Blog soup: On public urination & other random musings

It’s funny how things happen. I’d been filing away random tidbits for my next batch of blog soup and, when I hauled them out to write this week’s post, it turns out they all relate to the same thing: The parts of our anatomy found inside our pants.

I’m not sure what this says about what catches my eye (“Hey, if it’s got to do with peeing, pooping or private parts, I’m all over it!”), but I thought these items were interesting nonetheless. I hope you agree:

Paris fights public urination with flower-growing toilets

One of the worst things about living in Boston years ago was the stench of urine—especially in warmer weather—where (mostly) men peed on sidewalks or in the subway stations. It’s a problem that plagues most cities and, according to an article in the New York Times, Paris is tackling it by installing sleek, eco-friendly sidewalk urinals that look like a flower box. The “Uritrottoir” doesn’t use water; users make their, um, deposit in a urinal trough, and the unit stores the urine on a bed of dry straw, sawdust or wood chips, which is hauled away and turned into compost for use in public gardens and parks. A large model of the pee pod can absorb the outflow of 600 people; the smaller model handles 300 deposits. The units are remotely monitored via computer, letting a “urine attendant” know when it’s time to empty them.

Oh, lest we women feel left out, the company that makes the Uritrottoir is working on a design for those of us who don’t pee standing up. We live in interesting times, n’est-ce pas?

Incontinent baby boomers are reviving the paper industry

Speaking of urination, Bloomberg News recently reported that adult diaper-wearing baby boomers are giving a boost to the paper industry, which has absorbed significant losses in this digital age of paperless communication. As we boomers age, however, demand is growing for absorbent hygiene products. In fact, according to industry research, U.S. retail sales for products targeting adult incontinence reached almost $2 billion in 2016 and are projected to rise another 9 percent in 2017 and 8 percent in 2018. So paper companies are expanding production of moisture-capturing fiber known as fluff pulp used in diapers and tampons. It’s nice to be part of the solution, isn’t it?

In the spam department

I have a pretty effective spam filter on my email. It sends me a daily report that I peruse to make sure nothing legit has been quarantined, but most of the missives are offering me ways to boost my SEO or libido, meet sexy Russian girls, cure hearing loss or lose weight. Lately, however, an inordinate number are trying to sell me ED drugs, and some of the subject lines are pretty comical. Recent favorites: “Can hot sauce give you bigger boners?” and “ You’re mighty. Use Levitra and feel the pession (sic).” Hey, at least they used “you’re” correctly.

Coming clean about my recent colonoscopy prep

I recently had my regular screening colonoscopy and underwent the dreaded prep: two days of a low-fiber diet followed by a day of clear liquids, then the chugging of 64-ounces of Miralax-laced Gatorade, bookended by laxative pills, the night before my procedure. When I came to in the recovery room post-procedure, the doctor said I had done a great job on the prep, and everything looked fine. While I was relieved to know I’m polyp-free, I must confess I felt oddly proud to have the thoroughness of my extreme pooping acknowledged. Don’t judge me.

What’s up with men putting their hands down their pants?

Maybe it’s the grownup male version of a security blanket. Or just reassurance that “the boys” are intact. But it’s definitely a thing—guys putting their hands down their pants to get in touch with themselves. They’re not really fondling or trying to arouse themselves, and it’s not something they do in public (well, some do—but that’s an entirely different issue). It just seems to be a position they default to, particularly when they’re sitting around watching TV in their comfy sweats.

I don’t remember how or why (well, there was wine consumption involved), but this topic came up after Hubs and I had dinner with some good friends. The husbands agreed that most men do it—and that it’s mostly just a mindless habit. In fact, the other husband said, “I don’t trust any guy who doesn’t put his hand down his pants.” Then he quickly added, “In private, that is.”

So, there you have it. A bird in the hand, and all that.

It all inspires this week’s haiku:

Funny how matters
below the waist remain top
of mind as we age.

What do you think? Got some observations of your own to share? Are you—or do you know—a guy who’s in touch with himself? Are there things you’re oddly proud of? Please comment!

Roxanne Jones

About Roxanne Jones

By day, Roxanne Jones is an award-winning freelance copywriter specializing in health and medicine. She launched Boomer Haiku, a humorous blog about life as a baby boomer, in 2015, and a Boomer Haiku greeting card line in 2016 (available at 6 Maine stores; visit to learn more). Born and raised in Brunswick, she left Maine after high school (Class of 1971) and, after living in Massachusetts and California, came screaming back to her home state in 2006. She enjoys chardonnay, laughing at the foibles and frustrations of getting older, and contemplates plastic surgery to get rid of the wattle on her neck.