A magical thing happens when two men urinate into the same receptacle: a bond is formed in silence, side-by-side, unknown to members of the fairer sex. Brothers are made at the trough, everlasting camaraderie formed. Though, if a bond is disrupted during its inception, an opposing and catastrophic reaction can occur…

The golden arcs ring the metal as they pelt its walls and roll to the bottom, an orchestra of manly celebration. This is no opera; the voices are silent. The herd of beer-goggled alpha-males sways in harmony to the chiming melody. The world is looking good, spinning and shifting its gravitational pull, but good.

Then comes Ted.

Ted hollers a bold, “What up, fellas?” as he enters the sanctuary and all of those currently in prayer hop at the startle. Luckily, the streams only waver and don't slip.

Ted stumbles up to the urinal and elbows himself a clear space at the packed trough. The air ripples with tension and the forming bond fluxes but doesn't break. Ted's eyes shift from side-to-side and the bond bows under the weight of his unfortunate mistakes. Those around him grit their teeth desperately trying to contain the bond's power while the sweat on their brows questions how long they can keep it up.

Ted bumps elbows on his left and turns to apologize…midstream. The arc splashes from the trough. Shoes are wet, babies are crying all over the world, and the bond crashes to the floor. One by one the charges build as men finish their evacuations and line up behind Ted. Ted finishes the deed and turns to face a lesson in physics. The laws of thermodynamics are against him, for energy cannot be created nor destroyed, and the accumulated charges convert their stored energy into what the pub-natives call a “bathroom beat-down.”

Ted was no more a victim than man-to-the-left's shoes. This wasn't a pointless act of violence. This was science. There are very specific conditions necessary for this most primal of forces—the trough bond—to take hold, and Ted tested them all.

In an effort to prevent anyone else from repeating these dangerously erroneous ways, I've provided a short, potentially life-saving list of these conditions.

1. The Parallel Paradigm

The two or more human elements must be positioned far enough from one another that elbows are prevented from making contact during the post-urination shake. The eyes must be angled in one of two directions: directly ahead, (you hear that, Ted? DIRECTLY AHEAD!) focused on the provided artwork within the 3″x3″ center square of the individuals' vision, or directly downward, counting the laces of their tennis shoes.

2. Stream Theory

No spray from the stream splashing against the trough wall is permitted to land on another person (Lord have mercy on his shoes!), nor are any dribbles allowed to fall outside of the trough at any point. (Pro tip: Make judgments for extra separation between persons and tighten up to the receptacle BEFORE beginning the bladder draining procedure.)

3. Trough Thermodynamics

The bond brought to life through this event is powerful, but as Ted has shown us, it is also fragile and susceptible to external forces during its formation. By no means should words (such as, oh I don't know, “what's up, fellas?”) ever be uttered during the bond's creation, as this will cause the bond itself to shatter. The resulting release of energy can cause a violent outcome, leading to collisions between parties, injuries, raucous sounds of disagreement, and more. (Pro tip: Restrain the chatter until both parties are finished and zipped. The post-bond conversation, typically about women in skimpy clothing loitering around the bar, will be gratefully accepted, strengthening your newly formed bromance all the more.)

If the words of advice from this article are followed, if you can refrain from being Ted, and if the conditions fall within the stated parameters, all parties involved will be able to enjoy a lifelong companionship (sorry, Ted). Shots will be bought for one another, stories traded, and blackouts shared. A Goose will be allied with every Maverick, and every Iceman will get what he deserves as you resume the night with your new wingman at your side.

Though the newest member of your pack may be forgotten in the fuzzy memories of your morning hangover (Ted surely won't), a wonderful night out and a renewed faith in your brother-man will light the way for a more fulfilling life. And if you're lucky, truly lucky, you may meet to bond once more through the experience of the trough.

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