Posted in Advice on May 24th, 2003 by pottymouth

Dear Potty Mouth,

I am a law student with Supreme aspirations. Where can I get information about clerking for a Federal judge?


Wanting to Clerk for a Federal Judge

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Bird Brain

Posted in Advice on May 24th, 2003 by pottymouth

Dear Potty Mouth,

I live near Central Park, up by the northern part of it, in New York City. I go walking there with my dog just about every day, and have noticed there a very strange thing: there is a society of mallard ducks which live in the pond I often walk by, and I noticed a while ago that in the midst of the mallards is a duck which is definitely not of their kind. Unlike the small green and brown mallards, this duck is quite large, and it’s white. Despite obvious racial differences, this non-mallard duck clearly lives among and with the mallards; it swims where they swim, eats where they eat, sleeps where they sleep, etc. I always thought birds of a feather flocked together. What gives?


Bird Brain

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Wagamama – Leicester Square, WC1

Posted in London on May 24th, 2003 by hotwater

This loo is falling apart.

Tasty food, cheap food and attractive waitstaff are the reasons we love Wagamama. But with long lines, big bowls of soup and free green tea, the loos in this joint take on a new level of importance. Like the many other Wagamama restaurants in London, the Leicester Square location has simple and sleek design. However, when this loo-goer went to check out the facilities she was shocked to be confronted with a disgusting mess. No paper was available, it took a good 5 minutes before the automatic sinks would recognize her existence and most frightening of all, the ceiling looked brown and waterlogged, threatening to collapse at any moment. Needless to say, this stressful episode put a bit of a damper on my similarly brown and waterlogged buckwheat noodles.

Taja – Whitechapel Road, E1

Posted in London on May 24th, 2003 by hotwater

This loo smells like curry.

Erected in 1893, says the White Chapel Works stone outside of the trendy Taja curry house. This little Indian restaurant is in a building that actually once was a public lavatory. Now, however, it exists as a psychedelically painted restaurant that stands oddly away from the main strip of stores and close to the street. The inside of this old loo has been gutted and redesigned. There is room only for a couple of tables and thankfully the open kitchen area allows you to see most of your food being prepared. What is lacking in food quality is made up for by the odd sensation of knowing you are dining in style where almost a century of Englishmen have come to relieve themselves. That, and venturing to the loo within a loo, which is more than satisfactory with nice smelling soap and pleasant décor.

Busaba eathai – Wardour Street, W1

Posted in London on May 24th, 2003 by hotwater

This loo is posessed.

There was something wrong in the busaba eathai loo the day I was there. The automatic faucets in the sink were turning on and off of their own accord, shooting irregular bursts of water into the too general direction of the basin and when I arrived a woman in her 30’s was cringing in the corner.

“This loo’s crazy,” she muttered as I tried the first stall.

The door was extremely heavy and at first I thought the stall was occupied. I persisted, however, and slowly the door opened.

Wide-eyed, the woman said “Blimey[sic], I thought they were all full…for so… long…”

I had to switch to another stall, this time with paper, and rushed to get out of the tomb-like space as fast as possible. When I came out, the faucets were silent. There was plenty of soap and the rest of my loo experience was uneventful. As I mounted the stairs back to my pumpkin curry, I could hear a man’s surprised exclamation and a woman’s apologetic panic. The ladies’ is the first door on the left.

The Providores and Tapa Room – Marylebone High Street, W1

Posted in London on May 24th, 2003 by jcn

Entering the gents at The Providores and Tapa Room is to find an establishment that truly appreciates its loos. Dark walls give way to a gleaming porcelain urinal resting on the wall, a single spotlight trained down upon it. One can not help but take pause and admire the simplicity of the loo, sinks on the left with space enough for someone to wash while another is relieving himself, with this vision of plumbing as the focus of the room. Caution must be taken when actually utilizing the facilities, however, as the moment one approaches the urinal, he will cast his own shadow over it, severly hindering the usefulness of the illumniation.

Those uncomfortable without full visibility might consider using the stall instead.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Posted in New York on February 14th, 2002 by jcn

As can be expected, the portable loos provided backstage at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week event in New York’s Bryant Park are a cut above other portable restroom facilities. Upon entering the unit, an overhead light is illumniated, activated by standing on the soft, carpeted floor. Simultaneously, an “occupied” sign is lit outside the loo, to avoid the door-handle-jiggle (with its often-accompanied accidental-opening) which is common with the standard red/green occupancy indicator.

The flushing mechanism of this toilet is also quite unique in that there actually is one. Upon completing one’s business, a foot-operated lever is pressed and the bottom drops out of the toilet bowl, depositing its contents into the holding tank below. Release the lever and the trap-door shuts again. Neat and clean.

Additional features of the loo include a working sink, a fan to keep the air circulating, a heater for proper climate control. All in all, the perfect treat after a grueling walk down the runway.

The Bathroom At My Office – 32nd Street

Posted in New York on January 3rd, 2002 by jcn

The bathroom on my floor as work is accessible only with a key, which serves to prevent the unwashed masses from using the facilites that are reserved for the unwashed privileged folks who need to pee in the course of a normal, coffee-fueled work day.

The men’s bathroom has both a standard urinal as well as a toilet in a stall. The first thing that should be noted about the stall is that it faces the door to the bathroom, which means that if the stall door happened to be open when another person entered the bathroom, then the first thing that said person would see would be the toilet stall. This does not seem like so much of a concern except to realize that there is no handle on the door to stall, requiring the occupant of the stall to pull the door shut by grasping on to the top edge of the door and pulling in closed. It is not always the case that the occupants of my floor have accomplished this task and on numerous occassions I have entered the bathroom to be confronted by more of my floormates than I ever would like to.

Assuming one is finally able to enter the stall (and pulls the door shut, as is only appropriate in such situations) one would note that the walls are rather narrow around the toilet. Looking down, one would note that there are ten and a half tiles between the walls. At two inches each, the stall measures just under two feet wide. While sitting on the toilet and feeling claustrophobic (escaping the stress of the work day) one is reminded of the story of William Taft who was so fat that he got stuck in the White House bathtub. One would consider this image (with a particularly large gentleman being stuck in a too-narrow toilet stall) amusing. One would be correct in this assessment.

The bathroom itself is fairly nice, being cleaned every day by a professional cleaning who replace the toilet paper and soap and urinal cakes on a semi-regular basis. There is, however, no hot water coming out fo the sink, shut off either to protect the folks at work from hurting themselves or to save money. The soap in the dispensers is of a particularly high quality (for public-ish soap), including just a touch of moisturizer and scent, it would appear. The paper towel dispenser is always stocked and contains product at least an entire step up from the brown paper towels of elementary school days of old.

“An Audible Plunk” by Gavin Heck

Posted in Loo Lit on December 8th, 2001 by pottymouth

He had 3 minutes.

He used his pass card and made his way down the stairs to the bathrooms he knew were lesser used past the security cameras, acting natural.

He had 2 minutes and change.

He felt for the baggie in his change pocket of his suit. He felt o.k. like the meeting would be o.k. He knew there were another round of layoffs coming and his white powdery assistant had become his white powdery crutch. A baggie of courage. There were no meetings without a line before anymore. There was no chance the company would make it at this point and he, Matt Eljer wasn’t as invincible as the drug could make him feel. He was smart enough to know better.

As he made his way into the stall he fished the baggie from his pocket. An untouched eight-ball fresh from his now old buddy Red. They met and shook hands at least twice a week, usually behind the police museum near Wall St. Briefly discussing work and relationships and sports, Matt knew absolutely zero about sports but could fake it like a $500 hooker. Drugs, now there’s a recession proof business. He started pissing while holding his dick in his left hand to mask the sounds of his premeditated fumbling, chopping and sniffing. He always had about 10 things going on at the same time, the powder let him become a laser, one shining point of focus. As the baggie snagged on his pocket watch chain it slipped from his grasp and fell with an audible plunk into the freshly pissed-in toilet.

As he at once reached instinctively into the bowl and rolled up his sleeve he tried to remember if it was Pavlov’s or Skinner’s theory that would account for this behavior. Then it suddenly didn’t matter as his fingers hit the lukewarm water and his eyes caught the letters at the base of where the seat attached to the bowl “E L J E R”. He knew for the moment that this was his destiny, that he needed no behavioral theory to explain it. He stifled a laugh.

He had 1 minute and knew he had to choose between doing a line and washing his hands. What do you think he chose?

”Matt, I’d like you to meet our new head of IT, Don Hanson”

”Don, Matt Eljer”


*Many thanks to Greg “Sugar” Sucrose for the name, and to all the others who looked.

Riverside Park – bottom level at 105th Street

Posted in New York on July 23rd, 2001 by pottymouth

If I believed in a benevolent omniscient omnipotent being, I’d thank him or her heartily for this wonderful bathroom. Somehow, despite being in a public park, this 2-stall loo manages to be clean (more or less, leaning toward more) stocked with toilet paper, a sink, soap, and paper towels. In an agnostic world it’s hard to know who to thank for this miracle, except for maybe the people who run the really nice little outdoor cafe adjacent to said wonderful bathroom. In fact, I have only one complaint about this bathroom: it’s only open during the summer, like the cafe. Hear my plea, Mister or Ms Park Tender, give us our delightful facilities year round. Please?