A European Fad We Can Live Without

Paris, the “City of Lights,” has fallen victim to a foul-smelling, unenlightened practice that also has befallen other great European cities.

Not since the days of the not-so-beloved outhouse has anything stunk up the city and its environs so badly.

It seems that a lot of European men don’t mind pulling out their “Oscar” and peeing on buildings, streets and in public parks without benefit of a rest room, leaving behind the foul stench of urine.

Paris has tried to cope with the problem by making it possible for men to take in a scene of the River Seine or the historic Notre Dame Cathedral while emptying one’s bladder in a legal, environmentally friendly way. But the installation of unscreened, bright red, straw-filled dry urinals hasn’t won over the populace. The uritrottoirs use nitrogen and other compounds to produce an organic, allegedly odorless organic compost. But the devices don’t shield the “Oscars” from view when some dude pees off a scenic tourist barge, from a bridge or on a cobblestone street.

Residents of the historic and upscale neighborhoods dotted with the red urine bins say there must be a better, less unseemly way. As one said, “It is definitely a desirable and historic neighborhood, but seeing people urinating right in front of your door is not the nicest thing.”

In Germany, folks have a whimsical-sounding word fo the act, wildpinkeln, or “wild peeing.”

Somewhat diabolical residents of Hamburg’s St. Paul quarter have begun coating walls in a “splash creating, urine retardant paint” commonly used on ships hulls that coats the wildpinkeler in his own urine. The Germans even have a word for that – Schadenfreude. Schadenfreude is defined as taking pleasure in someone else’s humiliation.

Here’s to keeping our North American cities free of wildpinkelers!