Looking out for number one (and number two)
December 20, 2008 6:31 PM   Subscribe

For large events, the National Park Service recommends one porta-potty per every 300 people. But if a low estimate of two million people attend the January 20th swearing-in of Barack Obama and the inaugural parade that follows, the just announced 5,000 toilets planned for the event will provide only one seven-foot plastic sanctuary for every 400 people. And even though Don's Johns use a satellite GPS system to "track the delivery, location, and status of every unit," many are skeptical the levies will hold.
posted by punkbitch (29 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yet another reason to watch this on tv from the local bar (or home), rather than walk down to the Mall...
posted by inigo2 at 6:38 PM on December 20, 2008


...who points out that each event is different because of weather and time of year.
...
Officials with the Presidential Inaugural Committee aren't saying how many people they expect.
...
In addition to portable restrooms, 13 museums will be open around the Mall...

I don't know who that WTOP station is in your skeptical link, but this is a classic nontroversy.
posted by DU at 6:39 PM on December 20, 2008


I think it will be OK. That recommendation of one porta-potty per three hundred people probably doesn't take into account the fact that there's going to be a whole lot less shit in Washington starting on January 20th.
posted by Flunkie at 6:42 PM on December 20, 2008 [7 favorites]


Just beware of these guys.
posted by netbros at 6:44 PM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dammit, beaten to the shit joke.
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 6:50 PM on December 20, 2008


I may be working at the inauguration, setting up crowd control barricades. The same company that does the bike races that I work also rents equipment and provides labor for other events. They have bid on this, so I may get a front row seat.
posted by fixedgear at 6:52 PM on December 20, 2008


Sounds like a tempest in a bedpot.
In addition to portable restrooms, 13 museums will be open around the Mall, including the Holocaust Museum and the U.S. Botanic Gardens.
Not to mention how many Starbucks, McDonalds, etc.
posted by furtive at 7:07 PM on December 20, 2008


Or those attending could do their part by wearing Depend undergarments.
posted by furtive at 7:13 PM on December 20, 2008


Stadium Pal.

Not to mention how many Starbucks, McDonalds, etc.

I wouldn't count on it. That's a lot of walking through a lot of people to find a store with a restroom, anything close to the Mall is probably going to either be a nightmare of lines, or signs saying no admittance except for patrons. The museums are the best bet for indoor. But all total the museums probably have a few hundred restrooms, nothing considering 5,000 portables won't be enough.
posted by stbalbach at 8:39 PM on December 20, 2008


The WTOP link (which, by the way, is the local DC all-news station) is talking about porta-johns on the DC Metro only. The Post link is talking about toilets for the ceremony, along the parade route and on the Mall and near the Capitol. So it's apples to oranges here.
posted by heydanno at 8:46 PM on December 20, 2008


Oddly enough, it'll be as historic on tv.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:01 PM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


A-ha! Karl Rove rears his head in an obvious coup d'etat. It's masterful. When the lines to the port-a-potties become too long and the black people finally start to riot, when Barack Obama attempts to regain calm with his pansy ass "elevation" voodoo, when democracy can take no more, John McCain will be there to patriotically sneak to the podium and swear himself in as President. This may be the only solution.
posted by stavrogin at 9:41 PM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Has David Blaine been invited?
posted by Tube at 10:33 PM on December 20, 2008


There's a point at which the size of the crowd makes this less historic and more a pain in the ass.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:01 PM on December 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hand sanitizer, folks. Bring it. Use it.
Cholera = undesirable.
posted by The White Hat at 11:38 PM on December 20, 2008


I live 2 or 3 miles away from downtown, and I've decided I'm going to pass on going in for the inauguration. I'm going to arrange some kind of house party or something to watch it on TV instead.
posted by empath at 12:03 AM on December 21, 2008


Anyone interested in this kinda shit, owes it to themselves to see the Australian movie Kenny - - it's very funny and even a tad profound...
posted by fairmettle at 3:06 AM on December 21, 2008


are you predicting an avalanche of shit flowing down washington streets, filling up potholes left and right or that people will just frequently motion obama to get on with this already?
posted by krautland at 3:19 AM on December 21, 2008


Waterclosetgate.
posted by kcds at 4:32 AM on December 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Finally, they describe the kind of Change coming to Washington. Change of diapers that is...
posted by Gungho at 6:43 AM on December 21, 2008


You gotta be shittin' me.

Nothing...is what I got. I said remember that.
posted by 8-bit floozy at 7:16 AM on December 21, 2008


Remember, anyone with a VIP badge will have access to clean, private bathrooms, so this is really only for the unwashed-masses, and who really cares about them anyway?
posted by mikelieman at 8:10 AM on December 21, 2008


Is it appropriate to give dietary suggestions to the person in the next porta-potty or not?
posted by lukemeister at 12:52 PM on December 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


But but but, Obama is such a process guy. I suspect he will work this out.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:20 PM on December 21, 2008


Let's hope it goes better than the Pope's visit to Toronto back in 2002. That was some holy shit.
posted by yellowbinder at 6:35 PM on December 21, 2008


Damn you, I think of Led Zeppelin's When The Levee Breaks in a completely different light now.
posted by jonp72 at 8:07 PM on December 21, 2008


Or those attending could do their part by wearing Depend undergarments.

MaCain lost, remember?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 9:32 PM on December 21, 2008


furtive »» Or those attending could do their part by wearing Depend undergarments.

It'd not be a change for those Congresspeople attending; they're used to being full of shit.
posted by WCityMike at 10:12 PM on December 21, 2008


I don't care if you're an Obama supporter, I'm not letting you in here.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:35 AM on December 22, 2008


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