With the TP Ware application running you get a map of your current location. All the vacant and available johns flash in green and those that are occupied or out-of-order flash in red. The johns that are not part of the system show as gray icons, unlit. Simple enough, right? But there are a few interesting things.
- Only johns that you have passed in your regular, non-teleport-a-potty travels will be marked with an icon, unless you are able to set up an informal port-a-share co-op with other system members. This can be achieved in various ways. You can share just one or two locations or you can import entire libraries from each other.
- Even the grayed-out johns can be used for port-a-travel, but Mr. Custos said it would be a while before I'd have access to those, that they were not part of the Bainvoige Construction Corp system.
- As noted in the Safety and Responsibility document, construction areas with multiple Port-a-Potties will often have one potty designated for "departures" and one for "arrivals". You learn this through local knowledge only. There does not seem to be any scientific reason to separate the locations like this. It's unclear how or why the custom began.
- If you don't designate your arrival location you will be randomly assigned to a vacant Port-a-John in your available library. This may result in a destination as beautiful as Highway 1 in Big Sur California (if you've been there) or as hideous as a Jersey Turnpike construction site (just about everyone has Jersey Turnpike port-a-potties in his library).
Once inside the teleport-a-potty, with the TP Ware running, the starting location is recognized on your smart phone. You then zoom and scroll on the map to locate your destination, double-tap the corresponding icon and hit "yes" when asked to confirm your desired destination. The TP Ware calculates the coordinates while prompting you to take a "seat" (there is only one place to sit, of course). Gentle whirring noises arise from the phone and also from inside the molded plastic holder for the toilet-paper. That's where the electromagnaquantatronics are housed . You may suddenly feel lightheaded and/or slightly nauseous as the TP Ware reprograms the place cells in your hippocampus. The grid cells, border cells, head-direction cells and spatial view cells will be rearranged and prepared as needed to match that of your desired destination, decreasing the likelihood of spatial disorientation upon opening the door.
The whirring stops. You stand up. Check your balance. Open the door and step out. Voilà, in less time than it takes to urinate, you've got a new view of the world.
I asked Mr. Custos if he could explain how it worked. I meant, really how. Not like how to make it happen with the software and the icon tapping and whatnot, but really, the nitty-gritty physics of it. I knew there was no way I'd fully understand the science, but I wanted to at least know if there was actually some science behind all this! He laughed and shook his head.
"C'mon, Eve Stigatus. Time for your first official, sanctioned, safe-and-effective, teleport-a-potty trip. Fire up your TP Ware and let's see where we can send you. Maybe I'll even share a couple of my prime locations since your library is gonna be pretty limited at this point." Mr. Custos pulled me up from the bench seat, rubbed his hands together with eager anticipation and bounced a little from foot to foot. "Gotta make the first one good!" he said.
"Someplace warm and sunny." I replied as we walked out of the trailer into the gloomy, gray chill.