I was using the facilities in a gas station restroom on the outskirts of Houston yesterday when I noticed an interesting piece of hardware on the urinal before me. (Yes, I was going #1 at the time.)
It was stamped with the name “Nut Locker,” and after looking at it for a few seconds, I understood what it was for—to prevent the theft of the urinal flush valve by covering the large nut that connects it to the fixture’s water supply.
All at once my mind reeled with the significance of two pieces of information I had been completely ignorant of seconds before: First, that urinal flush valve theft was a thing, and, second, that it’s such a big thing that at least one company, Punter Distributing of Houston, has designed, manufactured and marketed a product to combat it.
Once reconciled to this new information, it did not surprise me that Houston might be both the epicenter of flush valve theft and the efforts to prevent it.
God help us.