Being stuck in a public bathroom — especially one in a popular outdoor location at the end of a long weekend — definitely qualifies as a New York City nightmare, so we have a lot of sympathy for Jenny Harris, who claims that she ended her Memorial Day trapped in an icky water closet at McCarren Park. Harris told The Brooklyn Paper that she was waiting on line with around seven other women at 7 p.m. on Monday, when a park worker informed them that it was closing time. According to the paper, “The ladies argued that they had been waiting since before closing time and that the facilities were so foul they had left the park and come back with their own toilet paper.” The custodian agreed to let them go about their business, and that’s reportedly when the trouble started.
Harris says that someone locked the deadbolt on the brick hut while she and five of her line-mates (plus a baby) were still in the stalls inside. It took a few minutes of frantic banging and screaming for a male groundskeeper to come by and let them out. “He had this look on his face like ‘Ha ha. This is super funny,’” she said. “You would not have that look on your face if you were not the one who did it.”
Indignant, she filed a complaint with the city, and the Parks Department is “investigating” the incident. Meanwhile, a representative for the watchdogs at NYC Park Advocates told Gothamist that this was one of the first times he’d heard of someone being locked inside a park bathroom on purpose. However, he explained that people get locked in them accidentally all the time. “Last year there were a number of incidents in which people and kids were locked in bathrooms, just due to incompetence,” he said. So, it turns out that park restrooms are somehow even more perilous than they seem. Those who don’t think they could handle the amount of time Harris spent on the inside might want to consider holding it until they get home.