I recently read that there's a Portland law making it illegal to wear roller skates in a public restroom. Yet more nanny-state BS? I say let people break their necks if they want—this herd could use thinning.

—Mean Mr. Mustard

I'm sympathetic to the complaint that the state too often stifles freedom in the name of safety, but I'm not convinced this particular law would qualify as an example of the nanny state run amok.

For starters, wearing skates in the john doesn't sound particularly dangerous (though I can imagine an off-balance mishap at the urinal that could require a lot of time-consuming cleanup).

I do agree, though, that it's troubling to see the skids of society being greased to allow safe and trouble-free passage for even the most extravagantly stupid individuals. There's now an entire universe of consumer products being marketed to solve problems you never knew anyone could be dumb enough to have. ("Finally! A fork you don't have to have a Ph.D. in physics to understand!")

I exaggerate, but there is literally a company called Simplehuman (a name that makes me feel like I'm being sneered at by a superintelligent robot), which has made a name for itself solving the problem of the trash can. Because, you know, regular trash cans are so hard to use! You try to put stuff in the top hole thing, but you get confused, and before you know it you're sitting in the corner eating paste again.

As to your question, Mustard: Don't believe everything you read on the internet. There's nothing in the city code forbidding skates in the restroom. (It is, however, still illegal to take a shit in the middle of a roller rink.)

A section of the city code called "Misuse of a Public Restroom" does say you can't "stand, climb, sit upon, or lay down on any fixture or floor" not intended for that use. That probably means no parkour in the crapper (planking, of course, is right out), but—if you must—skates are perfectly legal.