IN THE SPIRIT of Christmas, Hackney has given the media news that allows them to unleash a stream of puns.
Setting the tone with the headline It’s ‘peeback’ time, a press officer gave details of her council’s attempts to counter random weeing. (She took the precaution of putting the peeback “joke” in quotes for the dull-witted.)
The problem of street urination will be solved, Hackney hopes, by walls that “wee back”. An anti-urine coating is being tested in two “wetspots” (yet another council word-play) in Shoreditch and Dalston during the busy Christmas (Pissmas?) and New Year party season.
The coating creates a barrier that completely repels liquid so that anyone – lets face it, any man – pointing Percy (© Barry Humphries) at the wall will see their urine “bounce” [sic] off, covering their shoes and trousers.
(Spot the flaw in the logic: by that stage most men are way beyond caring about such matters. Sorry, but that’s your English male for you.)
“It also,” added the hapless public-relations officer, “stops urine soaking into the wall, reducing stains and smells.”
Washing urine off walls and pavements costs Hackney council £100,000 a year. A hundred grand: pee-leaze!
To reduce the problem, the council has fined more than 500 people for publicly weeing this year 2015 – “a threefold rise” on last year 2014 – and is also providing more public toilets.
Two sets of public lavs in Dalston at Ridley Road Market and Dalston Passage, are open 24 hours a day. Tem-pee-rary urinals at New Inn Yard, Gillett Square and Anning Street are open at weekends.
Hackney proudly points out that it is the only London borough to be ranked in the local authority Loo of the Year Premier League. No loo-ser, Hackney.
Feryal Demirci, environment councillor, said in the press release that people heading to northeast London for Hackney’s nightlife should “think about the people living near by by keeping the noise down and not weeing in the street”.
There must be word-play potential in the quote but neither this site nor the Pee R officer can find it. Sorry, guess we’re just drained.
Hamish Scott 161215
* Picture at top: Mind your pee and queue: punters wait to spend 20 pence at the Ridley Road Market lavatories. All pictures on this page © DavidAltheer[at]gmail.com, apart from main pic, for sale for reproduction. Most photographs can be visually enlarged by pressing on them.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.