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A Few Thoughts On A Disturbing El Paso Trend

   Since when should we ever put used toilet paper anywhere OTHER THAN IN THE TOILET? If you live in El Paso, I’m sure you’re familiar with this scenario: You go to use a public restroom facility where you must “perform a numeral II”. You hunker down to answer nature’s call when you notice a sign posted, facing you, on the inside of the stall door. The sign contains words to this effect: “PLEASE DO NOT put paper into the toilet. PLEASE put paper in waste basket”.

   The whole situation is confusing to those not reared in the third world. “Could this possibly  mean they actually want me to put my used TP in a trash can?? Surely, I must be reading this wrong. That, or they’re not being clear in their request.”

   Sometimes, there’s not even a waste basket IN the stall, which bolsters your conviction that something is being mis-communicated. When there is a waste basket readily evident, your curiosity over-powers your revulsion and you examine to see if, in fact, others before you have done as the sign directs. In my own experience the answer in inevitably, and thankfully, no(although I’ve never brought myself to perform more than a cursory search. Perhaps a more serious examination would have…but, I shudder to carry this line of speculation any further).

      I have been assured that this custom of putting paper into a receptacle other than the porcelein one is very common in Mexico. It, I am told, has to do with their dodgy plumbing situation. How a toilet could be strong enough to flush a four pound chalupa-turd but not a 1/2 milligram wad of used toilet paper, I will leave for later speculation.  The point of this article is to draw a line in the sand when it comes to this very serious potential health issue. There are certain influences from our Sister City that are more than welcome. Easter eggs filled with confetti come to mind. But on this toilet issue I refuse to budge. Toilet paper should only go in the toilet bowl, no exceptions. I’m sure that in El Paso, our plumbing infrastructure in every bit as sound as that found in Dallas, Houston or Lubbock. You do not find these signs in these cities and they have no place in this one either.

  There are many things that make America great. Freedom of Expression. A right to a speedy and fair trial. Most of the Amendments to the Constitution. Add now to that list, The Right to Never Have to Share a Crapper Stall with a Bucket reeking doo-doo paper. That is why, starting this week, I will take it upon myself to photograph such offending signage, post the images on this web-site, AND IDENTIFY THE GUILTY PARTIES. If you don’t want to be outed, you have until Friday to remove the signage AND the waste baskets. If you are too afraid that your facilities are not up to the task…call the GODDAMN PLUMBER!

   My friends and readers…you are welcome.


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