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Who Put Ice In The Urinal?

One of my favorite diners in Los Angeles is a place called Cafe 50's. It's one of those classic style diners with all kinds kitsch items and memorabilia decorating the walls, and they happen to make a damned tasty variety of milkshakes. Still, there's something about the place that I've always found a bit odd. Alright, two things actually.

The first thing is that the men's bathroom is located in the kitchen. I don't mean near the kitchen, I mean you literally have to walk behind the counter and past the cooks to get there. While I'm sure they're used to it, anytime I've gone to use the restroom, I can't help but feel like they're staring at me and thinking, "What the hell are you doing back here?" One of these days I've gotta build up the nerve to go back there and just grab some food for myself instead. "Oh hey guys, don't mind me... just didn't feel like waiting for our server."

The other thing about the place that confused me for a long time was this:

Who wants to make snow cones? I DO! I DO!

Ice in the urinal??? I had never seen ice in a urinal before going to this place, so it had me absolutely perplexed. At the same time, I enjoyed imagining myself as the personification of global warming while pissing upon the polar ice caps as they melted away. Well it turns out that ice in a urinal, while not something you see every day, isn't completely uncommon either. Some establishments do this in their public restrooms to prevent the spread of bacteria (which can only survive in warm temperatures), reduce the smell, and cut down on water usage. So in reality, it's definitely a good thing. Still, I can't help but think that they really do it because they always got a kick out of pissing in the snow and this is the next best thing.

Personally, if I find a place with ice in the urinal, I have one simple rule: hold the ice with your drink orders. You never know when a waiter or waitress might be having a shitty day and decide to fill your cup with some of the ol' urinal ice. Why take chances, right?

So there ya go... we all learned something new today.

In unrelated news, I'm going to be interviewed on "the world famous" KROQ radio station this Wednesday morning (June 2nd) at 9:10am on the Kevin & Bean show, so be sure to listen in live! You don't have to be in Los Angeles to hear the show, you can listen on their web site here. Should be fun!


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Julio on 06/01/2010 12:33 pm

You've seen the urinals that have lemons instead of ice, right? I assume that the same rule applies when considering ordering a lemonade with your meal (due to the lemon slice put on the glass on some places).

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Supafly345 on 06/01/2010 3:08 pm

Though I've never seen this in real life, I've seen several movies joke about this unfunnily. So I always assumed it was a normal thing somewhere.


ColdFusion (Guest) on 06/01/2010 8:12 pm

Makes sense to me.. Ice dulls odor..
I've just never seen THAT MUCH of it before. That urinal is STUFFED FULL. It's an IGLOO of wee.


ScelestusUnus (Guest) on 06/01/2010 9:03 pm

It's to keep your beer cold while you're taking a shit.


Bibbo (Guest) on 06/02/2010 12:18 am

Thanks Julio, you've just ruined Hot Dog On A Stick for me.

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bountyhunterseven on 06/02/2010 12:32 am

not to b racist, but are the owners latino?? because A LOT of mexican resturants to that here in town...even the bars in i-used-to-go-to- juarez did it. never could figure it out...

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Julio on 06/02/2010 7:22 am

bountyhunterseven, Being Mexican myself, I can tell you that seeing lemons in a urinal is more common than it being so full of ice that you would be tempted to put your six-pack of beers in for a quick cooling.

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HowardC on 06/02/2010 8:04 am

Don't misunderstand what you guys are seeing. Granted all the benefits of putting ice/lemons in a urinal are indeed true. Do you know the REAL reason they do it though? It's to keep the odor down so that they don't have to clean the bathroom as often.

Generally speaking places that do that are very unhygenic. If you see ice in a bathroom to a place that sells food DO NOT EAT THERE.

ESPECIALLY if you have to walk through the kitchen to use the bathroom!!!

Seriously Rog, we should have to tell you these things. ;-)

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D-MoN on 06/02/2010 8:59 am

Actually I've seen this in bars that my old band played at that were above board too. I thought it was wierd the first time I did it but to be honest the bathrooms were always pretty impeccable when I went there. Like y'know normally when you're afraid to us a bar's bathrooms? Well they were actually pretty nice. Though mostly I've seen it during the winter when they didn't want to just throw the ice out in the back alley. And to be honest, that never really made any sense either. I guess maybe they were just too damned cheap to buy urinal mints?

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Julio on 06/02/2010 10:02 am

HowardC, as far as I'm concerned, I've only seen such practice in bars, where I buy bottled beer, just like D-MoN says.


Nate (Guest) on 06/02/2010 11:15 am

My favorite nearby steakhouse puts ice in their urinals. Like Rog said, it's fun to melt the mountain of ice and see if there's a tiny wooly mammoth inside or something.

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IXCE on 06/02/2010 6:50 pm

It's pretty common to see ice in urinals around this area (south Texas) though I never seen lemon in it. Oh yeah almost all music venues I go to are like this as well.

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Dungeonbrownies on 06/03/2010 4:15 pm

Pretty commonplace, but yes, if not for all the reasons you listed, it's pretty fun pissing at ice. Comeon... admit it... you like seeing it run through the clear bits =P

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Pentegarn on 06/04/2010 7:52 am

"I have one simple rule: hold the ice with your drink orders. You never know when a waiter or waitress might be having a shitty day and decide to fill your cup with some of the ol' urinal ice. Why take chances, right?"


I never thought of that. Ew

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Starscream on 06/04/2010 12:24 pm

Yes, I'll have some ice with my urinal cake, thank you!


Benmark (Guest) on 06/07/2010 11:54 pm

I still think it's more odd to have to walk through the employee area to get to the bathroom.

It's just like the store near me where the public restroom is past the employee break area.

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Istoleyerkeys on 06/10/2010 10:41 am

If you happened to have a moment of stupidity and order ice in your drink while eating at this fine dining establishment, perhaps you can ensure your bases are covered by wiping your ass with the tip money you are about to leave on the table. That way, if the ice DID come from the urinal, you'll at least have the satisfaction of knowing about the waiter or waitress's impending e-coli infection well before they find out!


Misty (Guest) on 06/11/2010 3:52 am

Well, this is brand new to me, but then, I'm a girl. I don't even know the first thing about the men's room. I can't defintely say though I've never seen ice in the women's room.

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Julio on 06/11/2010 10:11 am

Misty, what have you seen then? There must be a bizarre method there too.

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Marthaeus Autolykos on 06/23/2010 1:51 am

It's pretty common in New Orleans to have both bathrooms adjoining the kitchen as well as feature ice in urinals. Don't make any hasty conclusions about the food, however, as often such establishments have some of the best grub. Plus, working in the service industry is a rite of passage here, and there remains a fraternal bond between waitstaff, bartenders, etc. so we know how to take care of each other. Besides, if someone were prone to anger waitstaff to the point of serving urinal ice that person should just stay home.


C (Guest) on 06/25/2010 10:46 pm

Ice in a urinal? Occam's razor: it's old and rather than throw it out in the street put it in the urinal. Guy like to pee on it and make it melt. You don't waste hot water melting it down in a busy sink, plus you improve the aim of men in the restroom. I've never seen or heard of lemons on a urinal, can I assume it's pretty much in the warmer areas where lemons are pretty common? Same thing then, getting rid of old stuff, granted it won't all wash down the drain, but it must be cheaper than a urinal puck.

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Istoleyerkeys on 06/26/2010 6:15 pm

Ok, Marthaeus, you have made an excellent point that the person prone to angering waitstaff that much really should just stay home. But speaking from my own experience, they don't always seem to...(I have NEVER used urinal ice for that purpose or anything similar, no matter how tempting it was at times) Psychological damage to rude patrons is much more amusing anyway.

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