19 December 2014

The world's most disgraceful men's room

Here's a very entertaining letter from director King Vidor --known for such movies as "The Champ" (1931), "Stella Dallas" (1937) and "War and Peace"(1956)-- to sports journalist Jim Murray of the L.A. Times. Written in May 1974, 80-year old Vidor complains about the deplorable condition of the men's room at the Dodger Stadium. Vidor's letter is amusing, especially the last paragraph where he tells Murray to disregard the political crisis in America and focus on the problem of these men's rooms instead.


May 23, 1974

Jim Murray
L.A. Times
Times Mirror Square
Los Angeles, Calif. 90053

Dear Jim Murray:

Have you ever had to stand in line in the men's room on the lower level of the Dodger Stadium during the playing of a Ball game? I say lower level because I have not done research on the other levels. Without a doubt, I think it is the most inadequate and disgraceful facility of a major stadium in the world. When I say "in the world," I mean just that, because I have attended events in Moscow. Madrid, Zagreb Yugoslavia, Rome and Paris and in comparison, the facilities at the Dodger Stadium are, without a doubt, the most disgraceful.

Here, patrons who have paid three and a half dollars per seat, move painfully up to a common metal trough. The design of these tiolet [sic] rooms would be inadequate for the friends and fathers at a Little League play-off.

During a recent game, it was necessary that I avail myself of this unbelievable facility. I believe every man in that shoulder-to-shoulder group, of five across and ten deep, deeply resented the indignity to which he was subjected, the outcome of an obviously penurious attitude in the planning and construction of the stadium. I have heard that drinking fountains (water) are nil or almost so, as a part of a plan to sell more beer and  soft drinks. Whether this scheme is true or not, there is something about a two and a half hour ball game that makes bladder relief frequent and imperative.

Jim, (and I feel that I deserve that first name calling privelege [sic] because we sat next to each other at a awards banquet a few years ago in Oceanside), do me a favor of visiting the men's room about Row 23, Lower Level, between innings, any game, and see if you are not as fired up by this disgrace as I am. Forget the impeachment of President Nixon. Instead, let's try to gain some sense of humanity for the suffering customers at Dodgers Stadium. 


King Vidor

King Vidor (left) and Jim Murray