First They Came For the Urine Drinking Crossing Guards (and Maybe Former Reason Staffer Matt Welch)…


The following story, sent to me by an anonymous tipster at the notoriously urine-free offices at Bloomberg News, is just one more indication that the United States is truly an open-air prison Port-a-John.

Urine drinker booted from job as crossing guard

Drinking your own urine? Orland Park police have no problem with that.

But drink it in a front-page newspaper article while wearing your crossing guard uniform complete with official police insignia, and there will be problems.

Ed Danis, the 84-year-old Orland Park "urine therapy" devotee featured in a Jan. 29 Southtown story, has been suspended from his job as a crossing guard, effective Wednesday.

Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy, whose department oversees the part-time guards, said Danis had been warned in writing twice before that he was not allowed to espouse his beliefs while on duty or in his uniform.

"It has nothing to do with urine therapy," McCarthy said. "People cannot go around in Orland Park police uniforms speaking out on any issues."…

Oh come on, now, Chief McCarthy (bonus points for being an Irish cop): You're expecting us to believe that you would can a crossing guard who was, say, telling kids not to smoke? Whole thing here.

Of course, the real question for the Hit & Run crowd is what the dearly departed former Reason staffer Matt ("We Hardly Knew Ye") Welch thinks about this imbroglio. His first piece as a mainstream media sellout at the LA Times was a confession about "fold[ing] like a cheap tent" in the face of a workplace drug test.

When the Times makes "urine therapy" a condition of employment, Matt, what side of the barricades will you be on?

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  1. Urine therapy?

    In other words, all he is saying is, give piss a chance.

  2. I have to say (after reading Matt’s article) I’m a little proud of my HR department from the now-defunct Marconi. We were just acquired by Ericsson, and Ericsson requires all new employees to submit to drug tests. Apparently they wanted to apply this to all Marconi employees. The Marconi HR guys actually fought against it successfully. I have to admit that I’m really glad not to have to piss in a cup just for the privilege of keeping a job that I’ve had for nigh on ten years.

  3. A comedian, I forget who, once said “I don’t have time for golden showers, so I use the wipes.”

    Any Patton Oswalt fans may remember his Piss Drinkers Magazine routine.

  4. When piss drinking in public by crossing guards is outlawed, only outlaw crossing guards will drink piss in public.

    Fight the power!!

    On drug testing.

    If/when legislators pass a law to drug and alchohol test congress, judges, and the executive branch at random during working hours, then and only then should drug testing of regular citizens be considered.

  5. maybe the government can mandate that people be tested not only for drugs, but that their urine be tested to determine if they drink urine

  6. Drinking urine isn’t a therapy, it’s a pathology.

    This person needs a good shrink to help him sort out why he has this peculiar habit.

    As for booting them from the job, I don’t have a problem with that. It’s an employer’s prerogative to get rid of an employee that deliberately creeps people out, even if that employer is a public agency.


  7. If the authorities at Orland Park had any creativity, they’d remove the urine-drinking crossing guard from his job . . . and put him in charge of urine testing for their jurisdiction. He could hold samples up to the light and swirl them around like a true connoisseur. Take a little sip, swish it around in his mouth, spit it out and then solemnly murmur: “Hmmm . . . Humboldt County . . . First harvest, if I’m not mistaken . . .”

    Actually, on the first day of work at a dot-com company, I was in a group of new hires, and we were each asked to sign a document consenting to a urine test as a condition of employment. One very charming, politically aware graphic designer amongst us refused to sign it — concisely and eloquently declaring it an outrageous intrusion. And she opposed the urine testing on strictly ideological grounds, since she never did any drugs in the first place. She was very inspiring and endearing. And even though I figured that if I were given a urine test, the litmus paper would start to change color as soon as I walked into the room, I nonetheless agreed to sign the paper, to do my duty as a law-abiding, God-fearing, drug-abstaining American. For good measure, I think I even edged my chair away from the dissenting graphic designer, like she had commie cooties or something.

  8. I’m Pissed Off!

  9. Drinking urine isn’t a therapy, it’s a pathology. This person needs a good shrink to help him sort out why he has this peculiar habit.

    It sounds pretty gross, but I wouldn’t call it pathological–I read that in places like India it’s relatively common. Supposedly there are some health benefits to it, too. Maybe you could use a good shrink to find out why you believe that anything you find icky must be a pathology rather than “something that I prefer to avoid, but lots of others do with no ill effects.”

  10. What’s so funny?

  11. Drinking one’s own urine is kinda gross, even in India, and could poison the person who does it if said person isn’t a vegetarian (and a pretty strict one to boot)

  12. Drew–

    .. did she get to keep her job?? .. or was she shown the door??

  13. And she opposed the urine testing on strictly ideological grounds, since she never did any drugs in the first place.

    Uh huh. Sure she hasn’t. Everyone who opposes urine testing has been drug free their whole life. Just ask them.

  14. RC, I opposed drug testing even back in the days before I’d ever done any illegal drugs. It IS possible for people to oppose things on principle. You think drug-free people shouldn’t have a problem with producing bodily fluids on demand?

  15. The crossing guard must have watched last weeks episode of Moral Orel.

  16. “It has nothing to do with urine therapy,” McCarthy said. “People cannot go around in Orland Park police uniforms speaking out on any issues.”

    Unless Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy took off his uniform to “speak out” on this issue, he’s just another lying cop.

  17. Drinking urine is no more of a pathology than going to the movies, voting for one of the two major parties, watching Oprah, or any other situation where you expose yourself to human waste. In fact I’d say less so because you’re eliminating the middle man. Why let American culture piss on you when you can drink your own?

  18. J. Hobbit:

    She did get to keep her job. I think the company’s HR people decided to avoid the confrontation for which she seemed to be spoiling, and just let it slide. I guess I could’ve done the same thing, but cowardice seemed the best approach at the time. And since it was a dot-com company, there was no happy ending for any of us in the long run.

  19. Of course, if you don’t trust the organic stuff, you can always brew up a batch of artificial urine.

  20. Orland Park city officials to Ed Danis: Urine big trouble, Mister!

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