The ongoing mystery of the Toilet Torcher (aka Potty Pyro) has taken a surprising new turn. But first, for those who may not be caught up, the Toilet Torcher is San Francisco’s ersatz supervillain – a seemingly unstoppable arsonist who has burnt almost 30 portable toilets to the ground. His / her only calling cards are the $2,500 piles of melted blue plastic that are almost exclusively localized around Russian Hill. For those unwilling to bring up that desktop calculator, that means the city’s been slapped with roughly $67,500 in lost cost.
Now, a municipally-sanctioned vigilante group is taking their role as cleaners to the next logical level–from bathrooms to city streets–Clorox Co. is offering a $5,000 reward & a year’s supply of toilet products for any information leading to the capture of the scatological firebug. The announcement was officially made in a full-page ad in the March 24th issue of The San Francisco Examiner. Know something we don’t? Share your tips with Clorox at the new Facebook fan page or by directing a tweet (really!) to @FlushArsonist on Twitter. So modern Clorox, so hip. We applaud your attempts at pop-culture vigilantism 2.0. Although creating a “fan page” for an arsonist might be sending the wrong message, even if your intentions are noble. “As the nation’s leader in toilet cleaning and a local company, Clorox feels strongly that toilets and bathrooms should be cleaned, not destroyed…especially in our own backyard,” said Clorox marketing manager Dan Gagen, adding, “You could say that it’s a crappy job, but somebody’s got to do it.”
And if initiating the reward wasn’t proactive enough, Clorox also deployed a crack squad known only as “The Potty Patrol,” to get the word about about how regular citizens can help prevent commode conflagrations.
We applaud Clorox’s efforts but wonder if this is merely the first step towards a wider display of corporate cleanups. Could a gang of Guardian Angel-like protectors be far off? Bald headed, earing’ed, and clad in white t-shirts, a Mr. Clean Task Force could aggressively protect other neighborhoods from the fate of Russian Hill. Let’s keep our streets clean!