Maybe I'm just behind the times when it comes to el baño, but when the hell did urinals go waterless??? It's hard enough to keep up with the dizzying changes of our modern lifestyles, but now I can't even retreat to the bathroom to escape the blistering invasion of technological innovation into every aspect of our lives? The bathroom was the last great sanctuary of the steadfastness of yesteryear. It was a bastion of simplicity and familiarity insulated from the neverending transformation of the outside world. Sure, public restrooms have seen the obsessive reinvention of ways to dry your hands. And yes, I may be known to tote the iPhone along for visits to the throne. (For all you know I may be blogging this from my porcelain office chair right now.) But the basic foundation of the public restroom, the urinal, has remained unchanged for thousands of years. It has survived unaffected since the days when Jesus excused himself from the table to drain the main vein after a few cups of vino at that famous dinner party of his. You pee, you flush. Water and waste disappear down the drain. So uncomplicated, yet so powerful. Apparently those days are gone.
Here are some pictures of the newly installed urinals at my office. I don't understand how they work and I'm not sure I want to know. Some trickery of the devil I'm sure. They've been completely disconnected from any water source, have no flushing mechanism and have some strange contraption where once there was a drain. [sigh] I may just start using the trees in the parking lot.
UPDATE: Ah ha! Turns out these things aren't completely waterless. I knew something was up. Apparently it takes 1/2 a liter of water (which is good for 7,000 tinklings). OK, that's not much water at all, but it is water. Details at the Sloan website.