Lawn art you can flush
My mate tracked me down last week on my cell phone while I was having coffee with friends. “Someone left a toilet on the side of the road on Wellington Street,” she said. I told her I had seen it and was disappointed that someone would dump illegally in our beautiful town. “Go get that toilet!” she ordered. When I explained that I was on my motor scooter and that I wasn’t sure I could carry it safely, she said she thought I’d be fine as long as I was careful. When I questioned her judgment, she became a little agitated. “Just once, could you not argue and just go get that toilet?” I assumed she wanted me to pick up and dispose of the commode as a civic gesture. I told her I would retrieve the roadside appliance as soon as a finished my coffee.”If you wait that long,” she said, “it might be gone.”In order to remain happily married, it is important to know when not to argue. I decided not to point out that in our upscale community an abandoned toilet on the side of the road is not usually immediately snatched up. Instead, I risked my life and motorcycle operators license and propped the cracked porcelain on the rear rack of my Vespa for a wobbly ride home. Since then, the toilet has found a home in our yard. I must say my mate has given our front yard commode far more love, care and attention than she ever gave any of our indoor plumbing. After cleaning it inside and out, she has nestled it among some aspen and sage and filled the bowl with topsoil and wildflowers. She had me take the guts out of the holding tank, and inside she placed a small evergreen tree. Looking out from my window this morning I saw her cleaning up a spot where a bird mistook it for a working lavatory.It is very possible that my wife and I are accessories to a porcelain misdemeanor. We live in a town rich in political correctness. A town where smoking is banned, Dumpsters must be housed in cedar and pine structures, and plumbers are required to wear suspenders to prevent crack exposure.Even if there is no municipal ordinance banning front yard potty-planters within the town limits, that is not to say that we are in the clear. Our homeowners association, of which I am secretary of defense, could perhaps have regulations forbidding flushable lawn art. My philosophy has always been it is easier to get forgiveness than permission. If either of the entities comes down hard on our lawn crapper, I see two possible ways to handle the situation.I could fortify my motor scooter with bullet-proof metal plating, like that nut from Granby, and wreak havoc on town landscaping and gardens. Or I could find an alternative resting place for our floral commode. Obviously, since I’m only half crazy, I will opt for the latter course of action. If the powers that be make us remove our toilet, I’ll simply do so and write another column about the social injustice of it all. There is also a third choice. My mate and I could move to a state or community with fewer or no local restrictions. I’m sure there are towns where we could have a toilet, casino, nuclear dump or karaoke club on our front yard. Unfortunately those places have no skiing, arts, culture, economy, but they do have rednecks who throw cigarette butts and beer cans at those on bicycles and motor scooters. I don’t believe my outdoor toilet is harming my neighbors or fellow citizens. But if there is a law that says it does, well, that is just the price I pay to live in a town that attempts to maintain a consistency of aesthetic quality. If I were to feel strongly about this law, I have the right to try to get it changed. The only reason I’d bother to whine about it would be to have another subject for my column or TV show. If you do not approve of the way your government is running your country, county or town, go out and mobilize a majority of those who feel the way you do and change the laws and or vote the lunkheads out of office. If that doesn’t work, obey the law, suffer the consequences, or move. It is not that I want anyone to leave. But if you decide to, I’d like to give you our lawn toilet as a parting gift. My mate just found an old refrigerator she wants to put in its place.Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of “Biff America,” can be seen on RSN television, heard on KOA radio and read in several mountain publications.