Bathroom app offers revelers relief during Carnival

Published: Feb. 24, 2014 at 4:04 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The problem is so common, Benny Grunch wrote a song about it. Bathroom options are limited during crowded Carnival parades.

"The lines are long, it's nasty and personally, I hold mine," says Bobbie Sawyer, a parade-goer from New Orleans.

Sensing that revelers need relief, a couple of so-called "entre-pee-neurs" hope to solve the age-old question: Where to go on Mardi Gras?

They're launching AirPnP on Friday, a web-based app that allows people to rent out their bathrooms along parade routes. It works much like the site AirBnB, on which people can rent bedrooms in private homes.

On the new app, renters sign up, provide their address and post pictures of their porcelain.

"Say I'm on St. Charles and Second, and you might live nearby there," says developer Max Gaudin. "Basically, they pay through the app, go to your house, use the bathroom and then rate their pee experience so that other people can see how legit your bathroom is."

Gaudin says the idea began as a joke, but it received a lot of positive feedback.

More than 1,200 people signed up before the site's launch.

Gaudin believes the app fulfills a social responsibility. Many arrests during Carnival season happen because of public urination.

The New Orleans Police Department couldn't provide specific numbers, but if you're picked up on the charge, you might face a misdemeanor count of lewd conduct.

The city put out 700 portable toilets for Carnival, but this year, they're not allowing private toilets on public property.

Gaudin predicts, because of that change, demand for legal restrooms will be high.

"What we're doing is we're taking all those people off the streets and into bathrooms where they should be, so this is a win-win situation for everyone," says Gaudin.

Users of AirPnP can rate everything from cleanliness to quality of toilet paper, and better bathrooms are more likely to have return customers.

Mallory Gill plans to sign up.

"I would pay to use a nice bathroom," she says. "I'm sure people would make a lot of money doing it."

So if you have to go this Carnival season, as the AirPnP developers say, "Urine luck."

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