Finding a Place to Pee

As memorialized in the Benny Grunch song “Ain’t No Place to Pee on Mardi Gras Day,” taking care of important business is no trivial matter at the Greatest Free Show. Don’t be caught at the back of the line with your legs crossed! Be sure to incorporate lavatory logistics into your Carnival game plan.

Taking care of important business

Pickup truck carrying purple, green and gold porta potty

As memorialized in the Benny Grunch song “Ain’t No Place to Pee on Mardi Gras Day,” lavatory logistics can be a definite challenge during the festivities. For imbeciles and drunks, the wall, alleyway, parking lot or space between parked cars are obvious solutions.

But consider this statistic: As reported by the New Orleans Times-Picayune in 2002, more than 90 percent of arrests along the parade routes and throughout the French Quarter were for public urination.

Most businesses close their facilities to everyone but paying customers, although some will allow non-patrons to purchase access. A single visit might cost $1 or $2, whereas an all-day pass can set you back $10. For churches and schools in the vicinity of parade routes, selling “potty passes” is a popular fund-raiser. The city of New Orleans deploys porta potties along the main parade route, usually at major intersections.

Don’t count on hotel bathrooms; during Mardi Gras, most hotels only allow in guests with room keys. But if you’re in the French Quarter and you buy a drink from a to-go window or stand, you’re entitled by law to use that establishment’s restroom.

If you’re going to be drinking, always factor restrooms into your Carnival game plan. It’s a good idea to scope out accessible facilities before deciding where to watch a parade; you don’t want to be scrambling around at the last minute. And be sure to get in line for the potty before you really have to go. Hopefully by the time you’re crossing your legs, you’ll be at the front! When you’re patronizing a restaurant or bar, use the facilities before leaving.