I really will have to visit the Boys & Boden Ltd branch at Shrewsbury, just to confirm that this story is true. But according to a half page advertising feature in this weekend's Montgomeryshire County Times, its a fact. The builder's supplies company has installed a giant urinal in the toilet section of the salesroom, where men are challenged to urinate out to as great a distance as possible. The principle of this sort of challenge is well established. Most golf 'society days' have a 'longest drive' competition. And Landyssil's annual 'Dragonfest' had a competition this year involving spitting olive stones. The local TV naturalist, Iolo Williams came in second. He spits like a llama. I daresay such competitions have been rife amongst young males throughout history, and may well have been used as a means of challenge in the distant past. But this is a first time, in modern times, I've known it be a formalised competition.
I can do no better than post the quotes given by Mr Dean Hammond, Managing Director. I know him well, but this a side of his character I knew nothing about.
"Come and see our new toilets but make sure your bladder is full, because you don't want to be left feeling embarrassed. I struggle to shoot my pee more than a few inches but I'm sure some of the builders who come here can do a lot better. We challenge everyone to come and have a go for themselves, and see if they can impress the four onlooking girls with their peeing power."
That's right. There are four life size images of attractive women looking on, armed with a camera, measuring tape and magnifying glass. These women are electronically programmed to yell comments on each performance. It could have a long lasting psychological effect if they are programmed to laugh. There are several 'standards' to aim for - 'Managing Director' at around 3 ft., 'Average' at around 5 ft., 'Apollo' at around 9 ft., and 'Lord of the Flies' at around 12 ft.
All this reminds me of two families walking home from church, after a heavy snowfall. One family's son and the other family's daughter walked on ahead. In a while, the parents came upon evidence that the boy had urinated on the roadside. His father was very angry when he noticed his son's name 'written' in the snow. The other father was even more angry when he recognised his daughter's handwriting.