By Michael R Shannon
My father grew up in rural Texas during the 1930s. His childhood featured dirt roads, a hand–crank telephone and outhouses. Most, if not all, of the bathrooms the Shannons constructed were what is termed a "one–holer."
Meaning the board that kept you from falling into a pit of (you–know–what) had a single hole carved in it, usually smack dab in the center. For some inexplicable reason, a some people built outhouses that were two–holers, possibly on the theory that if there were two of you inside, you stood an even chance with the flies. Although it seems to me it would have worked better if one swatted while the other, well, you know.
But on the plus side for modern progressives, all those bathrooms were "gender neutral." The splinters didn't care whose behind they poked. And the Shannons recycled without any government coercion. Last year's Sears Roebuck catalog provided reading matter to pass the time and once you were finished passing, the pages helped one tidy up.
Today in New York City leftists with time on their hands aren't reading mail order catalogs. Instead they're running as hard as they can to catch up with Depression–era North Texas. City Comptroller Scott Stringer — whose authority, one would think, does not extend into bathrooms, unless it's a pay toilet — is recommending all one–holers in the city be made "gender neutral" or in Ringling's phrase: Come one, come all!
Stringer told CBS New York, "We must look to help trans-gender individuals who quite frankly, have fears." Evidently there are Kohler Kops who closely monitor the comings and goings in city bathrooms and this legislation would persuade them to stand down.
The Comptroller of Commodes assures us that two–holers and above will be exempt from the law and all building owners will only be required to post a new sign, which I assume will not be my father's "gender–neutral" half-moon.
Eoghann Renfroe, the manager of transgender education and advocacy at the Empire State Pride Agenda, told CBS, "Being transgender, it's not about the bathrooms. It's that other people try to make it that way." I would have to agree. It's not about bathrooms; it's about indulging mental illness.
Unfortunately for NYC lavatory landlords, I fear that signage is only the beginning. Rules that cover the size of the sign, acceptable typefaces and size of the lettering are soon to follow. And, considering who we are accommodating, there may be rules on color schemes and logos.
And that's just before you open the door. Once inside there will be disputes and edicts over one–ply or two–ply and recycled or fresh. And what about texture? Is it going to be soft, cushiony Mr. Whipple rolls or the more austere John Wayne paper (Won't Take C**p Off Anyone!)?
And then there is the installation question. Should the sheets come over the roll like Niagara or make you pull the paper under the roll, which contributes to waste since the individual can't use the roll for leverage during the tearing process. But since NYC is the home of Leftist total control, that may not be an issue. There is a good chance virtue vigilantes will demand single–sheet dispensers (always a favorite in the Sheryl Crow household) Vs. the individual choice, all–you–can grab continuous rolls.
Then there's soap. Will they be allowed to continue using the industrial–strength soap that's also used to wash jets or will the hyper–sensitive demand something organic that smells like butterfly wings? I suppose it's too much to hope for paper towels. It will probably come down to a choice between those turbines that blow the water back on your pants or a fan operated by a foot pedal like pre–electricity sewing machines. Maybe the Fitbit system will give users exercise credit.
What most men fail to see, and I'm certain that includes Toilet Totalitarian Stringer, is that this ordinance is the opening feminists have been anticipating for the last 50 years. Mark my words the culmination of this drive will be an amendment that requires men to return the seat to the down position when they've finished, regardless of why they entered the bathroom in the first place.
Fines and sanctions to follow.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at mandate.mmpr (at) gmail.com. He is also the author of Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!).