Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Jonny and a Public Toilet - A Treat for Single Ladies

Single ladies, hold on to your hats and strap on your girdles - here's a special, potent treat just for you! We have mentioned our friend Jonny once or twice, seldom without admiration. This guy is, as everyone who knows him agrees, graceful of limb and vigorous of intellect, and is an enthusiastic toilet photographer to boot! If that's not the definition of "a spanking good catch", we don't know what is. Frankly, we advise you to grab him while he's still available! Jonny can often be observed lurking round the public toilets in the Hyde Park area of Leeds.

A lush and lively public toilet in Leeds

Artistically enhanced interior and room enough for a robust man and his tiny bike

The word "gentlemen" is here used in the loosest possible sense

Jonny and his tiny bike enjoying the toilet

Jonny's assessment of these toilets is as follows:
Cleanliness 2/10
Space 9/10
Very surprised it had toilet roll and a spare roll!!
Thought you'd appreciate the Homer sticker too.
Well, we can't argue with the thrust of the argument! A spanking indictment on the state of the modern public lavatory, springing from a virile, fertile mind!

Ladies, lose not a single moment - go forth and throw yourselves at this man!

What a man, what a man
What a mighty good man

We're inclined to agree with Salt'n'Pepa. Woof!

Related Reading
Taking a Gander at Greatness
What Goes Around, Comes Around
The Intellectual Streak Continues: Leeds University Library Bogs, or, Yorkshire Graffitti

Thursday, 22 August 2013


We were just sitting here pouring whisky into our tea and pondering the nature of the Universe ("fucked" was the general consensus) when it arrived - wham! bam! thank you, ma'am! Like a gun fight in a Clint Eastwood movie: not entirely unexpected, but featuring plenty of tense moments and squinting. In other words, we received an email from Tudor Friend, with pictures of air dryers!

First of all, let's revisit a video from a previous post:

Sheldon's petulant rant pretty much sums up our view of hand dryers. We've read enough accounts of the ravages of the bubonic plague to have developed a special, fenced-off area in our mind with a large sign planted in the grass saying, "DANGER: PLAGUE. YOU CATCH IT OFF DIRTY PEOPLE WHO SNEEZE INTO THEIR HANDS". We don't like other people, as a rule, and we like other people's diseases even less.

Now, let's hear what Tudor Friend has to say!
If this comes through - and I'm not holding my breath - it is, theoretically, pictures from my recent trip to Cornwall. My mum is obsessed with all things gardening, so we went to Eden Project, the big geodesic domes of rain forest and Mediterranean climate plants. Since its whole raison d'etre is promoting ecological awareness and responsibility, I was not entirely surprised to find that its bathroom held a Wall O' Hand-driers, running from the least environmentally friendly to the most. And what did my brain immediately say? "[The Privy Counsel!]" of course! (If I ever have to do a Rorschach or one of those associative games, you have officially buggered up some psych researcher's results!) So I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to photograph them, hampered by the fact that it was school hols, so there were *tons* of people, spawn in tow, there... And every single brat had to try every. Single. Drier. So the photos are a bit blurred, as I'm trying to shoot them over running-around-rodentia (who are not on leashes but should be). Hopefully they came out all right, and the information panels are legible enough to be read!
In our more militant moments we also believe that society would be immeasurably improved if more children were kept on leashes, but that's not the subject of today's blog post. Enough ranting, and let us see the pictures! we hear you bellow, and quite justifiably. Right-ho:

The different kinds of dryers in the Eden Project toilets

Extolling the virtues of the eco-friendly ones

We've mentioned the Dyson once or twice before

Is it just our dirty minds, or does the Biodrier logo look like the Durex one?

So are the eco-friendly air-dryers really better than paper towels? Well, it depends on how you look at it. Slate tells us that:
The vast majority of a dryer's environmental toll stems from the electricity it requires; a typical warm-air dryer uses around 2,200 watts of power when switched on, plus about 2 watts while in standby mode. If you dry your hands for 30 seconds (as opposed to the 43 seconds required to get them fully water-free), then you're using about 0.018 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Do that three times a day for a year, and your insistence on dry-hand decorum has run you 19.71 kWh of electricity, which translates into roughly 26.61 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.
The informative text continues:
These complications, however, pale in comparison with those that bedevil the life-cycle assessment of paper towels. The main problem here is that there's so much variation in how rolls are produced, starting with how the trees are harvested. The vast majority of American paper towels begin life in well-managed commercial timberlands, where trees are replaced after harvest, so deforestation isn't a pressing issue. But one must account for the fossil fuels expended on machinery and log transport. Then there is the energy-intensiveness of the pulping process, which can result in the emission of harmful pollutants into nearby waterways. One must also consider the cost of trucking the towels from manufacturer to client, a data point that will vary widely according to the restroom's distance from the paper mill.

Then there's the hygiene aspect. There are plenty of articles on the inter-ma-net quoting figures on exactly how efficient air-dryers are at spraying you with bacteria (sign in head: "OTHER PEOPLE'S BACTERIA"), but we'll stick to the non-sensationalist attitude of that confidence-inspiring organisation, the NHS, which says, quoting the original study cited by a sensation-seeking newspaper:

This review suggests that paper towels are the best option for settings where containing infections is critical, and may be more effective than hot air dryers. However, if you have no choice – as is the case in most public toilets and workplace washrooms – and only hot air dryers are provided, take extra time to dry your hands thoroughly. There is little evidence that they are any worse than hand towels, other than the extra time spent drying your hands.

(Refresh your memory of how to wash your hands, NHS-style, here.)

But we WANT sensationalism, we hear you cry. Alright, then. Hold onto your hats and whisky glasses. According to one study, blowing hot air on your hands can "increase the number of germs by an astonishing 255 per cent".

255 per cent. Fucking hell. If you must sneeze in our presence, please, for the love of all the things that make life worth living - alcohol, cheese, and Youtube clips of people falling on their arses - do it into a hanky, or your sleeve. And wash your hands. Also, and here's a piece of gratis health advice from your favourite Counsel: You can never use too much garlic. Or whisky. Hic.

Handwashing. Here's how we do it.

Related Reading
Handwashing Extravaganza
A Semi-Intellectual Treat
Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Toilet-Roll Holders (But Were Afraid to Ask)
Worcester Cathedral - Revisiting Sacred Ground
How Clean Is Your Phone?
Laudable hygiene awareness at the University of York:
Let's Get Medieval: The King's Manor

One final treat: a cheerful hand-washing demonstration (incorporating, we note, the advice "dry your hands with a paper towel").

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Theme: "Unwanted Guests". Also, A Surprising Pin-Up!

Today's theme is, by popular request, "unwanted guests". As Obsessive Emmerdale Friend pointed out, having an unwanted visitor to one's toilet can be not just unpleasant but downright dangerous.

The first type of unwanted guest that sprang to our mind was the cockroach that we and Australian Friend shared a bathroom with in France. But perhaps we're being uncharitable. After all, what's the cockroach ever done to us? Apart from scaring the bejesus out of us in the middle of the night when we were still drunk and nearly causing us to have a collective apoplexy, the tender, softly-spoken little critter has always treated us with kindness and consideration.

Proving that Australian Friend seems to be connected in a very suspicious way to unwanted toilet beasts, the second unpleasant thing that occurred to us is the notorious toilet spider, so common in that very dangerous country, Australia. This fearsome creature will give you the heebie-jeebies at the very moment when you least want them, i.e. when you're trying to get on with your business.

Then of course there's Father Stone.

Father Ted's stony-faced heroism in the face (or arse) of an almost unbearably rough situation inspires, at least in our breast (we don't know about you), a glowing admiration bordering on hero-worship. Actually, Father Ted is rather attractive, isn't he? You're right. Let's make him a Privy Counsel Pin-Up!

Father Stone: An intrusive toilet-goer.
Father Ted: Kind of a babe!
Image from sakurakokitsa.

An eminently suitable Pin-Up: Ted knows how to charm the ladies.
Image from

Related Reading
All spider- or insect-related posts:
Happy Birthday, Australian Friend!
Amie Australienne Va au Mariage, Casse Toilette (Australian Friend Goes to Wedding, Breaks Toilet)
We Receive a Postcard
A previous Father Ted-related post:
Well Done, Declan: Catholic Priests, Rabbits, and Toilets
All Previous Pin-Ups:
Gloat over the Pin-Ups Here

Friday, 16 August 2013

The Old Ballcock and Chain, or, An Open-and-Shut Case, or, The Long Tap Lever of the Law

We have made it clear on many occasions that we in no way support any kind of criminal activity, and that all members of the Privy Counsel are, usually, extremely law-abiding. We're not saying there haven't been lapses. There was, for instance, that time we were chased round Golden Square in Soho by police officers wanting, perfectly reasonably, to dissuade us from engaging in public urination. But usually, when we haven't been drinking champagne with French people, we are devoted to public order and decency.
However, parts of the Counsel recently had business inside a police station. Don't ask why, and we'll tell you no lies. Anyway, that money was just resting in our account.

Sturdy, functional, and disability-friendly:
one would expect nothing less of a government authority toilet.

An extended lever on the tap
ensures disability-friendliness.
Hygeia nods approvingly and gargles.

We have no idea what this says,
but we're assuming it's a special corner
set aside for people who wish to reflect on their wrongdoings.

How can one do anything other than
erupt in wild applause at the sight
of such a sturdy door and lock?

We're totally shooting from the hip here, but we'd give this toilet probably a twelve, since we're feeling all giddy and light-headed after escaping with a mere caution.

Related Reading 
Posts about how law-abiding the Privy Counsel is:
Sisters Standing Up for Themselves
The Mysterious Forbidden Lavatories of Manchester
A Morally Improving Story for World Toilet Day
A Cautionary Tale About What Happens When You Disrespect the Law:
Taking Our Baths and Our Women
Shewees Are a Girl's Best Friend!

Sunday, 11 August 2013

More Croatian Toilet Paper

 Our Croatian friend has had an Archimedes-style epiphany! It turns out that the metaphorical bath-tub of Croatia is simply overflowing with amusing, novelty scented bog roll! Let's have a hit parade of the best ones! (See our previous post on Croatian bog roll here.)
The first two types of toilet paper appear to have been awarded some species of eco label. Considering that Andrex, that vile, nefarious, non-recycled aberration of colours, scents and bloody puppies, is allowed to carry the FSC label, we reckon eco labels must be going cheap these days. So anyway, whatever PEFC is, we're not impressed. But we will admit to secretly coveting the green tea toilet paper, just a little bit. It seems somehow conducive to contemplation and philosophising!

Wild cherry. Ummm. Yum?

Green tea toilet paper - for when you need a moment to reflect and meditate.

Hello Kitty bog roll? Really? Kitty wipes arses now?

Chamomile toilet paper. We totally see the value of this. We really do.

Archimedes and the Eureka moment - how it most likely happened.

As our educated and cultured readers no doubt already know, Archimedes was a cool dude with a beard who liked baths. While in the bath he liked to philosophise and stroke his beard. One day he got so carried away philosophising and stroking his beard that he discovered the Archimedes principle, which enables anyone to find out the mass of any object by placing it in a tub of water and checking how much water it displaces. How cool is that! And it's totally free! Totally try it at the weekend for, like, mad thrills! Also, as Hygeia points out with the light of fervent evangelisation in her eyes, bathing is a laudable and hygienic occupation, suitable for all the family. Like, eureka!

Related Reading
Toilet Paper - It's time to HTFU!
Going Soft - yet Another Post About Toilet Paper
American taste for soft toilet paper "worse than driving Hummers" (Guardian)
Wasting Away: More Roman Bog Roll
HTFU: Wipe for Wildlife
A Calamitous and Inflammatory Blend of Toilet Paper and History

Thursday, 8 August 2013

International Musings

Air so hot that it burns one's lungs and alarming thoughts about syphilis are, as far as we know, not valid reasons for not updating one's toilet blog. Let us therefore have a new post! Our photo archive is, as usual, overflowing with various and startling kinds of filth. However, we're more in the mood for something frivolous. Let's just have some lovely international pictures, shall we?
First up, we've got a testament to the effervescence of the Privy Counsel's members: a colourful and oh! so amusing toilet in far-off Switzerland!

Oh, joy: Australian Friend's mum's friend found this in Switzerland!

The Swiss certainly seem to be into their groovy toilet-seat covers!

Another friend mentioned her amusement at accidentally buying scented toilet paper in Croatia. While our views on scented, dyed or even just bleached bog roll are well known, we couldn't help but be carried away by the festive feeling which the discovery of this fragrant tissue occasioned.

Festive: Croatian scented toilet paper.
This particular kind smells, if the packaging is to be believed, of peaches.
Oh, goody! Everyone likes peaches, right?
We hope, as ever, that all our regular readers are feeling delighted and edified. Now, let's get back to those syphilitic thoughts!

Related Reading
Remembering to Breathe
Alpine Escapism
The Post in Which We Finally Manage to Combine Our Two Favourite Topics Ever, Toilets and Syphilis!
Syphilis, Bathing, and Dentures: You Know It Makes Sense
Toilet Paper: It's Time to HTFU!
Toilet Paper: A Pain in the Arse?
A Calamitous and Inflammatory Blend of Toilet Paper and History
Puppies, Bloody Puppies
Do It If You Must
Toilet Paper - Puppy Love

Friday, 2 August 2013

Privy Counsel Pin-Up: Clint Eastwood, or, Black-and-White Baths, or, Dirty Men with Guns

Time for a Privy Counsel Pin-Up! While researching our Rootin', Tootin' Toilet Tale the other day, we happened upon this picture of Clint Eastwood being laudably hygienic. We always thought that gunmen in the Wild West just fell into horse troughs occasionally when drunk, and left their ablutions at that. But apparently that ain't so - it appears that there was a conscious effort to keep the fleas in check using hot water and soap. Hurrah for that! (Hygeia nods approvingly.)

Clint in High Plains Drifter. Image from
Actually, since it's Friday, let's have a bonus pin-up!

Shooting from the hip-bath?
Glenn Ford in Cowboy. Image from manbathtime.
Do we hear you clamouring for more? Go on, then!

Paul Newman in The Secret War of Harry Frigg. Image from thestorytellinghour.

We'd love to oblige you with more, but a Privy Counsel's gotta get its rest sometime.

Related Reading
A Rootin' Tootin' Toilet Tale
Privy Counsel Pin-Up: James Purefoy
Privy Counsel Pin-Up: Colin Firth
Privy Counsel Pin-Up - Now with 50 % Less Creepiness
Privy Counsel Pin-Up: Stephen Fry
Privy Counsel Pin-Up: Salvador Dalí
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