Public peeing is against the law. Even when it's not.

// // 49 Comments
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb
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Has the call of nature ever been so insistent that you did not have time to find a bathroom? Have you ever had to pee so bad that you did it in a public place? David McDonald did. Back in 2003, he whipped it out in a Berkeley parking lot. Unfortunately for him, a police officer spotted him watering the asphalt. The cocaine that he found in his pocket did not help matters.

Trying to dodge the cocaine charge, Mr. McDonald and his lawyers attempted to have the evidence ruled out. You see, there is no law on Berkeley's books that says it is wrong to take a whiz in the open air. So, he argued, the cop had no right to bust him.

The Court of Appeals for the Second District did not see it that way. It found that public peeing is not only a nuisance, it is also littering, whether it's explicit in the law or not. As Presiding Justice J. Anthony Kline put it, "Urination on or near a busy commercial street interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of both life and property."

That seems fair to me -- but where is the line drawn? Can I pull off the highway and pee in the bushes? What lengths would I have to go to make my urine a non-nuisance?

This reporter actually has some experience with public urination and the law. Years ago, I was downtown with some friends, and we had a bit to drink. On the way back to the car, I took a slight detour into a big empty field. I needed to go something fierce. The field was open on two sides, one side dominated by a blank wall, the other ending in a line of trees that overlooked a creek bed. Wanting to be discreet, I headed for the treeline. I even went so far as to step a few feet in to the trees. It was dark, and I was pretty sure that no one would be able to see me.

I was enjoying the relief of discharging all that beer when suddenly the lights came on and I heard a WHOOP. That startling sound was unmistakable: it was a police car. It had pulled onto the field and crept up behind me, and was now shining a spotlight on my back.

I was told over their loudspeaker to put up my hands and turn around. This presented a problem. I knew I was in trouble, but I also knew that if I turned around, I would be flashing the police and possibly urinating on their car. I turned my head into the light and said, "Just a moment. I'm almost done."

The police were not in any mood to wait for me to finish tinkling. They warned me again to put my hands up and turn around.

I had just finished and just zipped up when I was grabbed from behind and put up against the car's hood -- HARD. The police asked me what I was doing out there. I told them the truth, but they seemed to have other notions. One cop asked me if I was involved in prostitution. I assured him that I was not and told him to look in my wallet -- I had spent all my money on beer.

Apparently, that is not what he meant. I was somewhat put out when I realized that he was accusing me of being a male prostitute. He actually thought that I was advertising my wares, instead of relieving myself of used beer.

After some back and forth, the police gave me a ticket for public urination, calling it a "P. U.," appropriately enough. I was pleased to find out that it carried the lightest penalty of any ticket one can get in Austin. It cost me eighty-six bucks; and I learned my lesson. Don't leave the bar with out redepositing what you imbibed.

I suppose I was lucky that I had not been carrying any drugs like Mr. McDonald. There would have been no question about any evidence found on me -- unlike Berkeley, my town has a law against peeing in public.

49 Comments on "Public peeing is against the law. Even when it's not."

KeepOnCrappin's picture
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The cops can get you on anything these days.

You should have left your pecker out when they slammed u against the hood. Then you could claim police brutality b/c you couldent please your wife for a week or two.

"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

GottaGoGirl's picture
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Advertising your wares to whom? Deer? Racoons?

SamDamnit's picture
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The officer was accusing me of showing my wares to whatever homosexual "johns" were lurking in the tree line, I assume.

I forgot to mention that my two "friends" abandoned me, because they thought I was going to jail. I had no money, no phone, no nothing. I had to hike 39 blocks to get home.

_______

Sir SamDamnit!
and the Knights of Poopsalot
http://www.myspace.com/saintcarnivean

SamDamnit!
The Emir of Crapistan

KeepOnCrappin's picture
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Well, I heard deer are one of four animals that have sex for pleasure.

(Humans, dolphins, gorillas/chimps, deer)

"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

The Shit Volcano's picture
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Sam, it sounds like you ran into a homophobe. It seems obvious to me when someone takes a whiz. What a moron! (The cop, not you.)

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Broccoli!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Fart Poopie's picture
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Sam, your friends sound like assholes. I hope you got them back somehow.

Bunga Din's picture
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This zero tolerance on public pissing can be blamed entirely on the Reagan administration. Who can forget good old Billy Carter taking a leak on the side of the road and most people having a laugh about it. But what happened in reality? The republicans had nothing else to screw Carter on than a boozed up brother. So they went for the urethra and sure enough Reagan was elected on a zero public pissing platform and hence you were busted.

Bunghole In the Jungle's picture
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Where's Dumpster when you need him? Them's fighin' words, Bunga. Take it back or suffer the ultimate red jelly belly, I say!

keeping the whack in tally-ho...
Fartuituos!
Serenshittipy!

SamDamnit's picture
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Reagan was anti piss but pro piss test.
_______

Sir SamDamnit!
and the Knights of Poopsalot
http://www.myspace.com/saintcarnivean

SamDamnit!
The Emir of Crapistan

The Shit Volcano's picture
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C. Everett Poop! C. Everett Poop! We're calling you!

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Broccoli!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

The Dumpster's picture
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Ahh, Billy Carter! Sorta says it all, doesn't it?

Dumpster is not going to take the political bait, thank you; I think it is rude to get into a battle of wits with an unarmed man. Instead, I am going to share a news item that is somewhat related to Sam's story. I had sent this in to Dave a while back, but I guess he never found a topic it related to.

Mooning Deemed 'Disgusting' but No Crime in Md.

By Ernesto Londoño

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 4, 2006; Page B01

Acquitting a Germantown man who exposed his buttocks during an argument with a neighbor, a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge ruled yesterday that mooning, while distasteful, is not illegal in Maryland.

"If exposure of half of the buttock constituted indecent exposure, any woman wearing a thong at the beach at Ocean City would be guilty," Judge John W. Debelius III said after the bench trial, reversing the ruling of a District Court judge.

Debelius made clear his disdain for the defendant, calling the alleged act "disgusting" and "demeaning." The outcome could have been different, he suggested, if the man had been on trial for "being a jerk."

The case arose from a June 7 argument between the defendant, Raymond Hugh McNealy, 44, and a neighbor, Nanette Vonfeldt. Vonfeldt pressed charges against McNealy after he allegedly yelled and, according to Vonfeldt, threatened to "blow up my building" as she and her 8-year-old daughter walked out of their apartment, in Germantown.

"Then, for whatever reason, in full view of my daughter, he mooned us," Vonfeldt wrote in a court document. The two had a long-standing feud over issues before their homeowners association, which held a heated meeting the night before, McNealy's attorneys said. McNealy wanted Vonfeldt off the association's board, his attorneys said.

The case went to trial Sept. 12 before Montgomery District Court Judge Eugene Wolfe, who ruled against the defendant. Indecent exposure in Maryland is punishable by as much as three years in prison and a $1,000 fine.

McNealy's attorneys appealed the verdict, arguing that indecent exposure in Maryland constitutes the willful public display of a person's "private parts" -- which, they argued, do not include a person's buttocks. Senior Assistant State's Attorney Dan Barnett said the indecent exposure law in Maryland is ambiguous. "In our minds, this was not a bathing suit scenario," said Barnett, who supervises Montgomery County prosecutors who handle cases in District Court. "This was a grown man exposing himself to an 8-year-old girl."

Defense attorneys cited a 1983 case of a woman who was arrested after protesting in front of the U.S. Supreme Court wearing nothing but a cardboard sign that covered the front of her body. The D.C. Court of Appeals ruled in 1986 that indecent exposure is limited to a person's genitals.

James Maxwell, one of McNealy's attorneys, said yesterday's ruling should "bring comfort to all beachgoers and plumbers" in the state.

***

Ever the legal technician, Dumpster wonders if they could have gotten the guy for possession of crack?

_______
"Say, has anybody seen my sweet Gypsy Rose Volcano?"

Dave's picture
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Dumpster -- I'm interested in your professional opinion about the findings of this case. It seems wholly ridiculous to me that you can get arrested under a law that doesn't exist.

Poop Shooter's picture
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I swear I heard someplace that most places do not actually have a law against being topless. So I think it could be legal for women to go around topless without getting prosecuted.

Locally here, they caught an off duty cop pissing next to his squad car on a main road while he was drunk. He definately got busted too.


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Regional POWER POOPING CHAMPION 1988-2006
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Poop Shooter!

The Dumpster's picture
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Okay, class: Old McDonald, up there in Berkley fresh off the farm, is charged with "littering" and "public nuisance" when he Drained the Main Vein in a public parking lot.

Poor slob probably didn't know he was even doing anything wrong, ee-i-ee-i-o, but every dumbass is certainly familiar with the concept Ignorantia juris non excusat ("Ignorance of the law is no excuse"), so let's see if the charges against him, er, hold water.

Now, a charge of "littering" seems a bit far-fetched, until we look at the relevant section of the California Penal Code (AB2K--put down your copy of the "Penile Code" and pay attention!). Cal. Penal Code § 374 provides as follows:

§ 374. Definitions; littering; waste matter

(a) Littering means the willful or negligent throwing, dropping, placing, depositing, or sweeping, or causing any such acts, of any waste matter on land or water in other than appropriate storage containers or areas designated for such purposes.

(b) Waste matter means discarded, used, or leftover substance including, but not limited to, a lighted or nonlighted cigarette, cigar, match, or any flaming or glowing material, or any garbage, trash, refuse, paper, container, packaging or construction material, carcass of a dead animal, any nauseous or offensive matter of any kind, or any object likely to injure any person or create a traffic hazard.

So, two questions emerge, in reverse order: (1) Was McDonald's urine "waste matter" within the definition of subsection (b); and (2) was his manner of transferring it from his bladder to the ground within subsection (a)'s definition of "littering"? Clearly, urine is a "discarded, used, or leftover substance" (no, Bunga; this is NOT the place to debate your views on "golden showers"!) or a "nauseous or offensive matter" (what's that, GottaGoGirl? You gotta go? All right, sweetie; here's a hall pass).

(No, TBW and Doniker, the reference to "flaming ... material" does not render the statute discriminatory to gay persons. Would you guys please get ahold of yourselves!)

Second, was McDonald "throwing, dropping, placing, depositing, or sweeping" his piss? The facts aren't completely clear, but he evidently was successful in transferring said liquid from lizard to land, so some act of "placing or depositing" can be circumstantially inferred. Hell, if the rube had to go that bad, he may have been "sweeping"; who knows? (Sam--Damnit! Don't use the trash can; the bathroom's right down the hall!)

As to the charge of "public nuisance," many such statutes have been held void for vagueness, especially when they have been used to prosecute such activities as nude dancing, but have more typically been upheld in relation to non-expressive types of indecent exposure.

What's that, Poop Shooter? You saw her where? Just now? Well, speaking of nude dancing, Sam, Bunga, and I have a Volcano to catch, so that's all the time we have for class today.

_______
"Say, has anybody seen my sweet Gypsy Rose Volcano?"

The Dumpster's picture
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As to the Austin citation against SamDamnit himself, from some pictures I've seen of Sam over on the forums, they could have gotten him on a charge of Assault with a Dead Weapon.

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"Say, has anybody seen my sweet Gypsy Rose Volcano?"

Bunghole In the Jungle's picture
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Sam: I think you should have argued that you were doing your part to recycle.

Poop Shooter: The topless thing is usually a city ordinance, which reminds me of a funny story when I was vacationing in Nolo (way before Hurricane K). The incident involved a weird topless wrestling match in a local Bourbon Street Blues Club. The chicks had round bandaids over their nips (I kid you not). There's more to the story but I'm not finishing it in polite mixed company.

keeping the whack in tally-ho...
Fartuituos!
Serenshittipy!

Poop Shooter's picture
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So when one of my kida has to leak while driving down the road, I can not legally pull over and let them pee along side the road covered up and blocked from view from other passer bys. So my 7 year old can get arrested for tinkling on the side of the road.

Disgusting laws or rules in my opinion.


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Regional POWER POOPING CHAMPION 1988-2006
Poop Shooter!

Poop Shooter!

The Shit Volcano's picture
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Poop Shooter, don't worry about it. Everyone "checks for bears" at the side of the road. Let's just hope they're the furry kind.

That's for clearing that up, Dumpster.

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Broccoli!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

Bunga Din's picture
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Dave, I remember when taking a law course here that a case study we were presented with was called "fruit of the poisoned tree". It was very similar to this. A guy was stopped in a routine traffic stop for speeding, the officers saw tools that looked like they could be used for burglary and conducted a search of the vehicle and found stolen merchandise. What happened in court was that it was found the county had posted the wrong speed sign in the area the vehicle was travelling in so in fact the defendant was not speeding therefore the officers had no probable cause for the search, the evidence was thrown out as "it was the fruit of a poisoned tree", ie there were no grounds originally so everything thereafter was moot. Most likely the defendant in this case had a public defender and their ability to fight the charges were limited due to funding and overzealous prosecutors and a hardcore judge. This wouldn't have happened in Canada.

KeepOnCrappin's picture
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In canada there wouldnet have been a cop to areest him.

I go to ontario every other year (Souix Narrows/Kenora area, for anyone who cares) IN the one hundred-plus miles between Kenora and International Falls (Excluding those two cities) there is but 1 OPP (police) station with 3 cop cars. There is so much wilderness-type area, and the whole place is on Lake of the Woods, you could be running drugs on boats, hiding them on islands, and no one would ever notice. (unless you show the drugs to one of the 2 million recreational boaters on the lake.

"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

Poop Shooter's picture
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I'll keep this in mind in case I decide to become a drug dealer.


_______
Regional POWER POOPING CHAMPION 1988-2006
Poop Shooter!

Poop Shooter!

Rat Droppings's picture
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Alls I wanna know is; can I still take a piss in one of the hundred empty bottles, coffee cups, mcdonald's cups, etc. that I have laying around my car while I'm stopped at a red light? Is that public indecency? And can I still pour it out on the pavement when I'm done or is that littering or hazardous waste placement?

Volcano, God breast New Orleans. I meant bless.


_______
"Those who write on shithouse walls, roll their shit into little balls. Those who read their words of wit, eat those little balls of shit." Author Unknown

"Rectum hell, killed em' both." Author Unknown

The Dumpster's picture
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RD, under the California law quoted above, it wouldn't matter if you poured out the coffee before or after you filtered it through your kidneys. It would be litter either way.

This being Berkley, California, however, one of the last bastions of Stalinist thought, there had to be a hidden political agenda. The guy was probably pissing outside the headquarters of the Symbionese Liberation Army or something like that.

And arrested for cocaine in Berkley? Shocking! I thought all that stuff was legal there.

_______
"Say, has anybody seen my sweet Gypsy Rose Volcano?"

poo_poo_poodio's picture
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Did they collect any evidence, can they prosecute without it?

"Can you spare a square?"

"No, I don't have a square to spare."

The Dumpster's picture
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Criminal law generally adheres to the requirement of corpus delicti, which essentially requires that there be physical evidence of a crime, as opposed to mere accusations, however well-founded. Thus, a defendant usually cannot be convicted based solely on his own out-of-court confession, or solely on the testimony of an accomplice, but either of those pieces of evidence might be admissible in conjunction with the corpus delicti.

This takes many forms. Obviously, in a murder case, you don't drag the dead body into the courtroom, but there must be evidence that there was a body--a "corpus," as opposed to the mere disappearance of someone under suspicious circumstances. (This is why, despite Dave's tireless efforts, no one has been indicted for the murder of PooNurse yet.) Thus, there would typically be testimony from whoever discovered the body; autopsy evidence about the cause of death; etc. Obviously, photos of the body are often sought to be admitted, but may be excluded if they are too "inflammatory."

What is essential is that somebody competent to testify about it actually saw the corpus delicti at some point. Thus, in this case, Sam tells us that the cop "spotted [the defendant] watering the asphalt." While certainly, a jug of the tinkle would have been admissible under proper circumstances, its absence is not fatal to a conviction as long as it was actually accounted for somewhere in the, ah, "stream" of the evidence.

I hope that answers your question. Thanks for tuning in to this segment of "Law and Ordure."

_______
"Say, has anybody seen my sweet Gypsy Rose Volcano?"

Rat Droppings's picture
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Thanks for pointing that out, Dumpster. Perhaps I will take to keeping a mason jar with a lid on it in my car for traffic jam emergency pisses. I don't see what all the fuss is though. Piss is sterile. Let's lock up all the loogie horkers and tobacco spitters.


_______
"Those who write on shithouse walls, roll their shit into little balls. Those who read their words of wit, eat those little balls of shit." Author Unknown

"Rectum hell, killed em' both." Author Unknown

The Dumpster's picture
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Here's a good question, class: Can anybody conjure up a scenario where expulsion of flatulence (i.e. farting) would be a crime?

A+ to the first one who comes up with a sustainable accusation!

_______
"Say, has anybody seen my sweet Gypsy Rose Volcano?"

KeepOnCrappin's picture
k 500+ points
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"The defendant expelled a chemical that could be classified as a weapon, from his body, with the intent of using said chemical to cause harm to [insert name here] and then rob him of his money."

"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

The Dumpster's picture
i 2000+ points
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Nice try, KOC, but not quite. A weapon is defined as a "tool or object." Remember, our hypothetical didn't include anything but gas; no turd terrorism. Any other ideas?

_______
"Say, has anybody seen my sweet Gypsy Rose Volcano?"

Bunga Din's picture
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Dumpster, this is a fine little legal riddle you've provided us with can you clarify a few points. Firstly is this a single fart, not a series of farts, secondly, does this pertain to US law or British Common Law.

The Dumpster's picture
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Bunga, if you can draw a dis-STINK-tion based on any of those variables, be my guest!

_______
"Say, has anybody seen my sweet Gypsy Rose Volcano?"

Rat Droppings's picture
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Dumpster, there are so many. I could be here forever.1) Since some people's bowels produce methane, a highly inflammable gas, it could lead to the farter being charged with arson, yes, "arse"on. 2) There are some people with unexplained chemical sensitivities and allergies who after being exposed to the flatus of a person who had ingested a lot of a particular allergen could go into anaphylactic shock and die. The farter would be charged with "ass-phyxiation." 3)Then there are always the vehicular accidents that occur due to a)vision loss from eyes watering post flatus incident. b) Uncontollable coughing due to sudden asthma attack brought on by a particularly smelly one can lead to hyperventilation and subsequent loss of consciousness.

Send not to know for whom the bung tolls. It tolls for thee.

"Rectum hell, killed em' both." Author Unknown

The Dumpster's picture
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Ho, ho, ho, RD! Not to mention somebody who died laughing over a particularly ripe raspberry?

Let's keep trying, class!

_______
"Say, has anybody seen my sweet Gypsy Rose Volcano?"

SamDamnit's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb
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Didn't some teacher charge a student with something for deliberately farting on her? I think it may have been assault, but I don't remember. It may have just been a suspension, which could probably be given by the school for reasons other than a law being broken.
_______

Sir SamDamnit!
and the Knights of Poopsalot
http://www.myspace.com/saintcarnivean

SamDamnit!
The Emir of Crapistan

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points
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Wow, and I thought my punishment for sneaking into my third grade classroom and writing "FART" in giant letters on the blackboard was severe. All I got was sent to the corner.

If farting on the teacher gets you suspended nowadays, what would my crime get. I'd probably be charged with terrorism or something. Political correctness has no place in schools!

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Broccoli!

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

KeepOnCrappin's picture
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No Dumpster. A chemical [which could be classified as a] weapon is a tool for disabling people.

"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

Poop Shooter's picture
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KOC, I dont know about you, but my farts do occasionally disable prople. I've been known to produce such rancid methane that it literally takes your breath away.


_______
Regional POWER POOPING CHAMPION 1988-2006
Poop Shooter!

Poop Shooter!

The Dumpster's picture
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I'm still waiting for someone to solve the legal riddle posed on 03.17.2006. Here's a hint. Look at the following section of the Model Penal Code, which has been adopted in some form by most jurisdictions:

§ 220.2. Causing or Risking Catastrophe.

(1) Causing Catastrophe. A person who causes a catastrophe by explosion, fire, flood, avalanche, collapse of building, release of poison gas, radioactive material or other harmful or destructive force or substance, or by any other means of causing potentially widespread injury or damage, commits a felony of the second degree if he does so purposely or knowingly, or a felony of the third degree if he does so recklessly.

(2) Risking Catastrophe. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if he recklessly creates a risk of catastrophe in the employment of fire, explosives or other dangerous means listed in Subsection (1).

eddy gg's picture
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everybody does it

WTF was the cop thinking of, and why was he following you onto a field in the first place. Second off, who would you be advertising your wares to in the forrest? Third, this cop sounds like a hick. Finally, I think he had a problem because most cops are nice enough to let you off with a "warning" before they give you a ticket. It isn't like you have done that before.

everybody does it

Fart Poopie's picture
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Oh my word, TD! Does that mean that if someone faints because you thought it would be funny to let a noxious fart loose in an elevator, you could face 2nd degree felony charges?

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points
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And would it make any difference if the victim was a Little Person?

The Dumpster's picture
i 2000+ points
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Well, I've smelt some farts in elevators that somebody should have gone to jail for.

KeepOnCrappin's picture
k 500+ points
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Hell, I've smelt/seen some school bathrooms that should have been condemned years before.

_______
"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

"KOC -- the Cool Crapper" - Rat Droppings

Fart Poopie's picture
j 1000+ points
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I guess that does say "widespread," so it would have to make the majority of the people in the elevator pass out...

Maybe The Extruder could whip up one of his farting/liquipoo concoctions to try it.

Anonymous Coward's picture
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Is this a piss or shit website?

KOttOnmOuthQueen's picture
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In most cities it's a crime even to pee your pants in public by accident.

Kyliekencomer1's picture
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In the state of New York it's illegal for anyone who has incontinence to be out in public even if they have the mildest form of it and even with an adult diaper on, guess you better not have a cold too long that causes too much coughing, it sometimes cause temporary mild bladder leakage! lol!!

Anonymous Coward's picture
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in my opinion, the law should be made harder for peeing in public place. my next door neighbor's friend was drunk (they were having a party)and peed right on our rock wall. So disgusting. should I call police? what would you do if this happen to u?

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points
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Dear AC ... The urine of the average adult of the species homo sapiens is sterile. I would take no action at all but, if you insist, go ahead and call the police. It will be your word against someone else's and, unless your neighbors friend is an idiot, he will deny it. Don't slow the police down with such trivial bullshit. They have much more important fish they could be frying.


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Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!