KELSO: Where else would hundreds line up to talk about using the john?


Talk about a blown opportunity for Austin. On Tuesday at the Capitol, more than 430 people lined up to give their opinions on Senate Bill 6, the take-it-or-leak-it bill.

That’s what I call it anyway. The bill, if passed, would make transgender folks go to the bathroom designated for the sex the person was given at birth. The concern here an imposter would mess with your kid.

So some 430 civic-minded concerned citizens lined up to speak about taking a leak. Why didn’t somebody contact the folks at the Guinness Book of Records? If 430 people lined up to talk about taking a leak, and that’s not a world record, I’ll eat my shorts. Besides, everything is bigger in Texas, right? Pearsall has the world’s largest peanut. Seguin has the world’s largest pecan.

And now Austin has given us the world’s longest line of people wanting to discuss who gets to use which bathroom.

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By the way, not everybody thinks this bill is such a Jim Dandy idea. Personally, I think it’s stupid. For one thing, it shows that our lawmakers aren’t exactly addressing the issues that really matter. Like, say, jobs and health insurance. Besides, guys in women’s clothing in an Austin john just doesn’t rattle my chain.

Then there’s the financial concern. Business people in Austin and beyond are worried that, if this bill passes, Texans will look like a bunch of bigots, as if we didn’t already, and keep conventioneers from coming here and having their shindigs, which would cost the state lots of dough.

You can tell how much Austin has changed by looking at what issues flip our skirts these days, as compared with what we found important, say, a few decades ago.

Remember developer Jim Bob Moffett, at one point in Austin history the most hated man in town? People of an environmental bent wanted him keelhauled. There was one Austin City Council meeting that lasted all night, with people bitching about Moffett’s development efforts and the possibility that they might goober up Barton Springs Pool.

People were so worked up that some brought handfuls of algae to make a point.

Ah, but the good old days are behind us, and these days we’re worried about the plumbing, and who uses it.

PHOTOS: Texas transgender bathroom bill hearing on March 6

I doubt there’s a day goes by that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick doesn’t mention going to the bathroom. He doesn’t want the boys who dress like girls to use the ladies’ room, for fear some monkey business might go on.

So we’ve got 430 people lined up at the Capitol so they can get their two cents in. Really, can any other city on this great big globe we call home boast that hundreds of people stood in line to discuss who goes where? So why wasn’t Guinness contacted? What we need here the next time this comes around is an organizer, somebody who can file all the bull corn you need to file with Guinness if you want to make it into their book.

Any volunteers? If so, send me an email at jkelso@statesman.com. Let’s put this city on the map for something besides live music, traffic jams and high rents.

Heck, as worked up about this as Dan Patrick is, maybe he’d volunteer for the job. Think of the promotional materials. Think of the T-shirts that would pop up for sale in one of those Austin-centric souvenir shops on Sixth Street.

“Come to Austin and take a peak. It’s a heckuva place to take a leak.” I’ll take a medium.



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