Politicians and public health officials tell us we’re all in this together and perhaps we were initially. But then they closed the bars. Next went theaters, churches and entertainment venues. Today, most restaurants are shuttered except for a table by the front door where customers retrieve take away orders. People still can walk into convenience stores or gasoline stations but not to use the restroom. Because toilets have to be disinfected frequently, most small businesses simply closed their facilities.

All these well-intentioned government edicts caused immediate problems for people who liked to begin their day with jumbo mocha lattes. I’m told the Covid closing of restrooms is especially stressful for women. “You can just go stand behind a tree, but we need something more private and secure,” one female acquaintance recently said.

There are advantages to pissing standing up. I never worry, for example, when a highway sign says ‘65 miles to the next rest stop’ since I know there will be plenty of Frontage Road exits before then.

Unfortunately, when returning to the car after seeking roadside comfort, I’ve been greeted by my wife with a baleful stare and the words, “You’re just disgusting.” A period of silence follows until we arrive at the next service plaza.

I would never accuse women of penis envy but I’m guessing many feel they do not fully benefit from being homo erectus. Well, now that’s in the past thanks to the timely arrival of Female Urination Devices. Indeed, FUDs are this summer’s hottest travel accessory.

Tinkle Belle

Tinkle Belle’s black shaft folds out to a length of 9-inches because “size matters”

Can’t pop into the restroom at Burger King or McDonald’s? Or don’t like the look of the loo you find open? Then buy a Tinkle Belle, a foldable FUD marketed to women of adventure that asks, “Wouldn’t it be great to run without having to worry about finding a large bush to squat behind?”

Want something at a slightly lower price point than the $27 Tinkle Belle? Then check out the PeeBuddy  from India or the Go Girl, which admonishes its customers “Don’t take life sitting down.”

Go Girl

Women buying Go Girl are advised to practice in the shower first before taking it on the road

Empowerment takes on a whole new meaning  with the $17.49 Easy Peezy, a self-styled “pee funnel” that advises women in need to “Stand, aim and wee – downwind of course – without having to bear your assets, strip off layers of clothing, or wander off into the woods to squat behind a bush.” Then there’s the SheWee, whose advertising begins with the order: DON’T SQUAT! “Stand up and take control, and avoid the filthy festival portable loos, and grim public toilets!”

The term FUD slowly is being replaced by the acronym StP, which stands for “Stand to Pee.” One of the more popular StPs is the American made Su Amiga. It collapses like the telescoping water glass you used to take on Boy Scout camping trips. Leave it to America to produce the best ad campaign. Su Amiga’s Nothing like peeing in the open air video almost made me wish I were female.

Su Amiga female urination device

Women can wear Su Amiga under their pants. When the need arises, they can unzip and pop out the nozzle

There are dozens of YouTube videos pitched to that part of the population that yearns to pee standing up, which is good since I can’t personally vouch for the efficacy of FUDs. My experience with female genitalia relates more to procreation than urination. My ignorance of the vagina’s fluid dynamics is so complete that I have difficulty imagining how StPs fit.

I can state with confidence that having a penis doesn’t make you a straight shooter. Why do you think men always lift the toilet seat? Tinkle Belle says errant spray is not a problem since it unfolds to a length of 9-inches. “Size matters,” it declares.

Humm…Perhaps men and women aren’t as different as they imagine.