The Shewee is a sleek, unobtrusive device that has proved immensely popular with women all over the world. It comes in two parts - an interestingly shaped funnel (which looks quite ergonomic and groovy) and a long plastic tube. The idea is that the funnel collects and the tube directs the business. You can use just the funnel if you like, but if you’re after a bit more direction or if you have longer shorts on, you can use the tubing - which is, incidentally, easily replaceable at the hardware retailer if it gets lost, and at any length you want. The tube and funnel fit nicely and unobtrusively into a neat little plastic case (mine is bright pink), but only just - this is perhaps something to think about if you’re buying new plastic tubing. Remember the age old saying, size isn’t everything, it’s what it needs to fit into that’s important. Or did I make that one up myself?
Bouyed up by a beautiful sunny day and the nearby mountain covered in snow, I decided to take the Shewee for a test run. I’ve always had a bit of a burning desire to write my name in the snow and I’ve never really been quite sure why - perhaps some deeply buried, territorial animal urges coming out, or perhaps because I was always jealous of the boys I knew in Northern Canada who had many years of practice under their belts (or should I say, in their trousers) and access to a lot of fresh snow. I’ve had a few goes at it in the past but the best I’ve ever achieved is a wobbly beginning to an ‘M’. I just don’t have the hip flexibility, bladder control or effective aim to pull it off using my female bits - and it doesn’t help that the name ‘Marjorie’ is a particularly challenging name to inscribe in the snow (I know this because one of my Northern Canadian friends tried it and struggled with both the length and the dots above the J and the I). However, when I first pulled the Shewee out of its pretty pink holder and observed it’s long, flexible plastic extension tube I thought to myself, “Aha! I know what this baby will be good for.” I decided that I should probably start with my family nickname (the pee-in-the-snow-friendly ‘Mim’, with an un-dotted ‘i’).
I did take the Shewee people’s suggestion of having a trial run in the shower, and all went well. No pee seems to cling to the funnel making washing easy (it’s apparently made of a special plastic) and the ergonomic shape was indeed that. Sam definitely got the design right - she’s won awards for it, after all - because I had no problems with leakage, even when I peed as hard as I could. The company is based in the UK but there are stockists everywhere - check out the website for details. A quick search took me to the Australian website, where you can buy the funnel part for $19.90AUD and the full kit (funnel, tube and carry case) for $29.90AUD online, plus $4AUD for postage.
Keen for a snowy, outdoor adventure and the acquisition of a new skill, I filled up the ink bottle with a few cups of tea before leaving the house, and also packed a water bottle and thermos for when I got up into the snow. Tasmania doesn’t get that much snow and I think the state only owns one, ancient snowplough, so most of the road up the mountain was closed. I had to find an appropriate snow bank by briskly walking up some trails from the carpark, my ink pot full to bursting and my Shewee clutched in my hand like one of those power walking weights. It took forever, of course (everything takes forever when you need to pee), but eventually I found a good patch of snow, a clean slate for my first attempt at an equipment-assisted snow scribing.
The result? Not very good, I’m afraid. ‘Mim’ was maybe just recognisable, but ‘Marj’ and ‘Marjorie’ were too much for me. My attempts were wobbly, inconsistent and there were no dotted ‘i’s. I didn’t have quite enough control or staying power, but people have since told me that this comes with practice. I do have to say that the Shewee performed very well - my problems were predominantly biological.
Perhaps I shouldn't be too hard on myself. Mum still has my first attempts at handwriting and these weren’t exactly recognisable either - it took me quite a few years to learn how to spell my name - so I decided that practice makes perfect and that if at first you don’t succeed, you should try try, try again. So I will. If you see me walking briskly up a snowy trail with a bright pink package in my hand and a pained expression on my face, please don’t stop me for a chat - I’m probably on my way to pee-writing practice with my Shewee and a full to bursting inkpot!
For more information about the Shewee, please visit the website and follow the links to find a stockist near you.
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