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In this week's news we cover the launch of this year's British Toilet Association Innovation Awards, while visitors to washrooms along New York's Coney Island boardwalk are experiencing innovation of a different kind: alleged moves by the city's authorities to redcude people's toilet tissue consumption.
According to the New York Post, the city is so strapped for cash that it's rationing toilet paper in some of its women's washrooms - but not by controlled usage dispensers or anything highly technical. Instead, dispensers have been left empty and washroom attendants are handing out a few sheets of tissue to each washroom visitor - regardless of what they've come in to do! I haven't seen anything like that since I first visited some of the old 'Eastern Bloc' countries prior to Perestroika!
Back then I got into the habit of carrying my own tissue around with me and was embarrassed once when an attendant who assumed I didn't know the score and would expect to find tissue in the cubicle, ran after me shouting and even tried to follow me inside.
The Post carries a comment from Danish visitors Benedikte Friis and Ann Damgaard, who said they had been enjoying their visit to Coney Island until they had to use the washrooms.
"It's very weird that someone decides how much paper you get because they don't know what situation you're in," said Friis, 22. "You might need more!"
My advice to Friis, Ann and anyone else who is likely to encounter a shortage of tissue supply - wherever they are in the world - is to always carry some of their own. For while the supply might not actually be rationed, there is never a guarantee that it won't already have been used up...
7th July 2011