Opinion

Pee-ing their way to jail and fines

It’s hardly news that, every once in a while, substantial segments of the human race go bat-poop crazy. That’s how we ended up with Great Moments such as the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials and the German Nazis.

Canadians are not immune. We can surrender to irrational whims and loopy fads with the best of them.  That’s how we got Trudeaumania, an enduring fan base for the Toronto Maple Leafs and of course, Ford Nation.

There’s a new and viral social craze that’s poised to seize our minds and sweep through our ranks – so new it hasn’t even been named yet.

May I suggest ‘Whizzteria’? Consider: a young man by the name of Daniel Athens is currently doing a year and a half of hard time in an El Paso jail. His crime: taking a leak against the outside wall of The Alamo. Not only does Mister Athens get to bed down with murderers, rapists and Aryan Nations goons for the next 18 months, he also has to pay a $4,000 fine. That’s the estimated cost to remove evidence of his transgression on the Alamo ramparts.

Four thousand dollars? For peeing outside once?  I’ve been doing that every chance I got my whole life.  I must owe somebody a fortune.

Alas, I find increasing evidence that the off-loading of urine and simple common sense no longer live on the same planet. In Portland, Oregon recently, municipal authorities drained 38 million gallons of water — that’s enough to fill 57 Olympic-sized swimming pools — from the city reservoir.  Why? Because an 18-year-old kid named Dallas Swonger had been videotaped urinating in it.  David Schaff, Oregon’s Water Bureau Administrator harrumphed that “our customers don’t anticipate drinking water that’s been contaminated by some yahoo who decided to pee in a reservoir.”

Well, true...but sir?  It’s not Agent Orange. It’s not napalm. It’s not radioactive runoff from a Fukushima nuclear reactor. It’s....urine.  It won’t hurt anybody — especially when it’s diluted in a ratio of one bladder-full to 38 million gallons of water.

I don’t know how to break this to urinophobics like the municipal authorities in Portland or to the El Paso judge who sentenced Daniel Athens to jail time, but a substantial number of human beings actually drink the stuff straight. Every day.

It’s known as Urine Therapy and adherents claim it’s useful for treating everything from gangrene to malaria — also including anemia, hypoglycemia, influenza and the common cold. Some even claim that chugalugging your pee will grow hair on your head and give you a rosy complexion. Most conventional medical practitioners pooh-pooh such claims — but they admit drinking your own pee probably won’t harm you.

Certainly didn’t harm Moraji Desai. The former Prime Minister of India was a devout believer in urine therapy.  He drank an eight-ounce glass of the stuff — straight up, no chaser — every day of his life. Mind you he did die. Eventually. At the age of 99.

There is one other piece of advice I’d like to pass on for the guardians  of that Portland reservoir. You know those geese that swim around in the reservoir?  And the ducks and the gulls and the terns? Not to mention the overflying eagles, hawks, sparrows, starlings, herons, chickadees, blackbirds, etc., etc.,

Plus of course the otters, raccoons, squirrels, mice and voles that paddle around on the shores of the reservoir.

Ain’t a single one of ‘em wearing a diaper.

— Arthur Black’s column appears every Tuesday in The NEWS. E-mail: arblack43@shaw.ca.

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