Tag Archives: shy bladder syndrome

Let it Go, Let it Flow

You may have seen one of those DirecTV ads in which Rob Lowe, heavily made up to mask his pretty-boy punim, plays a cable television customer who’s a loser because he’s, well, a cable television customer instead of a DirecTV subscriber. (And Lowe, in all his pretty-boy splendor, also plays a DirecTV subscriber.)

loweIn one of those Rob Lowe-as-loser commercials, he looks at the camera and declares “Fact: I can’t go with other people in the room” while standing at a urinal.

Predictably, but not, a group claiming to speak for people with that particular problem expressed outrage.


As reported in the Philadelphia Daily News,

The ad is in poor taste and ridicules a serious problem, said Steve Soifer, CEO of the International Paruresis Association, which estimates that about 7 percent of Americans have some form of “shy-bladder syndrome.”

“We don’t mind if people have a little fun with it,” said Soifer, a social-work professor at the University of Memphis. “It’s a situation that a lot of people don’t understand. In this particular case, the portrayal is making it look ridiculous, that this guy is a loser for having a problem.

Once again, we see people who are taking themselves much, much too seriously. The Curmudgeon’s is the voice of experience about this one, too, because he’s one of the alleged twenty-one million people who apparently suffer from shy-bladder syndrome.

Actually, while he always knew it to be “shy bladder,” he never realized it had been elevated to “syndrome” status.

Way to achieve, fellow shy-bladderers!

For those with whom he shares this malady, The Curmudgeon offers his own remedy: while attempting to, um, do your business, hum the portion of the Chicago song “Wishing you were here” where the Beach Boys sing back-up vocals while picturing yourself standing in ankle-high water while the surf rolls in at the beach. It almost always opens the dam and does the trick for The Curmudgeon.