In addition to my regular blog entries and the series "Moments of Being an American Abroad", I am now adding a new segment to be called: Cara a la Pared (Because I Need to Vent Too). Cara a la pared means "Facing the wall", which is what I would like to make people do when they behave stupidly. Unfortunately, time out isn't an option, so I'm using my blog instead. Without further adieu, welcome to Cara a la Pared.
One of my friends turned me onto the website Amateur Gourmet awhile back, and since then I check it every now and again, because the writer is quite good, and very creative. Anyway, I was poking through it today, and I found something really interesting: a justification for a Starbucks on every corner of every city in every country of the world. An exaggeration, to be sure, but so close to the truth that it almost isn't funny. The justification was that Starbucks, odious as it is, provides a free public bathroom. That got me thinking (which is dangerous, at best). I don't know about the rest of Spain, but in Sevilla, a good public restroom that is conveniently located and free is hard to come by, if it is indeed possible at all. Or at least, this is the conclusion that one might come to, after one witnesses the surplus of mierda (literally) in the street. Obviously, there are people here so desperate for a free bathroom that they just drop trou and go wherever they are, because Starbucks is too far away, and that little bar on the corner makes you buy a cerveza before they'll give you the keys to the bathroom. SO the city has to pay people to clean the streets, because otherwise we'd all be up to our ears in excrement, and that just won't do.
Then that got me thinking…if people use the street as a public restroom because there are none, and Sevilla has to pay street cleaners to deal with it, then maybe it could be argued that not having public bathrooms actually creates jobs! If we accept that as a truth, then it stands to reason that one could argue that Starbucks, by providing public bathrooms, is actually negatively affecting the job market, because the street cleaners don't have as much work to do. Conclusion? Get rid of Starbucks, hire more street sweepers.
In case you missed it, this twisted train of thought went something like this:
a. Starbucks provides free public bathrooms.
b. Public bathrooms mean no one uses the street.
c. No one using the street means no jobs for street sweepers.
Therefore: Starbucks = Fewer Jobs
Take that, you corporate überbitch.
On the other hand, businesses around here could make more of an effort to let people use their bathrooms free of charge (or cerveza), and we'd all be better off.**
**In case I frightened you, you should know that my real beef is with the lack of public loos. Just like to keep people on their toes. 🙂