For Women Only: Ice Cubes, Flies, and Modesty Panels
I think the discussion started when I mentioned that there were ice cubes in the urinal at the restaurant. I've never been sure whether the practice of putting ice cubes in urinals is because they act as a deodorizer or because they give you something to aim at. Regardless, women are often surprised to hear about ice cubes in urinals (on the rare occasions that the subject is broached, that is, so I guess "often" is an overstatement). When I google "ice cubes" and "urinal" I find that both theories are espoused. Whatever the original reason, two good outcomes for the price of one is not a bad deal.
I do know for certain that the decals of flies in the urinals at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam are there for the express purpose of keeping the pee off the floor by giving guys something to aim at. Of course, a stationary fly is an easy target, like shooting fish in a barrel as it were, but a moving target would no doubt defeat the purpose.
After we'd beaten the subjects of ice cubes and flies into dead horsemeat, someone brought up the fact that many guys freeze up and can't pee when there's no partition between one's urinal and one's neighbor's. George, who works for an architectural firm, mentioned that there's an industry term for the partitions between urinals: "modesty panels." That was news to me. I've been using urinals most of my life, and I never knew the partitions were called "modesty panels." I feel a bit like Moliere's Bourgeois Gentilhomme, who was surprised to learn that he'd been speaking prose all his life.