Saturday, January 10, 2009

Change we can believe in

New York has been given a monumental makeover in the 20 years I've been here, but one obstacle they will never conquer is the concept of public toilets. How the hell does anybody have kids in this city? There couldn't be a more hostile place for children if you had to walk them through a cave full of bears. Have you ever tried to find a place to change a diaper in midtown, like I did the other day? After about ten blocks, the best idea I could think of was to just walk into the dining area at Taco Bell, put her on a table and let it rip. Hey, why not. It's Taco Bell. It's practically a public toilet already.

I was trying desperately to remember how I used to handle situations like this back in my drinking days. Then saw an inviting-looking standpipe on a side street, and I remembered: oh yeah, I used to just take care of whatever I needed to right out in public like an animal. Which is just what I did. Someday my daughter is going to be lying on a couch somewhere, talking about a recurring nightmare where a hairy behemoth is groping her in public, and people are just walking by, not intervening at all apart from the occasional disapproving glance.

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