Ready, steady aim ... it can be so hard to keep the boys on the straight and narrow

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 26 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 26 March, 2011, 12:00am

Guys make a mess. And Chinese men are worse. I know, because I am one. So, Taiwan has taken to an island-wide campaign to clean up their act - when they answer nature's call.

Thousands of posters like the one pictured above have been put up in public toilets. The message appeals to the vanity and aggression of men. 'Take aim! Be a proud sharpshooter ... please stand close to urinal.' Similar campaigns have been launched on and off on the mainland for years.

A necessary message, no doubt, but the cheapest and most effective is still probably the famous fake fly in the Amsterdam airport urinals. According to behavioural economists Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, the Dutch example has been copied at airports in Moscow, New York, Munich, Singapore, Seattle and Detroit; others include Purdue University, the University of Colorado and Broward College in the US, and tertiary institutions throughout Holland.

Taiwanese municipal authorities obviously haven't learned.

Even The Globe, the trendy bar in Central, has had 'pee soccer goals' in the urinals for years, requiring users to 'shoot' the tiny ball into the hole. A while ago, a ball was stolen, said owner Toby Cooper. Yuck. What deranged drunk would do such a thing? But do the pee goals work? 'Well, it's hard to keep the boys on the straight and narrow when they have had a couple of drinks,' Cooper said.