Alexi Duggins is at your mercy: send him to a new weird London experience every week and he’ll do it. This week: pee-controlled computer games
Apparently, I’m in possession of the most fascinating bladder in London. My renal system, it seems, captivates and amazes. Forget the number of gold medals the Brits have won. Never mind BoJo’s zipwire dangle. For the topic that currently holds Time Out readers in its thrall is: ‘How good is Alexi at weeing?’.
‘Hello Alexi,’ read this week’s reader suggestion. ‘I think you should write about the “pee-controlled” computer game in the toilets at the Exhibit Bar in Balham. They’re really unusual. Yours, Ed Webster.’ Well, Ed, this is all well and good, but have you considered the implications?
This makes it – by popular demand – two weeks in a row that this column has centred around my bladder. At this rate, I’ll have to insist that TO’s annual ‘Seven Wonders of London’ list includes my piss pipes. To satisfy the baying hordes of urinary aficionados, I’ll need my piddle organs (technical term) posthumously stuffed and mounted in a glass case, à la Jeremy Bentham. Eventually the day will come when my having a quiet tinkle has become an enormodome spectacular for a crowd of gibbering fans. And, frankly, that’s going to be a problem.
‘Address the bowl,’ urges the game’s co-developer Mark Melford, as we stand in front of a series of urinals topped with screens showing ‘epic fail’ videos, adverts for the bar’s drinks offers and clips of busty babes jiggling around like earthquake-stricken blancmanges.
‘Address it as what?’ I ask.
‘Just step up to the urinal, please,’ Mark insists.
As I approach the white porcelain, the screen switches to a computer game called ‘100ml Dash’. At the bottom of the urinal are three target stickers: one on the right, one on the left and one in the middle.
‘Pee in the middle to begin game,’ instructs the display.
Easier said than done. On one side of me, a photographer brandishes a camera, his face contorted in ferocious concentration. On the other, Mark is fixing me with the eager look of a proud parent. All I manage is a trickle. Still, it’s enough to make a crouching stick man appear at the starting line of a running track. Flashing red arrows instruct me to direct my widdle to the left-hand sticker. I do so and the stick man starts to run. Then the arrows flash to the right. Then to the left. Then right again. Then… You get the idea: you gotta make sure urine it to win it.
Unfortunately, my bladder is no champ. Halfway through, it runs dry and my stick man grinds to a halt. I’m given the title ‘Damp Peas’, and when I upload my score to the online leaderboard, I come in a measly thirty-first. Clearly, I’m no piss artist.
And that, ladies and gents, is it. No bladder pyrotechnics. No amazing feats of weedom. Nothing. Now, can we please try a challenge that doesn’t involve me peeing? For a happy ending does not lie down this path. Unless you curb this obsession, it’ll take over your life. And before you know it, you’ll be doing something massively ill-advised: retraining as a urologist. Why so ill-advised? Well, it’s not gonna make you popular. After all, no one likes a piss taker…
Suggest next week’s task at @alexiduggins.