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March 23rd, 2009:


When looking for facts to support my recent post Why Europe Sucks €. 1 Pay Toilets, I stumbled on the little known history of a band of Great American Patriots on Wikipedia.* They were called The Committee To End Pay Toilets In America (CEPTIA), and their mission was to rid America of the European phenomena of pay toilets.

A campaign by the Committee to End Pay Toilets In America (CEPTIA) resulted in laws prohibiting pay toilets in cities and states. In 1973, Chicago became the first American city to enact a ban, at a time when, according to the Wall Street Journal, there were at least 50,000 units in America[1], mostly made by the Nik-O-Lok Company [2]. CEPTIA was successful over the next few years in obtaining bans in New York, New Jersey, Minnesota, California, Florida and Ohio[3]. Lobbying was successful in other states as well, and by decade’s end, pay toilets were almost unknown in America. By then, those remaining toilet owners who had pay toilets found they were losing more money than they made, due to stolen or vandalized pay boxes, as well as lost business.

We are all indebted to this fearless band of Great American Patriots.

Liberty or Death!

*In the true American fashion, I did not start researching my topic until after I had already posted my thoughts.

Why Europe Stinks €. 1 – Pay Toilets

Don and a Pay Toilet

Everyone knows the feeling.

When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go – and nothing better stand in your way.

But what if I told you there was a land ruled by people who will obstruct your path to the toilet and shake you down for money during your time of need? You would be outraged. Surely, such a place cannot exist. Interfering with such a basic human need just to make a buck is perverse, if not inhumane!

But these horrors do occur every day, and it not where you might guess.

No it’s not in Burma, under the sick dictates of a military Junta.

And it is not some profiteering Somali pirate camp.

No sir. These outrages occur daily in Europe. A place that calls itself civilized.

Imagine, finding yourself in the most dire need of relief, and just when you stumble across a restroom facility it hits you: they are going to make you pay to pee. You’re going to be forced to tear through your pockets in search of spare change to hand over to the bouncer or feed to the often broken automated machine before they will let you in.

The horror and indignity of it all.

For all their blustering and grandstanding about human rights, equality and the dignity of man, the Europeans have a perverted tendency to exploit those in need of a toilet just to make a quick buck.  Sure they might have niceties like universal pensions, 6-weeks paid vacation and in-home day care. But the most fundamental right is to pee for free.

Without it they have nothing.*

*Except, perhaps, for a rather acrid smell coming from many of their rivers and side streets, particularly in Rome.

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