It’s really a matter of style. A man can piss in a perfect arc if he remembers to adhere to a few simple rules. First, he must be careful not to piss upward. While this might seem to violate the concept of a “complete arc,” one must bear in mind that a “complete arc” in this context consists of any parabolic path with both upward and downward slope components that pass through a zero tangent, with an axis directed toward the center of the earth. Thus the arc stream needs only a very slight initial upward direction, before reaching maximum elevation and falling back toward the earth, to satisfy every requirement for the perfect parabolic arc.

The upward tangent of the arc must not be too steep, or the man will be unable to achieve sufficient lateral distance to keep from spraying his own shoes with the back-spatter. All men learn this early, usually as the consequence of imperfect long-distance peeing contests while they are still barefoot boys. Mothers of small male children frequently encounter the effects of this syndrome in their daily toilet-seat cleaning regimens. No man can pee in a pond without splashing. But one definition of a gentleman is a man who can pee in a pond without splashing himself – or others.

Another rule concerns fluid dynamics, which is far too complex a subject to tackle here. Suffice it to say that when two fluid streams collide, the degree to which they mutually interfere is dependent upon their relative densities, masses, viscosities, volumes, flows, shear moduli, and a host of other factors. A pee stream has much greater mass and viscosity than the air through which it flows, but a high velocity air stream can appreciably degrade the profile of a perfect urine arc. A man need not be a hydraulic engineer to pee in a pond; he needs only to know that it is poor practice to piss into the wind.

Other rules associated with peeing a perfect arc are of lesser consequence: a man must know that it is physically impossible to dodge the last drop; that he must wash his hands after peeing, even if he knows he hasn’t peed on them; that he is required to relinquish his turn if a lady needs to go first, for various mechanical and social reasons; and that an emotionally mature man is one who has finally accepted the fact that it is ok to pee sitting down…

When I was prepubescent, a girl in my neighborhood could pee standing up, right alongside of the boys (I’m not sure how she did it, but I remember that it required the use of both hands). In fact, she was perfectly willing to do so on any occasion. She was also capable of beating the hell out of any boy in the neighborhood any time she wanted. Of course, when she peed, she couldn’t attain much distance and she tended to splatter on her feet. She was definitely no gentleman…

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