Gentlemen: Hold Your Water

Years ago when The Curmudgeon lived in Philadelphia, his garage and driveway were in the back of his house and you reached those destinations through an alley. Ours were row houses – or what fancy people today call townhouses, because that apparently sounds sooooo much nicer – and one row backed up to another.

One day, when The Curmudgeon was driving up his alley to run some errands, he saw a boy, somewhere between eight and eleven years of age, emptying his bladder against the back wall of a house. He skidded to a halt, rolled down the passenger side window, and hollered, “Get out of here! What’s wrong with you?” The boy looked at The Curmudgeon like he was from Mars and continued until there was no more bladder to be emptied.

Kids trying that today, and adults who’ve had too much to drink trying that today, had better be careful because a new technology could leave them regretting their actions. That’s because there’s a new paint that, well, let’s quote directly from a CNN report:

If an offender tries to urinate on a wall coated with the super hydrophobic paint, the urine, instead of running down the wall, will spray back at the person relieving himself, potentially hitting his clothes or shoes.

Remember this 1970s album cover?

Remember this 1970s album cover?

For all its sophistication, the city of San Francisco is apparently have problems with grown men peeing on walls, so the city took the plunge and bought some of the paint and applied it to ten especially frequently bewetted walls. The math said it would be worthwhile: paint for the walls costs only a few hundred dollars but steam-cleaning peed-upon walls costs $80 an hour in labor.

It probably won’t solve the problem on its own, for two reasons: first, you can’t very well paint EVERY wall, and second, a lot of the pee-petrators are no doubt drunk when they do their business and unlikely to consider the implications of their actions.

But for those who aren’t drunk and who are aware that there are walls out there that will do unto others as they would do unto them, you have to think they’re at least going to stop and consider what might happen before attending to what is, apparently for more people than The Curmudgeon ever would have imagined, business as usual.




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