Woman with no change uses dog to open door to pay toilet

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/25/woman-with-no-change-uses-dog.html

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Fuggin’ pay toilets, that is an idea whose time never should’ve come, and has definitely gone!

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I don’t know if I’d be willing to try this. Years ago somewhere in a subway in Europe I entered one of these that was wide open thinking there was no fare for some reason (it was late and there was construction). They snap closed really hard.

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Pay toilets are better than no public toilets at all, and also better than filthy toilets. They are even arguably better than having to ask your barista for a key. I was a teenager in Chicago when the city banned pay toilets (I think we were the first), and when the Nik–O-Loks were torn out and nothing went in to replace them the decline in the quality of life was obvious even at the time.

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Pay toilets are better than no public toilets at all

I completely agree.

and also better than filthy toilets

Unless you don’t have the money, in which case the filthy toilet is definitely preferable to whatever crime you’d have to commit to remedy your situation!

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Wouldn’t just waving a stick though the slot have the same effect?

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That was the problem with the toilets in the day, you always had to have nickels with you, though you might want to carry them anyway for the phone. Nowadays we could just use credit cards or cell phones. That still cuts out a whole class of people, especially in the urban centers, but 50 years of trying to convince city governments to install and maintain free toilets has not worked yet.

Like every parent, I have been in the position of asking hundreds of shop owners if they had a toilet we could use, and getting the full range of negative answers. I’m sympathetic to the idea of sweetening the pot with a revenue stream. Municipalities could get away with having fewer free public facilities if those of us with an income could be sure of being able to walk into a store or restaurant, paying a dollar or two, and getting access to a clean toilet without having to plead with someone for the opportunity.

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Were any puns intended there? If so, well done.

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Anyhow, who’s a good boy?

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I was going to say, isn’t this exactly the kind of thing our taxes should pay for? But then I remembered I live in America, Trump’s bizarro America even, so that’s probably way too sensible… PAVE OVER PUBLIC PARKS AND TURN THEM INTO STRIP MALLS ADD MINES TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS SO THE CHILDREN CAN EARN THEIR EDUCATION DRINK BLEACH UNTIL ALL OF OUR DISEASES ARE DEAD NO MORE VACCINES

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Something something “flush your money down the toilet”…

This reads like the plot-line for Urinetown the musical.

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I’d bet that far more people have a dog with them than a stick. Although, the people with dogs may also have a stick.

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And give a cut to Visa or Apple every time I need to go? I can feel my butt cheeks clenching already.

Sounds like a need for new city governments.

You could always hire Harry King, or his inspiration, Vespasian…

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I have not seen a pay toilet in well over 50 years. Good riddance to them. They were stupid then and they are still stupid. With them, you are just begging people to shit in the streets.

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With all the fake service dogs being trotted about, it is nice to see a legit service being done by a regular pooch.

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It just feels like 50 years, the movement to ban them in the US was in the early 1970s. They are still pretty common in Europe.

The best city governments just do what the taxpayers tell them to do. Many taxpayers would rather save a few cents on their taxes than pay for the cleaning and maintenance of a sufficiency of toilets, especially when it is for the convenience of people they don’t care about (tourists, the homeless).

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The standard where I live (at least in places like railway stations and motorway service areas) seems to be a toilet that costs 50 cents to use, but prints out a 50-cent voucher for the nearby shop.

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I prefer the Belgian method, where many public toilets have an attendant (called by my Belgian GF “Madame Pipi”) for whom one is expected to leave about 35 cents. She keeps the place clean, and if someone lacks money, she understands and forgoes the tip. I once used the men’s room in the Citadel of Danant (well worth visiting), which was dark and cave-like, as it was, like most of the “rooms” in the Citadel, carved out of solid rock (how they laid the pipes, I’ll never know). I thought I was alone; I did my business, washed, and dropped the usual coins in a saucer on the sink counter, making a clink or two. From the darkness to the rear came a female voice chirping, “merci!”

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