As a girl - and later as a woman - one was always taught that when performing a Number 1, angle and elevation should very much depend on the cleanliness and comfort where one was using. Of course it should under no circumstances be performed in public. All that was disputed by evidence earlier this week.
As I waited by the stoplights at the Osu Cemetery, I noticed a young woman peeing by the gate. She made no effort to hide the fact and any one passing couldn't help but notice. Out raged by the fact that this was being done in full public view it was only a couple seconds later that it then sank into my consciousness - she was standing upright! This was a reversal of gender roles. This was a indictment against all the good practices I had adopted over the years. This was against all the 'norms' I had been socialized into thinking. This was absolutely alarming and amazing at the same time! I was only jolted out of my reverie by the car horns honking behind me indicating that the lights had turned green.
Truthfully, I wanted to stop as I had a couple of questions that to this day I am still puzzling over:
- What was/is the optimal positioning for clothes and limbs?
- How does one deal with moisture control and the after effects of gravity?
- How does one minimize the spatter effects on the lower parts of one's leg and shoes/slippers? and lastly
- How does one effect the appropriate body language and composure to perform such a private act in a public place? and by the main cemetery gate at that?
I was inching my way through the traffic on the Spintex heading into town when I noticed a young man standing on the side of the road. He was a couple meters away when I first noticed him. He was turned at an angle to the road with one pant leg rolled all the way up his thigh - in effect his entire right leg was exposed. On approaching closer, I then realized that was not the only thing that was exposed. He was simply taking a pee. On finishing, in one smooth motion he shook his leg, effortlessly allowed his pants to drop back in place and continued his saunter. Amazing.
Linking the two sightings, I was also then reminded of a somewhat similar scene I saw on the outskirts of Tamale a couple years ago. A bus was parked by the side of the road, and just beyond the bus there were a couple of men squatting. Wondering if something was wrong, I asked the driver what was happening. He patiently explained that the men were just peeing, and in that part of the country it was common for men to squat. Hmm. A bit more polite? I guess so. But nevertheless - at that time for me - strange.
Am hoping I won't have to put my skills to the test in the public domain anytime soon. Lack of adequate public facilities ensure that one does empty one's bladder and restricts all liquid intake before venturing from home, especially for long distances. However, if by some unforeseen circumstance and I do, I certainly will not attempt to do so standing up - or by the cemetery gate for that matter.