Australia’s National Public Toilet Map.
Having a job that requires me to assess the usefulness of this site for international business travelers makes me very happy.
I would cheerfully kick in a couple of bucks on my income taxes to make this happen for the USA.
This reminds me of the story of the biggest regret of my life.
The bathrooms in the freshman dorms where I went to college were abysmal. Not just putrescent in the way that bathrooms inherently are, but like nightmarish with the thin coating of extra terror that only hormonal teenage boys can really deliver. Sometimes I still almost vomit when I remember the time a kid in the suite down the hall was taking a dump and his roommates poured an entire garbage can full of water on top of him. (The very quiet “Oh my god,” he uttered, followed by: “Can someone hand me some dry toilet paper?”)
So right, no way was I ever going to be caught in those toilets. I had to get really creative about my use of the public toilets everywhere else on campus—the library, the music building, different classroom buildings, the student union, administrative buildings, wherever.
Over time, I developed really useful and detailed knowledge about the campus bathroom situation. Like not only which buildings had the best bathrooms, but which floors on which bathrooms, and what times of days they were least likely to be heavily trafficked (LORD deliver me from a heavily trafficked bathroom.), and which ones seemed to be cleaned more often, and when.
I developed a campus bathroom review system. I had turned a terrible situation into a creative opportunity. I thought: I should make a zine. I should write this all down and publish it anonymously and leave piles of zines in the dining hall or wherever. And it would be like I contributed this really mind-blowingly magical and useful thing to this campus community of middle-class Virginians who frankly didn’t deserve anything magical or useful. But still.
It was a really good idea, and I knew it. I knew that it would blow up. But I never made the zine, of course I never made the zine, because a) I did have the concern that revealing all would ruin my cozy situation and b) because I’m super lazy and making things is hard.
Eventually I moved off campus and figured it was probably a stupid idea anyway. But my senior year I told a few people about this idea I’d had and they were like WHAT?!?!?! YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT. And then it was one of those things where those people turned and told other people “Did you hear about Kevin’s bathroom zine idea?” and then THEY were like “WHAT?!??!?!” And suddenly it was like I had let all these people down. They were right, I totally should have done that.
Since then whenever I have an idea for a project I try to at least start it.