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Monday, January 12, 2009

Chronicle Pulls a Geraldo, Gives Up Location of 'Camouflaged' Outhouse

Posted By on Mon, Jan 12, 2009 at 6:59 AM

With porta-johns in Russian Hill getting the same treatment these days as prostitutes in Victorian London, the Chronicle yesterday ran a quasi-feel good story about a builder who camouflaged his outhouse to fend off the outhouse arsonist(s) who has torched 14 johns since November.

One problem, though: Much as Geraldo Rivera revealed American troop positions with his sand-sketches during the most recent Iraq war, the Chron gives away plenty of details that could result in Dana Hayden's secret outhouse going up in smoke. Take this passage, for example: 

So far, the ruse has worked. A week ago, the arsonist bypassed Hayden's disguised toilet and struck another outhouse directly next door. That outhouse was destroyed, and a tall tree next to it was badly burned, but the

flames did not spread to the two-story home only 3 feet away.

Okay, here's the problem: Let's say you're the guy who burned that last outhouse. Odds are, after torching 14 potties, one blends into the next. But this was only a week ago -- it should be fresh in his or her memory -- and now the vandal knows the hidden outhouse is within spitting distance of a badly burned tree. In short, now  the perpetrator of a very recent arson attack knows that a great prize is loosely concealed right near a spot he's already successfully hit (or might we notice a few folks munching donuts in unmarked Crown Vics staked out around the camouflaged john?).

Hats off to Dana Hayden for being clever enough to camouflage his john. Hats back on for the questionably intelligent move of helping publicize his "secret" outhouse.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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