This post goes out to all the penis owners out there.
And anyone else interested in getting a glimpse behind the curtain of the urine soaked tiles of a men's bathroom.
But first, let me take you back to the start.
For as long as I’ve been able to stand at a urinal, I’ve wished for something other than a blank wall to occupy my gaze.
See, there’s this awkward moment when urinating next to another man who’s standing only a backsplash away. Both of you alpha up to your chosen spot, take a deep breath and stare straight ahead at the blank wall in front of you, like a fighter pilot locked into their target.
Don’t look down. This is the first rule of urinals.
Just in case you accidentally take a glimpse of your neighbour, and if you do, expect to be judged, you creepy bastard.
For as long as men have been pissing onto stainless steel, this is our experience.
The solution, in my mind, was some brief entertainment. A small screen, and we could sell advertising on it! I even workshopped a business idea years ago, but the installation costs were prohibitive so I scrapped it.
The time came when we had the chance to build our own mens bathroom. The builders thought I was equal parts crazy and brilliant (I think). So we mounted 3 TV monitors above each urinal and hooked them up to a laptop with content running on a loop.
Just after installation, testing using the Netflix Doco The Last Dance.
First we put videos of how we built the place, with me, telling the Bucketty’s story of how the bar was built, where the original property in Bucketty is located and how we grow our own hops ect.
But every weekend I’d get blokes coming up to me at the bar saying something like “I just watched you while I was taking a piss”. I’d then stare deep into their eyes, pause and ask “How did it feel?”.
Then we’d all laugh. Aside from that one time the bloke locked gaze and stared straight back at me… anyway!
Then one sunny Saturday afternoon, I walked into the bathrooms to see a big fist mark, and the spiderweb pattern of a smashed screen, right where my face was.
I guess it was a bit gross, blokes holding their business, watching me excitedly talk about our big wooden bar, only 10cm from their nose.
Videos of my face were swapped for more generic images, featuring our beers, food, and upcoming events.
I’d occasionally be standing at the urinal next to a bloke that didn’t realise I was the genius that came up with this innovative piece of marketing and hear him say “Jesus, I can’t even take a piss in peace, they need to show the footy on this.”
A few weeks later another couple of the screens got smashed.
I began to ponder if this WAS such a good idea after all.
But I’m not one for giving up. So we swapped out the content again, to be more chill and less salesy.
A couple of months passed without incident and I thought balance was restored.
A bunch of footy young lads came for an afternoon session, and within 20mins of their arrival.
Bam! Bam! Bam!
All 3 screens were destroyed.
We’d now spent a couple of thousand on screens and the trail of technological demolition showed no signs of slowing.
So I decided we should have a breather, no screens for a couple of months while we lick our wounds.
The straw that killed the entertainment filled urinal utopia I’d dreamed of since I was a child…
The cords for the now absent screens were poking, ever so slightly, out of the wall. And some highly educated, intelligent gentleman decided that these cords should be yanked from the wall to rest in the bottom of the urinal, while he baptised them with his piss.
I wish the cables were live…
Although… Maybe not. The kind of animal that thinks it’s a good idea to pull a power cable out of a wall and piss on it is probably the kind of person that would sue us for his well toasted wang and fried gonads.
And with that, we decided enough was enough.
No more screens.
Now when you take a piss at Bucketty’s, there’s nothing to do but look into the abyss and make sure you don’t look down.
Ces’t La Vie