Since legislation came into force requiring all urinators to leave the immediate vicinity of swimming pools, the sight of miserable shivering outcasts pissing sadly in doorways has become a familiar feature of Britain's towns. The tobacco industry, still smarting from the ban on smoking in public places, is speaking out against this further infringement of civil liberties.
"For us, it's not just about the cigarette business, we're more concerned with the gradual erosion of the rights of the individual," said a spokesman for British American Tobacco. "Cigarettes in pubs one day, pissing in pools the next - there's a clear trend towards the banning of all sociable pastimes - we cannot stand idly by and watch it happen."
The big tobacco companies have already founded a fake grass-roots organisation, "Freedom Of Right to Enjoy Swimming-pool Pissing", (FORESP), hoping to give the impression of public support. "The medical evidence put forward to support this outrageous ban is fragmented and contradictory," insisted FORESP chairman Reginald Puppet. "Many doctors are certain that there are no harmful effects whatsoever of swimming in a pool full of someone else's urine, and to appease the few whingers we all have our fundamental right to piss in your pool infringed. It's a pleasant, warm feeling, and does no-one any harm, for God's sake."
David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the NHS, was adamant that a ban on public pissing was essential to protect vulnerable employees of public pools, such as lifeguards and swimming instructors, who often show signs of the harmful effects of "passive pissing". The FORESP chairman's reaction to this was of convincing outrage - "What gives these fascists the right to tell me I can't stand next to them and wee down their trouser leg? And if they're having a cigarette at the same time, all the better."
As would be expected for such an emotive issue, public opinion is divided. One pisser, Gordon Renfrew of Hull, spoke movingly of the days when his grandfather would pop round walking his whippets and think nothing of relieving himself in the family pool. "In those days, of course, it wasn't anything to be ashamed of and hidden away," he sighed. "I remember as a boy watching wide-eyed as he'd nonchalantly whip out his impressive 'pipe' and proceed to widdle through it into our blow-up paddling pool. The fact that he did so while bouncing on the trampoline was all the more impressive."
Many other people strongly resent what they see as the "selfish" attitude of pissers who carelessly pollute their environment. "I remember the days when you'd get home late from a swingers' pool party, your clothes and hair stinking of urine," complained wife-swapping enthusiast Gloria Bagshot of Crawley. "It was pretty disgusting, and you couldn't get the smell out for ages. That was last Thursday."