A Curious New Obsession

There are many characteristics which make up a good walk. If you walk long distances, a good view or great scenery is always a boon. Trudging alongside litter-strewn highway is not an experience which would make anyone want to pull on walking shoes and hit the pavement. Walkers look for good views, places to refuel with snacks and drinks along the way. It is always good to know that thirst and hunger can be sated with ease. A comfortable walking surface is also a key ingredient when planning  practice walks. Who wants to fall flat on their face or twist an ankle risking embarassment and injury?

But there is one amenity which is destined to yield a racing pulse and sense of comfort in the heart of most any walker. Often maligned outside walking circles and treated with dread and derision, there is nothing quite so heartwarming and welcome in the sight of a walker as a port-a-potty. No matter the ridiculous name afixed to its side (Johnny on the Spot, Royal Flush are a few which come to mind), a port-a-potty can be a true oasis of relief in the midst of a long, seemingly endless walk.

This intense relationship with a moveable loo is perhaps best known to suburban walkers. In the city there are any number of possible relief stations. Starbucks and hotels are both great spots. You can buy a cup of coffee for legitimacy or just slink to the back of the store and seek relief without censure. Hotels are so accustomed to runners leaving and returning from their daily run, they don’t bat an eye when a somewhat sweaty walker streaks through their lobby intent on relief. Parks offer opportunities as well although sometimes a little hunting is in order. And in the country all sorts of opportunities open up. Any shelter away from a road or at the edge of the woods offers the privacy and security needed.

But suburban walking is a whole other story. How many walkers have minced along step after step gazing longingly neat and tidy brick Colonials or sweet Capes, doors closed to them forever, with fervid dreams of powder rooms and half baths and a moment of heavenly ease. Bushes take on new significance along the way. Could I possibly duck behind this bush and avoid exposure? What about that fence? How far to the next strip mall? The benefits of proper hydration take on a whole new weight when balanced out against the potential outcome. It is in this context that the appearance of a construction zone can take on the stature of salvation. A housing boom? Yes, everyone renovate! And make sure that port-a-potty stands right out front for the comfort of your workmen and any walkers passing by.

So, walkers, plan your routes carefully. Distance is one thing, but distance coupled with frequent relief is a whole new ballgame. You can walk for hours if you can just take care of a few basic needs…


4 Comments to “A Curious New Obsession”

  1. Funny but true …

  2. Jenny, I like the look of your site. It has a custom quality to it and the name is charming. How did you make the headline backdrop?


  3. The same goes for cyclists. I’m always on the look out for the next pit stop!

  4. Do online lists exist for port-a-pottys in different cities? I know that there are some Apple or Google apps out there with a listing but don’t know how updated they are…

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