TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAP) - The Florida State Legislature today passed a bill banning all urinal chatter and related noises in men's public restrooms by a margin of almost three-to-one. The bill makes Florida the first state to outlaw such activity, and proponents are thrilled.
"How many times have you been standing at a urinal, performing your urinatory business, and some dude that you don't even know saunters up to the urinal next to you, whips it out, then starts making small talk about the weather or last night's ball game?" said Sen. Thad Altman, who co-sponsored the bill along with Rep. Evan Jenne. "Well, no more!
"This is an awesome day for the men who pee in the great state of Florida," added Altman. "I don't go to the men's room to socialize, and I don't want to hear about your wife's knitting class while I'm there. I want you to just shut up and go - and now the law is on our side."
The new law provides for a $75 fine for first time offenders, while men with multiple offenses could face up to a year in prison. "And believe me," said Jenne, "you won't be talking to anyone in the bathroom while you're in the Florida State Penitentiary, that is for damn sure."
Jenne said gaining support for the bill wasn't difficult, as most of Florida's male lawmakers agreed that with men's rooms smelling so bad, they don't even want to open their mouths to breathe, let alone talk. He noted that talking isn't the only item targeted by the new law - groaning, sighing, and mumbling while urinating in public are also banned.
"That's a big part of it too," said Gov. Rick Scott. "When the fella at the urinal next to you starts in with the 'Unnhhh' and 'Ahhhhh' - well, that's just downright nasty. No one is comfortable when that type of thing is going on. No one."
Not all Floridians are as supportive of the new law. Florida Civil Liberties Union President Collier Bay calls it a "clear violation of the men of Florida's right to free speech" and said his group will be appealing for a repeal, taking their case to the state supreme court if necessary.
"It doesn't matter how uncomfortable it makes anyone else," Bay told CAP News while taking care of business at a local Taco Bell. "If I want to make small talk, sing a song, or even recite the Lord's Prayer while I'm relieving myself at a public urinal, that's my right to do so." He then emphasized his point by flushing.
The new anti-urinal-chatter law takes effect on the first of the year.
- CAP News Staff