They EU-rinate Sitting Down...
From the August 18th, 2004 edition of Best of the Web (Wall Street Journal):
Germany's Last Stand --- EU-niks are taking a stand against standing. "German men are being shamed into urinating while sitting down by a gadget which is saving millions of women from cleaning up in the bathroom after them," reports London's Daily Telegraph:
The WC ghost, a £6 voice-alarm, reprimands men for standing at the lavatory pan. It is triggered when the seat is lifted. The battery-operated devices are attached to the seats and deliver stern warnings to those who attempt to stand and urinate (known as "Stehpinkeln").
"Hey, stand-peeing is not allowed here and will be punished with fines, so if you don't want any trouble, you'd best sit down," one of the devices orders in a voice impersonating the German leader, Chancellor Gerhard Schroder. Another has a voice similar to that of his predecessor, Helmut Kohl.
The manufacturer plans to market an English-speaking version in the United Kingdom:
Their prototype English-speaking WC ghost says in an American drawl: "Don't you go wetting this floor cowboy, you never know who's behind you. So sit down, get your water pistol in the bowl where it belongs. Ha, ha, ha."
So that's what Europeans mean when they criticize Americans as "cowboys."
The Telegraph notes that "in German, the phrase for someone who sits and urinates, a 'Sitzpinkler,' is equivalent to 'wimp,' " The paper also cites an expert called Klaus Schwerma, author of "Stehpinkeln: Die Letzte Bastion der Männlichkeit?"--an actual book, the title of which which translates as "Standing Urinators: The Last Bastion of Masculinity?"
This makes all the more unsettling the New York Times' observation, when, in that editorial blasting President Bush's military reorganization plan, that an "advantage" of stationing U.S. soldiers in Germany is that it gives them "the experience of living in other cultures." Pulling out of Germany may prove beneficial to America's defensive posture in more ways than one.
These are the serious, nuanced "allies" that John Kerry would have us grovel before? Any country that a) engages in such stupidity and b) uses tax dollars to fund such stupidity, is an ally I could do without.
I wonder, will the Germans make it mandatory for all them EU nations to buy these things for their public restrooms?