05/31/2012

Toilet-throwing Dutch prince is flushed with 'shame'

Toilet1
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands participates in the traditional toilet bowl throwing ceremony in Rhenen on April 30. (Reuters)

Organizers of a traditional toilet-tossing contest can't help but think Crown Prince Willem-Alexander is being just a little bit anal.

ToiletThe heir to the Dutch throne was in Rhenen, a small village in the Netherlands, on April 30,the national holiday that marks the birthday of Queen Beatrix's mother, Queen Juliana. Celebrations include "orange madness" -- a salute to the national colour -- when people dye their hair orange, or wear orange hats ... or, in this particular case, throw orange toilet bowls.

Being a good sport, Willem-Alexander, wearning his nice blue suit, took part in the contest, as did his brother Prince Constantijn. Willem-Alexander found his calling, obviously, because he won.

That joy didn't last however. This week, speaking at a conference in Rotterdam, he had second thoughts about the toilet-heaving.

"Here in the Netherlands there are towns that take part in the throwing of toilet-bowls for a laugh," he said.

"I participated with a smile, but not without shame in thinking about the some 2.6 billion people around the world that do not have this most basic infrastructure to fulfil a daily need with dignity."

Presumably, he had a change of heart because he's chairman of the United Nations water and sanitation advisory board.

But potty-slinging organizers told a Dutch newspaper that the prince's attitude "childish".

"Because he won, we even gave him a cup with a little toilet on top with a string you can pull to flush it," Jakob Buitenhuis said.

The Dutch government spokesperson tried to relieve pressure, saying that, in fact, the prince was not ashamed.

Well, which is it? Seems the Prince can't decide whether to say sorry or get off the pot.

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