Nothing funny about it

Published 10:00 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2016

We’re going to exercise great care in the following opinion, but there are some things that need to be said, and it’s impossible to do so without offending some sensibilities.

If you’re older than 12, the idea of burning a portable toilet should be funny for about three seconds — approximately the amount of time it would take for the initial impulse to fade and be replaced with the recognition that there are some very real reasons why it’s a bad idea. And if you’re younger than 12, then you probably shouldn’t have access to the flammable materials necessary to start such a fire in the first place.

Lots of people do lots of bad things every day, and burning portable toilets clearly doesn’t rank near the worst of things on that potential list of depravities.

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But we see the incident that took place early Sunday morning in the 100 block of North Main Street — where three pink portable toilets that were waiting to be picked up by a contractor following Saturday’s Taste of Suffolk event were torched, causing damage to two windows at the adjacent SunTrust Bank, a structural column, a bench and the sidewalk — as something worse than “simple vandalism.”

Frankly, we see this incident as a statement on the character of the perpetrators, who showed utter disregard for the people whose property they intentionally destroyed and for the possibility that their prank could go awry and cause more widespread damage.

Frankly, we see the beginnings of an allegory of sorts on the need for these misguided souls to clean themselves up.