Peeing Outdoors (Bad Habit #15)

In Brussels, Belgium there is a small bronze sculpture of a naked little boy. His name is Manneken Pis (Little Man Piss). Legend has it that many years ago the young son of a local merchant was somehow lost. After searching for two days, the wayward child was found peeing in an alleyway not far from his home. His thankful father immortalized the occasion by erecting a fountain statue of his son just as he was found: peeing on the ground.

Manneken Pis aside, society generally expects you to pee in a toilet or urinal once you’re potty trained. The trouble with that expectation is that people have been peeing outdoors since we arrived here. And such engrained habits are hard to break. Peeing outdoors is purely and simply a liberating experience, not to mention it’s quite convenient.

When it comes to urinating outside, it’s generally more acceptable to pee in the countryside than on Main Street. It’s simply a matter of sanitation and public health. Imagine the smell and filth if everyone in Manhattan urinated whenever and wherever he or she pleased. To improve sanitation and living conditions for it’s citizens, even the Romans had public toilets in the 1st century A.D.

Even so, public restrooms are sometimes so dirty and poorly maintained it’s more sanitary to urinate outdoors. Remember, though, that public urination is a crime in many places. If you get caught, you could be charged with littering, public nuisance, indecent exposure, or even disorderly conduct. Know the rules where you are. Don’t get caught with your pants down.

When choosing a location to pee outdoors, discretion is the better part of valor. The more and more people there are around you, the less and less acceptable it is to urinate outside. Here are some dos and don’ts when you find yourself with no option but to pee outside or in your pants.

Peeing Outdoors Dos and Don’ts
  • Pick an isolated place where you’re not likely to be interrupted, preferably away from other people.
  • Shield yourself from view behind a tree, in an alleyway, or between two open car doors.
  • Pee in a place where rain will wash it away. Covered parking garages don’t qualify.
  • Don’t pee into the wind. You will regret it.
  • Don’t pee on electric fences. Urine conducts electricity.
  • Remember that pee kills grass and shrubbery. Be selective about location.
  • Don’t let your body language betray your actions; in other words, don’t stare at your stream.
  • Take out your shirttail for a quick cover up if needed. Be careful not to pee on it.
  • Be vigilant.
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