Encouraging Sanitary Behavior at the Urinal

From reader Scot M. comes this NPR story. To encourage proper “aiming” at urinals, some places are now placing images of bugs so that men have something to aim toward. I’ve seen these at Schiphol Airport as well as my local grocery store bathroom (and I live in a tiny town).

Keiboom in Amsterdam says the original fly idea was proposed almost 20 years ago by Dutch maintenance man Jos Van Bedoff, who had served in the Dutch army in the 1960s. As a soldier he noticed that someone had put small, discrete red dots in the barracks urinals, which dramatically cut back on “misdirected flow.”

Two decades later, he proposed to the airport board of directors that the dots be turned into etched flies. According to Keiboom, Van Bedoff decided that guys want to directly aim at an animal they can immobilize. The ability to use one’s natural gifts and achieve victory over the foe while standing is the key, he explained. Guys, he felt, can always beat flies. That’s why flies are so satisfying.