Friday, October 30, 2015

Public Inconvenience

Over the past week I've witnessed the demolition of one of Crapchester's last remaining public lavatories.  I walk past it on my way into the office every day and have seen it torn apart by a JCB, reduced to a pile of rubble.  now, even the rubble has gone and there is only a patch of earth where the toilets once stood.  Soon, I've no doubt, this will either be grassed or concreted over (the area is surely too small to be sold to developers) and in a few years time, nobody will remember that it was ever there.  It wasn't a particularly great public convenience, although it was certainly far better than just about the only other one in the area, which is utterly disgusting, and I'm sure that the council would argue that it was poorly placed, situated in a part of the town which is no longer the thoroughfare for pedestrian traffic it once was and consequently no longer seeing the usage it once did.  One of the complaints levelled against it in recent times was that homeless people were using it to doss down in overnight.  Quite apart from the fact that the council, for several years now, have taken to locking the facility overnight, (something I discovered to my inconvenience when walking back home from the cinema a few years ago), thereby making this impossible, it is surely better that they sleep there rather than in the doorway of the local church (as they actually do now).

The main reason I lament the passing of this public crapper is because of what it represented: a public facility owned by the community which could be used freely by anyone.  This is a concept which seems to have become anathema to our political leaders.  The idea of services being free at the point of delivery is widely derided by those in power.  Everything has to be monetised - even having a piss or taking a dump.  And if you can't afford it - tough.  Presumably, nowadays taking a crap is considered a luxury that only the wealthy can afford.  Maybe it's all part of 'austerity'.  I mean, the last time we had 'austerity', back in World War Two, the working classes had to make do with food rationing and powdered eggs.  Perhaps nowadays they are to be rationed to urinating twice a week and allowed only powdered shit.  But on a more serious note, the continued closures of public toilets over the past decade has undoubtedly contributed to the increase in people pissing in the streets which we have to put up with.  There's hardly an underpass, phone box or alleyway which doesn't reek of stale urine on a regular basis these days.  It's got to the stage where people aren't even subtle about it.  The other week, for instance, I was driving down a link road which backs onto two residential streets - there in a lay-by was a guy standing by his car taking a piss, in full view of not just passing motorists like me, but also the neighbouring houses, the filthy bastard.  He was making no attempt to stand out of view behind his car, or anything.  What's the bloody matter with people these days?  Is the constant destruction of our public toilets turning us into a nation of savages?  I mean, what next?  People shitting in the middle of the road?



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