It’s A Privilege To Pee

There is a new monstrosity in the middle of Times Square right next to the Virgin Megastore. I had strolled by there on my way to the Actors Equity office a couple of times and wondered what the hell it was … but frankly, it terrified me too much to investigate. The entrance is enormous. Blinding white tiles confront you from within, and 2 escalators going up. Into nothingness. That is all one sees. However, happy-crappy sing-song Barney-shit music emanates onto the sidewalk, and compels one to see what the hell is going on in there. Standing on the sidewalk, are 3 or 4 guys – all dressed alike – in blazing blue tops, baggy white pants, and a hip-hop je ne sais quoi about their demeanor. The pants are slung low, and they are dancing to the happy-crappy Barney shit music, and somehow they manage to do it with a bit of street-cred. Even though (forgot to mention this) they are also all wearing big huge furry brown bear claws on their hands. Hiphop boys dancing around, cooler than thou, somehow acting like Lorelei to the scary white tile innards of this new structure. What is it?

Maybe on my 2nd trip past … I realized that it was a BATHROOM version of the Virgin Megastore. Now tourists do not have to struggle to find a place to pee and poop in their meanderings through Times Square. They do not have to queue up in line in the two Starbucks in that area. Now there is an entire STOREFRONT devoted to bathrooms. This is a good idea. I get that. But what’s with the happy-crappy music (literally) and the baggy pants brigade with the bear claws? And … where do the escalators go? What is up there??

I decided to investigate. This was on impulse. I was on my way to Equity a couple days ago, and I felt the tell-tale urge. (The title of this post, by the way, is a direct quote from Urinetown) My urge was semi-urgent and although I could have waited until I got to Equity – the bathroom in the Membership Department is, uhm, just not condusive to serious business. It’s one room – right off the main office floor – which is always packed with people … and it’s just an uncomfortable situation all around. Not when you have to pee, clearly, but if something ELSE needs to happen, it can be a nightmare. I have experienced performance anxiety in that bathroom before, so I decided – okay. Whatever. I will enter the tiled monstrosity and see where my urge takes me.

Guys, seriously. This is an experience like no other.

I have many thoughts about this new bathroom structure – some of it barely rational – but much of it has to do with my dismay at the G-rated suffocation of … well, New York certainly – but the entire adult world as well. I, as a strictly R-rated type girl, will fight this suffocation at every turn! Leave SOME spots strictly rated R, thank you very much.

But when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Up the escalator I went. This is a massive gleaming escalator – it takes you up two stories, just to give you an idea. You are encased in a long gleaming white-tile tube – and plastered on the walls are pictures of furry brown bears – and also repetitive (like cult-brainwashing repetitive) advertisements for Charmin, the company that obviously foot the bill for this G-rated poop magnet in Times Square. (Maybe parents with little kids think pooping is cute, and maybe they feel the need to make going to the bathroom akin to a trip to Disneyworld … but I’m an adult and I was strictly creeped out by the potty-training YAY FOR YOUR BODILY FUNCTIONS ambience of this entire place.) However, there was something highly amusing about it as well The escalator was packed with people. We all were being carried, passively, to the 2nd floor – where the toilets were, I guess. And I regressed. I became an 8 year old emotionally, giggling at everybody around me, because I was thinking, “hee hee, you have to poop! hee hee you have to pee!” It was my own version of Everybody Poops. I found it hilarious. I resented the brainwashing influence but I still found it hilarious.

I got to the top of the escalator. The second floor is all blue carpeting. Blinding blue. Right there at the top, is a small desk – manned by a couple people, all smiles, wearing blue and white, and little baseball caps. They looked like they were working a movie concession stand. And, indeed, there is a bowl of complementary candy canes and mints on the desk. You know, because it’s important to have a breath mint after you take a massive dump. People had stopped at the desk to chat, to ask questions? What? It was truly bizarre. I don’t want to DWELL on the fact that I’ve got bodily urges, I just want to get them taken care of, and move on with my day. But oh, this is not possible in Charmin Central. You must submit to the infantilizing displays. You MUST.

There’s a small blue-carpeted corridor (and everything is very controlled – there are barriers to keep the crowds in line) and then you emerge into a space that defies description. It is part playroom, part disco club, part bed and breakfast, part TV studio at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and part FREAKFEST. There is an enormous open space over to the left that you cannot get to unless you want to leave the line. (And why would you want to leave the line? Don’t you just want to poop, pee, and get the hell out?) But no, many people had left the line. Perhaps they were waiting for their slower-defecating friends. Who knows. Everywhere you look is blue carpet. And also Charmin signs. Big plushy white couches line the walls. There is a fake fireplace (I am not kidding). There are also TV screens everywhere, and huge video monitors and … I honestly wondered if I dreamed this part of it … but I did not. Playing over and over and over again is a video – with happy smiling dancers, a multicultural mecca of talent, against a blinding white screen – and music blares from speakers – as the “dancers” do their thing, lip synching to a song about toilet paper. I’m not kidding. At one point, all of the dancers line up like the family Von Trapp in “So Long Farewell” … and they sing, full on, face front, “We’re singing in two-ply harmony!”

Watching that (or, rather, being unwillingly subjected to that) I suddenly despised the entire human race.

I also suddenly felt like: Uhm … maybe I can do my business in the Equity bathroom. Didn’t seem so bad after all. And the URGE I had felt 5 minutes ago suddenly had subsided. Because of the terror and rage.

The video is playing over and over and over, it never stops. And people WORK in that environment all day long. I think we can expect some of them to go postal one of these days. It was like a terrible karaoke video … with this piped-in jolly song about wiping your ass.

There is a small stage over to one side (it keeps getting worse) – and standing on the stage is a guy in blue and white (what a surprise), wearing huge furry brown bear claws … and he is dancing. Not even with all that much heart or conviction. He’s just up there. Dancing. Trying to maintain SOME of his dignity. He has props up there, in case anyone wants to join him. And yes, people wanted to join him.

I hated the human race even more.

He had blue and white pom poms, and there were people dancing around as they waited in line to drop trou.

Over to my right was the REAL terror. A huge tiled open space – with 3 walls – lined with bright white doors. These were the bathrooms. No lines of stalls like in Port Authority – no. We each will get our own room. Now – this is actually smart – because a public bathroom in that locale would get trashed within 5 minutes of regular use. Just because 500 people peeing and pooping in the same area is gonna get nuts without some serious monitoring. So here is how the Charmin Wackos handle it. They have a staff – who all stand in the middle of this tiled space. They are all wearing latex gloves, and they are all incredibly cheery. Like Mickey Mouse Club cheery. And the line slowly moves forward – and people come out of the bathrooms – and people go in … but here’s the worst part. Whenever anyone emerges from the bathroom – all of the staff goes nuts. Cheering, shouting, a cacophony of voices, “WHOOOOO!” So you, who have just pooped, have to stroll through that congratulatory mayhem, just trying to move on to make your matinee. I gotta give it to that staff. They were completely enthusiastic. But there was something so unbelievably fucked up about the entire thing. Oh – and each bathroom is “cleaned” after each patron. One person comes out of the bathroom and is greeted with cheers of congratulations from the Charmins staff. (And some of the people in line got into it and cheered as well. There was a group dynamic going on that was SO not what my bathroom-self needed. I go to the bathroom and it’s a private affair. I don’t need you to CHEER when I am successful in this particular venture. I’m fine, I know what I’m doing, I’ve got it down, thanks. Thanks. No, really, thanks. But there was no way out of the line. You could not escape.) So – then after one of the rooms is vacated, one of the staff goes in, shuts the door – does their little clean-up job (cleaning up the sprinkling, I would imagine – and flushing if the first flush was not complete) and then comes out, cheering and whooping that yet another bathroom is ready. I gotta hand it to those people. I would so have a hard time staring at shit streaks all day, and then be CHEERFUL about it.) So people would walk towards the vacant bathroom, surrounded by the staff whooping like wild Indians, embarrassed smiles on their faces. And when you emerge from the bathroom – it’s like you have walked out onto a stage. There is no privacy. You walk out of one of those doors – and the entire line is right there facing you – and 5 people are all jumping up and down, cheering your amazing accomplishment.

It is the most fucked up place on the planet.

But I will say this, having suffered through the nightmare that is the public bathroom in Port Authority: the joint is immaculate. It smells overwhelmingly like Lemon Pledge – it must be piped through the speakers with the happy-crappy Barney two-ply harmony. The tile gleams. You feel almost EMBARRASSED at what you are about to do in that clean little bathroom.

Once I was in the bathroom, my amazement continued. The cult-brainwashing was on overload there. Charmin Charmin Charmin everywhere. The walls are bright blue, with painted rolls of toilet paper, and huge bears (some of them are holding their paws between their legs – to show how badly they have to go. Ew.) Another good thing, though: there are EIGHT ROLLS OF TOILET PAPER (uhm, Charmin) in every bathroom. And it’s Charmin. So it’s soft and fluffy and nice. Not the freakin’ sandpaper that Port Authority uses. Also, you ladies will know what I’m talking about when I say that the toilet seat was dry and immaculate. I still hovered above it – because I was freakin’ freaked out by the whole thing … but it wasn’t a disaster area. It was SCARILY clean.

Then I emerged and stalked grumpily through the gauntlet of war-whooping Charmin employees, jumping up and down in utter glee because I had just pulled down my big-girl pants and done a big-girl bowel movement. I’m glad they didn’t make me acknowledge what it was I had just done. I half expected one of them to rush up to me with a mike and say, “So … tell us … number one or number two?”

I took pictures the entire time I was there.

It is an experience not to be missed. If just for the sheer freak value of the entire enterprise.

Coming in … to my left is the fake fireplace. You can see all of the video monitors and televisions blazing with the Charmin two-ply video.

Standing in line. I took a picture of my foot. See the blue? Doesn’t it just make you want to poop your pants immediately?

And this one I took accidentally when I was trying to get a shot of the revolving disco ball (which wouldn’t come out.) As I fiddled with my camera, I took the following photo and decided to keep it because I thought it looked cool.

And over to your right is the bathroom area itself. Which looks like a television set from a PBS kids show. Big tile middle – lined with white doors. You can see the staff there … all in the middle of whooping and hollering for an ADULT who just performed a TOTALLY NATURAL bodily function. Isn’t it freaky?

And here are the photos I took from within my own personal bathroom. Yes, while sitting on the can. Here is what is on the wall BEHIND the toilet.

I find that so scary.

And here is what you see on the back of the door, when you are sitting on the can.

Just in case you were in ANY danger of forgetting. CHARMIN SPONSORED THIS.

Welcome, readers from Feministe! Hope you vicariously enjoy my experience.

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77 Responses to It’s A Privilege To Pee

  1. Johnny V. says:


    When did we turn into Japan?

  2. red says:

    Johnny – hahahahaha that is absolutely the most perfect comment.

  3. Jon says:

    Only one question: did your poo come out blue, too?

    (fucking hilarious post! send that in somewhere quick, get it published!)

  4. red says:

    Jon – ha!! I was amazed I was able to “perform” at all in that Romper Room environment. But I was. Hooray for biology.

  5. Tommy says:

    “I hated the human race even more.”

    Working in the public sector, I have an appreciation for such sentiment.

    Very nice post.

    This just jetted to the top of the list of things I want to see in New York.

  6. red says:

    tommy – ha!! Oh my God – you will so appreciate the absurdity of it. You have to see it!!

  7. ilyka says:

    Just imagining the hiring process for this enterprise is WRECKING me. How do those interviews go? At what stage of the process does the applicant come to realize he is basically going to be cheering on people for successfully exiting the can eight hours a day? What is this going to look like later on someone’s resume??? I can’t stand it!

  8. Tommy says:

    My only true long-term urban experience is downtown Nashville, which Sucks for easy access toilets.

    Charmin (or Angel Soft or any makers of your finer Toilet Papers) could make a killing in free advertising with places like this.

    It’s gawdy, but you’ll probably never in all your life forget who sponsored your carnival toilet experience.

  9. red says:

    ilyka – I know, in my own perverse way I was totally wondering that. Did they have to audition?? Because like I said: there wasn’t an unenthusiastic one in the bunch. Nobody was “phoning it in” – they were all SINCERELY having a blast.

    it’s hilarious and so so sick.

    I want to write a short story – a bleak urban film noir-esque short story – where THAT is what the person does to pay the rent. And the rest of their life is a dark fucked-up abyss of pain and nihilistic agony but every day THAT is what they have to go and do to get paid.

  10. red says:

    Tommy – absolutely. And I’m already a Charmin buyer!! I am not huge on brand loyalty with many products (Tide, Cheer, what’s the dif) – but I always buy Charmin.

    I would love to know how they make money on this thing. Because you don’t have to PAY to poop. You get to just go in. Of course you are then subjected to a blitzkrieg of advertisement but still – that is prime real estate. How do they pay the rent?

    Do you think this is just a: “well, we’ll just foot the bill for this because it’s great advertising” kinda thing??

    I cannot even tell you how creative you had to be BEFORE this in order to take care of bodily functions in Times Square. So it is a great idea and much needed – although I could have done wihtout the cheerleading aspect to my defecatory experience.

  11. melissa says:

    This makes me want to jump a plane to New York and use a bathroom. Just to experience the total freakiness….

  12. “And the rest of their life is a dark fucked-up abyss of pain and nihilistic agony but every day THAT is what they have to go and do to get paid.”

    I’m howling. This is all so hilarious. I mean, I always love the poop talk — I ain’t even gonna front — but this entire post is just beautiful.

    Oh, and by the way, the Marriott Marquis across the street has clean cans without the Club Med-like experience. However, next time I need to pee in that hood (I can’t poop in public unless it’s a three-alarmer), I’m opting for the Charmin experience because sometimes I like to be horrified (see our voluntary viewing of Brown Bunny as a prime example). Hee hee… I said “brown bunny.”

    FYI, blog commenting when you’re hopped up on Sam Adams Winter Lager is all sorts of fun. At least for me it is…

  13. PatrickP says:

    Sheila, maybe you will find some consolation in the fact that the Charmin bears they use in the commercials, while cute, are a sort of unspoken allusion to the question, “Does a bear shit in the woods.” That’s at least PG-13, no?

  14. mere says:

    what the hell???

  15. Lisa says:

    Okay. New stop on my NYC trip! Maybe we can vomit there after all the vodka, but before the karaoke.

  16. red says:

    Lisa – hahahahaha It’s a date!

  17. red says:

    curly – thank you for the tip on the Marriott cans. I will have to investigate that as well. Of course there are also the bathrooms in the BOWELS (ahem) of the Virgin Megastore – but it’s so horrible to even get there (down 2 escalators, all that craziness) that it’s not even worth it.

    You HAVE to go to the Charmin restroom. You, of all people, will appreciate it and its insanity.

  18. Eric the...bald says:

    Hee. I just spent my first ten minutes at work today reading about poop.

    I’m hearing Sheila in my head, like a roving reporter, bringing you all the action from the bathroom, one hand to her ear monitor as she holds a mike in the other and tries to make sense of what she is seeing and hearing to the viewers at home. “Well, Tom, there’s blue everywhere, and people cheering…you have to see it to believe it, Tom. Back to you.”

    Lucky for you they didn’t mistake you for a spy from Quilted Northern, what with all the photo taking of the operation.

  19. Elizabeth says:

    I was sure that you had just invented this entire story out of your fertile and always interesting imagination….until I saw the actual pictures. I’ll just drink some of the rum that was supposed to become rum cake now and lie down.

  20. Emily says:

    I don’t know the precise moment – I think it was around the time you delicately danced around using pretty words to basically say “take a shit” that I started laughing and couldn’t stop. Seriously. I had to stop reading this post because it hurt to read further.

    Of all of your blog posts, of all of the beautiful things you write about every day, I never thought one of the best you’ve ever done would be about going to the bathroom.

  21. Ken says:

    The place reminds me of something out of Douglas Adams. In one of the Hitchhiker’s Guide books there was a resort planet that had so much tourist traffic and so much fear of erosion and other forms (I suppose) of environmental degradation thereby) that they passed a law. The law said that any difference between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete would be surgically removed from you before you left the planet, so that when visiting the bathroom on this planet it was vitally important to get a receipt.

    That planet would have places like this.

  22. Chai-rista says:

    OMG! Sheila – Only you could do this monstrosity justice. I’m so glad you ventured into the Six Flags Of Sanitary Facilities. I was waiting for you to say you had to go down a slide to leave, perhaps sped downward by a smooth sheet of Charmin. Ahhhhhh! You’ve made my day. :)

  23. Emily says:

    You know what’s really weird? It just occured to me that before when people visiting New York for the first time would ask about good places to visit, I’d always recommend a museum, Central Park, the WTC site. From this moment on, for the rest of my life, the answer to that question will be “There’s this bathroom, in Times Square…”

  24. Mark says:

    I would love to know how they make money on this thing.

    “First one’s free, kid….”

    I read this whole thing thinking, “What…the…frak…?” I had heard about this a while back, but nothing about the freaky Disneyland aspect of it. I was almost ready to swear that you had branched out into writing science fiction.

    You should have come out of the room with your arms held high, shouting “WHOOOOO! I TOTALLY expelled that waste! I’m number one! Gimme a P!”

  25. red says:

    Mark – I love how people are almost HOPING that I made this up.

    And yes – my plan is to jump up and down in glee the next time I go. Maybe to even be MORE crazy and excited than the staff – so that everyone will get worried for my mental health.

    I think that would be the best thing.


    Id hate the human race myself!

  27. Jen W. says:

    When I first heard about this thing, I was hoping upon hope that you would write about it. And then, you answered my prayers.

    Seriously, where did they find that many happy people in NYC to cheer for shitters? And here’s my other question- is it just a free-for-all line? No women’s and men’s rooms? I think that would heighten the weirdness factor for me.

  28. red says:

    Jen – yes, it is completely coed.

    And there are special bathrooms for little kids. There are signs on the door that say:

    “For Little Squirters”.

    I’m not kidding.

  29. Mr. Bingley says:


    Anybody want to meet in midtown for a drink and a dump?

  30. Mark says:

    “For Little Squirters”.

    Now cut that out! You ARE making this up!

  31. DBW says:

    What a hoot. I was literally laughing out loud as I read this. It’s a perfect comment on the absurdities of modern urban life. Imagine John Wayne, for example, in this place–“When I said I’d like to do Broadway, I didn’t mean takin’ a dump.” Of course, I now have to find some way to erase all this from my memory so I can continue to live on this planet.

    As for this–“I want to write a short story – a bleak urban film noir-esque short story – where THAT is what the person does to pay the rent. And the rest of their life is a dark fucked-up abyss of pain and nihilistic agony but every day THAT is what they have to go and do to get paid.”

    That’s not a short story, that’s the job description.

  32. Nightfly says:

    I wouldn’t hate the human race – but if I had to pay the bills by clapping for adults who’ve done their business, I’d hate myself with both lungs. What the bugger is wrong with people? What on earth would compel one to hire oneself out to wear fake bear paws and frolic in the Porcelain Playground? If it’s all the same to you, boss, I’ll just go back to my refrigerator box.

    You know, I saw this thing as we walked down the street heading back from Rockefeller Center a couple of weeks ago – I never imagined the horror within. It sounds like the Official Bathroom of Logan’s Run.

    You’re a braver lass than I am.

  33. red says:

    Nightfly –

    Yes, it was bizarre, and psychedelic, and psychotic Hello Kitty-ish cutesy-poopsy-doo – however: I am going to go back as much as possible. I loved it. I love hating the human race, and I actually find it amusing. I don’t REALLY hate the human race – it’s just funny to say that I do. If they ever shut that place down, I will be devastated. I want to bring all my friends there. I am TOTALLY going to go back at different hours of the day – and report back on what it is like.

    i want to interview the employees. This might have to be my next step.

    However, I will probably NOT go when I am having some kind of emergency – because the line was WAY too long for that.

  34. red says:

    Mark –


    Little squirters!!! EW!!!

    Next time I go back i will get a photo of that so I can prove that I am not lying.

    I realize that I need MUCH more evidence to prove that this joint exists.

    Other photos I need:

    — disco ball
    — the massive escalators
    — the concession stand at the top of the escalators
    — Little Squirt signs

    OH and I forgot one other thing: There is a VIP bathroom. The staff will scream ‘VIP VIP VIP’ to whoever is next in line who gets to use the “VIP bathroom” – and that person gets a prize of some kind.

    Oh – and I also need to get a photo of the 8 rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom – but I couldn’t get far enough back to get the shot.

    I will try again!

  35. red says:

    Mr. Bingley –


  36. Emily says:

    As Lisa pointed out at my place, bless the invention of YouTube, it has been documented on video here and here. The second one is an aboslute riot.

  37. Alex Nunez says:

    Sheila, this is the post of the year.

    A few things:

    1. For some reason, I can’t stop envisioning the regular cast of the Christopher Guest films dressed as the Charmin Stormtroopers. It’s just one of those ridiculous things that seems like it could only be satire, and Fred Willard would so pull it off.

    2. It would take A-Rod money to get me to be a member of the Super Happy Cheering Section Cleanup Brigade, and even then I’d probably still have to turn to alcohol to make the pain go away.

    3. I’m putting the over/under on the number of months it takes a “bathroom patron” to go completelu postal in there at 5.

    4. The temptation, as a user of the bathroom, to intentionally miss the toilet must be incredibly high.

  38. red says:

    Alex – Oh, if I worked there I would definitely need to be drunk at all times.

    These people just seemed naturally cheery, though. Amazing!!

  39. Kathy says:

    That was one of the funniest things I’ve read in ages!

    One can only hope one of the happy freaky bathroom cleaners is the next David Sedaris—-and will write about it. In detail.

  40. Lisa says:

    I was just watching some 9 minute tour on YouTube, and it hit me. If this place is so crowded NOW, just imagine New Year’s Eve.

    I bet one of those dancers cracks and starts taking people out with a plunger

  41. Kate P says:

    Your account is priceless, in every last vivid blue detail.

    So, how long do you give it?

    P.S. Here in Philly the Central branch of the Free Library opened staffed restrooms specifically to cater to the homeless who were using the library restrooms. Something about that really weirds me out–but the weird is far lower on the scale than for the Charmin “Porcelain Playground.”

  42. Marti says:


    ….*blink blink*….

    *is gobsmacked*


  43. I’m not sure I could resist the temptation to skip drying my hands after washing them and giving one of the cheerleaders a nice wet High Five

  44. red says:

    Kate P –

    I honestly don’t know if it will last or not – It’s obvious that such a structure is needed, it definitely is needed – because the situation in Times Square forever has been brutal if you really needed to go. There are NO public toilets.

    So maybe it will last – it just opened, so maybe the dancing bear motif will calm down once the first couple of months pass. I hope not, though, because I need to go back, and bring all of my friends.

  45. Kate P says:

    Yeah, now that you have that photo checklist and all, you must go back.

  46. red says:

    Definitely. Maybe next week before the whole New Years insanity begins.

  47. Mr. Bingley says:

    Red, it seems like you ran into the Scientoiletgists.

  48. Nightfly says:

    Bings – bwahahaha!

    “Did you know that Charmin has a WONDERFUL plan for your life?”

  49. tracey says:

    Do they host parties there, too, like Chuck E. Cheese’s? Oh, please tell me they do!

    I have got to go there someday. Literally — I must GO there.

  50. miker says:

    Red, what a magnificently opulent Christmas present you have delivered to us with this post. I can’t even begin to describe the magnitude of its coolness – I mean, you even had the presence of mind to get us pictures! You’ve once again outdone yourself – deepest thanks for this stunningly delightful bit of holiday cheer. ;-)

  51. tracey says:


    /Perhaps they were waiting for their slower-defecating friends./

    I cannot get over that sentence.

  52. Missy says:

    Oh my fucking God!

    I’m in a state of disbelief.

    This can’t be real.

    I mean, from the get-go. Bear claw dancers?

    Okay, excuse me. I’m going to go freak out. I have to go potty now, anyway.

  53. Ken says:

    Haven’t visited the site for a while. More of a scatological slant now, both in the topics and the imagery. Prefer your reviews of books, films etc to public conveniences.

  54. Ken says:

    Haven’t visited the site for a while. More of a scatological slant now, both in the topics and the imagery. Prefer your reviews of books, films etc to public conveniences.

  55. Saint Russell says:

    Ken: The scatological theme must have inspired you to do some thread-crapping of your own. (Google the term, if you’re not familiar with it.)

  56. red says:

    Hey Ken – I haven’t even noticed your absence. You’re just that much of a nonentity.

    Also: you wrote: //More of a scatological slant now, both in the topics and the imagery//

    Please provide examples of the scatalogical slant, other than this post. You’re full of shit.

    And as I have said numerous times to other assholes like yourself:

    I could not care less what you prefer.

  57. Mr. Bingley says:

    Dear Sir,

    Kindly Fuck Off.

    Strong letter to follow.

  58. Nightfly says:

    Well, you know Sheila – that post about Mary Shelley was pretty scatalogical. ;)

  59. red says:

    haha Yeah. I just have a poop fetish or something.

    And you know what – if I did? And I lost a bunch of readers because of it? Again I have to say: I don’t care.

    The readers I want would not care about crap (ha) like that.

    Ken, here’s another post for you. It’s by someone else, but maybe it will be more to your liking.

  60. Sigivald says:

    As Jim Treacher would say, “The waste must move to the exterior of my body.”

  61. Dave E. says:

    Hysterical. I’ll have to ask my sisters in Brooklyn if they have made this pilgrimage. This place definitely gets added to the must-see list.

  62. Missy says:

    I had to come back and read it again.

    It’s that good.

    Um, scat. Right.

    Do you think he was being funny?

  63. red says:

    Missy – if he was trying to be funny then I must quote my friend Mitchell: “He should leave comedy to the professionals.”

    But no – I’m sure he was serious. He has the whiff of humorlessness that I so recognize from my early days of blogging.

  64. DAW says:

    Fantastic. Great post. You have a tremendous imagination.

    The part I could really relate to was the cheering after the successful “performance”. I could see myself joining the chorus, or perhaps jumping around like Rocky with my fists in the air after leaving the toilet. It’s a shame that doesn’t happen in real life.

  65. JosieJ says:

    It’s perhaps fortunate that Bellevue is only about a mile from there…

  66. Jami says:

    I want to score whatever kind of drugs the attendants at this place are taking! Seriously – you know they’re either getting just a shitload (sorry, couldn’t resist) of money or some really, REALLY GOOD drugs to work there.

  67. Sheila, I am so going to look you up next time I get to NJ/NY, just so we can go to this place together.

    I expect to break a rib while taking many, many pictures.

  68. Nightfly says:

    I’m coming out, tossing my hat into the air, and then jogging over to a circle of friends who will slap me on the back and jump up and down in unison, like I’ve just hit a walk-off home run. I’ll even hi-five the Charmin Dude like he’s my third-base coach.

  69. bobbie-sue says:

    wow. Just wow. I payed 0.30 euros to use a McDonalds toilet in Amsterdam. I can’t believe an experience like that is free in NYC. That ROCKS.

  70. Oh sure, it free for now, but what till they have you hooked on the cleanliness and convenience factor. Mark my words, they’ll start charging usage fees and you will be stuck paying because you can’t take normal filth in NYC bathrooms.

    This definitely smells of Scientoiletlogy. Is it true the more you crap you donate, the higher your esteem?

    There’s probably a back room where a select group of bears are chanting “Free oneself of “crap” to reach the state of “Clear”.

  71. red says:

    Ah, so many responses to this post, so many people linked to it – let’s recap some of it, shall we?:

    — I was referred to as an “actor-wannabe” – by someone who has never met me, and has only read this one post

    — someone did not appreciate me using the phrase “wild Indians”

    — others seemed in a rage about the very existence of this structure – you know, these are the “what is the world coming to, and Western culture is self-destructing, and a boo hoo a boo hoo, the world’s going to hell in a handbasket” people- So they just seemed MAD and some even promised never to visit NYC just to protest.

    — one person thought I was a moron for thinking the shot of the floor looked cool. Like – THAT was their only comment on the post.

    I could go on and on. A billion people linked to this thing and it’s been hysterical to read some of the humorless responses. Some people seemed pissed at ME for thinking this was funny, one person was annoyed with my “over the top writing style” – In general, a lot of people sounded extremely constipated in response to the Charmin Restrooms.

    I will be fair: Many people linked to this and seemed to have a sense of humor about it (the main response being a stunned: WTF???? – hahahaha) – I’m just pointing out the particularly dyspeptic ones because it’s funny.

    I should write about poop more often.

  72. Emily says:

    The “actor wannabe” comment made me laugh out loud. Um, hey idiot, just because someone isn’t a blockbuster film actor with their faces splashed on billboards that YOU have heard of, doesn’t make them a “wannabe.” The woman’s got a goddam master’s degree and gets standing ovations from theater-seasoned New York audiences.

  73. red says:

    Comments like his are one of the main reasons I completely shifted the focus of my blog a couple years ago – basically because I wanted to get more actors, performers, artists – or even just people who were true FANS of movies/plays/books – reading me – and it’s worked – because that kind of comment is just so … I don’t know. It’s just so not what I’m about here.

    Even just the TONE. Like – his tone was so ridiculous to me. I’ve never really wanted millions of readers – I’m happy keeping it small where I can just chat with people I like in my free time.

    I’m just not into that kind of cranky judgmental attitude – based on nothing but his ignorance and his bias.

  74. Wiseferret says:

    Working there can’t be all that bad-
    What other job do you get where people give a shit?


  75. chsw says:

    What would make this better would be mirrored one-way glass looking out from the toilet onto the street and onto the waiting area.


  76. belledame222 says:

    >I honestly don’t know if it will last or not – It’s obvious that such a structure is needed, it definitely is needed – because the situation in Times Square forever has been brutal if you really needed to go. There are NO public toilets.>

    well, yah; but somehow this, well, this;

    it’s like someone Up There went, hahaha! you want toilets, Plebian Rabble? we’ll GIVE you toilets! muhahahahaha!

    …the goal being to make people take one look and go,

    you’re right, o great Owners, what was i thinking; clearly, i was wrong to think i was entitled to void my bowels without first paying for an overpriced cappucino or something like that. There is no such thing as a free lunch! There is no such thing as a free crap! There is no such thing as society! Viva mega-corporate capitalism! VIVA!!

  77. Matt` says:

    “What would make this better would be mirrored one-way glass looking out from the toilet onto the street and onto the waiting area.”

    have you heard about this:
    or is it just a happy coincidence?

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