Dances With Words: “Give us a place to…”: 1967 & 2021…

Nick Wolochatiuk ~ Dances With Words
Dances With Words: “Give us a place to…”: 1967 & 2021…
ALL TOO RARE! – Too few communities provide public washrooms for locals and travellers. The Adirondack hamlet of Wanakena, NY is a commendable exception. Does your hometown offer something like this? It should be part of the infrastructure. (Photo by Nick Wolochatiuk)

There is yet another development in tourism taking place. More and more travellers are passing up motels, hotels, B&Bs, and even taking oceanic cruises. Many are taking to the road in homes on wheels.

Some are as basic as a station wagon with the back seats folded flat, a minivan with its rear seat replaced by a sponge pad, a minivan camper conversion, a pickup truck with a slide-in, all the way up to a motor home with everything (including the kitchen sink).

Here’s the rub. Only the last three mentioned have some sort of whatever you want to call it: a ‘john’, a ‘pot to pee in’, a toilet, a loo, servicios or a head. If you travel abroad, you have to be familiar with these essential going-on-the-road terms.

Until now, McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s and Burger King have been providing us with accessible drop spots for many years. However, as the number of road gypsies increases, more places to go are urgently needed.

Does your hometown have an easy to find, accessible public washroom? Long Lake and Wanakena NY do; Carberry Manitoba does, so does Lisbon, Portugal. Unfortunately, far too few places do.

What an opportunity for filling a need! If municipalities are unable or unwilling to provide these welcome oases for locals and travellers, the need could be met by entrepreneurs seeking to make a profit. Pay as you ‘go’ facilities could be franchised. Aside from the basics, they could also provide washing-up facilities, showers, laundries and even a dumping station for motor home porta-potties.

Yes, for a fee, enough to make them worthwhile for the investor, yet affordable enough for local pedestrians and travellers in need.

Possible franchise names: GO ON THE GO; ROAD GO; DROP IT!; DOO-DOO; GO EN ROUTE; PLACE A GO-GO…

Have you ever tried to find a parking spot for a 40-foot motor home in a mediaeval village?

In the Algarve region of Portugal, on the periphery of towns such as Silves, Sagres and Albufeira, I noticed large numbers of motor homes parked side-by-side, row-upon-row. I learned how the tourist attraction areas were accommodating them by providing secure parking places, electrical and sanitary hookups, and shuttle to local places of interest by bus and taxi. Local businesses profit. The beauty of the picturesque villages remains intact. The tourists are delighted. It’s a win, win, win situation.

During Centennial Year, Ontario’s theme song was provided by Bobby Gimby’s “A place to stand!” Send me your ideas on this week’s theme about providing a place to go for the pressing necessities. The new theme song could be “Give us places to go!”

If you’re in favour of adequate public toilet facilities being provided in all areas, raise your hand. If it’s for number one, extend one finger, two fingers up if it’s for number two.

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