WATCH WHERE YOU’RE AIMING THAT THING
by Todd Hartley
Everyone knows that one of the best things about being a guy is the ability to pee standing up just about anywhere. It’s kind of like a superpower, and I, for one, am thankful every time I urinate al fresco. But as five Spider-Man movies in the past 12 years remind us: With great power comes great responsibility. Frankly, some of you young fellows have been abusing that responsibility lately.
First there was Daniel Athens, the 23-year-old man who last week was sentenced to 18 months in prison for urinating on the Alamo, which to me seems like an obvious thing to not urinate on.
I don’t know what Athens’ background is. He could be a still-mourning, great-great-great-great-grandchild of Davy Crockett. He could be a gloating descendant of Santa Anna himself. It doesn’t matter. Because I know very little about Texas, and even I know how seriously Texans take their Alamo. It’s the thing they remember, for Pete’s sake. Athens would probably have gotten off easier if he’d peed on Rick Perry.
Then, earlier this week, a 19-year-old Oregon man was caught on tape sticking his willy through an iron fence to pee into a reservoir in Southeast Portland. That might not seem like a big deal to those of us who’ve peed in reservoirs, but apparently, it is to the Portland Water Bureau, which announced that it will have to drain 38 million gallons of potentially contaminated drinking water.
I don’t mean to tell the bureau how to do its business, but I think most municipalities in the U.S. purify their drinking water. Heck, we go water-skiing and swimming in our reservoirs in Colorado. One man’s urine in 50 million gallons doesn’t seem like much as long as you clean the water before people drink it.
But I suppose the bureau’s got to do what the bureau’s got to do. I imagine the bureau will see to it that the perpetrator foots the bill for all that wasted water, and if recent events are any guide, we can expect the bureau to go out of its way to stick it to the young man.
Drinking water at my store costs about two bucks a gallon, so if we extrapolate, we can assume that the urinator’s fine will be in the $74 million range, or about what it would cost the 19-year-old to go to college for four years.
Speaking of teenagers, the recent event that could serve as a guide for the Portland perpetrator’s punishment also involved a 19-year-old: Danik Kumar, of Ohio, who made a fake distress call in 2012 while flying over Lake Erie near Cleveland.
Kumar, a licensed pilot, reported seeing signal flares and a fishing boat that looked like it might be in trouble. A 21-hour search featuring four ships, a helicopter and a Canadian CC130 Hercules airplane ensued, but no fishing boat was found. A month later, Kumar admitted to making a false report, and earlier this week he was ordered by a U.S. appeals court to pay $489,000 in restitution. He also had to spend three months in prison and drop out of college, so he may actually be saving money.
Speaking of urine and Canada, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was in the news again earlier this week, only this time it wasn’t for doing something stupid.
Apparently, Ford and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams made the standard mayor-mayor bet on the outcome of the Toronto Raptors-Brooklyn Nets NBA playoff series. Typically, in those situations, the stakes are a beer. However, Ford, a raging substance abuser, made news because he doesn’t want the bet to involve alcohol.
It’s entirely possible that Ford wants the bet to be for a vial of crack cocaine instead, but he doesn’t want it to be for a beer, and I can respect that. Of course, if he’s really trying to clean up his act, one beer is like a drop in the ocean, but he’s got to start somewhere, right? Good for him.
If he still gets a hankering for that beer flavor, though, Toronto’s mayor will be happy to know about a new product that debuted earlier this week. Lollyphile, a candy company based partly in Austin, just put out beer-flavored lollipops, which sound like an ideal product for an imbiber like Ford.
In fact, Ford might be so happy about it that he’ll fly down to Texas to see the company’s headquarters. What are the odds that he pees on the Alamo while he’s there?
Raging overeater Todd Hartley says, “Remember the a la mode!”