This sounds like a joke but apparently it’s a serious problem. At least 51 people died in Amsterdam canals over the past three years, most of them gentlemen who lost consciousness and toppled forwards while relieving themselves.
The state authorities have produced a safety video pointing out the dangers of this seemingly harmless activity, and demonstrating how to empty the bladder in non-life-threatening ways.
It’s in Dutch, though short, and the pictures tell the story. Here’s the link to the YouTube hit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMPm3RnRBuk
Thanks to Mevrouw T for bringing this breaking news to my attention. I can put my hand on my heart and say I have never peed in an Amsterdam canal (that’s what kerbside flowerbeds are for) but I will now know what to do when caught short.
I’ll also take care in future never to drink canal water unless I’m really very thirsty.