We were on the Hessian plain somewhere outside Frankfurt when I felt as though the drugs had taken hold.

Why am I paraphrasing the great Hunter S. Thompson? Because I endured an experience that Professor Gonzo could only have imagined in his wildest LSD frenzies. Something that made me feel I must be hallucinating, as if the Las Vegas of HST’s fear and loathing had come to me, cleaned up and waterless but every bit as insidious. What I saw was proof that we have no limits in our power to suck every last cent out of every possible human moment.

I was urinating. Into a urinal. At a rest stop outside Germany’s business capital. When I looked down, I didn’t see the accustomed maker’s logo. No, there was a video screen. About six inches across and four inches high. Bright, bright high-definition. Built into the top of the urinal. Advertising itself as the product of Urimat.com.

They’re insidious, these Urimat people, I tell you, brother urinator. They must’ve done years of research to assess exactly where males let their eyes drop when peeing. It’s not on your unit. No, because that necessitates looking at the disgusting mess of the urinal itself, the chewing gum and receipt papers and hairs, oh God the curly hairs. We look higher than that. But not so high that we must confront the wall in front of us, with its vicious graffiti and its smears of nose-booger.

We look right at the top of the urinal, we brothers in urination. And the bastards at Urimat thought: Why waste all that time, when men are looking at nothing? Let’s make them look at a housewife, scrubbing her kitchen and bathroom. Let’s make them watch as “The dirt goes, the aroma stays.”

Can’t you imagine Baron Urimat now, in his sumptuous boardroom overlooking Feldbachstrasse in Feldbach, Switzerland – for this is where the Urimators have their evil mountain lair – saying to his henchmen: “When they have their dirty little units in their hands, the path to men’s minds lies open. Let us feed this psychological emptiness. Before they put themselves back in their pants and walk out without washing their hands. Let us take control of their minds.”

I can hear the evil laughter now.

Read the rest of this post on my blog The Man of Twists and Turns.

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Comment by Benjamin Sobieck on October 11, 2010 at 1:01am
"We can't pee here. This is bat country."

It's very common around here to see video screens at eye level on the wall above the urinal. I've never seen one that was built into the unit itself, though.
Comment by I. J. Parker on October 8, 2010 at 6:01am
They may never leave the cubicle again. :)
Comment by Matt Rees on October 8, 2010 at 5:30am
I think women will soon have to suffer hologram ads on the toilet paper. Something you just have to look at...
Comment by Pepper Smith on October 8, 2010 at 4:43am
LOL! I've already seen advertisements on the doors. No video screens yet, though. Maybe because it's generally the women who take the small children into the bathrooms, and you know what small children can do to unprotected video equipment, especially when their moms are too busy or too tired to care what the kids are doing.
Comment by I. J. Parker on October 8, 2010 at 4:30am
On the door.
Comment by Matt Rees on October 8, 2010 at 3:35am
And where would they put the video screens?
Comment by I. J. Parker on October 8, 2010 at 1:05am
Hilarious! Seriously, I'm told women's facilities are a great deal dirtier than men's.

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