The pee factor
America’s most pressing problem in need of a celebrity spokesperson.
The greatest thing about American capitalism and democracy is the ubiquitous presence of clean accessible rest rooms or toilets. The Constitution guarantees our freedom to travel without hindrance. But what man giveth, God can taketh away.
Gone are the carefree days when I could travel to remote places on the tourist map. The need to pee every four hours is a development in my 86th year that has tethered me to my residence. Not even SCOTUS could restore my rights to travel freely again … or could they? If my litigators could sue to require that toilets be available within 20 walking minutes in any public place, that could work.
But in our opportunistic medical world, big pharma would lobby against such a solution and seek a “Piss Off Federal Fund” to develop a vaccine or other treatment to extend the time between pees for the elderly … and maybe some others with kidney problems.
The problem differs between men and women. For some physiological or psychological reasons, women have always needed frequent access to toilets. But it wasn’t until recently that places like stadiums were forced by local health departments to equalize the numbers of mens-rooms and womens-rooms. But can the urgency issue faced by the elderly get equally urgent attention.
Medicare acknowledges the problem with a series of solutions, starting with painful use of catheters. In fact, I trace my current problem to the poorly inserted catheters during a recent hospital stay. There the doctors noted that an increased prostate size had reduced my bladder capacity.
Aha, the answer. A pill. Not so fast. The surgeons were gathering like storm clouds. Their knives and lasers could clear a path through the prostate for the urethra. Or they could remove the prostate and launch a rash of symptoms regarding urinary control. No thanks. Surgical wounds and diabetes don’t mix well.
I’m not a fast food junkie, but every once in a while I’m forced to select some weirdly named concoction out of guilt. I figure managers cannot be too happy with people who come in for the toilets without buying food. When the toilets are right at the exit doors, “in and out” is seamless. I am thankful for the franchising mentality that places competition cheek by jowl all over the place.
My preferred seating at any restaurant is near the rest rooms — also in the rest rooms. This almost always guarantees a place even on a crowded holiday and on long trips. Unlike my brother who can find relief in the nether reaches of Wells Fargo Bank back lots, I am limited by stature to traditional facilities. I do need the special handicap toilets because the down low seats in regular bathrooms can require a rescue operation.
It would be helpful if those who make the GPS maps would have markers for toilets. In fact, an app that sounds an alarm when you are more than a pre-set number of minutes away from a toilet would be excellent. Plus an app that could guide you to the closest toilet. Some of the drone technology that than can deliver a missile to a terrorist’s front door could be applied to solving this directional problem.
As the population ages, one would think that opportunists out there would be seeking Go-Fund-Me investors to become the gurus of the loo. An IPO would draw millions of investors seeking a quick killing on on this gut wrenching issue.
As a matter of charity, every house and apartment should be flagged green to indicate “rush no more; here’s the open door” to those who are called inconveniently. Blessed are those stand and wait, and wait, and wait — while others can jump the line to a drier future.
Pee stories abound, but I am not one for bathroom humor - as attested by this column.