There are First World problems, and then there are Highland Park problems. Beginning this month, Dallas' toniest municipal enclave will begin a crackdown on porta-potties.
The problem — if that's the correct term for it — is that residents and city officials are tired of looking at the garish plastic boxes that invariably appear in front yards during home construction projects. The obvious solution would be to require construction workers to relieve themselves outside of the Highland Park town limits, but that would slow the pace of tear-downs and rebuilds needed to maintain the town's edge as the local apotheosis of gaudy affluence. Instead, as the real estate website Candy's Dirt reported yesterday, Highland Park will begin requiring that the toilets be screened from public view. Like this:
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Let's be honest. The first example is pretty meh. The second is an outhouse. Certainly Highland Park can do better.
Enter the "2015 Sitting Pretty Porta Potty Screen Contest," an effort by local homebuilders to crowd-source designs in hopes of ensuring that Highland Park's portable toilets are concealed in a manner in keeping with its general excellence. "We are challenging you – our readers, friends, and colleagues – to design a porta-potty screen of your own," writes HPD Architecture's Larry Paschall. "Something with a bit of flare! Maybe a little splash! A screen that says 'When ya gotta go, you might as well do it in style!'"
The city wants the screens to be made of wood, but surely they wouldn't object to the use of higher-quality materials: stucco, hand-cut sandstone, diamonds. Remember, this is Highland Park.
Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.