I traveled to Chicago over the weekend with my wife to visit Wrigley Field for the first time and catch a Cubs’ game, and it was one heck of a great experience. But let me tell you - what impressed me the most was not the ivy along the outfield walls, or the brick face walls that outline the stadium, or even having the good fortune to sit in the very same seat occupied by one Steve Bartman during the infamous Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. No, it was none of those things. What impressed me the most was this: the men’s bathrooms have no urinals. Instead, there are elongated troughs that you must stand in front of with roughly 50 other guys in order to commence urination.
There are many aspects of the urination troughs that defy logic. For starters, there is obviously no side protection, meaning that there is always an excellent chance of accidentally looking the wrong way (i.e. anywhere but the ceiling) and seeing something that you’re not supposed to see, like, oh I don’t know...saaaay, 49 penises, for example.
Furthermore, the troughs present other dilemmas. Wrigley Field is not like any other ballpark, where an unoccupied urinal is an open invitation. You cannot say, “Oh - there is an open urinal. I think I will pee in it.” Instead, you have to think to yourself, “Okay, there seems to be an open space over there of approximately one and a half feet in diameter. I wonder if I can squeeze in between those two big fellas without disturbing their flow of pee-pee, and thus causing a chain reaction down the trough of unparalleled proportions.” With that said, there is a 99.9 percent chance that, when you do claim a spot at the trough o’ urine, you will be at least touching shoulders with the man next to you. It is very difficult to pee when there is physical contact with another man involved, and that is something I never thought I'd have to relate to the blog-reading mass public. Needless to say, during my first visit to the restroom at Wrigley Field it took me about 45 minutes to start going. I got “trough fright,” which is much worse than the traditional “stage fright” associated with urinals, because in this case, everyone is peeing on the stage, except you of course, and the audience is wondering why you have your penis out of your pants if you’re not going to use it. Yes - I was staring at the ceiling and trying to think watery thoughts, yet still couldn’t go. The guys on either side of me changed twenty times before I could manage to get a drop out.
Another amazing thing about the pee-pee troughs at Wrigley Field is that they are set very low to the ground, meaning that there is no protection against the ever-present danger of backsplashing pee-pee. Hey - was the urine that just splashed against my leg mine, or yours? Or maybe it was his? Ha ha! Oh well - who cares! I might as well just stand IN the trough while I pee, considering there are machine gun-style pellets of pee hitting me from all directions anyway. No wonder they were selling ponchos outside, on such a beautiful day.
I got the impression that most Chicagoans take great pride in their urination troughs. In fact, they like to snicker at the out-of-towners like myself, who, upon first entering the restroom, immediately look back at the door to make sure it says “Mens” and not “Cattle.” I think they say things to each other like, “Get a load of that Yankee o’er there, staring at the ceiling and trying to avoid shoulder-to-shoulder contact. Ha! Probably used to all dem individual pee-pee stations I hear they got back east. Damn yuppies.”
So, in conclusion, I eventually got used to the penis parade that was the men’s restroom at Wrigley Field in Chicago. In fact, by the seventh inning, I was doing synchronized peeing routines with the other guys at the trough, where we all had our arms around each other, and we swayed back and forth like the Can Can girls. It was great. Pee was everywhere. Also, the Cubs won.