Tuesday, July 21, 2009

“I’ll have a pee please, Bob.”

The differences between the sexes is well documented (predominantly in emails which periodically pepper inboxes with titles like Why men are crap and 100 shitty chat-up lines and 100 witty ripostes to 100 shitty chat up lines etc. These usually arrive with such proliferation it’s almost as if email itself was invented as a vehicle to convey anti-male sentiments by dreary imbeciles reliant on similarly comedically-challenged individuals to tell them what’s funny. But I digress…) For all the physiological and emotional differences, there’s one which I find particularly baffling: namely, the ability to pee on demand.

Now, I’m an average bloke. I might urinate, three, or perhaps four times a day, depending on the volume I imbibe and my body’s ability to strip it of its nutritional value and expel the yellowy stuff it doesn’t need. I think this is typical of chaps: when we need to go, we go. When we don’t, we can’t. Femalekind, however, is a very different kettle of proverbials.

The reason it’s recently caught my attention is that we’re in the process of potty training our two-year-old. She’s actually doing very well indeed and appears to have got the hang of it pretty swiftly. This could be something to do with the fact that she knows she’ll be rewarded by encouraging cheers of delight and general whooping sounds every time she produces something. On receiving these, she’s beside herself with glee.

To keep the parental delight coming therefore, she’s able to generate something what seems like every few minutes: more wee equals more praise which, in turn, equals more endorphins coursing through her tiny frame making her feel happy. The fact she’s able to do this at will though, isn’t unusual. Any female can do this. Take, for example, a doctor’s request for a urine sample. Personally, unless it falls into my four-hourly cycle as described above, Doc could be in for a very long wait, though any woman is able to produce something seemingly out of thin air. Long car journeys are another example. Women can generally ‘strain the greens’ before getting into the car whether they need to go or not, though blokes will cheerfully sit in a car for hours without feeling the urge.

There may be an evolutionary reason for this mysterious ability. Perhaps, on making the long journey out of Africa, it prevented our nomadic ancient ancestors from having to stop every five minutes to find a convenient shrub, thereby keeping them from the clutches of long-grass-dwelling predators. It probably didn’t impact other elements of the journey though which remain hereditary to this day: “Brake! You’re walking too fast!”, “I told you we should have turned right back there.” “I’m sure I’ve forgotten something…”, “Did I leave the grill on?” etc. Ho, ho!


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