Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Public Knowledge

Several years ago the beach resort of Pattaya announced plans to place public urinals along the Beach Road to better serve the nearly five million tourists expected this year. Most sunbathers piss in the sea and beer drinkers relieved themselves in the bars lining the busy road. Everyone else has to hold their water until the city actually follows through the the Mayor's plans.

Paris was famous for its green pissoirs. Over 1200 were in service during the 30s. These vespasiennes were replaced by more profitable pay toilets. Only one pissoir on Boulevard Arago survived the 20th Century. I haven't ever used the new ones.

Not everyone is in favor of public toilets.

The 1934 book CLOCHEMERLE satirized the attempts of a small village to erect a urinal next to the Catholic Church. In the end no one is happy with the new arrangement and those in need resorted to the nocturnal tradition of pissing against the church.

In 1984 New York closed its subway toilets. The bathroom were homosexual dens of iniquity known throughout the gay community as tea rooms. The city has been discussing designs for a street toilet ever since without any installations on the sidewalks. Public urination remains a crime on the police books and I have avoided citation by holding my telephone to my ears as I violated the city statute.

Pattaya will get its urinals. Private interests love supping from the public trough, but they will never support themselves. It's just not part of the pee equation.

The most famous urinal in history in Marcel Duchamp's 1917 Fountain signed R. Mutt.

My favorite urinals are those in PJ Clarke's and the Old Town Bar.

Big and comfortable.

Works of functional art.

For as long as the bars remain open.

So good luck Pattaya.

Until then I will pee in the sea.

20 million Europeans do the same in the Mediterranean every July morning in the South of France.

It's only natural.

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