

Now, besides the fact that this technology seems iffy at best from a physics, or a hygienic, or a just plain old common sense standpoint, my real problem with it is psychological. It’s the lack of the flush that irks me the most. Not the water itself, just the flush. The action of flushing. The satisfying finality of pushing the handle down and hearing the roar of the water.

The industrial-strength deluge of the urinal flush is special. It is final. It not only signals to the next guy in line that he’s up, but it signals to your psyche that you are done. Mission accomplished. A true sense of relief that comes from finishing the job. You walk-jogged up to that urinal with a powerful need to pee. You relieved yourself and it was in fact a big relief, but it’s not really, truly, 100% satisfying until you’ve slapped that handle down and heard that “whoosh.”

Now, you ladies might be thinking, well if you guys like the flush noise so much, how come you like peeing outdoors more than indoors? Great question! While it is true that we love to pee outside, there is a distinct lack of finality because of nothing to flush. That shortcoming with the outdoor pee, however, is totally offset by the fact that when peeing outdoors, we get to pee on something. The tree, the bush, the big rock, the fence post. Cursive writing in the snow. Aiming and hitting your mark outdoors completely overshadows the flush and makes it a moot point. Not so with the waterless urinal.

In fact, that leads us to the final problem I see with the flushless urinals. When we’re not outside peeing on the ants that are trying to climb the tree, we still like to aim. It is a universal truth that any man standing at a urinal will attempt to be helpful by cleaning off any cigarette ash, specks of dirt, or any other debris that happens to be anywhere inside the porcelain curvature, guiding the foreign material down to the pool of water at the bottom with our incredible accuracy. With a standard urinal, the flush creates a rush of water down the back side to actually clean it off after we’re done “helping.” The waterless urinal doesn’t have that self-cleaning feature.

Do the businesses and organizations willingly installing these flawed devices not see the inherent problems associated with a lack of fresh water? And much more importantly, why do they want to take our flush noise away? Who’s in charge over there?

Oh well. I guess we’ll all just pee outside more in the future. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I saw some ants trying to climb the tree in my backyard.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2012 Marc Schmatjen

Have kids? Have grandkids? Need a great gift?
Go to today and get your copy of My Giraffe Makes Me Laugh, Marc’s exciting new children’s book. Get ready for a wild rhyming adventure!