The number 1 preoccupation for 2010 – politics – can take over Number 1; the politicization of urination, if you know what I mean. The Palace, for example, issued a statement that painting MMDA urinals green may help the political campaign of Gibo Teodoro. (On a side note, that’s a very odd statement to make.) Speaking of the MMDA, the government agency is planning to build female urinals along EDSA and major thoroughfares, much to the dismay, disgust, and WTF reactions of women. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, 2010 can – at least in Metro Manila – turn into a piss contest, in the strictest sense of the term.
If there’s anything particularly wrong with the Filipino, it’s his propensity to take a leak anywhere. If there’s anything that makes the Philippines a literal cesspool, it’s the man who pisses on every fence, tree, wall, and bush that he sees, just because he lacks bladder control. The world, to a friend, is his ashtray. To the irresponsible territorial pissant, the world is a toilet. No matter how many “Bawal Umihi Dito” signs you put up in whatever language (“Bawal Meme Keni,” “Maiparit Ag-isbu Ditoy,” “wAg p0wH u IhI d1t0h kkkkk jejejeje ^___^,” and “wittelles ang jumingle-belles ditez” among others), there’s always that one incontinent guy who will unzip his fly, shoot from the bladder, play his game, and give this country a bad name.
I don’t know where I read it (I think it was Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt), but there’s an anecdote about how Ireland got its name from the winner of literal piss contest, Erin. Apparently, a man chose his wife depending on who takes a leak the longest. I guess that metaphorical piss – from campaign jingles to press releases to long-winded answers on debates by whomever – is the core of political discussion here. Whether we admit it or not, we get easily swayed by the articulate, the ma-garbo, the meek, the confrontational, and just about everyone else in between.
Anyway, let’s go back to urinals. In Baguio, for example, pay toilets became a serious campaign issue some years back. One candidate’s platform (ka-ching) revolved around making public toilets free for use again. The candidate didn’t win, so the privatized for-profit public toilet business continued to charge P5.00 for the use of a urinal trough or a clean toilet, and a thick handful of toilet paper. It worked to relieve the public of the stench of urine, but the moma (betel nut residue spat out on the street) is probably still a problem. Who takes a leak, so to speak, the longest. The highest. The furthest.
Here in the Metropolis, though, the repainting of urinals become an issue. While I rarely ever do unbutton my fly for a leak on the roadside (it’s TMI, but I prefer buttons over zippers, LOL), I did sneak a peek inside an MMDA urinal and was repulsed by the sight of ammoniacal urine solids caking on the funnel where you’re supposed to… shake hands with The Chairman (yeah, I just had to write that down). It reeked of Hell’s bowels itself, hosed down for a regular cleaning every now and then. I suppose that corrosion from urine would do a number (1) on the metal, but I don’t see why painting it green should be an issue. Or why it should even help Gibo. Over time, human urine would act like paint stripper, and no matter how many times you paint it or whatever color you use, guys who tinkle while they jingle will eventually corrode an edifice to one’s ego.
In a word, vindication.
The female urinal is apparently a place where women can make water standing up, but not everyone’s Janet Jackson in the “Scream” music video, and there’s something about sanitation and all-around squeamishness. Portalets – Dante’s other circle of Hell – won’t work either. Unless the MMDA comes up with a good public information campaign for the women’s urinals, it wouldn’t work. Or we need another jingle, so to speak, by the Sexbomb Dancers. At least it’s free.
Will the green-painted urinals help Gibo’s campaign? Maybe. Will Chairman Inocentes’ campaign of “re-greening Metro Manila” lead to urea being converted to fertilizer? Maybe. What green: mucus, puke, or weed green? We don’t know yet. All I know is that my stream of thought led to a stream of piss, and maybe convinced one dude out there that politics and piss is serious business.
Or probably the same thing.