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Nothing underscores a breakdown of law and order quite like catching a man relieving himself on a wall with a sign that screams “Hold it in, or else….” In times like this, I don’t reach out for that juicy fruit gum and pretend to chill. Most certainly not! In fact, I secretly wish for two things: (1) super power to zap that dumb*ss, or (2) toothy sanitation laws that could, let’s say, chomp off that society menace of an appendage.

But after seeing this behavior a lot of times (I once saw a man urinating on a huge sign that ironically says “Muntinlupa, Nagkakaisa, May Disiplina” which was my inspiration for the photo shown below), I began to rethink my “public-urination-is-a-serious manifestation-of-a-breakdown-in-law-and-order” diagnosis.

Lest this photo is misconstrued, this is not me doing my own version of “territorial marking”. This is me modeling a complex behavior that has deep socioeconomic, political and psychological roots–emptying one’s bladder in public. Ok, you have my permission to grab that box of Kleenex tissues and wipe that blood dripping off your nose.

And so I delved into the depths of the human psyche, forayed into the socioeconomic, political, and psychological roots of peeing au naturel, and consequently gained a deeper appreciation of this complex behavior which modern society now classifies as a misdemeanor. Here are some of the ideas that I developed:

  1. Public Urination as a Sign of Failure of Potty Training During Childhood. This is also known as “It’s my mama/yaya’s fault”.
  2. Gaining Control Over Bodily Functions and Living a Full, Empowered Life. According to this school of thought, when you have to go, you REALLY have to go. No one can exercise regulatory supervision over how, when and where one discharges his bodily fluids.
  3. The Private/Public Space Dichotomy. A person has four regions surrounding him — intimate space, personal space, social space and public space. You will be damned if you empty your bladder in your intimate space. This is why your mother insisted that you go to the comfort room first before going to sleep.
  4. Tragedy of the Commons. The smell of urine is not only an assault to the olfactory senses, it is an affront to our right to breath clean air. A tragedy! (What? You don’t know what “The Tragedy of the Commons” is? Now, that’s tragic! 😉 )
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3 thoughts on “The Complex Socioeconomic, Political and Psychological Ramifications of…Peeing in Public

  1. you have your point there, jun. but this is also a cultural issue. innate among pinoy is the idea of “spacelessness” or “no-boundary-ness”. our house has a sala, dining, sleeping quarter all rolled into one. wedding reception is extended to the street. pagbulad humay ngan lugit ada ha kalsada. bahay kubo has originally no fence. we have sirong for baboy, pato, and same time a playground or tambakan mga old stuffs. maybe this cultural attribute has psychologically influenced us to dispose our “bodily fluids” just anywhere. hehehe

    or we simply sorely missed the idea of nationalism, which is another issue to talk about.

  2. i’ll go with your 4th idea. but then again, a part of my cerebrum thinks that it’s a problem and an issue of upbringing; not of bladder training per se. seriously?! 😛

    let muntinlupa and the entire country implement the teeth they have in singapore (or with other nations with similar strict rules).

  3. Pingback: Octobeerfest! « Galang Pusa

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