John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The unnamed cleaning contractor had built a secret napping nest inside an airport bathroom.
Cue up the funky slap-bass score for this edition of Toilet Tuesday:
CRAPPY RESTAURANT REVIEWS FIND THEIR HOME, IN CALIFORNIA
If you're ever in the bathroom of San Diego's Craft & Commerce and hear a disembodied voice moaning about the "very unhealthy menu, bland food" and "snooty staff," don't worry – it's not the ghost of a customer who died after ingesting a bad oyster. It's simply the worst reviews of the restaurant on Yelp, which the owners have chosen to play in the toilets like the audio log of a sourpuss food critic's greatest disappointments.
Co-owner Arsalun Tafazoli helped conceive of the Yelp nag-muzak after noticing a few accusatory comments concerning Craft & Commerce, a nouveau comfort-food establishment in the Little Italy neighborhood. He decided to have a bit of fun at the complainers' expense, as he told San Diego Downtown News:
“We read every review and there will be terms like ‘shocked,’ and ‘appalled,’ and people will say how we ruined their week,” Tafazoli laughed. “It’s almost Shakespearean, like we kidnapped their first child and held it for ransom. This is from a person who’s paying 12 bucks for a burger.”
Tafazoli considered printing out the more terrible reviews as wallpaper, but went the petulant-poetry route because the restaurant was already playing books on tape in the bathrooms. (As a few cynical Yelpers have pointed out, the vibe might be overly "hip.") The restaurant has four out of five Yelp stars, but you wouldn't know it listening to the stream of of bile echoing through the commode, including, "The rest of the menu seemed very pretentious and just adding bacon to everything at a certain point just becomes lazy and not innovative at all." And, "This place is trying WAY too hard. examples being: suspenders and leather fanny packs are part of the uniform, really? the stencil on the mirror about how it's supposed to make the restaurant look bigger? oh! so self aware and ironic. har har har."
GOVERNMENT REWARDS BIG URINATORS, IN THE NETHERLANDS
Up to two million party people crowd into Amsterdam each spring to celebrate Koninginnedag ("Queen's Day"), the biggest holiday in Holland. That crush of beer-sucking humanity can in turn generate up to two million gallons of urine, much of it not directed into the proper receptacles.
To help cut down on revelers peeing into canals and on bushes, local utility Waternet has started using a curious urinal that it is calling "Potje Pissen: Pis je vrienden van de pot" – Google translation, "Potty Piss: Piss your friends from the pot." What that actually means is that the urinal is wired to sense how much pee somebody releases and transform it into a upsurging bar graph shown above the cheering throngs. Whoever pees the most wins the game prize, which is Waternet's promise to "Leg er nog 200M een knoop in en pis jezelf in de prijzen," or decoded by Google, "Put a knot in the 200M still piss yourself in the prices."
OK, this isn't working, but the utility is basically promising to pay the "water taxes" of Amsterdam's biggest bladders. The winners also get a piece of paper reading "Pisdiploma." Whoever the lady is at 0:56 in this video, I think she deserves three Pisdiplomas for figuring out how to pee standing up:
WORKER'S BATHROOM SNOOZE-HOLE SHUTS DOWN PITTSBURGH AIRPORT CONCOURSE
Everyone drop what they're doing and take a moment to honor this real-life George Costanza, who tried valiantly to expand the horizons of workplace napping and set off a major terrorist scare in the process.
The ruckus started last week when smoke started pouring out of a men's restroom at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Firefighters ascertained that the blaze was emanating from behind a plumbing-access panel, in a confined space that somebody had feathered, nestlike, with paper towels and more than 200 cigarette butts. After noticing an unattended black satchel in there as well, authorities called in the bomb squad and ordered nearby planes to move away as they evacuated Concourse D.
Once police determined the bag to be non-hostile, they opened it and found a rolled-up mat stuffed inside. A review of security-cam footage revealed that an unnamed cleaning contractor had been using the behind-the-wall burrow as a "secret sleeping place," reports CBS Pittsburgh, and had probably started the fire by throwing out a smoldering butt. CBS also snagged this nice quote:
“We’re very fortunate it wasn’t a worse fire than it was,” said JoAnn Jenny, of the Allegheny County Airport Authority. “There was a lot of charring discovered over there. Unfortunately, it’s turning into a case of smoking in the boy’s room.”
Good luck on your next career move, anonymous cleaning contractor. Perhaps you should look into working for the New York Yankees.