Friday, 27 March 2015

Uncle Sean's Very Rude Toilet Graffiti

One of the luxuries of having excellent friends is not knowing where to begin.

The Privy Counsel archive is like a badly taxidermied elephant that's been left out in the rain: large, filthy, and stuffed. There are literally more photos in there than we know what to do with. This state of affairs causes both delight and misery. Delight, because we love getting amusing missives from our friends. Misery, because every time we sit down to pen a blog post, we have to leave a shedload of fantastic pieces of toilet photography out! As the poet said,
O what a life is it that lovers joy,
Wherein both pain and pleasure shrouded is:
Both heavenly pleasures and eke hells annoy,
Hells fowle annoyance and eke heavenly blisse.
We simply cannot use all the lovely photos at once! However, since we have mentioned Uncle Sean's rude toilet graffiti twice now, we had better deliver, lest we disappoint our readers.

Uncle Sean says:
Always on the lookout for glamorous loos to share with my great appreciator, here is one from this evening's depository.
The place: Sully's Snow Goose Saloon, where dogs are welcome, not just to enter, but to beg at your table - even so bold as to have a nuzzling nose in your crotch.
We don't know if the pictures below bear any relation to Uncle Sean's words, in terms of crotch-nuzzling. We really hope not. But, due to the nature of the pictures, we consider it a good idea to insert a warning at this point. We're far from prudish or easily shocked at the Counsel (hell, we count Jonny almost as a friend), but our legal team has advised us that there are limits to what one can expose one's readers to without warning. Hence, some words of caution:




Caveats in place, let's get cracking!

Apart from advertising the availability of free bacon,
this delightful graffiti informs us that "He's got [gonorrhoea]".
(Remember that gonorrhoea is multi-drug resistant - proceed with caution!)

One of the many zippy messages here reads "Fuck hairy tits".
We couldn't agree more!

This picture needs no explanation whatsoever.

We've been getting so many reading tips this week that we can hardly keep up.
A relative of ours informs us that human waste could turn out to be worth its weight in gold, since some enterprising person realised that precious metals can be extracted from sewage. This would also be good for the environment - hurrah!
Also, hollers Australian Friend,  a third-century papyrus containing a commentary on Homer's Iliad has been identified as having been used as toilet paper. (Read some poetry by Homer here.)

This week has been startling in many ways (accidentally brutally throwing up on the floor was highly surprising, for instance), but Friday is finally here, and we are inclined to celebrate with a festive video!

Festive video - Pistol Annies, Bad Example

Related Reading
All contributions from Uncle Sean
Get it here. (Homerian poetry, that is. What did you think?)
All posts featuring graffiti
Once again, remember that gonorrhoea is multi-drug resistant. Seriously, people. You don't want this disease.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Kick-Arse Suffragette Friend: Causing Quite a Stir!

Our day got off to a healthy - rude, even - start when we discovered some ribald Armitage gifs in our inbox! (We've said it before and we'll say it again - we've got the best friends!) We also received pictures of some quite breathtakingly rude toilet graffiti from Uncle Sean, which we are looking forward to showing you very soon.

Today, however, we are going to be engaging in one of the few activities ranked above "perving on Armitage gifs" at the Counsel - ranting about mixer taps!

Also, we have a new Privy Counsel Friend to introduce! Let us yodel in an unbridled manner and drink a toast to the person we have decided to call Kick-Arse Suffragette Friend! Kick-Arse Suffragette Friend sent us the below picture, saying: "I found this the other night and thought of you."

Did your jaw just hit the floor, painfully?
Ours did.
The grace and elegance of this appliance reminds us of the lavoire.

We are gobsmacked and eighteen kinds of bamboozled. There is too much beauty here for the human mind to comprehend! Bring out the mop and bucket - the combination of stylishness, practicality and hygiene has set off a flood of rampant salivation at Privy Counsel HQ! We don't know where this gizmo is (though we suspect somewhere in New York), if it is common, or if it is new-fangled or historical, but it surely is a thing of beauty!

This graceful porcelain contraption attaches to the sink and lets the water from the hot and the cold tap mix, creating an enjoyable flow of pleasantly tempered water in which to wash one's hands. Now, like the Danish "subjunctive taps", this set-up necessitates fiddling with taps, which is decidedly not one of our favourite activities - we would much prefer moving a lever. (Or, if that is not an option, perving on Armitage gifs, or, if that is not an option either, drinking whisky straight from the bottle.) However, it allows one to wash one's hands comfortably, in water that is neither freezing nor scalding, thus allowing one to take one's time and do it properly.

Of course, there will always be perverted minds and degenerates. Enlightened Friend, playing Devil's advocate, made quite an effort arguing against this hygiene-facilitating contraption, claiming - oh fuck it, we can't even remember the mess of garbled gobbledegook that issued forth from this normally intelligent person. Suffice to say that we won the argument - twice.

We won't get into the whys and the wherefores of the whole tap separation idiocy, as it tends to alternately make one's blood boil and freeze it, which is very tiring. Instead, we'll list links to our previous rants on the subject below the festive video.

Since our latest Privy Counsel Friend, Kick-Arse Suffragette Friend, is in fact a rootin'-tootin' Texan, we thought we'd have a festive video featuring another kick-arse rootin'-tootin' Texan lady - Kacey Musgraves! (The song is even vaguely plumbing-related!)

Festive video - Kacey Musgraves, The Trailer Song

Related Reading
All our previous rants about tap separation idiocy:
Mixer Taps - The Great Controversy, or, When Will Britain Enter the 21st Century?, or, You Are Not Alone!

In this post, we looked into the NHS guidelines on handwashing. We've said it before, but it bears repeating: the NHS handwashing guidelines are impossible to adhere to without a mixer tap:
Dirty People: We Wash Our Hands of Them!

Some of our favourite handwashing videos: Handwashing Extravaganza!

Look, even Jonny gets the point of mixer taps: The Comfort of the Familiar - Life, Jonny, and Everything

Not strictly related, but Australian Friend sent us this festive article: UK's first "poo bus" goes into regular service

Thursday, 19 March 2015

On Ranting, and Wine

A good rant is like a good wine - it matures with time, and increases in strength and potency. (A rant is unlikely to make one drunk, however, making it inferior in that aspect to wine, though a combination of wine and ranting makes, in our experience, for a highly enjoyable evening.) We recently went on a rant about the insufficiency of Danish mixer taps. Let us therefore have some more ranting about Danish taps.

Look! Look how annoying this set-up is! Where is the single lever ensuring hygiene and ease of operation? one asks, shaking one's fist and squinting angrily.

This is very stylish, but is it hygienic?
After our recent visit to the excellent Hirschsprung museum in Copenhagen with our mum and our favourite aunt, we went to a charming restaurant called Zeleste, where we indulged, as far as we remember, in both wine and ranting. It was highly enjoyable, and we recommend it heartily to all and sundry.

Can't remember quite what happened here.
An interesting old-timey hatch of some kind manifested itself in the wall?

These toilet roll holders weren't covered, but the wine was so excellent we didn't care.

We ADORE black and white tiles!

We also adore this charming set-up of paper towels (though they are the environmentally-hostile bleached kind).

A charming door-handle!

In other news, a relative informs us that a nation's toilet-paper consumption can be used as an analytical tool for evaluating consumer confidence. Apparently, according to the Guardian, "the majority of toilet tissue sales in Germany during 2014 were of the economy type (the typically thinner, cheaper kind with no frills such as added softness)". We have long been enamoured with Germany and its toilet paper, and erupt into a cheerful tally-ho, Germany! (We have written several rants on the idiocy and environmental hostility of "luxury" toilet paper before - most of them are located under the Toilet Paper label on this blog.)

In more news, we received a lovely compliment from Welsh Gangster Friend, who said:
"I think of you every time I use a pub toilet." Aww.

In even more news, Obsessive Emmerdale Fan Friend sent us a message just now, saying:
An old drunk guy just gave me the finger inside Helsingborg's oldest church. 
Nice to know a middle finger works in any language!

Finally, Australian Friend sent us a greeting:
I have chanced upon a music video featuring a mixer tap!

Festive video, festively featuring a mixer tap - Huey Lewis and the News, I Want a New Drug

Related Reading
Our previous rant about the inefficacy of Danish mixer taps: The Hirschsprung Museum, or, Revising the Status of Denmark, or, Feverish Paranoia
Another post mentioning tiles: On the Tiles

Some of our classic toilet paper rants:
Toilet paper - A Pain in the Arse?
Going Soft: Yet Another Post About Toilet Paper
Toilet Paper - It's Time to HTFU!
HTFU - Wipe for Wildlife
Rocking, Rolling, Ranting

Enjoyable toilet paper trivia:
Some German Toilet Paper Trivia

Sunday, 8 March 2015

International Women's Day: "Don't Be a Dick."

Today is International Women's Day! We expect to see you all in town, where we will be engaged in various activities to promote women!

It's funny, this thing about gender equality. As evidenced by Caitlin Moran, equality is really very simple. There are five rules:
1) Women are equal to men.
2) Don't be a dick.
3) That's it.
Nonetheless, people are accidentally being dicks all over the place. No doubt their intentions are noble, but somehow, maps flapping and compasses dangling, some people stumble into dick territory, without even being aware of it. They then lose their bearings completely, and stand around bleating and uttering moronic opinions.

One aspect of this that we have encountered a lot recently, is nice and well-meaning - but woefully ignorant - dudes claiming that the reason there are no women in history books is that "women haven't done anything of relevance, at all, ever, throughout the whole history of the human race". This attitude is more common than you'd think, even among people who have studied history at university level. Personally, we  have been accosted by dudes lost in dick territory about once a week lately. They shout and bluster, and complain about history no longer being "objective" once you start adding "women and opinions". As if history-writing including only white males were objective! As if any history-writing could ever be objective! As you can imagine, this kind of behaviour causes the Privy Counsel to collectively flare its nostrils and breathe fire.

Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion, but if that opinion ignores all the historiographical research  showing that women have, in fact, done lots of things, only traditional history writing tends to ignore them, then we reserve the right to consider people holding that opinion to be dick-territory eejits.

(This might be a good opportunity to review the Mansplaining - When Is It Socially Acceptable? chart.)

Let's have some toilets from a historical setting - Kronborg Castle - and remember all the hordes of powerful women who have kept places like this going! Huh! Having done that, let's get some maps out to all the eejits stumbling around in dick territory!

We went on a lovely day trip to Helsingør last spring, with our favourite aunt, who is also one of our favourite rampant feminist academics, and paid a visit to Hamlet's homestead.

We love grand entrances! Here is the grand entrance to Kronborg Castle.

Are you salivating?
Old iron-studded doors make us salivate.

Ditto charming red doors with old-fashioned handles.

Look! Even Danes can get it right!
This, ladies and gents, is a functioning and environmentally-friendly motion-sensor  mixer tap.
We find this tap reassuring, considering Denmark's many, many tap-related fuck-ups.

Hubba hubba!


We can't get enough of stylish, functioning locks!

Kronborg Castle in all its glory!

We spied this charming old sink (1930s?) in a random stairwell in the castle.
It reminds us, at any rate, of these ones, which are late 1930s.

An excellent window for gazing out of while pondering the wonders of women's history!

Let's have a kick-arse festive video to celebrate International Women's Day!

Festive video - Memphis Minnie, This Is Your Last Chance

Related Reading
Christinehof: A Woman's Er, Bog Is Her, Er, Castle?

Our classic post on mansplaining:
On Mansplaining and Monastic Drains

Our recent musings on people being dicks on the internet:
Some Thoughts on Internet Vitriol. And a Gorgeous, Rose-Scented Toilet.

Other musings on smashing the patriarchy:
Unisex Toilets - This Shit Gets Political

Another important post on our cultural diversity agenda:
Pushing for Cultural Diversity

Our Privy Counsel Pin-Ups are, believe it or not, intended to show diversity and push for gender equality. (Then again there's a lot of Elvis action there, and Elvis is, whichever way you slice him, a white male.)

A post about Denmark's many, many tap-related fuck-ups:
The Hirschsprung Museum, or, Revising the Status of Denmark, or, Feverish Paranoia

Previous posts from Kronborg:
The Royal Toilet at Kronborg: "A Foul and Pestilent Congregation of Vapours."
Festive Things That Are Red

Some of Our Favourite Historical Women, in No Particular Order
Ani Pachen
Jane Gomeldon
Countess Markievicz
Edmonia Lewis
Anna Bugge Wicksell
Karolina Widerström
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

When we get depressed thinking about all the shouting dudes lost in dick territory, we cheer ourselves up by remembering some of our favourite people who are male, educated and terribly, terribly nice, and would never dream of being a dick to anyone:
Bogsley Hansson Friend
Enlightened Friend
German Friend
Intellectual Friend
Obsessive Emmerdale Fan Friend
Semi-Intellectual Friend

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Southern Comfort: A Joyful and Soothing Italian Toilet

You know how, sometimes, a day which you fully expected to be horrendous - and result in either an addiction to barbiturates or enrolment in a nunnery - actually turns out not just ok but POSITIVELY FESTIVE?

Yeah, so that happened. And then this article turned up and made the atmosphere at Privy Counsel HQ positively riotous with mirth! S:t Pauli pisses back! Using water-repellent paint! We love this so much we are currently making undignified noises, curling up helplessly on the floor, and hooting with laughter.

In celebration, let's have a look at the pictures from that Italian public toilet we maybe mentioned, once, or thought we did. It was a great public toilet, replete with cleanliness, functionality and one really, really lovely toilet attendant! (Read about another friendly toilet attendant, in Athens, here.)

When looking at this picture, we tend to make a weird, Al Pacino-esque noise.
It's somehow very satisfactory, isn't it?

As all our friends know,


Today we happened to discuss British plumbing with our favourite aunt.
There is soap, and one single, unified tap, from which water of a pleasant temperature comes out,
without scalding one or giving one's hands chilblains.
Water of a pleasant temperature coming from a tap IS, BY THE WAY, NORMAL.


Also paper towels, hygienically encased in a very safe-looking dispenser,
and surrounded by lovely tiles of an attractive green colour, offset by stylish white ones.

As far as we remember, these toilets were in Oulx, by the way. (Read more about other toilets in the area here.)

Because this is the kind of day we've had, let's have this festive video:

Festive video - Darius Rucker, Wagon Wheel

Related Reading
That time when we went round terrorising London with shewees: Shewees Are a Girl's Best Friend!
That time when Shewee Fiend Friend pissed all over everything, all over the shop: SISTERS STANDING UP FOR THEMSELVES
That time when Shewee Fiend Friend was super frustrated by incompetent males unsuccessfully aiming for the toilet: (Don't) Aim for the Stars
Our classic review of an Italian train: Finally! An Italian Train!
Another Privy Counsel classic: Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts, But Totally Trust the Toilet Attendant
All posts about Italy

Let's Have a Sub-Category of Related Reading, Today, On the Horrors of British Taps
A Note on Desperate Measures
Tap Into Pain
Are You British? Does Tap Sanity Elude You?
Terminator Toilet
Oh, and also, this report about the S.t Pauli toilets, from Denmark, is hilarious.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Coasting Along: Saving Time and Effort by Plagiarising Our Friends. Also Some Otters.

HOLY HANDGRENADES! What a day it's been! And what a week it's going to be! We feel in urgent need of the sequel to Bogsley Hansson Friend's soothing photographic journey through Oregon, don't you?
Yeah, we thought so.

This is as much original writing as we can manage today, by the way. The rest is ripped straight from our friends' correspondence. Huzzah!

Bogsley Hansson Friend writes:

Some shots from the Oregon Coast Acquarium in Newport, Oregon.

This is as good a time as any, we think, to bring out
this infographic about sharks not necessarily being the most dangerous predators around.

People! Leave those otters alone!

We seem to remember Bogsley Hansson Friend making a snarky comment about this sign,
but we're fucked if we can remember what it was.

Bogsley Hansson Friend continues:
Plus a neat pet store complete with super friendly store dog. Got these paintings there.


At this point we would like to remind our gentle readers that Shewee Fiend Friend speaks very warmly of the Royal Tyrrell museum in Drumheller, Alberta. It is, and we quote ourselves:

"[t]he best museum ever. Shewee Fiend Friend even goes so far as to claim that this museum is the best part of Canada! Apparently, the dinosaurs are to die for, and you can confidently skip the rest of the country!"
We feel very strongly that the Royal Tyrrell museum may appeal to anyone who enjoys looking at otters and sea birds of some kind.

Oh, and also, because we tend to think of Bogsley Hansson Friend and Welsh Gangster Friend en masse, here's another reflection from Welsh Gangster Friend:
I'm currently in a pub where they don't ever shut the door to the gents' toilet so they can see into them from the bar. Lots of drugs in South Wales!
(You may remember Welsh Gangster Friend's reflections on pub toilets in Wales from the other week.)

Which brings us to another greeting, from Australian Friend, in her usual post-post-modern, savvy style:
Btw, just found this crap-related article... something for the Privy [Counsel]?
Said crap-related article is this one, about that time when Houston really had a problem. (This naturally reminds us of a) this whimsical post about space waste, and b) Uncle Sean's timely advice about blue-bagging - a term which, by the way, was previously unknown to us.)

Oh. And one last thing. Mr Smith alerted us to an article about the city of Portland, Oregon, inserting turbines into its sewers, to produce energy. Our mind finds itself in five kinds of bamboozlement.

That's it. That's all we had to say.

If we ever needed a festive video about Oregon and sloe gin fizz, it was - ye gods! - today.

Festive video - Loretta Lynn and Jack White; Portland, Oregon

Related Reading
The first part of Bogsley Hansson Friend's photographic journey through Oregon: Cannon Fodder
The post in which Shewee Fiend Friend speaks warmly of the Royal Tyrrell museum in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada: Shewees Are a Girl's Best Friend
Previous posts mentioning Loretta Lynn: Kicking Anglo-Saxon Arse: Festschrift to Shewee Fiend Friend
Previous posts mentioning Jack White: Jack White on British Plumbing: Unsubstantiated Claims
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