Tag Archives: UK

11 June 2017 in Toilets | Stories from India, the USA, the UK and Australia

First up, Australia, and one of this blog’s trustworthy repeat stories – the crazy things that people flush down their toilets. News.com.au ran a story about a plumber in Darwin and the things he’s found blocking toilets, which include: “dead cats, dirty underwear, sex toys, chain mail butcher’s gloves and soiled nappies”. Apparently, children frequently get embarrassed about having accidents in their underwear and flush them to hide the evidence and this frequently causes the plumber to have to be called.

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Chris Murphy, the Darwin plumber interviewed for this story, with the live cat he rescued from a toilet – photo from NT News by Glenn Campbell

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And now to Huddersfield in West Yorkshire in the UK, where the Sunday Express reports on the controversy around a secondary school’s decision to provide gender neutral/unisex bathrooms for their students in an attempt to be inclusive of students of all modes of gender expression.

Apparently parents (especially of female students) are objecting to the change, principally using the argument that girls will be too afraid of bullying to use the toilets with boys present while they’re menstruating and that each cubicle would have to be fitted with individual tampon machines so that girls could procure these without the boys seeing. If that really is the main argument, then it would appear that the boys’ parents need to do a better job of educating their children about menstruation, but I suspect that that isn’t the only reason behind the objections.

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We’re still in the UK, where Wigan Today reports that a website “Cruising Gays” which lists cruising spots for gay men (places where men can look for other men to have anonymous sex) has ranked the toilets at Wigan Wallgate railway station as the best for anonymous hook-ups in the region. Congratulations?

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A racism row has been reported on CBS’s Dallas-Fort Worth site about the small town of Paris Texas, where signs proclaiming “Negro Toilets” with explanatory notes about the Civil Rights Act, which were erected next to the site of what were formerly racially segregated toilets have been removed. Apparently, the were erected in an effort to educate about the racist past, but the wording has served to offend and reinforce and so they have been removed.

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The offending signs. Photo from CBS DFW, by Brenda Cherry

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Finally, to India, where a court row about two toilets in Bangalore has been resolved after 36 years according to the Bangalore Mirror. The two toilets were built in 1981 by one family. The woman next door claimed that the toilets blocked her right of way between the two houses and demanded that they be demolished so she could access the laneway between the houses. The court rejected her argument, stating that she could not establish that she had a right of way there. However, they also ordered that the toilets be demolished anyway, as they were  taking support from the complainant’s house.  So everyone’s a loser!

4 June 2017 in Toilets | Stories from New Zealand, Japan, China, South Africa, the US, the UK and Ireland

Welcome to the new format – from now on every Sunday I’ll be posting all of the internet’s best toilet stories from the last week. I imagine you’ve missed me lots.

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Let’s start in New Zealand, with a story about a policeman keeping his job. TVNZ reports on the story of a “highly trained” police officer, whose job is to protect the New Zealand Prime Minister and other VIPs, who kept his job after a disciplinary process. He was using the public toilet in parliament and put his loaded Glock pistol down and then forgot to pick it up. An hour and a half later, when he was on his way back, having realised he’d forgotten his gun, it was discovered by a member of the public. Luckily, no harm was done.

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Breaking News reports that Sober Lane, a pub in my home city of Cork, has installed a “Snapchat machine” in the ladies’ toilets, so women on a night out can record their toilet fun and drunk group selfies on the pub’s Snapchat story. I’m sure nothing at all will go wrong.

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The ladies’ toilet Snapchat Machine  – photo from BreakingNews.ie

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Angry commuter stories make me happy. Angry commuters pissing in plastic bottle stories are amazing. Read this story in the East Anglian Daily Times to experience the anger of rail passengers stuck on a train that only had working toilets in half of the carriages. It does sound inconvenient, as they had to get off the train and get back on another carriage in order to access the toilets, so I’m not not on the passengers’ side. But I still find the idea of the people of East Anglia angrily pissing into bottles on a train quite funny.

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Now, a story from the Sowetan Live, about a man who has an amazing name and amazing hair. There is apparently a singer  and reality TV star called Papa Penny Penny. Imagine being called Papa Penny Penny and not being a reality TV star. Anyway, the story goes that he once worked as a toilet cleaner. He told a show called Real Talk that “some people would just do their deeds beside [instead of inside] the toilet pot but I just cleaned”. Poor Papa Penny Penny.

 

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Papa Penny Penny – photo from Sowetan Live

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Now to China, where a news story in This Week in Asia appears to be trying to make Japan’s good toilets as much of a problem as China’s bad ones. The story tells of the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, when the city’s many dirty, smelly and old-fashioned toilets had to be renovated before the Games started. It compares this situation to Japan’s amazing toilets, thought to be the best in the world, and lists some of the advantages of Japan’s toilets, with their automated functions, heated seats, built-in bidets and washing functions and even the ability to measure blood pressure or analyse urine content. It claims that before the Olympics come to Japan 2020, the Japanese will have a similar problem because competitors and crowds from around the world won’t be able to figure out how to use the loos there. You should mainly read this story for the amazing photos of Japanese toilets, two of which I include here.

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This is a photo of Inax’s (a Japanese firm) flagship toilet at a Shanghai expo. Imagine having a flagship toilet. Photo from This Week in Asia, credited AFP. 

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A man wearing a poo-shaped hat climbs a giant toilet slide at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo. Amazing. Photo from This Week in Asia, credited AFP.

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Finally to San Francisco, and a story from Business Insider (which is basically Buzzfeed in a suit) about a journalist who tries a Japanese toilet. It’s not just any Japanese toilet. It’s apparently “the Mercedes Benz of toilets” and it costs $10,200. To be honest, that’s too much to spend on an actual Mercedes Benz. She said the toilet was nice, but unsurprisingly she also said that it wasn’t ten thousand dollars nice.

 

Korans in the toilet, Fatboy Slim hipsterises toilets and a dream toilet.

The BBC is reporting on what is assumed to be a hate crime in the University of Texas at Dallas, where photos of Korans in three different toilet bowls have been shown to the media. The police are investigating and are trying to identify suspects from CCTV. The act is mysterious insofar as the copies of the Koran from the multi-faith prayer room in the same building were untouched and the police don’t know who owned the Korans that ended up in the toilet. The university has been anxious to emphasise its welcoming and diverse nature in the aftermath of this incident.

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The once famous DJ Fatboy Slim is behind a scheme to re-develop a dilapidated block of public toilets in Shoreham-by-Sea, in West Sussex in the UK into a “community cafe” and “watersports centre”. I don’t know what either of those things are, but the commenters in local Sussex paper, The Argus seem happy, so long as the centre includes public toilets. They also enjoy the fact that a local councillor involved in the scheme is called Brian Boggis.

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Finally, a video from Kalamazoo, Michigan, where local DJ with WKFR 103.3, Dana Marshall, finds his dream toilet.

A mortified mum, a charitable friend and some toilet-wrecking hooligans

My toilet blog is back! Boy how I’ve missed reading local newspaper accounts of borough council meetings about whether or not to charge for access to toilets in a small town I’ve never been to and headlines with awful toilet-based puns like “loodicrous”.

The first story today is a very local news story, told in a breathless tone in the Stoke Sentinel about toilets in a park being locked “on the hottest day of the year!” Marie Poole brought her three children to the park and was apparently “mortified” to discover the toilets were closed, especially on such a hot day. She phoned the council to complain and told the Sentinel, “You’ve got to be careful about going in bushes these days.”

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Marie Poole, looking sad with two of her children – pic from the Stoke Sentinel

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Northglen News is running a story about a very worthy cause in Durban, South Africa, where Claire de Sylva visited a friend in the countryside and had to use her drop toilet (a hole in the ground). On realising the poor access that so many people had to sanitation, Claire started Project Loo Durban and raised enough money for her friend to afford a toilet and now wants the organisation to continue raising funds to allow the whole community to benefit.

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Claire de Sylva, posing with a toilet seat around her waist – pic from Northglen News

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Finally, the Evening Express reports that Aberdeen Football Club is to send a bill for repairs to Glasgow Rangers, after Rangers fans damaged over 100 seats in their stadium, as well as the ceiling of a toilet. The police are also investigating the damage. The story doesn’t say what Rangers’ reaction to the news was.

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The toilet in question – pic from the Famous Aberdeen Facebook page

Mario on the toilet, The Rock beside a toilet and a mother sent to the toilet

McDonalds UK are launching a new line of Happy Meal toys, including a Mario. According to an article in CogConnected, fans are fairly sure that this toy features Mario sitting on a toilet. I’m not really convinced, as whatever he’s sitting on is clearly made of bricks, but the article does pose the bewildering question “If he’s not on the toilet, then why is he waving?” Do you wave while pooing? I don’t.

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The Mario toy in question – from CogConnected

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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson posted a photo of himself doing a chest workout on his Instagram and Men’s Health ran a story, not about his lifting technique, but about the fact that there was a toilet in the photo, right next to the squat rack. Apparently, his trainer uses it as a motivational tool. It’s a non-functioning toilet, but it says “If you’re working so hard that you have to vomit, you still shouldn’t leave the gym.” Yay – health?

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From @The Rock on Instagram

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The Sun ran a story about a new mother, who was in a Costa cafe in Huddersfield. She asked if there was any particular area of the cafe where she could breastfeed, and a male staff member told her she could do so in the toilets. The new mother went home embarrassed and told her mother, who complained on Costa’s official Facebook page, leading to every UK tabloid running the story the following day.

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Strike against toilets, a toilet thief and the iToilet

According to The Telegraph, Alitalia is the Pope’s favourite airline. More relevantly to my purposes though, it also reports on a threatened strike on 23rd February by cabin crew as a result of being asked to clean the toilets and to replenish soap and toilet paper on long-haul flights. The airline is under threat of closure from its investors. Of course, the strike is really about a pay-cut and a reduction in contracted holidays, but that didn’t stop the world’s press from choosing the toilets to put in the headlines, because as I well know, toilets get hits.

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The Irish Sun has a story about an estate of new-build homes in County Down in Northern Ireland, where a thief made away with 3 white bathroom suites, 3 white ensuites, 3 white toilet and sink sets, 9 white radiators and 1 Vaillant Pro 28 LPG Boiler. The Sun helpfully illustrates the story with stock photos of toilets and radiators, for readers who don’t know what they look like.

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Mashable has story today about Apple’s new “spaceship” campus in Cupertino, California, which has been designed in keeping with Apple’s aesthetic and which includes the largest piece of curved glass in the world. A former manager described the toilets as being like an iPhone and this has launched about a hundred speculative articles that say absolutely nothing about what the toilets there look like, but do feature silly fake pictures like this.

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What the toilets at the Apple campus probably won’t look like – picture from Mashable (Bob Al-Greene)

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The floral urinals of Paris, a rattlesnake family in a Texas toilet and a Scottish High School re-opens its girls toilets

Paris is combating the problem of people (mostly men) who urinate on the streets by experimenting with a fragrant solution. The New York Times reports on two “uritrottoirs” that have been erected outside Gare de Lyon. These are flower pots standing on top of a container of straw, which, when mixed with urine creates a compost. If the uritrottoirs are a success, they could be rolled out across the whole city.

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A uritrottoir – from the New York Times

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Yet another story about snakes coming up through the toilet. In Texas, CNet reports on a story where “Big Country Snake Removal” were called to remove a rattlesnake from a toilet and then in a terrifying twist, they found another thirteen adult rattlesnakes in the cellar. Mind your bums, folks.

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Rattlesnake in the toilet – from the Big Snake Country Removal Facebook page

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The wonderfully-named Dunfermline Press and West of Fife Advertiser has  a report on the curious closure and re-opening of the girls’ toilets at St Columba’s High School. The school had started locking the girls’ toilets from lunchtime until the end of the schoolday, claiming that this was in response to truancy. A 14-year-old student started a petition, complaining that the lack of toilets was unsanitary and embarrassing. Within 24 hours, she had collected 500 signatures and the toilets have now re-opened. The Headmaster said “This was a short-term measure to address specific issues of vandalism and truancy surrounding the main girls’ toilets just before Christmas. We wanted to try something different to disrupt this pattern of behaviour, change the school culture and improve the facilities for pupils. We encourage and listen to pupil feedback. The temporary closure was always going to be reviewed this week and, taking into account the petition, the toilets have now been re-opened.”

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If you enjoy Today in Toilets, please consider donating to my Patreon.