ANNAPOLIS, JAN. 25 -- It's not often that you have a chance to make history while using a public restroom, but female baseball fans at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore may have a chance to enter the annals of American plumbing.

The Orioles are contemplating installing some test models of the "she-inal," a device that allows women to urinate while standing up and is meant to make a trip to the bathroom shorter and more hygienic.

The device is kind of a cross between a gas pump and a urinal, and initial reaction has been less than enthusiastic. Some have suggested that it was designed by Martians.

"They're out of their minds, this is disgusting," said Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman (D-Baltimore), the sponsor of a "potty parity" bill this year that would require new public buildings to have an equal number of facilities for men and women.

Since word got out that the Orioles were considering trying out the device this season and possibly installing it at the new stadium being built in Baltimore's Camden Yards, a debate has been raging among women over whether anyone will use it.

"A woman who heard about it wrote to me and said, 'I'm a yuppie mom and I think this is disgusting!' " said Janet Marie Smith, vice president of stadium planning for the Orioles.

"It must have been designed by a man!" said Agnes Lords, of Annapolis.

But the inventor of the device, neither man nor Martian, says it will revolutionize the bathroom experience for women.

"I made a major discovery: No matter how disgusting toilets are, {this device means} we don't have to make physical contact with them," said Kathie Jones, president and chief executive of Urinette of Pensacola, Fla.

The she-inal device is basically a funnel at the end of a hose. The user first pushes a button that drops a sanitary paper cover over the funnel. The funnel is held with a handle and is not intended to make contact with the skin. Urine, toilet paper, and paper guard are all flushed away and the funnel is left clean for the next user. The devices would be placed in stalls for privacy.

Jones, a sales representative for a hospital supply company, got the idea from her life on the road.

"It came to me one day when I was out in the boondocks, when I was in a place where the only bathroom available was the kind you can smell before you go inside it," she said.

The patented device, which comes in white or smoky gray, will cost $556 each, compared to about $275 to $300 for a standard toilet.

Orioles officials are hoping the she-inal will help shorten the lines for the womens' restrooms, a chronic problem in large public venues such as Memorial Stadium.

A recent study of restroom users in Virginia offered empirical evidence for a well-known equation: women take more than twice as long as men -- three minutes versus 84 seconds -- to go to the bathroom. The extra time was not from primping, as men often suggest, but from preparatory activities such as removing clothes and hanging up purses and from having children along.

The makers of the she-inal say the fixture is faster to use because it requires less clothing adjustment.

"I don't know about that, you've still got to take off what you took off before," said the skeptical Hoffman.

The new stadium, with seating for 47,000, has been designed with fewer facilities for women than for men. The women will have 28 restrooms with 331 stalls compared to 28 men's restrooms with 104 stalls and 255 urinals.

"Why do they still skimp on the women? My bill would eliminate this," Hoffman said.

Hoffman and others have introduced the parity legislation for years, but it routinely dies. The cause has fared better in Virginia, where legislation went into effect last year that mandates proportionately more restrooms for women than men in many public places.