Patty Wilson went downtown Tuesday evening in an attempt to trigger the pay-toilet alarm system. This is her report.
"The story is long and ugly. I set out Tuesday evening with my friend and five kids in tow... we made it halfway around the park when... all the kids had to pee! We jumped into the line for the 250K toilet... waited and listened through two uses and two cleaning cycles... the kids were all whining... we grew tired of waiting and decided to seek relief elsewhere. We found none, so about 40 minutes later we found ourselves back at the toilet... and it was occupied, but there was no line. We happily claimed first place and waited... and waited... for almost 20 minutes. Suddenly there was a bright flash... then the big light panel on the door started flashing red... we couldn't hear anything, but assumed this was the warning......it continued for 1 or 2 minutes, then the door opened... to the sound of a shrill alarm (think air raid siren in a higher octave) AND THERE WAS NOBODY INSIDE! somebody had put in a quarter and apparently run in and back out... or else they were beamed out after they entered. Now I figured I'd seen and heard the alarm... all I had to do was wait for it to clean itself and then we could let the little kids pee (since they are now CRYING...) WRONG AGAIN! after cleaning itself, it apologized, and declared itself temporarily out of service."
"Then things got seriously ugly
with the kids. I was laughing so hard by this point that even
I was in dire straits. I took the attached picture of the "out
of service" sign, and trooped the kids down to those really
nasty portables... just gotta love technology. I will eventually
have to go back and experience the alarm from the inside. It
must be truly frightening."