Portaloos will represent lousy memories for scores of Christchurch residents who had no choice but line-up, dunny paper in hand, and await one’s turn. On a freezing night, tiptoeing through snow, the memory will equal a scene from a horror movie. Hope exists for hapless portaloo goers. The experience will be no more? They (the portaloos) have been gathered up and stored on the outskirts of town, their multi-coloured sides appearing like the stickers of a giant Rubik’s Cube. The portaloo future will be determined one year following the most recent seismic aftershock. At present, countdown began on December 23, last. The outdoor toilets were sourced locally and from overseas to fill the calls of nature in suburbs with munted sewerage systems. Nearly 2000 of these terrible, albeit cute, dunnies were in use during the grimmest weeks of the city’s makeshift status.
The only time the sight of portaloos was welcome to me was when desperately cycling over a Swiss Alpine pass. Unluckily, the two inviting cubicles were placed door-to-door and anchored with rocks, making them eternally unusable. (Only the Swiss would think of doing that.)
When confident Canterbury land beneath us has settled for the next 100 years or so, the government will be in the portaloo redistribution business. It is likely the portaloos will end up with local bodies throughout New Zealand to use as seen fit. I suspect they will be popular for events where no other relief is in sight. Let’s hope they do not pop up around the city loop tram track as gap fillers. Then, considering some aging trammies might have weakening bladders, the appearance of a portaloo might be welcoming when caught short between stops.