Subscribe TodayLog In
Subscribed, but don't have a login?
Activate your digital access.Opinion: Toilet humor doesn’t wash with Fort Collins council
Kevin Duggan is a Coloradoan columnist and this story may contain opinion.
As anyone who has cracked a failed joke knows, humor is hard.
It’s also thoroughly subjective: What’s funny to one person is offensive to another.
And these days, it seems, people are easily offended.
A sign posted outside a public restroom off Old Town Square that mixed rules for the using the facilities with attempts at humor got the stink eye this week from the Fort Collins City Council.
Council members were not amused by a line on the sign that followed a straightforward directive that the restroom may only be used for its intended purpose.
- Do not flush sanitary products, used diapers, kittens, puppies, prosthetic limbs, hopes & dreams.
Council members said the sign was neither funny nor up to “professional” standards and should be removed.
Larimer County resident and community activist Stacy Lynne raised the sign issue during the citizen participation segment of Tuesday night’s council meeting.
By the time I went looking for the sign Wednesday afternoon, it was gone. That was a quick flush.
Lynne said the sign was “insensitive and offensive” on several levels. Animal cruelty is not a joke — just ask the Larimer Humane Society.
And some users of prosthetic limbs, including wounded military veterans, may be self-conscious about them, she said.
“The city of Fort Collins is better than this,” she said, “And I am asking that the sign be immediately replaced with one that does not make light of animal abuse or people with handicaps.”
The council agreed the language was inappropriate. After Lynne said the council appeared to be struggling to not laugh — and made clear she was serious about her request — members moved quickly to set the record straight.
Member Kristin Stephens said they were reacting with horror rather than amusement. Stephens was shocked at the sign’s insensitivity and found no humor in it at all. Other members chimed in with their support for correcting the situation.
The Downtown Development Authority, or DDA, is responsible for Old Town Square and maintaining the restroom.
DDA officials did not respond to requests for comment. However, City Manager Darin Atteberry said the DDA was “extremely responsive” to his request that it consider taking down the sign.
It seems to me the sign was posted outside the restroom for a while, perhaps since the square was renovated two years ago, and was not controversial. Here are other rules that were listed on the sign:
- Allow the reasonable use of the facilities by others. (How long a minute is depends on which side of the door you are on!)
- No sitting or lying on the floor.
- Use of alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana is prohibited. (Hint: Potty … not party.)
- Bathing or laundry is not an intended use. (This also includes fishing or kayaking.)
A little playfulness goes a long way in grabbing people’s attention. But in this case, it was too much of a reach.
As far as I know, this sign was unique to the Old Town Square restroom. Signage at the recently remodeled public restroom on Oak Street lists a lot of no-nonsense rules:
No use of alcohol or tobacco, no sitting or lying on the floor, no bathing, no washing or drying clothing, and so forth.
The message from this episode is clear: Toilet humor doesn't wash in Fort Collins.
Kevin Duggan is a Coloradoan columnist. Follow him on Twitter, @coloradoan_dugg and on Facebooks at Coloradoan Kevin Duggan.
Read or Share this story: http://noconow.co/2CF67VOSOURCE:
The post Opinion: Toilet humor doesn’t wash with Fort Collins council appeared first on Shareabler.