Tag Archives: toilet paper

23 July 2017 in toilets | Stories from India, the UK and the internet

I’m going to start by saying a word about what I’m not going to write about. In this week’s toilet news that I get in my email, I got news about a suicide in a school toilet, about a rape in a public toilet, about a woman giving birth to a baby, which subsequently died, in a public toilet and about a man sexually abusing children in a toilet. Toilets, for a number of reasons, are a venue for some of society’s great evils and I will address this in some future posts, but for right now, I don’t think I’ve found the right tone for that, so I’m going to avoid it for today, but I will come back to it in the future.

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The first story I will report on is from Attitude Magazine and it is about a new computer game based in a men’s toilet in Ohio in the 1960s, where the aim is to cruise men, i.e. pick up men for sex in a public toilet. The aim of the game is to successfully pick men up without the police catching you. I never thought of cruising as something you could “win” at before, but I guess I was wrong.

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A still from The Tearoom game – picture from Attitude

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Next to the city of Kozhikode in Kerala, where The Hindu reports that shopping centre staff are complaining about the lack of toilets. Most of the male staff will find a laneway to piss in, but apparently, the female employees either have to bring a pot to work that they then empty in the streets afterwards, or else bring a bottle which they can close tightly and take home in their bags to empty. We have it lucky.

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Then there’s this tweet from the @Visit_Wakefield account about the wrong way to put a toilet roll.

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Finally, to an Instagram account after my own heart. A man who goes around London photographing and reviewing gents’ toilets on Instagram as “London Urinal”. Keep your freak flying!

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Spray, don’t wipe; no toilet, no wedding; and a church toilet for all

The first story today isn’t really news, but I enjoyed it, so here we are. Global Indonesian Voices includes a story today about why Indonesians just don’t like pooing in Europe or America because there is no sprayer attached to the loo and they are expected to use “dry toilet paper to clean away fecal matter”, which apparently grosses them out and doesn’t leave them feeling clean.

The story discusses different traditions around arse-cleaning, and in one of my favourite paragraphs I’ve ever read, explains the differences’ source in weather and history. “As human are creatures of habit, a habit that had been embedded for eons will be definitely hard to change—the using of water for Indonesians is deeply ingrained.It’s very unlikely for the Northerners to bring their bottom down into the icy water. The Southerners, on the other hand, could enjoy indulging themselves to the feel of flowing water brushed against the glutes.”

Brush your glutes with flowing water today, go on. Live a little.

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The campaign to end open defecation in India won religious support this weekend. The Times of India reports that maulvis and muftis (muslim officials) in the provinces of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab will now refuse to solemnise marriages in houses with no toilet. Reading about this necessary campaign day after day does make me feel sorry for communities who have change inflicted on them like this. There seems to be a lot more stick than carrot involved in India’s great toilet revolution.

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And finally, to Liverpool, where The Echo is reporting on a church renovation. The Anglican St Brides apparently prides itself on its inclusivity and welcomes LGBTQIA members. To this end, the new “unisex toilets will ensure inclusivity for visitors of all abilities and gender identities”.

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The planned exterior of St. Bride’s Church – photo from The Liverpool Echo

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Worm-infested toilets, a Chinese Michael Jackson and a toilet roll rip-off

Lisette Goaxas, a resident of the settlement of Fransfontien in Namibia has been speaking to New Era to complain about the state of the village’s toilets. The villagers use bucket toilets, which are apparently infested with worms, as the contractor does not empty them often enough. She also claims that the contractor empties the toilets at meal times, rather than early in the morning. Local residents are frustrated, as they believe that no new toilets will be built for years, as changes don’t happen after elections, but during campaigns.

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A 54-year-old cleaner in a Chinese music school watched a group of elderly women performing a vigorous dance routine to Michael Jackson. He was inspired to follow suit and so he started practising in the men’s toilets that he cleaned every day. The video of him performing his routine in the gents’ has, according to GB Times, made him into an internet star.

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And finally, controversy for Tesco, as angry customers claim that they’re saving money on their own-brand Luxury Soft White Toilet Paper, be making the cardboard inserts and thus, providing less paper on each roll. The Metro reports that Tesco deny these claims and say that the weight of each toilet roll is unchanged and the controversy has been caused by “deceptive packaging”. Decide for yourself!

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An old pack of toilet roll (left) compared with the newer rolls (right) – pic from The Metro, credited to SWNS

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A not-really-open-defecation-free district, Celtic and Rangers go to the loo, used toilet roll postage and a poetic toilet

As India’s campaign to end open defecation rolls on, The Indian Express reports that not all the reported successes of the programme have achieved what they claim to have. In a story about the district of Dhamtari, which the regional government has declared to be “open-defecation-free” or ODF, the reality doesn’t exactly reflect the official status. The story details a school playground that is full of little brown smelly mounds when the children arrive every morning because it’s where locals go to defecate at night. There is also a description of the newly installed toilets, most of which do not have water tanks and which must be cleared by hand. The report mentions one toilet bowl that has been filled with cement and many which are nowhere near pipes. One farmer said that his toilet is the room where he dries his crops as there’s nothing else he can do with the room. This campaign has a long way to go.

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A man from Dhamtari standing in front of the pond he uses as a toilet – from the Indian Express

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Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers’ rivalry is legendary. In September this extended to Rangers’ fans damaging the toilets in Celtic’s Parkhead stadium after they were defeated by five goals to one. The Scottish Sun reports that some Celtic fans decided to get lighthearted and fragrant revenge by lighting green and white scented candles in the toilets in Rangers’ Ibrox stadium at the New Year’s Eve derby match between the two teams. Aww!

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Toilet candles in Ibrox stadium – from the Scottish Sun

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Another sports story now, this time a gross one, involving a cricket commentator and a football commentator. The Mirror carries a story about Jonathan Agnew, who commentates on cricket for the BBC. He has been awarded an MBE and he tweeted, “Can I ask the charming individual who for 10 years has sent me a soiled piece of toilet paper every Test now address the envelope correctly?” Apparently, he’s been getting dirty toilet paper in the post for over 10 years. On seeing the tweet, football commentator, Gary Lineker tweeted back, “Let me guess; sent from a Bath postcode?” Somebody out there is posting their used toilet roll to BBC sports personalities, weekly, for years on end. Take comfort in how normal you are by comparison.

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Finally today, an important tweet from @xssyharvey.

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Drunk Katie Price,why covering a toilet seat with toilet paper is pointless and All I Want For Christmas Is A Loo, Baby!

The Sun reports that an insulation firm were disappointed when they booked Katie Price and Dane Bowers to appear at their company Christmas party. Katie Price was paid £13,000 to come to the party, but the boss now wants his money back. Apparently, Katie arrived at the party in an advanced state of intoxication. She was rude and abusive to various party guests. She then made her way to the ladies’ toilets where she stripped down to a thong and knee-high boots. The Sun has video of this on their website. They don’t report on whether Dane Bowers got up to any hijinks. They do, however, include the wonderfully gross detail that Katie also blew her nose on a tablecloth at the party.

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In an article about the futility of everything, 22 Words reports that there is no point in covering a toilet seat in a public convenience with toilet paper before you sit down, because your skin is a fine barrier against bacteria, and even if it wasn’t, toilet paper in a public bathroom will have the same, or probably more fecal bacteria than a toilet seat, as will basically everything else in the room. You might as well just give up and live in filth.

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from 22Words

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And finally, a wonderful charity campaign video, made by mychangingplace.co.uk, advocating for more businesses and public buildings to instal truly accessible toilets with a hoist and bench for those in need, using a song based on Mariah Carey’s incomparable Christmas hit of all hits.

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Japanese toilet paper, Indian urinals, Nando’s and a baptist church, Danger in McDonalds, awful Instagrammers and a baby kangaroo

We start with a picture tweeted by Joel Hensley of toilet paper for old people in Japan, which has been printed with warnings about scammers and criminals.

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Japanese toilet paper – from @gryphtor on Twitter

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This story from the Times of India outlines the shortage of women’s toilets in Pune, including the installation of new mobile toilets with panic buttons. It’s easy to get angry that toilets are still such dangerous places for so many women. (More on that below.)

The new toilets aim to address the following problem:

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From the Times of India

(lakh = 100,000)

I don’t quite understand what a urinal is in India.

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In other Indian news, @DGNewsClips on Twitter reports that thousands of new toilets have been announced in New Delhi, in a “toilet inauguration spree”. I like the idea of a toilet inauguration spree. I only ever heard of “shopping sprees” and “killing sprees” before.  I like the idea of politicians rushing from toilet to toilet inaugurating with gay abandon.

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In the first of two stories about UK councils’ public toilets, Oxford won a prize for the best toilets in the UK. I’m only including this story for the amazing photo in the Oxford Mail of the council staff receiving the award. Look at all those men and how bad they are at smiling.

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From the Oxford Mail

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Also in the UK, Camden Council in London are closing public toilets and replacing them by paying local businesses to allow the public to use their toilets. According the Ham and High, the council is saving money by closing three public toilets and paying 12 businesses £750 each to let the public in. The council will also advertise for these businesses. In the name of providing a public service, the council are now paying NANDO’S and a Baptist Church to let people pee. Nando’s. And a church.

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Another case of women being infringed on in toilets in the Ipswich Star, where it is reported that a man was convicted of helping his colleague, called “Danger”, to install a camera in women’s toilets in McDonald’s where they were working. His lawyer insisted that he only did so because of the threats from Danger and not for his own sexual gratification, which is the reason it was treated as a minor offence. He’s been banned from every McDonalds in the UK, and given a 12-month community order, as well as 150 hours of unpaid work and a fine.

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People find lots of ways to be awful. “Rich Kids of UK” on Instagram posted this photo. Screen Shot 2016-12-15 at 14.17.13.png

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And finally, we turn to toilet roll, children and animals. This DIY/parenting blog suggests toddler-proofing toilet paper with an elastic band.

And then there’s this video of a baby kangaroo discovering the joys of toilet roll.

Toilets vs Smartphones, toilet politics, a waterless toilet and an instant bidet

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The firefighters come to the rescue. (from Tigrigna)

We start with a story from last year that has resurfaced in my newsfeed from the Tigrigna site, all about a Chinese man who accidentally dropped his smartphone down the toilet and then reached down to get it back. Unfortunately, not only could he not reach his phone, but he got his arm stuck. This was a squat toilet, so he was essentially plunging his hand into a pit of poo. He was there for six hours until firefighters came, broke the tiles and the toilet and managed to extract him. It makes me queasy to even think about.

I don’t know a lot about Bhutan, but yesterday’s editorial in the Bhutanese newspaper Kuensel drew my attention to the politics of toilets there. The editor takes a stern tone on toilets, saying that even though locals don’t complain about them, tourists with US dollars frequently complained that there were no public toilet facilities and that they wouldn’t come back if this wasn’t changed. He concedes that if toilets were built for tourists, then they could also be used by Bhutanese, but in general, he takes a somewhat condescending tone with his fellow citizens, reproving them for the fact that they misuse the toilets they have, pointing to signs in public toilets reminding people to flush after themselves and  not to climb up and squat on Western-style toilets. It’s impossible for me not to feel some guilt as the West really has a massive array of ways of shaming the people of the developing world, infiltrating even how they view their own way of sitting on their toilets.

Staying in Asia, today’s Japan Times celebrates the launch of a new waterless toilet. It is not the first waterless biotoilet. However, it is the first one that deals satisfactorily with the smell of poo. By grinding your poo up with sawdust. It can be set up anywhere and its main use will be in emergencies like after a tsunami or an earthquake when it can be installed in a matter of minutes.

And our final story today also comes from Japan. Tushy was invented by a half-Japanese woman who had grown up with bidets and was disgusted by the American use of toilet paper. As she says, if a bird pooed on your face, you wouldn’t simply wipe it off with paper. You would wash it with water. Why are our bottoms any different? This was why she invented the Tushy, a clip-on bidet that makes any toilet Japanese.