Splashing out for Christmas

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The Independent Online
Stuck for that last-minute Christmas present? Fresh from the hi-tech powerhouse that is modern Germany, the gift for the man who has everything: a device to stop splashback when urinating.

Men are reluctant to admit it, but all of them do splash around the urinal - especially after the office Christmas party. Now the nation's trousers are safe thanks to Man Paper, an apparatus developed by a retired German civil servant.

Based on the conventional plastic tubing used in hospitals to assist men with prostate troubles, Man Paper is made from recycled paper with a funnel opening, which tapers into a hose. After use, the "hose" is simply dropped into the pan and flushed away.

According to its sole UK importer, Dagmar Dittmar, it comes in rolls of 50 in a dispenser. Normally sold in cases of 10 rolls, the price per roll is £2.10.

A spokesman for the company sounded a second seasonal note with the news that at least one major food-processing factory, supplying turkeys to major supermarkets, had installed the system a few weeks ago to improve hygiene. To solve the disposal problem,the company has provided (relabelled) sanitary towel disposal bins adjacent to the urinals in the gents.

According to Mrs Dittmar, the invention followed the death of a friend who had contracted Hepatitis B. This is a notifiable disease in Germany, and public health inspectors pinpointed splashback as the source of the infection. Mrs Dittmar has fitted dispensers in her own house and expects all male visitors to make use of them.