Saturday, October 06, 2007


All right gents, here's the question:

You walk into a bathroom with a row of 4 urinals, all of the same height. There is a man already standing at one of the ends of the row. Which urinal do you take?

Pissing the night away


Greg said...

For simplicity's sake, let's call the occupied urinal #1, with the rest of the urinals numbered in order leading away from him. Obviously, you can't take the occupied one, so your actual options are 2, 3, and 4. Let's eliminate 2, as it is an unwritten rule not to stand next to someone if at all possible. That leaves 3 and 4 as legitimate options.

The choice between 3 and 4 seems equal at first glance. The way to decide between those is to see what options are available for the next person entering the room. If you take 3, then 2 and 4 are open, requiring that the next person entering the room stands next to you. If you take 4, there's a 50% chance of them being next to you. In my opinion, 4 is the correct answer, even though the standard is to stand with a gap of one.


Thinking Fool said...

The far other end. If you stand next to him, it's creepy. If you choose urinal 3 and someone else arrives, you've guaranteed that you'll be standing next to someone when that person saddles up to urinal 2 or 4. So if you choose 4, you've got a chance the next guy will choose 2 and you've succeeded. Plus, if that guy chooses 3 and stands next to you, you are certainly well within your rights to intentionally urinate on his feet and tell him, "I wouldn't have done that if you hadn't stood next to me."

Jeff said...

The one at the other end. You put as much space between you and the other people currently there.

Nate said...

Definitely go with the furthest one in this situation, for the reasons already mentioned. The worst set up for urinals is a simple bank of 3, where one of the end ones is a midget urinal, especially for tall guys. So you walk in, someone is on the normal height end urinal, the other two are free. Now comes the tough decision, take one for the team and use the child height urinal, or violate the 1-3-5 rule and get next to someone whilst leaving an open slot the appropriate distance away. I realize that this particular scenario doesnt present quite the same dilemma to some people for whom stature is not a major player, but its a legitimate concern for those who stand a bit further from the earth's core.

Jeff said...

Nate, your theoretical poses another question - what do you do if all three are empty? Do you go with the end urinal and give the next person, should there be one, the difficult decision you have described? Or do you take the middle one, thus allowing the next person to use a normal-sized urinal without guilt (because, hey, he can't get a one-urinal separation anyway)? What does courtesy dictate?

Mike said...

You take the stall.