October 07, 2005

This just in: Men like to pee on stuff. And singing Indians are funny.

A friend emailed me this photo today. The caption reads:

"In Amsterdam, the tile under Schiphol's urinals would pass inspection in an operating room. But nobody notices. What everybody notices is that each urinal has a fly in it. Look harder, and the fly turns into the black outline of a fly, etched into the porcelain. If a man sees a fly, he aims at it. Fly-in-urinal research found that fly etchings reduce spillage by 80%. It gives a guy something to think about. A perfect example of process control."

Apparently this clever little story has been considered an urban legend and has been floating around the ether for around a decade. But an engineering professor, Kim Vicente, wrote a book called "The Human Factor" (Routledge, 2004) and asserts that it is, in fact, true. Go to Amsterdam for the beer, the bridges, the scenery, and the impeccable urinals with tiny fake flies in them. He writes:

"..you may notice there's a fly in the urinals. So what do you think most men do? That's right, they aim at the fly when they urinate. They don't even think about it, and they don't need to read a user's manual; it's just an instinctive reaction. The interesting feature of these urinals is that they're deliberately designed to take advantage of this inherent human male tendency."

My question: why a FLY? Why not a flower or a fish, or a dot? What is it about a fly that makes men driven to pee on it? Are they trying to kill it? I wouldn't be suprised. Animals.


So I know you know the little couple on SNL who do the funny covers of pop music under the premise that they're elementary school music teachers. Until today, I thought that skit concept couldn't get any funnier. But clearly, I had forgotten how fantastically ridiculous most things sound in an East Indian accent.

Because this skit actually caused me to *snort* while laughing (which I almost never do, because it's unladylike -- lie lie lie...) I would like to introduce to you: Happy Tabla & Singer Guy!!

Please tell me they're drunk. On the upside, 'One-Two Step' has never sounded better. I think these two sunglassed, cross-legged indian guys can easily take Ciara in the talent department. And they clearly have rhythm. My money's on their dancing, too.

Have a good weekend!


The Ken said...

This is flippin' brilliant! I heard this story YEARS ago but I've never seen photographic evidence till this very hour! That said, with modern technology who knows what you could photoshop into a urinal. Hmm..... (Plan forming...) I'm just going to...open PhotoShop now...no..reason.

Trebuchet said...

i'm taking urban legends down, one by one... :)