Kathy Posner

I normally would not use the word PISS in my blog, finding it a crass word to describe a bodily function, but since major media in Chicago deemed the word appropriate last week using it in a story, I assume the Associated Press style book now considers the word acceptable. The Piss Proposal (my name for it) came about because Chicago Gold Cast residents complained to their Alderman, Brendan Reilly, that the smell of urination from horse-drawn carriages was offensive. A pissing match ensued between the Alderman and the carriage companies.

Reilly’s original proposal had the drivers sprinkling the horse urine with an absorbent material and then sweeping it up. The carriage industry said it was too dangerous for the driver to leave the carriage, so the Piss Proposal was modified for drivers to “spray” the urine from a squirt bottle in the carriage and then move on.

Currently poop is handled by an “excrement catcher” that is attached to the rear end of a horse. I learned that horses can poop while walking, but must stop when they urinate; so the driver is aware of when a stream is being propelled.

The exact Piss Proposal is: (new language is underlined)

“Rule 2.9: Waste Containment. All horse-drawn carriages and horses shall be equipped with a device for catching horse excrement, approved by the Commission on Animal Care and Control, whenever the carriage is on the public way. Urine must be immediately diluted with a deodorizing, non-toxic liquid. The liquid used shall be eco-friendly, safe, recyclable, non-toxic, and non-harmful to people and property. The driver shall be responsible for carrying and using the diluting liquid. The Carriage licensee shall be responsible for providing the liquid and shall maintain documentation in the Carriage as to the composition of the liquid used.”

The method suggested for piss pollution control is currently used safely in other cities, so the complaints by the carriage industry are just hot air. (Bad pun, could not help writing it)

Reilly is also looking at having the carriages only operate in city parks because of the congestion they cause in the city’s shopping district. That idea has also pissed off the carriage industry.

The Sun-Times quoted Dan Sampson, the director of Historical Noble Horse as saying, “Chicago is a city that depends on tourism to keep everybody paid and happy. Carriages are an integral part of tourism. If you restrict us to the parks, carriages will not be able to survive economically.”

I don’t want to see anybody go out of business, but since I hate the carriages already, (remember I feel roads are for cars and not bicycles or anything else including stupid parades) I don’t see how moving them to a tourist area like a park would hurt their business. If carriages are for tourists, put them where the tourists are. It is the same theory of why Willie Sutton chose to rob banks. Maybe the carriage drivers will see an increase in business if they go where the money is; won’t know until they try. Until then stop crying over spilt urine.