Ask McFartnuggets: “Why Does Hearing Running Water Make Me Want To Pee?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
How come the sound of running water makes me have to pee? Is it a matter of conditioning like Pavlov’s dog salivating to the sound of a ringing bell? If that’s the case then shouldn’t hearing things plop into water make me want to poop? Well they don’t. So what’s the dealio with that?! -- Roland from New Kensington, Pennsylvania

Dear Roland:
Science doesn’t fully understand the link between the sound of running water and the need to urinate. Many speculate that it is indeed a function of conditioning as you mentioned. As to why the sound of things plopping into water doesn’t make you need to shit, I think it’s complicated. First of all, you pee about twice as often as you shit (hopefully) so you hear the sound of pee a lot more. When it comes to the sound of shitting you hit different notes almost every time. Turds are like snowflakes, there are no two entirely alike. Even if you eat the same exact things every day there will be slight variations in how the feces forms. Based on your activity and countless other factors, the poo may break up and shift around in the intestines differently each time. With such a chaotic variation in size, shape, texture, speed, etc. There’s no definitive sound of a dump. When you’re peeing it’s pretty much that same sound every time. Taking a crap on the other hand is a unique adventure every single time and when you add in random farts there’s no getting used to that. Despite all that, I think if you were trying to hold a dump in and you hear the sound of turds it probably would make matters worse for you. Obviously it’s not as pronounced an effect as running water to urine, but there is something there.

Waterfalls are like nature's piss factories.

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