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Get a CLOO'? App will rent your bathroom to strangers

September 13, 2011 |  4:46 pm

Bano

When you have to go, you have to go.

That's the basic philosophy behind the smartphone app CLOO', which wants urban dwellers to open their private bathrooms to strangers desperately seeking a toilet.

CLOO', short for community plus loo (plus an apostrophe mark to represent a GPS marker), aims to create a network of "member loos" from trusting, sympathetic people who will trade a few minutes in their personal facilities "for the cost of a latte," the company boasts on its website

"Here's how we save those nice pants of yours," the website said. "CLOO' is a community of registered users who choose to share their bathrooms and make city-living easier, while earning a small profit."

Just open the app to see "hosts" in your area, then message a likely prospect. If they are home and feeling up to welcoming a stranger, you can race over and make full use of their john.

The app makes a nominal nod toward safety by showing any mutual friends you and the potential "host" may have on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, "turning a stranger's loo into a friend of a friend's loo," the company cheerfully predicts. The app will also include a system for rating member toilets.

The company suggests that "brand partnerships" with toilet paper manufacturers may also shower free products on hosts.

CLOO' co-founders Hillary Young and Deanna McDonald told a blog on tech site CNET that the team is gearing up for a launch in New York early next year -- first on Apple iOS platforms and then possibly on Android devices.

A few thoughts leap to mind:

1. Who is more astonishing -- those who would use CLOO' to find a restroom or the people renting out their water closets for a "token fee"?

2. There are many synonyms for bathroom.

3. Check out the video, set to saucy salsa music, under the How It Works section of the website (There were problems embedding the video in this post.).

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-- Shan Li

Photo: The guest bathroom in Amy Lippman and husband Rodman Flender's Carpinteria house in January. Credit: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

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