Coney Island was not all fun and hot dog eating contests this holiday weekend. In fact, there was a silent, misty menace seeping through the crowds (cue Jaws soundtrack): a lack of toilet paper.
In an “exposé” Monday, the Post explained that Parks Department employees were “rationing” toilet paper in the Coney Island women’s bathrooms along the boardwalk. And men weren’t getting any of the “cheap, single-ply” goods. Can someone please get some Charmin up in here?
The Post witnessed stone-faced Parks Department employees leave toilet-paper dispensers empty last week and instead force astonished female beachgoers to form “ration lines” in the bathrooms.
Regina Ballone, 25, of Brooklyn visited a boardwalk bathroom at West 16th Street Wednesday and was “grossed out” at the thought of someone else handling her toilet paper.
“Never in my life have I experienced anything like this,” she said. “I walked toward a stall, and a bathroom attendant stopped me by shouting, ‘Hey, mami! There’s no toilet paper here,’ and she whipped out a big roll for me to grab some.”
Bathroom attendants told the Post that the department wasn’t stocking enough of the rolls in the bathrooms, hence their rationing plan. Jeez, New York City Parks, isn’t wiping one of our inalienable rights? This is downright un-American! And it’s the Fourth of July!
Never fear, all has been returned to its natural order, thanks to the Post‘s investigative work and toilet puns. A story today cleared up the situation:
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe ended the rationing of toilet paper at Coney Island yesterday — admitting that the Post‘s potty exposé left him flush with embarrassment.
“We don’t know why [some workers] decided to ration toilet paper. Clearly . . . it was a mistake,” Benepe said.
“The economic conditions are challenging, but not that challenging. If you go there today, you’ll find toilet paper in every stall,” he said. “It’s our business to help New Yorkers do theirs.”
Case closed. (And props to Benepe for also using some toilet humor — it’s just so hard to resist!) Now we are left with the question of why anyone would actually want to use a bathroom on the boardwalk. Our suggestion: try to wait until you get home or find a restaurant.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 5, 2011