A brave bloke who was part of the team that cleaned the portaloos at Burning Man did an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit earlier this year and by god, he’s got some crook stories.
The unsung heroes of any event, especially festivals, portaloo cleaners have a job that no one would envy. Old mate who did the AMA received plenty of praise in the Reddit thread for the cleanliness of the loos at this year’s Burning Man, with one Redditor who’s attended the festie in the desert six times saying this year had “the cleanest toilets I’ve ever seen”.
However, we know you’re here to read the shit he’s been through, and this yarn he has is one of the most crook things we’ve heard and nightmare fuel for anyone who’s ever had the displeasure of using a festival portaloo.
Answering the question “did you see anything particularly crazy?”, here’s what the hero had to say.
“One was used tampons stuck to the walls. Hopefully, subversive art, and not people being gross. But either way different than the usual,” he said, before getting into a truly fucked story.
“I had to clean off a woman that fell into one of the portos in deep playa [an area outside the main part of Burning Man] bc she didn’t know how to use a toilet.”
“She went in wearing leather knee-high boots with like five-inch heels and took what I assume to be a violent Molly shit and fell in,” he said in a follow-up comment.
“I hosed her off and got her cleaned up and have her hand sanitiser to bathe in. But yeah she was a sobbing mess.”
Fuck all of that.
Someone asked him if he’s ever walked in on people bumping uglies in a portaloo, to which he answered “Yes. A lot.” before explaining what he does after catching them in the act.
“I just apologise, close the door, hit it loudly a few times, and tell them to finish up. If they don’t finish by the time we get done with the rest of the bank we just let that chill until the next time.”
Apparently, at this year’s Burning Man the toilets in one section of the festival were “overflowing with trash and shit”, when asked how he went about cleaning them, he gave some good insight into the process.
“You start out getting the big pieces of trash and put the wand into the bowl and try and get out as much as you can. Just being patient is key.”
It’s a pretty bloody good AMA and squashed the already minimal desire I had to work a job like that, although he did say he’d do it again and the workers get to hit the festival at the end of the day.