Man In Legal Wrangle With Airline Over Beverage Service And Unflushed Toilet

An Italian man has launched a lawsuit against Virgin America after a mid-air clash over a drink order and a lavatory visit led to the passenger being detained by police.

Salvatore Francesco Bevivino was travelling from Philadelphia to San Francisco when he pressed the call button so he could order a soda. However, after the flight attendant arrived, she told Bevivino to use his touch screen to place a drink order through the plane’s automated system. The 52-year-old apparently refused to do so and asked again for a drink to be brought to him.

The flight staff obliged, but upon landing in San Francisco Bevivino found himself being carted away by police. The airline said it alerted authorities because the passenger was cursing and refusing to follow instructions from the crew. They also claimed Bevivino left a bathroom stall without flushing the toilet.

The passenger denies using profanities or doing anything wrong (his lawyer referred to the unflushed toilet as a “non-event”) and says he feels humiliated by the incident. He’s suing Virgin America for $500,000 in damages.

[Photo credit: Flickr user Daquella manera]

Five toilet paper alternatives for the road (or if you live in New Jersey)

toilet paper

Trenton, New Jersey, has a serious problem. The city government is in a fight with their paper goods supplier over prices and the city’s buildings are in danger of running out of toilet paper. What can they do for their voters in need? Installing bidets would be more expensive than simply paying the high cost the government contractor is demanding. Luckily, there are some other alternatives used in foreign lands that can help keep New Jersey clean. They can also help you out if you’re caught short while on the road.

Left hand
This is the most popular cleaning method around the world. You wipe your butt with your left hand (reserving the right for eating) and then wash your hand. It’s easier on your tender parts than scraping it with paper, and it’s guaranteed to stop you from biting your nails. While this makes sense hygienically and environmentally, for me it’s one of those five local customs I just can’t follow.

Newspaper
Newspapers offer an abundant supply of paper that can be cut up and stored in the bathroom. It’s a bit scratchy, but I can attest to it working just as well as toilet paper. When I was working in Bulgaria in the poverty-stricken early 90s, most Bulgarians didn’t want to spend extra money on toilet paper when they already had a newspaper. It was common practice to cut out photos of unpopular politicians to give them special treatment.Leaves
Another scratchy, yet environmentally sensitive, option favored by campers who don’t want to portage out their dirty paper. Make sure to pick large, relatively green leaves. You don’t want dry, brittle leaves that break while you’re wiping. That will leave you using the hand option whether you want to or not. Learn what poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac look like before you try this.

Snowballs
If you like snow camping, you’re probably already familiar with this one. Make a compact snowball somewhat smaller than the palm of your hand. It’s best to make it oval in shape with a ridge to provide easy access into your crack. Like with leaves, this is better than bagging up dirty toilet paper and carrying it with you until you reach civilization.

Sponge on a stick
This was a method used by the ancient Romans. A sponge is absorbent and soft, making it a perfect material for cleaning your nether regions. The Romans washed their sponges with vinegar and reused them. Check out the photo below from the ancient latrine at Housesteads Roman Fort to see how it was done.

If these five alternatives don’t appeal to you, you can always do…

Nothing
The father of a friend of mine didn’t use anything to clean his backside. How this man ever got a wife I’ll never know. The poor woman cleaned his skivvies in a bucket rather than put them in the washing machine with the other clothes. Yes, he smelled. Get a sponge on a stick or some leaves and clean yourself!

toilet paper, Housesteads

SkyMall Monday: Toilet Dog & Cat Water Bowl

gadling skymall monday toilet cat dog drinking bowlDogs and cats have an odd fascination with toilets. They try to drink from toilets, they fall into toilets and they are mesmerized by the sounds made when you flush toilets. Here at SkyMall Monday headquarters, we have one furry toilet drinker who hits the bowl hard when he’s stressed. However, no pet owner wants to encourage that behavior because toilets are filled with bacteria and germs. Besides, pets have their own water bowls from which they should be drinking. Toilets are for deposits, not withdrawals. Until now, that is. If animals want to drink from toilets so badly, why not let them do it in a safe and decorative way? Thanks to SkyMall that dream has become a reality. The next time that your dog or cat tells you that they’re thirsty simply direct them to the Toilet Dog & Cat Water Bowl.Certainly, this idea is less preposterous than teaching your cat to poop in the toilet. At the very least, it’s way less creepy. Your pet gets the toilet watering hole that it desires and you get a handsome accessory to display in your home. It’s a win-win. If this were a poker game, you’d be holding a straight flush!

Think that toilets are for people? Believe that no one should drink from toilets unless we find ourselves in a post-apocalyptic hellscape? Well, while you feed your dog from your wearable water bowl, we’ll be reading the product description:

A hilarious conversation starter and pet pleaser, this unique water bowl keeps your pet well hydrated and your home cleverly decorated.

Sure, you could decorate your home with paintings, furniture and sculptures, but those are far from clever. Having a toilet in the middle of your living room is just the conversation starter that your fancy parties need. Surely your pet won’t be confused by the fact that they are permitted to drink from their small toilet but get yelled at when they drink from the toilet in the bathroom.

Quench your pet’s thirst for toilet water with this sanitary and attractive accessory that will look perfect in any home. Why have a ball when you can have a bowl (I’m so sorry)?

Check out all of the previous SkyMall Monday posts HERE.

Nepal to install toilets on Everest?

Nepal may install toilets on Everest!Mountaineers heading to the summit of Everest might have an unexpected luxury in the future, if the environmental activist group Eco Himal gets their way. The organization has made a recommendation to the government of Nepal that they install toilets on the mountain as a way of helping keep the environment clean and limiting the impact that humans have on the Himalayan peak.

The recommendation, which will be part of a much larger plan to save the natural environment around Everest, is in its earliest planning stages, and would have some technical hurdles to overcome. For example, critics of the idea have said that due to shifting ice and snow, it would be difficult to build permanent structures to house public toilets on the mountain. Proponents of the plan say that they are trying to undo nearly 60 years of damage to Everest, and that the toilets would go a long way in succeeding in that effort.

At 29,029 feet in height, Everest is the highest mountain in the world. It was first climbed in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay, and since that time, the mountain has continued to hold sway over the public’s attention. Over the past 10 or 15 years, commercial climbs have increased greatly in popularity, and the summit, which once seemed well out of reach for the common man, now sees in excess of 500 visitors a year. Those visitors bring a lot of trash along with them, and until recently most of it was left behind after the climbing season ends. Changes to permits that grant access to the Khumbu Region now require teams to remove all items that they bring with them, including trash and human waste, when they depart the mountain.

Environmental concerns aside, I know a few climbers who would certainly appreciate a more formal toilet while on Everest. While some of the larger commercial operations do bring a toilet tent with them, smaller – less expensive – guides may simply tell you to do your business behind the rocks. Considering the average Everest climb takes in the neighborhood of 2 months to complete, you can imagine how bad that situation could become.

Video of the Day: Demystifying airplane bathrooms

“The toilet is interesting. It’s something that fascinates a lot of people.” There’s not much more that we can add to that. Well, we certainly do appreciate the reminder that you can’t get sucked into the toilet. Though, for accuracy, they probably should have explained that you will probably find that the entire bathroom is oddly wet…everywhere…from indeterminate liquids.