Monday, May 30, 2011

Wet Ankles at IKEA

I love IKEA. Against my better judgment. I’ve noticed there seems to be something lost in translation here though. People seem genuinely surprised that IKEA is not exactly built for quality. It’s nice stuff. It’s decent stuff. It will last a little while, but let’s be honest, it is built with the hopes that you will switch out your entire household in a couple of years. And it works.

Despite the transient quality of IKEA, I spend way too much time there. Which is probably how I ended up at an IKEA just outside of Chicago about a week ago. This time though, I was there for food. Kalles Kaviar and sil to be exact. Maybe some Bilar.

But, because I seem to attract grossness (an actual word by the way), my trip to IKEA was no ordinary trip. Because while I was at IKEA, I was peed on. Seriously.

I went to the bathroom before leaving the store. I needed to pee. It happens. There were three urinals, a common enough set-up really. But there are unspoken urinal rules that should be followed. I found myself in the gray zone. There was a man on the left and a man on the right leaving the middle one open. Now, normally, taking the middle urinal is completely acceptable in this case. But the man on the left was finishing up. Zipping up even. I hesitated for a second, considered waiting just a little bit and allowing him to leave and me to slide in. In retrospect, I wish I had. But I thought it would be awkward. So to the middle stall I went.

To my left was a very old man. Old old. We did not speak while I began peeing. While speaking at the urinal can sometimes be viewed as acceptable, for example, after several beers, maybe at a sports bar, talking at the urinals in the IKEA bathroom is not acceptable. So I kept my mouth shut. In retrospect, I kind of wish I had. Again. Because, as I stood there I felt a slight spray on my left leg.

Now, having a penis includes some responsibility. Like ensuring that you are peeing where you need to. Sometimes you miss. It’s understandable. So I looked down to make sure that I was not, in fact, peeing on myself. I was not. I looked at the urinal to see if there was any way the urinal could be leaking water. It was not. There was only one explanation to be had. The man to my left was spraying my leg with urine. I assume he had prostate problems. Remember, he was old old. This does not excuse it, but gross. He finished up, and walked away. The spray stopped. Now I’m not always the sharpest tool in the shed, and logical conclusions sometimes elude me, but I feel fairly confident in putting two and two together and getting old man urine on my leg.

Finally, I finished up myself. A couple quick shakes, and away to the sink I went. And, for the first time in my life, I washed not just my hands, but also my ankle.

Welcome to Swedish-America. And golden showers.

Subscribe to a Swedish American in Sweden


  1. I'd hate to see what happens if you used the urinal at the Mumbai Ikea...

  2. That, my friend, is DISGUSTING. You should have given him a beating, regardless of his being old old. And, may I add, if you instead were to sit down and pee, this would never happen. Conclusion: men should sit down and pee, it'd be better for everyone, obviously including the men themselves.

  3. I think this is no doubt, one of those experience that make you"grow up". You are a man now.
    I don't know if I'm more of a woman too because I went to this crazy music festival on Friday and my friend peed on me, on the leg. Naked leg. And there was no IKEA toilet around to clean myself consider yourself lucky:)

    (mental note: do not stay next to someone who is peeing - even if it's your friend and you are supposed to act as a wall).

  4. Just sit on the bowl like us females and all will be fine :P

  5. Really? I mean, you just can't make stuff like this up! And the pattern of events with this specific anatomical subject matter is slightly alarming.....

  6. @terander & @Samantha - Sitting down may sound fine in principle but as I'm sure most men will confirm it's not always that simple. Imagine you've had a jar or two, it's dark and you're tired, you sit down and let go. BUT, you've forgotten to "tuck in". A few splashes on the ankle are nothing in comparison to a 2 pint puddle on the floor. We need our urinals. :)

  7. Reminds me of the joke I learned in Brooklyn from a Jewish friend about the moyel who cut on the bias...

  8. I have to admit, you really have the best stories. I laughed out loud!

  9. I'm laughing really hard right now, but I feel so bad for you! How would one not realize that was happening?!

  10. So gross- and I'm glad I'm a girl!

  11. I have to agree with Juni!

    Sorry, couldn't help laughing at your misery. And I laughed even harder reading Rusti's comment,haha, consider yourself lucky, lucky, my friend!

    But sitting down and peeing is not something us (we?) women can do everywhere, so it is overrated, though I thank the men who do that when we share a toilet.
    But while you got peed on, we have the privilege of sitting down on someone else's pee if we are not careful - and that is more disgusting than having just your ankle "golden showered", believe you me.
    Reminds me of when at a Brussels airport I had to laugh at the different cultural references around the world: knowing that women do not sit on public toilets, they came up with this special cut for it, due to which we could keep our legs closer together and closer to the toilet while standing up to pee, which was supposed to make it easier for us to hit the right spot INSIDE the toilet for the pee to pour in without having to "stain" our legs on the rim of the basin and possibly with the pee of others. But the funniest thing was that they had instructions to ensure that we understood what to do and they read: "take the skiing position". Haha! And to make sure that we, tropical countries dwellers, would understand what they meant, there was a drawing! Hahahahahaha!
    But even though your trip to Ikea was unfortunate at the end, I have to envy you for being able to have Kalles kaviar and sill... Oh, how I miss that...

  13. I also agree with Juni, except for the girl part.

  14. My best friend is living in Chicago right now! Cool. And she's been to IKEA several times to buy some food from home =)

  15. @Rusti – eww.

    @terander – yes it is. And come on now, where’s your Swedish neutrality? No need to hit him. And finally, false. Standing up while peeing is amazing. Always.

    @TNT – I like your theory. Its like a second puberty. Except when Im 27.

    @Samantha – Don’t boss me.

    @Girl in Stockholm – yup. I wish I was making it up.

    @urinal guy – an excellent point. Its hard to control the thing sometimes when sitting. – I don’t know that one Im afraid.

    @anonymous – glad you could laugh at my discomfort.

    @anonymous – he was old. Maybe he was senile?

    @Juni – very gross.

    @Nicci – I think that’s fair enough in this case.

    @asazevedo – that has to be one of the greatest explanatory posters ever.

    @Per – also fair enough.

    @Natalie – warn her about the guys toilet. She should never go in there.