Some men have spent large fractions of their fleeting lives strategizing over this question, while most give it nary a second thought
. For these men, it's all about instinct
IANAA (I am not an anthropologist), but here's what I've noticed about the ritualistic subculture at work in the mere act of choosing a urinal.
In the following examples, let ( ) be an unoccupied urinal and (X) be an occupied urinal. Assume that the pissers are along the north wall, with the sinks along the south wall, the door to the west, and the stalls to the east.
Many of you already know what to do in these situations, but may not know exactly why. To those, reading the explanations can prove to be enlightening as well. To those of you whose instincts have been breeded thin, here's a quick and dirty guide to choosing a urinal.
A( ) B( ) C(X) D( ) E(X) F( )
In this situation, A is the obvious choice. If you don't immediately see that on your own, maybe you should ask yourself if you're really in the appropriate restroom.
A(X) B( ) C( ) D( ) E( ) F( )
The best choice here is F, but E works, too. Both are far enough away from A, but at F you're less likely to end up next to a guy who doesn't know what he's doing.
A( ) B( ) C( ) D( ) E( ) F( )
You might think it doesn't matter here, when actually 2 factors come into play. A is a good choice, as you're next to a wall and thus half as likely to have an incoming neighbor than in any of B-E. But if you know your men's room layouts, you'll know that F is a better choice for the well-endowed man. This point is moot in the case of shoulder-to-floor style pissers, but you all know that when you're facing suspended wall-mounted pissers, F is the kiddy korner. This means that F is down around knee-level, where the well-endowed man hangs naturally.
A( ) B(X) C( ) D(X) E( ) F(X)
There's no avoiding a neighbor in this case, but choice A has only one neighbor instead of two, and so is the preferred choice.
A( ) B(X) C( ) D( ) E(X) F(X)
This may be seen as splitting hairs, but choices A or C somehow connote choosing to be next to man B, which is frowned upon in male urinal rituals. The only remaining choice is D.
A(X) B(X) C( ) D( ) E(X) F(X)
There's really no correct urinal choice in this case. All you can do is to pretend like you never really had to go. Go to the sinks, check your hair, wash your hands, and leave. You can come back before it gets urgent. If you're in an urgent situation and face case 6, continue walking and choose a real stall, where you can do your business behind a closed door.