Pro Tips with Wayne Diamante: Your Mission Creek survival guide

Iowa City Public Library
Where’s the best place to do your business during Mission Creek? Wayne knows best. — photo by Randy Stern

If you’re reading this, then you’ve survived the Ides; welcome to your Pro Tips for March 2016! This is the first installment in a series focused on tips for ensuring you get the most out of Mission Creek this year. As any seasoned festival goer knows, long days, rough nights and poor culinary choices can lead to serious problems. One of the most important things to take into account is where to go when you’re on the move.

Mr. Diamante,

I write to you in advance of the Mission Creek festival of music and letters next month (which, as a neophyte, I’m positively vibrating about!) and I have need of information from a source I can trust. As you are clearly your region’s nonpareil voice of record for all manners of serious enquiry and scrupulous council, I know I will be able to rely on your expertise in this most sensitive matter. Whilst I look forward to the revelry of the Mission Creek event, I also suffer from a terrible anxiousness surrounding the prospect of “making” in public venues, especially in an unfamiliar city. If you could provide me with a travelogue to, ahem, releasing the hounds, as it were, I would owe you an eternal debt of gratitude.

Best Regards, Giles St. Auxbreeeé


Thanks for the compliment and vote of confidence, always appreciated. I’m uniquely qualified to answer your question, as I haven’t taken a dump at home in almost seven years. Like you, I am a private man who enjoys life’s modest pleasures, like egesting without interference or interruption. Turns out, much to my chagrin, I married a “turd-lurker” and have subsequently sired a number of progeny who exhibit her phenotype. To be entirely fair, one of my daughters expresses a hybrid allele, insisting on her own privacy, yet showing no capacity to resist the Siren song of someone else in the lavatory. In any case, I opted to take my business elsewhere and I’m glad my field research is proving useful. I’m happy to report you’ll have a number of viable options, so never fear!

The basement of the Jefferson Building is private, well furnished and offers an upscale experience in a downtown setting. If you’re in a pinch, the centrally located and predominantly sanitary WC at the Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center can’t be beat. The public library seems like a good idea, but can be a bit of a crapshoot. The restrooms at Prairie Lights bookstore are pleasantly secluded, spacious and well lit. With a nod to authenticity, the experience is accompanied by a fitting twist of plot. SPOILER ALERT: While the bathrooms themselves are well-cloistered and quiet, the toilets are, by all accounts, powered by jet turbine. The savvy visitor will bring earplugs and headgear, as they are not provided.

I hope you find this information useful, but I also encourage you to let down your guard a bit and take advantage of the joie de vivre atmosphere Mission Creek is so well known for. Who knows? Maybe the spirit of adventure will compel you to hunker down in some graffiti-laden, doorless bathroom stall and the rich tapestry of your life will be woven anew. Good luck; Iowa City looks forward to welcoming you! —Wayne

This article was originally published in Little Village issue 195.