The Urinal Pitch

This is the absolute worst way to get my attention!  I went and had a couple drinks with some ex-collegues this evening.  As I was using the urinal a guy entered and took the urinal next to me.  As is my policy, I stared straight ahead, at an imperfection in the tile on the wall.

The guy says, "I heard you talking about Internet stuff.  I have a business that sells [XYZ] to Web-based businesses".

Now, this did freak me out a bit.  I mean, it’s not the first time someone decided to have a conversation with me at a urinal.  Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson’s old sidekick once started a conversation with me at the urinals at SFO.  The fact that he was a good 18 inches taller than me didn’t make the conversation any more comfortable.  But urinal conversations are just wrong – more wrong than talking in elevators.

I finished my business, and had just washed my hands.  This guys steps away from the urinal and pulls a business card out of his shirt pocket and tries to hand it to me.

I was rude to him, and I apologize now.  But I had just washed my hands, and he had not. 

Please, no urinal pitches.



  1. Yuvi – Yes. 🙂

  2. ROFL at what I got:

    Oil Trend Monitoring – Flexible lubricant analysis for your application

    Fuel Oil Additives – Reduce 3% fuel wastage

    Marathon Sensors – Sensors and Controls for Heat Treatment and Combustion Control

    Am I weird, or listening to 2 year old episodes of DNR just to hear Rory weird or is Google weird?

  3. Hah! My Ad is “Make Money with Friend$ – the more you invite, the more you earn” — particularly odd, considering the subject of the post!

  4. I just noticed the ads too, this is hilarious!

    Sleep & Sedation Dentistry
    Help for Dental Phobia
    Automatic Faucets, Valves (?!?)

  5. @Paul – reminds me of 6 or 7 years ago when I was taking helicopter flight lessons and the controller/instructor at Stinson field kept yelling at me over the radio to “get my spot”.

    He forgot to tell me that the lesson for that day was to hover 200-300 feet over a big X painted on the tarmac… it was a frustrating few minutes!

  6. “Nickerbocker Partition”?
    “Female urinal – no bedpan”?
    “Kohler waterless urinals”?

    You’ve GOT to love adsense!

  7. Oh .. thinking about it, I realised that a few years after my move to the US, I also developed a nasty “fear of being spoken to by air traffic controllers” .. which can be more serious when you’re a single engine plane pilot.
    The fear came from the fact that I was STILL not very proficient in English (I never will be), I was in a very noisy plane, with noisy headphones, bad radio connection, and a air traffic controller with a horrible Texan drawl yelling only buzzwords to me to the effect that I had to ‘slip’ in between a landing MD80 in front of me, and an also landing, but farther out, 737 behind me. Actually, during those kind of landings at San Antonio International airport, fear of being spoken to was usually not my only fear!
    I no longer fly planes (see also: “not too fond of heights”).

  8. @Rob .. who says it’s FREE?

  9. @Deannie .. If I HAD a phobia (well, okay, not too fond of heights), then it would probably not be about speaking, but about being spoken to in public places. I don’t really have that, but at some time I had a slight form of it and it came in the form of “afraid of being spoken to in a foreign country in a foreign language” coupled to a less than slight form of shyness. That was some 14 years ago after I moved to the US and barely spoke English (learning a new language at age 40 isn’t simple).
    (Nice Googling by the way!)

  10. :mrgreen: Paul and Deannie – you have far too much frr\ee time on your hands!

  11. Wow Paul, I can’t believe your Googling skeelz didn’t uncover this little gem: avoidant paruresis and a child site: Naturally, these don’t relate to what Rob wrote about but since we are talking urinals and all…seemed oddly appropriate.

    You have a phobia about talking in the grocery line?!? I meet the best people there (are they nice because they know they get to escape in mere moments?!?) 😕

  12. .. urinal conversations are just wrong ..

    I checked the list (link), but there appears to be no official phobia name for this, probably not uncommon “fear of being spoken to in a urinal”. Despite the fact that there are ‘phobias’ for the silliest things (name your favorite phobia from above mentioned list! I’m certainly not suffering from caligynephobia! And yeah, go ahead Rob, list ‘Dutchophobia’ as your favorite one).
    So, anyway, I will have to make a new one up for this.
    How about: Urosociophobia?
    The elevator one is a bit trickier. Suggestions anyone? I bet it’s similar in nature to ‘fear of being spoken to while in line for the supermarket register”, or “fear of being spoken to in French”.

  13. @ Paul – cute 😉

    @ Deannie – Exactly!

  14. um, ewwwwwwwwww 😯

  15. [Editorial notes: first paragraph: please replace ‘worse’ by ‘worst’ and remove ‘in the tile on the wall’.