Say No to Trough Urinals in Ypsilanti


I love the Brewery, but I’m thinking about starting an online petition. I seriously hate trough urinals. I realize my dislike of them probably has a lot to do with the fact that I suffer from social phobia, but, even if that weren’t the case, I can’t imagine that I’d enjoy urinating shoulder-to-shoulder with other men, like a neanderthal. I’d rather stay home, cold sober, than run the risk of winding up at a trough.

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  1. Posted July 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m thinking about starting an Anti Trough Urinal website.

  2. Terri
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I’ve been reading this website for a really long time, but have never really commented. But this issue brings me to the table. Maybe it’s the topic, maybe it’s the illustration, I don’t know, but I feel like I have to say something and I’m not even a dude. No trough urinals. It’s just not natural.

  3. Posted July 29, 2009 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Terri.
    My husband and I used to go to Tiger Stadium a lot and he often complained about the troughs. I just could not picture it, so at the last game, he took a picture of the trough (schlong-free, of course). Ew!

  4. melissa
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I like the use of watercolor in your illustration. Classy touch.

  5. Posted July 29, 2009 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Mark, per your illustration, i’m guessing they don’t follow the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policy in the restroom at the Ypsilanti Brewery…. bare feet in a public toilet… that’s just wrong!

  6. Posted July 29, 2009 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    I find that if I get stage fright at a urinal, it helps to imagine the severed head of someone you don’t like at the bottom of the urinal.

    Try it.

    Maybe at a trough urinal you can imagine all the heads of the people standing around you. They kind of deserve it for secretly laughing at your weiner.

  7. Dirtgrain
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    “. . . at once more together than they were at any other time, and more alone” (from James Baldwin’s “Sonny’s Blues”).

    The trough at German park, depending on how guys are aiming, can spritz foreign urine drops onto your shirt, shorts, hands, arms. And the end session shimmy shake can go awry. Blech.

    I don’t think anybody likes them. It’s just that, after so much beer, and with such a screaming bladder, the list of things I dislike about them fades away.

    This gives me an odd notion. Intense having-to-go-to-the-bathroom experiences can be transcendental, spiritual, cathartic. At a trough urinal, one might be having just such an experience at the same time as the other troughers have one. Could communal urination be the key to God? Should our society steer toward bathroom churches with urinal trough baptism altars? What if we added in singing or chanting? Never mind. Some experiences should just be solo.

  8. Brackinald Achery
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    You just need to let out your inner child and strike up a good natured sword fight with a few strangers. Or play Ghostbusters; that’s always a fun one. Don’t cross the streams! Then you walk out together laughing, chums.

  9. Christine Laughren
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    The guy to the left looks like he’s having a tough time peeing in the trough urinal.

  10. Kerri
    Posted July 29, 2009 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never been so happy to be a woman.

  11. tommy
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Based on your twisted drawing, pissing in a trough is the least of your problems. For instance what is the likelihood of a club-footed snaggletooth, a hunchback, and a perve in a sweater all spewing reddish piss into a ceramic tub at the same place and time?

    By the way – doing complicated multiplication problems in your head will relieve your stage fright – guaranteed!

  12. Posted July 30, 2009 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    I like how I drew everyone’s legs facing the front. I guess I don’t know how to draw legs from the back. Anyway, I like how everyone in this image has got to twist their twist their torsos 180 degrees in order to piss. I’ve got to try that sometime. If nothing else, I’ve got to think that it would keep others from joining me at the trough.

  13. Posted July 30, 2009 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Here’s another idea… Why don’t they take down the stall surrounding the current toilet and put in another toilet directly in front of it, so that two people can face one another while sitting down, taking care of business?

  14. Anonymatt
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Don’t ever travel to Australia, you won’t like it.

  15. BLunky
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    they are nice to lay in and make friends

  16. Posted July 30, 2009 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Gee thanks so much Mark for the beautiful illustration and for reporting on something mentioned in passing at a private meeting as one of the things we thought might help to aleviate the problem of too many full bladders and not enough urinals. Especially since as soon as you voiced your concern I said “oh, I never knew guys had a problem with it – in my experience they pee just about anywhere, including the sinks if there is a line, but I appreciate your input and we would definitely take that concern into account before making any decisions on how to expand the facilities.” And Matt said that he actually ruled troughs out a while ago and is looking into other options. I guess I learned an important lesson about not speaking off the cuff.

  17. Rex
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Regardless if they were seriously being considered for the Corner or not, it is a good discussion.
    I think troughs in men’s rooms are trashy. Very fitting for a place like the 8-ball.
    I’m trying to remember where I’ve seen a recessed slot along the wall of the restroom with drains all the way around, and everyone can just urinate against the wall, anywhere that suits them.

  18. Steph
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Lighten up, Rene, I don’t think it was an attack. I think he was trying to be funny.

  19. Merl Crabtree
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Just sitting back, waiting for the belligerent pro-trough wiener-loving contingent to show up.

  20. Posted July 30, 2009 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Oh man… Multi-vectored close-quarters spray-back. Makes me want to wash my hands (and clothes) just thinking about it. One should not have to foster concerns regarding how much of another man’s urine may accumulate on his person whilst visiting the loo. Unless, y’know, you’re in to that sort of thing… um, which is… fine, I guess…

    In case you’re wondering, yes, it IS drop-random-British-colloquialisms-like-they’re-hot-potatoes-day…

  21. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I think we’re missing an important factor here. What about the future of the bathroom interview. Instead of just interviewing a person after they have used a urinal, you could interview them while they use the urinal along with you! Think of how open and honest and interview could becoume if the interviewer and interviewee were participating in the same, usualy private, act while discussing the day’s important news and topics. I think you should get on this before Anderson Cooper finds out about it. I mean, that guy shows up in the strangest places to begin with…

  22. anon
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    I hate to be serious here, but if you’re going to install new fixtures, why not go with waterless urinals (google it)? Maybe it wouldn’t solve the waiting-line problem, but it would be a little more eco-friendly.

  23. dp in exile
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Waterless urinals are the way to go.

    Troughs are even more disgusting than the ridiculous interview you posted with Ryan from SAF. It doesn’t matter much if he soaks his hands in bleach and doesn’t hold his penis while urinating, the simple fact of the matter is the stuff splashes off the urinal onto whatever is in the vicinity. And besides, health codes are health codes, no ifs ands or whatevers about it.

    IMHO… very little good will come from your discussion of public urinals, interviews in bathrooms, etc… except if waterless waste dispensaries are installed in a whole lot of locations. =-)

  24. West Cross
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Really? What’s wrong with the trough? I’ve used many over the years and enjoy their ease of use and quick turn around. As a matter of fact I’ll even opt for the trough over a conventional urinal given the choice (like at the 8 ball or Pub 13). I enjoy the old timey-charm. If you keep it clean it’s no messier or disgusting than a normal urinal (which admittedly, are kind of gross if you think of it). The splashback mentioned above gave me pause, but I’ve never experienced it, and is it really much worse than whatever else richochets off a normal urinal? Even if it’s “all yours” there is probably a lot coming along for the ride. Throughs are usually low enough to avoid this problem.
    As far as the “seeing the schlong” issue, is it any different from a normal urinal? If you look, you’ll see something. If you don’t, you won’t. I can honestly say I’ve never seen another schlong at a urinal, trough or otherwise, why would I want to? Keep your eyes on the wall and your mind at the job at hand and you’ll do fine.
    If anyone’s ever looked at me, well, I hoped they enjoyed the show, and the lifetimes worth of ecouragement it no doubt produced.

  25. Curt Waugh
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Rex, they had the trench-in-the-floor room at U-M stadium a while back. Both sides of the floor. Basically just a Urie Canal. Sandals were…. a bad idea.

  26. Dirtgrain
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    “I’ve used many over the years and enjoy their ease of use and quick turn around.” AKA, “I’ve got exceptionally bad aim.”

  27. Ypsiman
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    No matter how you shake and dance,
    the last few drops go down your pants.

  28. ypsiPawz
    Posted July 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    hey mark – any chance that you would consider selling any of your sketches that end up on mm? i’ll begin the bidding for this one. $10.99

  29. Posted July 30, 2009 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Wow, Rene, I wasn’t expecting that response to this little doodle. I didn’t think this came even remotely close to crossing any kind of line. Matt, at some point in our conversation yesterday, mentioned that he and someone else (I can’t remember the guy’s name) were looking into getting a trough. I said I hated the idea, and I thought we left it at that. If you or Matt said, based on my comment, that you were dropping the idea, I didn’t hear it. Anyway, the piece was supposed to be funny. I certainly didn’t post it with the intention of hurting the Brewery, etc. And I think everyone knew I was kidding when I said that I’d stay home and be sober if you got a trough. I just thought it would be a fun thing for people to talk about. And I certainly didn’t expect this response…. And as for your now not being able to speak around me, I hope you’ll reconsider. You and I have had a number of candid discussions over the year on a whole range of issues, and, as far as I know, I’ve never betrayed your confidence. Please believe me when I tell you that I really didn’t think the fact that you were considering a trough would be classified as an important business secret.

  30. Posted July 31, 2009 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    Thanks Mark and sorry if I overreacted. I think it was the “petition” part of it – sort of sounded like a call to action and I thought for god’s sake the last thing I need is to be getting a bunch of emails from people yelling about something that isn’t even going to happen. Just want to get through going non-smoking at ABC before I’m embroiled in another mini controversy.

  31. dp in exile
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Thanks for going non-smoking Rene & Matt!!!

  32. Merl Crabtree
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    How about a compromise? What if we get the trough, but put it in the women’s room.

  33. Merl Crabtree
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    And I think that drawing would be lovely on a Shadow Art Fair poster. In my opinion, they’ve been way too peni-depleted as of late.

  34. South Cross
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see what’s so wrong about squeezing out cake frosting through piping bags with my likewise hideously deformed friends.

  35. Lester
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    What wrong with the freak on the right, not taking off his shirt to pee?

  36. the kingpin
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    It’s only cock…come on now. If the dude next to me wants to take a look, well then buddy, just don’t burn your eyes on it’s motion. This isn’t 6th grade gym class. No one is going to follow you out of the men’s room of the pub, and tease you about the stature of your lil’ man. I’d rather get down to business, instead of doing the pee-pee dance waiting.

  37. Ypsiman
    Posted July 31, 2009 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

  38. Posted August 2, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    If you start a petition. I will sign it – through urinals are… just bad.

  39. iluvurinals
    Posted October 20, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I like troughs. Men standing shoulder-to-shoulder, meat in hands, all urinating in unison. The ultimate in male bonding.

  40. Kevin Thompson
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I’ve been thinking about getting this as a tattoo for at least 6 months now. I think about it at least once a day.

  41. MAtt
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    I love troughs.

  42. Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    You aren’t Matt Greff, are you?

  43. Paruresis
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    I’m tired of my Shy Bladder Syndrome. I want a BOLD BLADDER! I want to go where ever I want, regardless of who might be watching. If there are others out there in Ypsi who feel the same, let’s set up a support group. We can have beers, talk about our bladders, and then watch each other pee. I think real progress could be made.

  44. Edward
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

    Shall we stand on either side of the urinal, looking into one another’s eyes as we do it?

  45. Edward
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Silently mouthing, “You can do it, buddy”?

  46. Posted April 1, 2010 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I wrote a book concerning Shy Bladder Syndrome. Visit my website and check out some of the free chapters you can download there. It’ll help you guys.

    Regards :)

  47. FLETCHER19
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    I can only pee if I have an audience.

  48. Edward
    Posted April 22, 2010 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    I generally pee sitting down, which makes using traditional urinals difficult. So I welcome troughs. They can be messy though.

  49. Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    So did your brewery go trough? I have just discovered this disturbing trend.

  50. Posted April 13, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    I can relate to how much I hate trough urinals. I have shy bladder syndrome or paruresis (the official term) and although I’ve been able to drastically improve my condition, something about trough urinals dont give me the the amount of privacy I would like. The website in my signature provides some helpful information on what shy bladder syndrome is.

  51. Mr. X
    Posted April 15, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Not only are they putting in trough urinals, they’re stocking them with Candirú (Urinophilic Catfish).


  52. Edward
    Posted June 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    I feel sorry for the guy who only needs one hand to hold his penis.

  53. trough alert
    Posted August 26, 2011 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard that they’re considering it again.

  54. Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    I was at a long trough that had an angled mirror running directly above it the entire length. I don’t know if it was a joke for pee shy men or what.

6 Trackbacks

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