By Colleen Swartz, Motorcycle Writer/Photographer/Friend at Digital Magic Shots.
“With summer in full swing, I find myself spending more and more time in motorcycle rally port-a-potties. This is an unfortunate trend, to say the least, as I find the port-a-potty to be one of the more unpleasant places to be, especially with your pants down.
The rally environment is filled with all sorts of elements that lead to the need to use, and abuse the port-a-potty. When one considers the spicy sausage smothered with onions and peppers, the fried dough, the pulled pork with beans and the copious amounts of beer, it is easy to see how the port-a-potty becomes such a hellacious place. The by-products of this food and drink are deposited by thousands of rally goers in an above ground plastic cube and left to bake in high double digit sun which leads to low triple digit temperatures inside of the cube and a rendering of the by-products that no amount of blue water can suppress. We have all been there; you know what I am talking about.
In its defense, the port-a-potty does the best it can under these conditions to provide a needed space for the necessary functions of any rally attendee and if treated properly, it can be nearly civilized. Unfortunately, the same elements that lead to the need to use the potty also cause significant abuse to the potty which in turn, leaves the potty a less than comfortable space for the next in line.
I think it is time to lay out some general rules and suggestions for the use of the potty for the betterment of all who need to experience it.
The new generation of port-a-potties provides a brilliant option that should be used and observed by all users. It is the “Gender identification symbol”. This symbol is simply the universal Man/Woman symbols which indicate if it is a man’s port-a-potty or a woman’s port-a-potty. Some of you may wonder what the difference is. Well, there is actually no physical difference. Both have a seat and a wall funnel but to all women I know, the occupants who use the potty make a huge difference to the condition of the potty. Men don’t seem to notice this, but women surely do.
When men use our facilities, they do several things differently than we do. First, they yank rudely on the door whether the little red “occupied” symbol is present or not. Noting how flimsy the latches are, this is never a good idea especially to a shy bladder on the inside trying to hurry to avoid suffocation in the 105 degree potty. Secondly, men stand. In the old days there was no funnel on the wall and men would use the same hole as the women. Most didn’t put the seat up or down nor did they appear to make any attempt to aim. Gentlemen, you must stand CLOSER, it is shorter than you think. For this reason I applaud the woman who invented the wall funnel, however the down side of the wall funnel is that it is approximately at chin level to the woman occupying the potty. For this reason alone, we don’t want the funnel being used in the “ladies potty” under any circumstances.
Now on the flip side, I have to chastise the women who use the port-a-potties. Whoever came up with this whole “hover” idea is a complete idiot. Girls, hovering does nothing but cause you to pee all over the seat that then the next woman has to use. God gave us big asses so that we can seal our own potty seat area and leave no chance of peeing on the seat no matter how drunk we are. If you want to put paper down first, fine, but please don’t hover, you just don’t have the plumbing to pull it off successfully.
Also ladies, please don’t get confused by the little bar of soap that they put in the funnel on the wall. No matter how much you rub it between your hands, it won’t foam up or get your hands cleaner. I’ve tried it.
Smoking a “doobie” in a port-a-potty is bad form. You would think that would go without saying, but at every rally I find myself stepping into a potty that had just been used by a stoner. I don’t see what the thought process is that causes someone to go into a tiny cubicle where people go exclusively to do their business in insufferable heat to light up and inhale this air deeply and strongly and hold it in as long as possible. In fact, I think if you breathe deeply enough in a potty, you can get a buzz without the joint.
And lastly, there is no meeting so serendipitous or any mood so romantic as to warrant any form of sexual encounter in a port-a-potty.
Many rallies have really improved conditions of port-a-potties by providing “potty attendants”. The best of these are at The Broken Spokes. A crew (usually the same people at every rally I attend) are on hand to keep paper rolls full, periodically mop out the floors, put candles in at night to aid in seeing and in aroma control, wipe down surfaces, and provide everything from a tampon to a swisher sweet after your potty experience. I tip these people often and well. I know how much I hate to clean up after myself in my own house once a week, much less doing it for 10 days straight for thousands of people. These people are worth every penny of my tip money just for having the wet ones and hand sanitizer available when I am done. God bless them. And that is how I see it, from behind the lens” Colleen Swartz