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PUBLIC RESTROOM ANECDOTES

Denver,CO ...another problem she has with the parade is the lack of public restrooms. She says people constantly ask to use her restroom, which is available to paying customers only. "We cannot have a public restroom here," Prestidge said. "I don't know if they're providing public restrooms, but they're not telling me. We have people come in that are just furious that they can't use the restroom."...
Source: Steve Shultz/YourHub.com on 12/18/2006  

 

Passenger Prompts Landing At Dulles Man Approached Cockpit Despite Ban
By Lyndsey Layton and Maria Glod Washington Post Staff Writers  Nov 13, 2001; Page A08  

U.S. sky marshals on a flight from Pittsburgh to Reagan National Airport suddenly ordered a plane to land at Dulles International Airport yesterday, after a passenger got up and started walking toward the cockpit, authorities said.  The passenger, Raho N. Ortiz, 33, refused to follow a new federal rule requiring passengers to remain seated in the last half-hour of an approach to National, said Chris Murray, an FBI spokesman.  About 15 minutes before the plane was to land at National, Ortiz got out of his seat and started walking briskly toward the front of the plane, where a restroom and cockpit are, said David Castelveter, a spokesman for Arlington-based US Airways.  As Ortiz neared the cockpit, a sky marshal in plainclothes seated near the front yelled, 'Stop!' said passenger Mike Cannon, of Arlington. Two sky marshals -- one with a gun drawn -- and a third man ordered Ortiz to get on the ground. He complied without a struggle, Cannon said. He "kept saying: 'I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I just wanted to go to the bathroom.' " ... [ Deleted Text ]   
[Source …] www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A17692-2001Nov12?language=printer  
 © 2002 The Washington Post Company

 

National Diverts Plane After Landing Code Mix-Up 

By Katherine Shaver
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 27, 2001; Page B03

An America West flight bound for Reagan National Airport was forced to divert to Dulles International on Sunday after the cockpit crew failed to give the correct code for landing at National, federal officials said.    Flight 90 from Columbus, Ohio, arrived three hours late at National after spending 1 1/2 hours on the Dulles tarmac, where passengers said they had a frustrating, full-bladdered experience. Passengers said the pilot told them that the FBI was forcing the plane to land at Dulles but did not say why… [ Deleted Text ]

… The tension inside the plane mounted, Dunnebacke said, because passengers were not allowed to use the plane's restrooms for about 45 minutes after landing at Dulles and were not allowed off the plane.  "People were ready to rush the door to get out of the plane and get to a bathroom," Dunnebacke said.  Monahan said the FBI asked that the airline not permit the 119 passengers to get out of their seats or use the bathroom or cell phones until the FBI cleared the plane at Dulles... [ Deleted Text ]

[Complete article …]

© 2002 The Washington Post Company  
{Org Note}
- In addition to the 45 minutes on ground, restroom use is not allowed for 30 minutes before landing.

 


MEET BETTYE ROUSSOS: A REAL PERSON WHO HAD THE CONDITION
It was while accepting a sales award at a large banquet that Bettye Roussos, 57, of Ormand Beach, Florida realized that her overactive bladder was ruining her life. "I was drinking water and wine and suddenly the urge to empty my bladder hit me full force," she recalls. "I remember thinking, 'as soon as they announce the winner I'll make my exit for the restroom.'"  The winner turned out to be Bettye. "I was in a state of panic," she remembers, "and I had no choice but to make my way up to the podium." To complicate matters, she was also expected to make a speech. Although Bettye usually wore a pad to catch the urine she sometimes lost when she didn't get to the bathroom right away, she didn't have one on that night because she didn't want it to show through her clingy evening dress. Standing behind the podium with her legs crossed, Bettye could feel the urine pouring down her legs. Although her stockings were drenched, she felt fortunate that her dress was spared. Somehow she made it through the picture-taking which followed, smiling bravely and just wanting to run from the scene. "It was a moment of pure hell," she states.   Although it was her worst experience with an overactive bladder, the mother of three says it wasn't the first. Working the sales floor of a large department store, she would sometimes be with a customer and have to take off running. "I actually developed a swishy kind of walk in which I held my legs together as I raced to the bathroom." There were times she left a trail of urine behind her.  As time passed, her condition worsened. Bettye was wearing large pads every day and soaking them. She became fearful of going anywhere that was more than an hour's drive. When she went out to eat or shop, the first thing she did was find the location of a restroom. In trying to cope with the problem herself, Bettye started using the bathroom every hour to keep her bladder empty, and began wearing loose, oversized clothes that wouldn't reveal her accidents. At night she would typically get up four or five times to use the bathroom and wake in the morning exhausted.   Bettye made the mistake that most people suffering with an overactive bladder make. She thought that the symptoms of urgency and the frequent need to empty her bladder were just something she had to learn to live with. In speaking to her physician, she learned about a drug that was in the testing stages for overactive bladder, and immediately volunteered to be a part of the study. "It gave my life back to me," says Bettye. "Not only did it cut my bathroom visits in half but I'm now able to manage those once out-of-control urges and no longer have to worry about accidents." Amazed by the results, Bettye now lectures to groups about overactive bladder. She stresses that not only is it not a normal part of aging but it can affect anyone. "I've had men and women of all ages approach me after my lectures saying that they suffer from the same problem," she states. "One of the women was a reporter in her 20's who was covering my lecture; most are amazed to learn that help exists."  Bettye believes that more doctors need to make questions about bladder control a part of every adult physical. "They ask about your heart, your blood pressure, your breathing; everything but the bladder," she states. Too often, sufferers also think they need to go to a specialist to address he problem. "Tell any doctor and take it from there," says Bettye. "If you're too embarrassed to bring it up, hand them a pamphlet about overactive bladder and say 'I think I suffer from this.'"  The main point that Bettye stresses is the importance of getting help. Unfortunately, she states, the topic remains taboo for most. Only one-third of those who could benefit from treatment actually seek help. "Too many people have needlessly become reclusive, prisoners in their own homes because of this," says Bettye. "This is something that no one should tolerate particularly when it can be treated," she adds. "It's a horrible problem, it's embarrassing, but there is help; you don't have to let this control your life."  Today Bettye says her life has never been fuller. She's enjoying being with her young granddaughter, has started coordinating weddings on the side, enjoys making quilts and gardening and has a large circle of friends. Says Bettye, "I've finally gotten my life back and I intend to keep it!"

Source AMWA OVI

It was while accepting a sales award at a large banquet that Bettye Roussos, 57, of Ormand Beach, Florida realized that her overactive bladder was ruining her life. "I was drinking water and wine and suddenly the urge to empty my bladder hit me full force," she recalls. "I remember thinking, 'as soon as they announce the winner I'll make my exit for the restroom.'"  The winner turned out to be Bettye. "I was in a state of panic," she remembers, "and I had no choice but to make my way up to the podium." To complicate matters, she was also expected to make a speech. Although Bettye usually wore a pad to catch the urine she sometimes lost when she didn't get to the bathroom right away, she didn't have one on  that night because she didn't want it to show through her clingy evening dress. Standing behind the podium with her legs crossed, Bettye could feel the urine pouring down her legs. Although her stockings were drenched, she felt fortunate that her dress was spared. Somehow she made it through the picture-taking which  followed, smiling bravely and just wanting to run from the scene. "It was a moment of pure hell," she states. Although it was her worst experience with an overactive bladder, the mother of three says it wasn't the first. Working the sales floor of a large department store, she would sometimes be with a customer and have to take off running. "I actually developed a swishy kind of walk in which I held my legs together as I raced to the bathroom." There were times she left a trail of urine behind her.   As time passed, her condition worsened. Bettye was wearing large pads every day and soaking them. She became fearful of going anywhere that was more than an hour's drive. When she went out to eat or shop, the first thing she did was find the location of a restroom. In trying to cope with the problem herself, Bettye started using the bathroom every hour to keep her bladder empty, and began wearing loose, oversized clothes that wouldn't reveal her accidents. At night she would typically get up four or five times to use the bathroom and wake in the morning exhausted.    Bettye made the mistake that most people suffering with an overactive bladder make. She thought that the symptoms of urgency and the frequent need to empty her bladder were just something she had to learn to live with. In speaking to her physician, she learned about a drug that was in the testing stages for overactive bladder, and immediately volunteered to be a part of the study. "It gave my life back to me," says Bettye. "Not only did it cut my bathroom visits in half but I'm now able to manage those once out-of-control urges and no longer have to worry about accidents." Amazed by the results, Bettye now lectures to groups about overactive bladder. She stresses that not only is it not a normal part of aging but it can affect anyone. "I've had men and women of all ages approach me after my lectures saying that they suffer from the same problem," she states. "One of the women was a reporter in her 20's who was covering my lecture; most are amazed to learn that help exists."   Bettye believes that more doctors need to make questions about bladder control a part of every adult physical. "They ask about your heart, your blood pressure, your breathing; everything but the bladder," she states. Too often, sufferers also think they need to go to a specialist to address he problem. "Tell any doctor and take it from there," says Bettye. "If you're too embarrassed to bring it up, hand them a pamphlet about overactive bladder and say 'I think I suffer from this.'"   The main point that Bettye stresses is the importance of getting help. Unfortunately, she states, the topic remains taboo for most. Only one-third of those who could benefit from treatment actually seek help. "Too many people have needlessly become reclusive, prisoners in their own homes because of this," says Bettye. "This is something that no one should tolerate particularly when it can be treated," she adds. "It's a horrible problem, it's embarrassing, but there is help; you don't have to let this control your life."  Today Bettye says her life has never been fuller. She's enjoying being with her young granddaughter, has started coordinating weddings on the side, enjoys making quilts and gardening and has a large circle of friends. Says Bettye, "I've finally gotten my life back and I intend to keep it!"  

 

 

AMES, IA—A local resident's search for a public bathroom became an epic odyssey of alienation, humiliation, and human cruelty Monday.  

Above: Webster revisits one of the many establishments to reject him during his harrowing ordeal.
Above: Webster revisits one of the many establishments to reject him during his harrowing ordeal.

"You have no idea what I've been through," said Pete Webster, 27, recovering from the harrowing ordeal in his apartment. "From endless 'Bathroom For Paying Customers Only' signs to toilets so disgusting they're unsuitable for vomiting, I saw it all."  Webster's bathroom search began at approximately 1:15 a.m., 30 minutes after leaving Burrito Bob's, where he consumed a double enchilada platter and a 32-ounce Pepsi. Though he felt fine upon exiting the popular late-night eatery, he soon felt an overwhelming need to defecate.   "I should've gone at Burrito Bob's," said Webster, who had spent the night barhopping with friends. "But I didn't have to go when I left. Besides, I figured I could always just dart into a gas station or some 24-hour restaurant and do the deed."  "What I failed to factor in," Webster continued, "is the unfathomable darkness of the human soul."   Rather than head back to his west-side apartment, a 25-minute walk from the downtown area, Webster made the fateful decision to search for a public restroom. His first stop was the Rite-Aid 24-hour pharmacy on West Gentry Street. Asking for the bathroom, he was told by a cashier that the facilities were for employee use only.   "I offered to buy a candy bar or something, but this bitch cashier said that wouldn't make any difference," Webster said. "How could a drugstore not have a public bathroom? Explain that one to me. Isn't public health in the interest of a drugstore? What's a more basic public-health issue than having to take a shit?"   The pressure on his bowels steadily building, Webster was able to obtain the key to the men's room of an Amoco gas station on Kellogg Avenue at 1:50 a.m. But an unspeakable horror awaited him.   "The toilet was backed up, and sewage had slopped over the lid of the toilet onto the floor," Webster said. "There was no toilet paper, no soap, no paper towels, and no stall door. Still, I decided to go for it."    

 Above: The alienated Webster stands on the outside, looking in.
Above: The alienated Webster stands on the outside, looking in.

Gingerly attempting to hover above the bowl without making contact, Webster stopped himself when he was suddenly overcome by a fear of splashback. He promptly returned the key to the gas-station attendant.  "I told the guy the restroom was unusable," Webster said. "He gave me this look, like I was acting like some sort of diva."   Unable to find a place to defecate, Webster decided to give himself partial relief by urinating. Even this effort, however, brought nothing but torment and pain.  "I snuck behind a tree to piss, but I couldn't get the piss going without the rest coming out, too," Webster said. "Sometimes, I can take a piss when I actually have to do more, but this time it would've been too much to hold back."   At 2:10 a.m., Webster encountered a group of Iowa State University students, who directed him to the school's student union.  "They said, 'Oh, yeah, there's a bunch of bathrooms in [the union]. Just head a few blocks down Marston and take a right at 12th Street, you can't miss it,'" Webster said. "When I got there, the whole place was lit up. I can't tell you how happy I was running up the steps of that building."   The building was locked, closed since midnight.   "When I saw the union was closed, I started thinking about that one guy who was having a hard time keeping a straight face while the other rattled off the directions," Webster said. "I guess they decided to have a little fun at my expense. I didn't know them, and they didn't know me. It was just a bit of senseless, cruel fun. I guess they didn't realize they were toying with a broken, desperate man."  The student-union episode was followed by several more spirit-crushing glimpses into the howling void. Webster encountered a Port-A-Potty in a local park which turned out to be padlocked, was denied restroom access by the acerbic employees of a bail-bonds office, and came across a convenience-store restroom dubiously declared "out of order" by a makeshift sign scrawled on notebook paper.   Finally, at 2:45 a.m., Webster decided to accept defeat and begin the 25-minute walk home. Within moments of opening the apartment door, relief was his.   "In retrospect, I should've just gone home right at the start," Webster said. "But I really thought it'd be faster to find a place downtown than to walk home. Even when I hit the one-hour mark, I still thought I'd find one any second. That's the thing about bathroom searches: No matter how bad it's going, you still think some mythical golden stall with a clean seat and a fresh roll of paper is just around the corner."

The ordeal has given Webster new perspective on society's treatment of outsiders.

"Before last night, I never realized what second-class citizens people without ready access to toilets are," Webster said. "I'll tell you one thing: If I ever encounter someone in that situation, I will not put them through this. I'll let them use my own toilet, or personally drive them around until we find a halfway-decent crapper."

 

NO METRO FACILITIES

Washington Post June 19, 1998; Page A24
Section: OP/ED
Word Count: 179

A few weeks ago a friend and I took advantage of Metro no-fare subway rides (Transit Day) to check out the localities around stations we had never used. In general our experience with Metrorail was pleasant, with one exception. We noticed that many of the parking lot stairways had a smell of urine. I got angry, at first, with the kind of people who do these things. I'm now wondering why a major transit system has no restrooms, or at least portable toilets, near the parking lots… 

© 2002 The Washington Post Company

 

Metro's Not-So-Sweet Smell of Success 

By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 3, 2002; Page B01
 

Cindi White boarded car No. 3198 at the Silver Spring Metro station, took one whiff and was overwhelmed by a scent redolent of a locker room, with a hint of sweat socks and notes of a dank basement.   "It smells like a smelly rug," sniffed White, a secretary at the Department of Agriculture who has been riding Metro for four years but just noticed the odor on certain trains in the past year. "It's a kind of moldy, unpleasant, wet smell." ...

... Reeking rail cars are an affront to a transit system that has forged a national reputation for cleanliness. "Nobody wants to ride on a stinky car," said Joel Wexler, superintendent at Metro's Greenbelt yard, where Green Line cars are housed overnight and cleaned. ...

... "They have a musky, urine smell all the time," said Angel Spates, a federal worker from Manassas who rides the Orange Line. "You can smell it as soon as you get on. It's awful." Gregory Robinson, 31, who cleans Green Line cars from 8 p.m. until 4:30 a.m. each weeknight, acknowledged that urine in the trains is a problem, especially in the secluded area of the rail car directly behind the operator's cab. ...

© 2002 The Washington Post Company

 

THE WORD ON . . .

Tourist-Friendly Public Toilets

August 13, 2000; Page E3
Section: Travel
Word Count: 807

Mary Ann Racin recently launched thebathroomdiaries.com, a Web site that allows travelers to search a database of the world's most tourist-friendly toilets. David Wallis interviewed her by telephone from her Virginia headquarters.Q: How did you come up with the name?A: "Let's Go" was taken.Q: Okay, let's get to the bottom of this. What's the story behind the site?A: Last summer, I was in Paris with my 3-year-old daughter, and when she had to go.

© 2002 The Washington Post Company

 

REHOBOTH POLICE STAKE OUT ALLEYS USED AS BATHROOMS

Jackie Spinner Washington Post Staff Writer
July 3, 1998; Page B1
Section: METRO
Word Count: 1118

It's Long Island Iced Tea night, as Tuesdays are known around this popular beach resort, and the authorities are enforcing a new, no-nonsense policy to combat that blight of the boardwalk: scofflaws who relieve themselves in public. The police spot two young men urinating in the parking lot of a senior center behind the Summer House Saloon on Rehoboth Avenue. The patrolmen arrest the two and inform them that their names will be sent to the newspapers and the local radio and TV...

© 2002 The Washington Post Company

 

 

 

Stories related to the lack of Facilities at Metrorail Stations

 

'SIT BACK, RELAX, AND LET METRORAIL GET YOU THERE'

Getting from Alexandria to Baltimore without the nuisance of driving through rush hour traffic seemed easy enough. All I needed to do was walk 15 minutes to the Braddock metro and stay on for about 50 minutes to the Greenbelt metro, then hop on the bus and enjoy the one hour leisurely ride to BWI. What I hadn't anticipated was that at no point was there a public restroom. About halfway to Greenbelt I began to feel the uncomfortable fullness of my bladder. Believe me I was the first one off the train. Running up to the attendant I asked for the restroom and was told there wasn't one. Hoping that I could make it to BWI without embarrassing myself.  I pulled my luggage outside and waited for the bus. The schedule said the bus arrived at 6:14 which meant 10 minutes. I was angry and in pain. The bushes began to look more and more welcoming.  Finally, in indignation, I rolled my suitcase back to the attendant and pleaded that it was an " emergency.

 

 I was again told that there was no public facility. Another worker outside of the kiosk caught the brunt of my complaints. Obviously there was a facility otherwise how could they work there all day. Wasn't it interesting that my tax dollars paid for this system and I was being treated this way and on and on. What a picture I made, young woman in a business suit bending over holding her stomach area obviously in dire need of a toilet. Finally he told me I could use the employee restroom. He unlocked it and stood guard as I relieved myself then promptly locked it back. I was much relieved physically but not emotionally. I left this situation feeling degraded and humiliated. As I went back to the bus stop I noticed a man urinating on the bushes. Is it any wonder that half the metro stops smell of urine?"

"R. Kennedy, M.Ed.
Public Health Professional"

 

PLEADING WORKS FOR 73 YEAR-OLD WOMAN

On June 13, I walked into the Gallery Place Metro station when I suddenly realized that I had to go to the bathroom NOW.  I had had a few prior experiences like that--maybe three in 10 years--and, each time, the stationmaster graciously let me use the bathroom.  So I was quite confident when I  approached the stationmaster who was in his enclosure. When I asked him to use the bathroom, he just shook his head "no."  When I insisted more urgently, he pointed up the escalators as if to say that there were bathrooms up there.  Although I really knew that there are no public bathrooms in Metro, I went up the escalator, but realized that I did not have enough time to go to one of the restaurants across the street. 

 

I went back down the escalator.  This time I said to the stationmaster:  "PLEASE, let me use the bathroom; I am having AN  EMERGENCY NOW.  He did, but very reluctantly. 

This is the closest I have ever come to a bathroom disaster in public, and I am VERY frightened that it will happen again.  Of course, the episode was embarrassing and demeaning.   I am a 73 year-old female, but I still enjoy Imax and Wolftrap and the Kennedy Center.  I can certainly understand the problems and pitfalls of public restrooms,  but I hope that some solution can be found in DC.

DBB  {Email to Metroped}


NO METRO FACILITIES

A few weeks ago a friend and I took advantage of Metro no-fare subway rides (Transit Day) to check out the localities around stations we had never used. In general our experience with Metrorail was pleasant, with one exception.

 

 I got angry, at first, with the kind of people who do these things. I'm now wondering why a major transit system has no restrooms, or at least portable toilets, near the parking lots…

Washington Post June 19, 1998; Page A24 Section: OP/ED

 

Metrorail fails WW II Vet

Before Pop died, he visited at my suburban D.C. home. As a World War II pilot, he was anxious to see the Air and Space Museum. He had never used Metrorail, and seemed excited as we drove to the station. On the escalator, Pop said he’d hit the men’s room while I got the passes.  

 

“Pop there are no restrooms”.  His face expressed disbelief.  "Ask the attendant, he might let you use his".  He was too proud to ask, and looking much older, said, “We better head back."

"R.Brubaker Advocate, Metroped

 

                                                                                                                                                                         

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WARNING AND DISCLAIMER: The American Restroom Association (ARA) is formally incorporated in the State of Maryland and is a subsidiary of the International Paruresis Association  ARA is not qualified to provide legal advice. This web site contains non-vetted information that is un-official and for education only. There are no formal or financial agreements with any persons or entities cited. Some material is from copyrighted sources. This material is for education only and it must be source referenced.

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