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Hey, Matt:

Has there ever been any version of a urinal for women? If so, maybe the Spanos family can cut down on the lines at any future Chargers stadium by installing some of these.

-- Clairemont Paul

An interesting question, coming as it does on the heels of the astronaut-diaper revelation, which you Alicelanders should have recognized since we told you about it years ago. See? Stick with me, and hardly anything in the news will surprise you anymore. But I guess we didn't warn you about female urinals. They exist. People have been working on the concept since the early 1900s. (We're talking about the porcelain, attached-to-the-bathroom-wall type. Portable, disposable-paper or reusable-plastic devices -- glorified funnels of one kind or another -- have been available for a long time.) American Standard made them for 20 years, until the 1970s, but American women haven't taken to them. Most project from the wall inside a private cubicle and allow the woman to straddle it and stand (usually facing away from the wall) to urinate. Not much of an advantage if you're wearing pants or pantyhose. And some very embarrassing studies (actual scientific tests!) indicate that women have a really hard time controlling the direction of a urine stream. About half the women hated the idea and didn't even want to try.

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