Monday, September 26, 2005
When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go 
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
From Murphysboro, IL (not Murfreesboro, TN):
(AP) MURPHYSBORO, Ill. Police in Murphysboro have nabbed a 23-year-old man who tried to make off with a portable toilet in the back of his El Camino. Police say Gerad Gobel of Versailles took the outhouse from the site of the Murphysboro Barbecue Cook-Offs, which were held over the weekend. Authorities say the toilet fell out of Gobel's vehicle, but officers found a road barricade and a large amount of raw sewage left behind in the El Camino. Gobel was arrested early this morning and faces DUI and felony theft charges.
Is toiletlessness next to lawlessness?
(AP) Manhattan, NY - Toiletlessness is a chronic problem in Manhattan, and many New Yorkers spend a lifetime assembling a mental map of those special hotels, coffee shops and bookstores about town that have clean restrooms open to the public. Some small amount of relief could be on the way.

City officials announced this week that they have chosen a Spanish advertising company to install as many as 20 public pay toilets in Manhattan, as part of a larger project to replace 330 newsstands and 3,300 bus shelters. Under the agreement, announced Wednesday, Cemusa Inc. would install the toilets and other structures for free, and then hope to turn a profit by selling advertising on the kiosks and shelters. Patrons would pay a fee - no more than a dollar - to use the toilets, which would be in operation by 2007. The city would get a share of the advertising revenue -- perhaps $1 billion over 20 years.
A dollar to use a public toilet? Are they trying to become the Starbucks of toilets? Let's hope New York doesn't install those dreadful optical bill-readers that reject all but the most pristine sawbucks. It could be worse. Pay toilets could mimic the Internet, forcing those unable or unwilling to cough up $1.00 to watch an infomercial or Disney trailer before the toilet door opens.