5. Laadla, Seattle
Some know Laadla as the bar-in-the-back-of-an-Indian restaurant that I have described in absolute glowing terms, only to have described back to me, using mostly the same words, in absolutely non-glowing terms. The scholars can debate whether the record collection of one of the bartenders offsets the casual smoke breaks taken by another one of the bartenders. What's not up for debate is the bathroom, which has a urinal covered with the grossest, something-spattered plastic seem by mankind and a machine that uses mechanical energy to vend 50-cent condoms. Best part: this bathroom is not exclusive to the bar, but shared with the restaurant, which advertises candlelight dining. Sure.
4. Agricultural Engineering North, UMass Amherst
In this dilapidated old building, built in 1918, there are legit floor-to-ceiling urinals. These beasts are in pristine condition. I feel like I'm peeing on art and the floor at the same time. Lovely.
3. The Eastlake Zoo, Seattle
Two words: trough urinal. I'm a fan of these wonderful devices, which could also double as a way to provide water to horses. But not at the same time as normal use.
I like this one because there's a chalkboard mounted above it, which fulfills everyone's graffiti instinct without the mess. Yet there's no chalk.
Amidst all this trough-urination and legitimized vandalism: hands-free paper towel dispensers! Score one for health.
2. 4th Floor Chadbourne Hall, UMass
As an esteemed and highly educated professional in the environmental engineering field (who might be my father) noted, "You could drop a shit in those urinals".
The toilet stall closest to the window provides a nice view while you poo. (Also occasional debate about the baby boomers' contributions to music).
1. Victory Lounge, Seattle
An incredibly easy choice for first prize. As you walk into this restroom you realize you have two choices. One of them is a bed of icecubes separated by a low wall. This is the trough urinal taken to its logical end. Yeah this is where you're supposed to relieve your bladder. On some random ice on the floor. Is there a drain down there? I sure hope so. For extra points try to melt an entire cube.
What if you have other objectives? Very barely separated from this space is the most cramped toilet stall you'll ever find. Want to lock the door? Tough shit, but that will hardly be necessary as 1) Your head will be sticking out, observing those icing their piss 2) You'll be holding it closed with your horribly compressed knees.
Is it any wonder that these magnificent commodes are split between dive bars and a major four-year research university? If I were UMass facilities, my heart would glow with pride to know I stacked up against some of Seattle's most classy drinking establishments.
Note that these establishments are all located in the United States. Not discussed here are pop-a-squat toilets, which I was able to avoid during a increasingly less recent trip to the People's Republic of China. Any dining establishment that integrates these into its restroom experience could easy find themselves shooting up the way to to number one in this list.
Congrats to all our contestants!