I Think This Is What They Call Service Journalism

Do you know the trick about peeing so no-one can hear you? You do know this, right? Because I found out this afternoon that my sister had hung on and hung on for HOURS this morning, all because she didn't want to go pee in a bathroom that was next to a room with boys in it. That audible tinkle-tinkle-tinkle, after all, is not the most alluring.

I was flabbergasted that she hadn't been taught this trick before---I myself was taught in the tiny bathroom of an Indian restaurant in 1999 by my friend Tilly, only she wasn't my friend yet, in fact I'd only just met her for the first time an hour ago, which did make for sort of an awkward lesson---and it occured to me that if my sister didn't know about it, perhaps there were other people in the world who didn't know about it either. In fact, there must be other people in the world who don't know about it, because I don't think I've ever walked into a public bathroom without hearing some girl trying to HAVE A VERY LOUD CONVERSATION to muffle the sound of the tinkling. And really, honey, that ain't fooling anyone. Especially when you're talking to yourself.

So forget flushing as you pee or throwing a bunch of toilet paper down there first---both of which are environmentally unfriendly; don't ever say I'm not committed to saving your embarassment and the Earth!---because this trick will work a whole lot better. Here's what you do: you move to the very edge of the seat, I mean the very edge, and you pee from there. Bingo---no tinkles. Silent peeing. Beautiful.

It goes without saying, of course, that this only works if you're a girl. Boys, you're on your own, I'm afraid. Though you really need to work on that too; I've lost track of the number of times I've had to usher dinner party guests out of the room---"quick, quick, come over here and look at this...uh...thing!"---to spare you the embarassment of having other people hear through the bathroom door just how well your kidneys are working today. Do you really have to do it from such a height?

So pass this knowledge on, Internet. Include it in your Christmas cards and stuff it in your stockings. Draw diagrams if you must. But let there be one fewer person too embarassed to pee in a public restroom this holiday season. It's my Christmas gift to you all, you see. No, don't mention it. You're very welcome.

Filed Under:
Dec 20, 2006

Hahahaha I knew this on already, very useful when the office bathroom door leads directly into the common room!
And thanks for all the thoughtfulness!

Dec 20, 2006

This is wonderful, since at our best friend's house I will never go to the bathroom until my husband goes in the one next to the living room, so that I have an excuse to go upstairs where they can't hear me...

Dec 20, 2006

This is always a useful one in teh middle of the night when I am CONVINCED that my peeing will wake my daughter in the next room - even though she sleeps really well - sao I always use this. Can't remember who taught me though.....

Dec 20, 2006

I may be very dense, or unimaginative, but how does one pee onto the very edge of the bowl without it escaping from the small space between the toilet seat and the toilet bowl?

I have three daughters, which is why I ask. To be able to pass on this kind of real-world knowledge to them would be a gift, indeed.

Dec 20, 2006

you know, my husband sometimes pees sitting down, and it's completely silent! i'm sure it's the same principle you're talking about here...it has to do with genitalia being close to the edge. i'm with sheila, though - i think the trajectory of the pee spray doesn't always shoot straight down, so you're risking peeing on your pants if you don't make sure that stream is contained.

Dec 20, 2006

Well, what a brilliant Christmas present! Something to think about giving those hard-to-buy-for folks or the gal who has everything. Thanks so much, Holly. And Happee Christmas! (Oh so sorry, I couldn't resist!)

Dec 20, 2006

Just make sure you don't pee on the floor! That would be a lot worse than the tinkle-tinkle sound :)

Dec 20, 2006

Holly, I think a diagram is in order here. While I'm not some kind of freakish explosive, multidirectional pee-er, I am having trouble figuring on how you ensure that there is no...leakage or any other unfortunate circumstance in this scenario.

Dec 20, 2006

Lawyerish, my sentiments exactly! Holly, do draw a picture!

Because, what if you get TOO close to the edge of the seat, and then your pants are soaked in urine? I'd much rather pee loudly, and proudly, because I would walk out of the stall knowing my pants were still dry.

Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 20, 2006

Well, obviously you can't get TOO close. You sort of have to experiment with it, before you debut it, perhaps. But trust me, it can be done. Without accidents, I swear.

Dec 20, 2006

Or you could just turn the faucet on so people hear running water, not pee. Although I guess that isn't very environmentally friendly.

Dec 20, 2006

Wow, that IS one of the 'best.things.ever.'

Dec 20, 2006

Interesting trick! I guess I'd always have assumed the same as the others re: sprayage... But it's worth a try if it'll solve that stupid shy-bladder problem that public restrooms sometimes induce. And yet sometimes I want the tinkle to be audible, so that the neighbors don't think I'm in there working up the old #2. Best of all would be just not to care one way or the other - but try telling that to my prissy subconscious.

Dec 20, 2006

Was that London,1999? Was that our Tilly? Kate and I are trying to work out the details... For everyone else, Tilly is particularly small (was famously so in her village as a child) and has also experimented with a side-saddle approach, and possibly backwards (though that last bit might be made-up).

Dec 20, 2006

I will never forget the first time l successfully completed the silent pee - it was the morning after with a brand new boyfriend (who I thought would no longer want me if he learned that I went the bathroom). No running water, no humming - nothing but silence. I felt like a real woman as my girlfriends had been doing this for years but I had not been able to master it and was very afraid of having a pee pee track on my pants.

Excellent pass along Holly! A gift that all can use and you didn't have to wrap it or ship it!

Dec 20, 2006

I didn't know anyone was embarrassed to be heard peeing or to hear people pee.

No, number two is a different story. COMPLETELY.

Dec 20, 2006

I totally hate it when I'm at someone's house for a cocktail party and when I ask to use the bathroom, the hosts always point you to the one adjacent to the living room, in the foyer, where everyone can hear you drain your bladder after drinking 4 beers and a couple of martinis. It's a little embarassing to have everyone at the party hear you pee for a minute and a half.

That's why when I go to parties now, I pee in the sink. KIDDING!

Dec 20, 2006

well, this settles it. this officially tops everything else i have read on the internet this year!

Dec 20, 2006

wow, this is like, totally the best thing ever!

Dec 20, 2006

Or ya'll ladies could learn to pee standing up and freak everyone out by leaving the toilet seat up at the party/work. http://myvag.net/pee/standing/ Not kidding. I sweah awn my awnah that I am a true Southuhn Belle but ya'll would not believe it after this comment and my previous laxative one.

Dec 20, 2006

Um, so I do know this trick, but being a germ-obsessed person, I find it can only truly be performed on a very clean toilet. My toilet and very close relatives' toilets are the only ones that pass as clean (unless I'm super drunk and then anything goes...). So until you can explain to me how this can be performed without actually sitting on the seat (because hey, I can squat low, but not that low without touching!), I must remain a foe of the trees and use the excess toilet paper method. Hmm...

Dec 21, 2006

But I didn't get you anything!

Dec 21, 2006

Also, did I just click on a link that began with myvag.net?!

Dec 21, 2006

Fuck, am I supposed ot be embarrassed about my tinkle-tinkle sound? Seriously? But I already have so many other things to worry about!!

Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 21, 2006

Yes, Beks, the very same Tilly! I met her during the first week of university at a disasterous birthday dinner for a girl neither of us had known for more than a few days. It was held at a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Angel, where you paid two pounds fifty for an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Dec 21, 2006

I think my approach is one where I just train my husband and other menfolk to just.deal.with.it having previously made them buy bogroll and feminine hygeine products for me.

On the other hand, still a good trick to keep in mind providing toilet seat has been sanitised to my ocd requirments.

Dec 21, 2006

This is too funny. If you're in the bathroom everyone KNOWS what you're in there to do, so what's the big deal? Pee & get out. Just make sure you WASH YOUR HANDS. Not washing will gross people out more than hearing pee.

Dec 21, 2006

There's another trick too. Put your fingers in your ears really hard and hum softly to yourself. The people on the outside won't hear you humming, but it'll totally block the sound of you peeing, which is magnified inside that huge echoey bowl anyway, and you'll assume that the others haven't heard you either.

Just don't close your eyes, or you won't notice when someone accidentally barges in...and sees you there, eye's closed, peeing loudly (or, normally) and humming to yourself. that is NOT something you want on youtube.

P.S. the "peeing on the edge" works in theory, but only with certain toilets. Toilets like those found in Germany/Czech Republic with the 'shelf' (lord love 'em) don't work this way. It's an aural pain.

Dec 21, 2006

1. I am also aware of the peeing-at-the-end-of-the-toilet-seat-thing.

2. The toilets in Ukraine are not conducive for this type of endeavour.

Dec 21, 2006

I am an avid silent peer. What would be awesome is if someone could come up with the silent poop method that doesn't involve making masking-type noises. But I guess the edge of the toilet thing would most definitely not work in that scenario.

Dec 21, 2006

I finally figured this out when I bought my new place and the only bathroom is right off the kitchen, where people tend to hang out.

Dec 22, 2006

My mom used yell, as my brother would be making a racket while peeing, "Aim for the side!" I suppose that having the "stream(?)" hit the side of the toilet vs. the pool of water makes for a quieter experience? I keep thinking I should yell this at my husband (Mr. Loudy McPeererson), but I'm afraid of what I might have to clean!

Silent girl peeing? Totally going to work on this!

Dec 22, 2006

HA HA, I can't believe I actually thought I was the only one to have figured this out.

Dec 23, 2006

re. "Indian Veg" on Chapel Market- It's £2.95 now, but it's still there. Rather tragically, my last two trips there have been on my own.

Dec 24, 2006

it's really the plop that i'm most worried about...did i just share too much?