Gentlemen, How Flies and Bees can Improve Your Aim
While this typically does not apply to waterless urinals, water-using urinals often have urinal screens placed at the bottom of the urinal. These urinal screens typically there for two purposes:
1. For decades, they contained chemicals to help reduce odors, but many of those chemicals are now banned.
2. They helped prevent larger debris from entering the urinal drain and causing a blockage.
But some military operations found other reasons for installing urinal screens. They began placing urinal screens that had a red dot – or many red dots - at the bottom of the urinal. The main reason for this: it encourages guys to improve their aim.
After all, if sharing a barracks with 20, thirty, or more guys, the urinal area can get pretty messy. Better aim meant the bathrooms stayed cleaner and more hygienic.
However, in the 1960s, the Dutch army took this a step further. The screens were designed with etched flies of different colors worked into the urinal screen pattern. According to Keiboom Van Bedoff, a Dutch maintenance worker, adding the flies helped guys improve their aim much better. This was because they now focused their attention on trying to immobilize the flies (even though they were nothing but plastic).
“They now had the ability to use one’s natural gifts and achieve victory over the foe while standing,” he explained. Guys, he felt, can always beat flies. “That’s why urinating on flies is so satisfying.”
However, this idea of adding insect targets to urinal screens actually goes way back. In the 1890s, some urinal screens in Britain were designed with etches of bees, not flies. This became the favored urinal screen target throughout the U.K.
Why bees and not flies is anybody’s guess. But what we do know today is that these types of screens are rarely used. However, based on the appearance of some men’s restrooms today, it might be time to bring them back.