Alibi V.13 No.43 • Oct 21-27, 2004 

Gastrological Forecast

You've seen it a hundred times before: a handwritten sign taped to the stall door, reading, "Please do not flush tampons or sanitary napkins." In fact, you've probably seen it so many times that you don't even think about it anymore, except maybe to wish you didn't have to be reminded about sanitary napkins in the middle of your dinner. Eeeeewww, right? But I recently saw a sign that went a little further. It asked patrons not to flush tampons but then explained that it costs a lot of money to have plumbers come out all the time to unclog the toilets. It suddenly occurred to me that I had to call plumbers out to my house twice in the first two years I owned it—before instituting my own no-flush rule. The first episode cost me $250 (it was a holiday weekend); the bill was $125 the second and final time. Imagine how many times your toilet gets flushed compared with the toilet at a busy restaurant. There's a big difference. I talked to Curt at TLC Plumbing who confirmed that tampons are the cause of 80 percent of toilet clogs. He also said that the busiest restaurants sometimes call for help every month or so. Brutal! Look, it's yucky and I hate to have to say this, but wrap 'em up and throw 'em in the trash can, ladies. Your 30 seconds of convenience could cost your favorite restaurant hundreds of dollars.