By SallyB2 Last edited 128 months ago

Have you any idea how hard it it to write a story about public urination without some sort of pun in the title? Have you? No, we didn’t think so. Ah, the trials of frivolous blogging.

Anyway, news reaches us today of a brave and fearless shopkeeper who is filming and shaming a persistent piddler. The owner of an upholstery workshop in Battersea is so irate at the antics of the anonymous piss artist that he has filmed him in the act and shoved it up along with the greats on YouTube in the hope that someone, somewhere recognises him. The piscreant apparently pees through the letter box, and has been seen wilfully scratching external paintwork with a key.

Now Londonist is normally mild-mannered and affable enough, but there are some things which make us incandescent with rage. Opening a new box of cling film is one. And people who use the ‘B’ word (as in ‘bored’) – that’s another. But pissing in public – on the streets, up against walls, across sleeping tramps, over cars – is dissing the public, and it makes us see red.

It’s a different matter when you’re out in the country (although Londonist has noted God’s little joke of hiding a clump of stinging nettles in all the prime potty spots): that smell doesn’t linger, as Mother Nature is really efficient at dealing with stuff. But in the city my-how-it-stinks! It is rapidly becoming one of the defining odours of our great conurbation – stale urine carried on a particulate laden warm breeze, at its best blended with that tired dusty smell you get on the Underground. Someone should bottle it and sell it.

It is true that Boris really needs to get serious about pissoirs: more loos, lots more, and clean ones in all the heavy drinking resorts. But lack of provision really is no excuse. We fine animals for fouling the pavements, and we should be fining men (and women, although this is rarely a female crime) for pee-ing on them. Tie a knot in it sir! Put a cork in it ma’am! This midnight micturition has got to stop. Otherwise Londonist’s pet shopkeeper for one will be installing urine activated laser cutting beams on his back wall. Doesn’t bear thinking about now, does it?

Piccie courtesy of tavallai’s flickr stream under the Creative Commons Agreement.

Last Updated 28 June 2008