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The Dismal Science

March 8, 2011

A question of economics from the Dear Economist column over at

Dear Economist,
Whenever I go to the gentlemen’s toilet in a pub, I’m unsure how to behave. The question is: Should I urinate on the urinal cakes or not? At first, I think that if I urinate on them I’ll help to finish them earlier, thus making the publican purchase more of them, and helping the economy.
But then I think, while I’m urinating, that if the publican has to buy more tablets, eventually he will probably have to raise the price of the beer, to my huge disappointment. So the question is, where should I urinate in the gentlemen’s toilets in the pub?
Thank you,

The answer is here.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Fat Al permalink*
    March 8, 2011 11:33 am

    Wow. I am so much smarter than I was 2 minutes ago.

  2. March 8, 2011 1:29 pm

    “Whenever I go to the gentlemen’s toilet in a pub, I’m unsure how to behave.”

    Here’s a good example of what not to do in the gentlemen’s toilet:

  3. jco permalink
    March 8, 2011 1:34 pm

    Responding to the answer, I don’t understand why hiring the glazier (or the urinal cake company) doesn’t stimulate the economy. The glazier can spend that money on anything he wants, right? It can’t be that only purchases of things that you don’t “need” in some way stimulate the economy.

    • Fat Al permalink*
      March 9, 2011 12:48 am

      True enough. In fact, if the publican were to have kept his money in his mattress instead of buying more urinal cakes, he most certainly would not have been stimulating the economy. So pee away my friend.

  4. raginrr permalink
    March 8, 2011 5:04 pm

    if said pub had one or more of these urinals there would be no question:


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