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January 04, 2005

Need the potty?

I've noticed that the number of lurkers (visitors who read the posts but don't respond) has gone up exponentially here at Popping Culture, possibly because of the cancer thing (results of the PETscan are in and coming to you later tonight!). I'm hoping this will draw a "yes" or "no" from the quiet masses.

Here's the question: Presented with this bathroom, which, as you can see, can't be looked in on, but....

toilet outside.jpg

...as you can also see, gives you a VERY clear view of the world around you...

toilet inside.jpg

...would you use it?

Assume for the purposes of this experiment that you have to go, but could probably make it to another toilet.


Posted by Dan at January 4, 2005 05:17 PM

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I probably would not use that. Even though no one would be able to see me, I think it still would weird me out being able to see everyone else.

Okay, okay, maybe I'd use it to pee. Maybe.

Man, that's weird.

Posted by: Joel Caris at January 4, 2005 05:57 PM

Yes! Because that is just a fact of life..

Havin' to pee I mean...

Now if they could see me? All bets would be off..

Okay.. so there went my argument huh?

Posted by: Cam at January 4, 2005 06:31 PM


I expect I'd tell myself I could, then when the time came.... I'd be, erm, non-productive.

Even for a well-adjusted guy like me, it's a little much.

Posted by: Big Dan at January 4, 2005 10:21 PM

I assume this is real and not a photoshop?

Assuming it works as it appears to, an interesting psychological effect will be at play. Most people don't glance at port-a-johns but practically everyone glances at a mirror when they see one. Which means that if you're using it, as people walk by they'll practically all seem to be looking at you.

Posted by: Dean Esmay at January 5, 2005 12:18 AM

The thing is, one-way mirrors typically only work when there's bright light outside of them. If any sort of shadow fell accross it, I bet it would be peakable from the outside.

I'd at least look up to see if there were any clouds likely to cast such shadows.

Posted by: ctl at January 5, 2005 12:22 AM

You betcha.

Posted by: Ara at January 5, 2005 02:43 AM

Depends on the glass. If it's one of those mirrors you can see through if you look close enough (and people will), then no. If you can't see inside, then I think I might.

Posted by: HokiePundit at January 5, 2005 03:17 AM

I dunno. I think, psychologically, I would have trouble using it!

Or, conversely, I might get off on using it! :-)

Posted by: Michael at January 5, 2005 05:24 AM

#1, certainly, might even go out of my way a few times until the novelty wore off.

#2, unlikely.

Not sure exactly why the difference, but it probably has something to do with being used to semi-public urination (urinal lines, edge of a ball field, alley beside a bar, etc.)

Where is this thing by the way?

Posted by: chthus at January 5, 2005 08:16 AM

I'm sure that if I had to go and it was there, I would use it. Given the choice between a one-way mirrored port-a-potty on the street or a McDonalds, however, I'd go with McD's. There's just something weird about looking at people on the street while you're sitting on the throne.

Posted by: AFSister at January 5, 2005 09:07 AM


I think it was in Seattle. Which adds Dean's "cloudy day" factor.

Posted by: Big Dan at January 5, 2005 09:58 AM

The syndrome is known as "shy bladder" altho it effects the valve controller rather than the tank. I suffer (not to strong a term) from this syndrome.

Next question?

Posted by: triticale at January 5, 2005 11:56 AM

I would.

Then again, I've peed off of a public bridge in Rochester at night because of how high it was, so I may not be the best person to ask . . .

Posted by: B. Minich, PI at January 5, 2005 12:08 PM

was the inside photo taken with a web cam? the idea of a "mirrored port-o-let cam" would lead me elsehwere, e.g. behind the nearest tree (I live in the woods).

Posted by: hn at January 5, 2005 02:00 PM

Hell no. It wouldn't matter that no one could see me; I could see them. And that would be like including total strangers in on a very vulnerable moment (i.e. 'with my pants down') especially, like Dean said, as the outside is mirrored, and everyone would appear to be looking into the space. Yeesh.

On the other hand, the 'pee with a view' thing would preclude anyone sneaking up on the pee-er, making it safer?


Posted by: willow at January 5, 2005 05:38 PM

Eh...I can pee just about anywhere, if I have to...

Posted by: stacie at January 5, 2005 07:43 PM

It's clean. I'd use it.

If you have stage fright, just close your eyes and think of Niagara Falls.

Posted by: IB Bill at January 5, 2005 08:31 PM


I believe that about you.

Posted by: Big Dan at January 5, 2005 09:51 PM

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