Shot-up toilet getting a formal, final flush

Published: Thursday, Jan. 29 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

The Carl's Jr. in Centerville is planning a funeral Friday for toilet that was shattered when a man dropped his gun.

Centerville Police Department

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CENTERVILLE — It's a crappy way to go, we know.

The Carl's Jr. restaurant here is planning a "funeral service" to mourn the loss of a toilet accidentally shot by a customer. Capitalizing on the enormous publicity that the bizarre story generated, the fast-food restaurant chain announced a memorial service Friday for the deceased toilet.

"By all accounts, it was a good toilet; reliable and well-liked by customers and crew members alike," Carl's Jr. executive vice president of marketing Brad Haley wrote in a note posted on the restaurant's Facebook page. "So, it seems only fitting to have a formal service to let everyone say goodbye to such a critical member of our team that was in very close contact with the public each and every day."

The Deseret News reported on the toilet mishap Jan. 15, when a man's concealed weapon accidentally went off while he was using the bathroom. Police said the concealed weapons permit holder had a holster inside his pants.

"While pulling his pants up, the gun fell out of the holster, striking the tile floor," Centerville Police Lt. Paul Child said. "When the gun hit the floor, it went off, and the bullet struck the toilet, shattering it and sending sharp pieces of porcelain flying."

The man was hit by some porcelain shards, lacerating his arm. No one else was injured, but an employee of the restaurant in the next-door women's restroom heard the gunshot and suffered chest pains. Police took the gun, but returned it after deciding not to press any charges against the man.

The story spread like wildfire on the Internet, prompting a flood of comments and "potty humor" on deseretnews.com.

"That gives new definition to being shot in the head," wrote one.

"If they take away guns. … Then toilets will run rampant and take over …," wrote another.

Customers posted messages of condolences on Facebook, encouraged by the company's Twitter feed.

"Dear John, you were a good man. After all the crap you had to put up with over the years, I'm sorry to hear the ending was so rough. You will be missed," wrote one.

Restaurant manager Christian Martinez said they've heard from people all over the country expressing "condolences" for the loss of the toilet. At Friday's funeral, the first 50 customers will get bottles of Kaboom Bowl Blaster brand toilet cleaner.

"It was the toilet's favorite," Martinez said.

In the tongue-in-cheek posting, Haley said their thoughts go out to the surviving men's room urinal and the sink.

"We only hope that the new toilet can fill the void left by its predecessor, but so far it hasn't made much of a splash," he wrote.

E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com

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