At a time when toilets have come to symbolize North Carolina’s biggest political controversy, the appearance of four pristine potties lined up outside Mecklenburg County commissioner Pat Cotham’s house spurred a flurry of social media speculation Tuesday.
Cotham said she was a bit taken aback to see one toilet at the curb on Christmas Day. By Monday there were four, neatly lined up facing her house on Kilmonack Lane in southeast Charlotte, so she posted a photo on Facebook.
“My neighbor must be getting ready for the new year! Out with the old and in with the new?” she wrote.
Comments brought the expected bathroom humor and references to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which created a national firestorm this year by requiring that transgender people use the bathrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificate in government buildings.
State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin added some twists. “One more and you’d have a straight flush,” he posted, followed by “sports enthusiasts know that this time of year is bowl season.”
Added Bill Russell, president of the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce: “One more is a quorum, right?”
Cotham said Tuesday afternoon she assumes her across-the-street neighbors, who moved in fairly recently, are remodeling. Trash pickup has been delayed by the holidays, she said, and if the porcelain sentinels stay much longer she may start decorating them.
Meanwhile, she’s enjoying the chuckles at the end of a stressful year. “It definitely is a little comic relief, which we all need,” she said.
And indeed, it wasn’t long before the Observer’s online article found its way to the neighbor, Ruben Sidranski, who also got a laugh out of the swirl of speculation.
“Mystery solved!” he emailed the Observer. “This is my house! I am remodeling and swapped out my 4 toilets for low flush models.”