Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A Rootin', Tootin' Toilet Tale

Big Wayne McFlush arrives, saddlesore and thirsty, at the little goldrush town
of Sourwater Ditch. He ties up his horse outside the saloon,
where an assortment of good-time girls greet him.
"Well, howdy," leers Wayne enthusiastically.

Entering this classy watering hole, Big Wayne makes his bowlegged way to the bar.
The bartender pours out whisky while Big Wayne pours out his heart.
"I lost my gun, my horse is dead and I almost lost my head," he wails.

Lola Ebola, a buxom lady who takes her constitutional in the direction of the saloon
every evening for a nightcap, is impressed with Big Wayne's story-telling talent.
She leans closer and gives him a wink and a pinch in the trousers.

Handsome Hank, a bounty hunter who is fearsomely in love with Lola himself, doesn't like this.
Drawing his six-shooter, he yells, "Hands off my woman, you dirty dog!"
The regulars roll their eyes. "Here we go again," they mutter. "Another gunfight.
We'll never afford a municipal water supply at this rate, if Handsome Hank
keeps killing every potential taxpayer."

Big Wayne, who was clearly lying about losing his gun, draws his own weapon in a flash.
"Mama said the pistol is the Devil's right hand," says a raspy-voiced gent in the company
of a beautiful blonde.

Handsome Hank finds his health adversely affected by a hole in the head,
and a lot of customers appear to be feeling a similar malaise.
"They were probably about to drop dead of the typhoid anyway," mutters the doctor.
"They wouldn't be dyin' like flies if they'd sort out the water supply and wash their hands occasionally."
But who listens?

No matter. Big Wayne McFlush rides on to the next town,
and it's soon business as usual in Sourwater Ditch.

Related Reading
Privy Counsel Pin-Up: Clint Eastwood, or, Black-and-White Baths, or, Dirty Men with Guns
A Christmas Mystery: The Mysterious Case of the Curse at Crapper Castle, or, Put a Lid on It, or, No Shit, Sherlock

Sunday, 28 July 2013

We Receive a Postcard

We received a postcard. The kind of postcard that reminds one that everyone has to accept the consequences of their actions. We write a blog about toilets. Ergo, we receive toilet-related postcards. Isn't that great!
This particular postcard depicts the Ireton bathroom at Packwood House, Warwickshire. Tudor Friend (for that's who the postcard was from) writes:
Greetings from the Land That Mixer-Taps Forgot! I've been out playing skulking tourist again and, for once, a place I visited had a postcard of the bathroom! It is quite a pretty bathroom; enough Delft tile to cover the Netherlands, for starters. The best part is that they'd put a disturbingly large, yet of a size to potentially be real, fake spider in the tub - I presume its purpose is to discourage marauding children from climbing in.
[...] Despite the very sort of Edwardian bathroom, the house is actually more Tudor - the sort where its core is authentic, and much of its furnishing is of the period but scrounged from other properties being demolished in the '30s and '40s (ed's note: heinous, heinous crimes!). Funny how no-one ever feels the need to harmonize the loo by recycling an old Tudor bog... (At the other house I saw today, they'd converted the medieval toilet and shit-chute into a priest's hole for hiding during the messy days of Reformation. They were not 100 % sure it had actually ceased to be used as a loo at the time, but I sincerely hope, for the guys who were down there, that it had!)

The Ireton bathroom, Packwood House.
Apparently Cromwell's general Henry Ireton spent the night at Packwood House
before the Battle of Edgehill in 1642. We trust he had a pleasant stay.

We are simultaneously delighted and bemused by this spout.
Is it a lion-shaped mixer-tap?
Image from katyboo1.

Close-up of the pretty Delft tiles.
Image from flickr.

Does this bathroom remind us of anything? Of course it does! It reminds us of Christian IV's bathroom at Rosenborg Castle in Copenhagen!

In other news, Tudor Friend has been busy making plans for World Toilet Day. This auspicious day, in case you didn't know, has been made official by the UN. If ever there was a cause to rejoice, this is it! World Toilet Day was created to highlight the fact that millions of people worldwide suffer from diseases that are easily preventable by simple hygiene measures, like access to clean water and safe toilets. Tudor Friend suggests making "Toilet Day greeting cards to send to friends, and cake toppers for our celebratory cupcakes". A smashing good idea, as far as we're concerned! To see suggestions for Toilet Day card designs, check out our Facebook or Twitter page.

Related Reading
World Toilet Day-Related
The Gates Foundation (funds projects for better water, sanitation and hygiene)
Toilet Twinning
Oxfam Unwrapped: Safe Water for Ten People (a hot Christmas gift tip!)
Related Privy Counsel Posts
Blogging Something Rotten
The Historic Toilet Tour of York

Friday, 26 July 2013

Det lille Apotek: Big Beers and Small Toilets in Everyone's Favourite Toilet Country

Chances are you're stuck in a dusty office, sweating like a camel's arse and cursing the vile bastards who used to be your friends as they upload ever more glamorous Facebook pictures of themselves out shopping with giant gold credit cards, having brunch with their fifteen closest achingly cool and hilarious friends (who are inevitably seven hundred times more attractive than you), or riding a dolphin fuelled on crack cocaine through the Panama canal. Alternatively, you might be lucky enough to have time off. If you do, you might quite plausibly choose to spend your hard-earned holidays in everyone's favourite toilet country, Denmark. And you'd choose wisely!

Danish people, bless them, keep inviting us to weddings. They wouldn't if they knew of our history of photographing, and/or throwing up in, toilets, a habit which is reinforced by alcohol. But they don't, so they do. The Privy Counsel has, consequently, spent a fair amount of time checking out toilets in Hamlet's homeland. As regular readers will remember, we adore Danish toilets! We have therefore named Denmark "Everyone's Favourite Toilet Country". So that's official, now.

One place where we heeded the call of nature is called Det lille Apotek, in Copenhagen. As the name suggests, the facilities were indeed small. The location is exceedingly picturesque, though, and you can sit in the sunny street outside and take photos of yourself enjoying a beer, or a double whisky, or a stuffed bird served with roast potatoes, or whatever you might crave on a sunny afternoon in everyone's favourite toilet country.

Ever so charming! The logo on the receipt:
A moustachioed Danish man holding a plate with a bird on it.

This toilet stands on a raised dais and therefore qualifies as an actual throne.
The Privy Counsel is enthusiastic - nothing like a bit of glamour
when doing one's business!

Sink, bog-roll-holder, etc: after the giddy heights of the toilet/throne, the rest is rather a let-down. 

Drawings of Copenhagen crones in olden times.
Ah. So it's a crone throne.
Related Reading
Cowering in Copenhagen
Blogging Something Rotten
Sing If You're Glad to Be a Dane
Tømmermænd at Café Jorden, or, Sleepless in Aarhus, or, Fear and Loathing in Jutland
We Basically Haven't Slept Since Wednesday

Det lille Apotek
St Kannikestræde 15
1169 København

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Alpine Escapism

 We don't know if there's a heatwave where you are, but Privy Counsel HQ is fairly sweltering. We can't sleep, and people have thoughtfully infested the water at our local beach with e-coli. What to do, what to do? Well, one can always dream of cooler places - why not the French Alps? We had a look through German Friend's pictures, in a fit of escapism, and found these beauties.

Mountain toilets: peaceful solitude!

Rustic simplicity: the only reminder of the urban
hustle and bustle is German Friend's wristwatch.

Being fond of blue plastic tubes, we find this totally praiseworthy.

If you liked the look of these mountain toilets you'll be pleased to know that there are more coming! We may have mentioned that there has been a wedding among the ranks of the Privy Counsellors. This wedding, we may as well tell you, involved Intellectual Friend, who writes, from Norway:

"We might be on a honeymoon but we're not entirely idle: after a three-hour-long steep climb we have discovered a good old wooden toilet, 'upp å fjella'! High definition pics of the most idyllically situated rough toilet in Norway to follow soon! ('Soon' is NOT to be taken here in its etymological sense of 'immediately' (Old English sona).) (In fact, here it probably shouldn't be taken in its modern sense either.)"

Related Reading
Remembering to Breathe
On Her Majesty's Privy Service

Thursday, 18 July 2013

If There's Something Strange in Your Toilet, Who You Gonna Call? Beowulf!

Time for a story, kids! It's been many, many months since our last Toilet Tale, so we decided to overcompensate by illustrating the epic-est, darnedest, bloodiest, kick-arse-est tale we could think of - Beowulf! Not many people know the man was actually a plumber from south London.

Some manuscript or other at some library


The brave Danish warriors of Heorot are annoyed.
There's a gurgling noise coming from the toilet;
it's that fiendish monster, Grendel, lurking in the deep.
As long as he stays in the toilet, though, they don't really mind.
It's when Grendel crawls out of the sewer
in the middle of the night and rips off all the mixer-taps that the warriors have had enough!
King Hrothgar calls up his old mate Beowulf on the blower.

Beowulf turns up, all rippling muscle and bulging loincloth, and kills Grendel
WITH HIS BARE HANDS. (Yeah, ladies, it is pretty hot in here.)
Everyone's proper impressed, and the bard plays, like, an ode on his instrument.
Beowulf's all, "Oi, you ain't seen nuffink yet!"

Queen Wealhtheow, delighted to finally have the plumbing working again, calls for a toast.

Unfortunately, Grendel's mother is pretty pissed off by the unprovoked murder of her son,
and turns up at the door, screamin' and shoutin' like a bleedin' fishwife.
After a moment's bashful hesitation, Beowulf kills her, too.
Lucky he brought his extra big plunger for the job.

The years pass. Beowulf becomes king of Geatland. He gets old.
A sewer dragon causes causes a blockage, leading to odour problems, so Beowulf kills that, too.
Unfortunately, he catches cholera caused by poor drainage, and dies. But heroically. So heroically.

Beowulf's widow is shocked to find out the man was a bit of a bigamist.
The citizens of Geatland greatly enjoy the scandal, the ghouls.

swá begnornodon    Géata léode
thus bemourned    the people of the Geats
hláfordes hryre,     heorðgenéatas:
their lord's fall,    his hearth-companions:
cwaédon þæt hé waére     wyruldcyning
they said that he was,      of all kings of the world,
manna mildust    ond monðwaérust
the most generous of men,    and the most gracious,
léodum líðost    ond lofgeornost.
the most protective of his people,    and the most eager for honour.

(Read an alternative version of the story here.)

Related Reading
Terminator Toilet
Pride and Prejudice and Plumbing
Dracula: Sinister Gurglings
Alien vs. Predator: Blood, Gore and Mixer-Taps

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Toilet Song: Pain Pills

Many readers have noticed that we haven't posted any Toilet Songs recently. We keep receiving frantic e-mails saying "Please do another Toilet Song or I simply cannot go on living".* There's a simple reason for this sorry state of affairs: We've run out! You'd think there'd be an unlimited number of hit songs about toilets, but for some reason this is an unexplored topic for many artists. However, we came across a song by Angaleena Presley, one of the Pistol Annies, which mentions the word "bathroom", and were simply unable to contain our excitement!

Angaleena Presley, a.k.a. GuitarLeena. Image from this site.
Listen to this excellent song here:

Pain Pills by Angaleena Presley on Grooveshark

Or, should the embedded song function not work, here.

We couldn't find the lyrics online, but have transcribed them to the best of our ability:

Pain Pills by Angaleena Presley
When Neddy dropped dead
the papers said he was a football hero
The kids all cried and the rumours died
And before he was in the ground
Jimmy was up on the strip job, sucking another one down

When Brookie got out it took about
a week to catch the fever
She run across town to doctor Brown
Begging for some...

Pain pills, pain pills
A little bit of hurt ain't surely gonna kill
A lot of good people in these here hills
Lord, won't you save us from these old pain pills

When Hazel-Jean died her mother tried 
to say it was pneumonia
The minister's wife told a bold-faced lie 
to protect her daughter's name
When half of the congregation 
was hooked on the very same thing

When Tommy caught wind that his uncle Tim
was about to die from cancer
He went to his house and broke the door down
and tried to steal some...

Pain pills, pain pills
A little bit of hurt ain't surely gonna kill
A lot of good people in these here hills
Lord, won't you save us from these old pain pills

The girl next door's on the bathroom floor
thinking about taking her a little bit more
It ain't never been this bad before

Pain pills, pain pills
A little bit of hurt ain't surely gonna kill
A lot of good people in these here hills
Lord, won't you save us from these old...

Pain pills, pain pills
A little bit of hurt ain't surely gonna kill
A lot of good people in these here hills
Lord, won't you save us from these old pain pills

Related Reading
Handwashing with Elvis
Toilet Song: Dirty, Dirty Feeling
Toilet Song: Johnny Cash
Toilet Song: Swooning with Brad
Toilet Song: Harlem River Blues

*May be a slight exaggeration

Monday, 15 July 2013

Art and Cleaning Tips

Did you hear that? That was the sound of the Privy Counsel's various members rushing around having fun with hurricane force! Love has been budding at the Counsel, and two of our Friends actually went and got hitched last week! We will most certainly be updating on the state of the toilets at this happy event, but for now our knackered, partied-out state requires something soothing, not too intellectually strenuous. How about some art? We've got toilet art for you!

Image from Art Ephemere
 This charming work of art was created using a toilet (obviously), chocolate and brown paint. We think it's fabulous! (We also enjoyed the picture of Elvis.)

If you, like us, have been on the road and not replenished the household supplies for a while, it may be useful to know that you can get rid of lime-scale in the toilet using Coca Cola.

Image from Wiki How
 You can follow the instructions, or just do what we did last time we were hungover: drink Coke; regurgitate into toilet bowl, ensuring even distribution; leave for a bit; flush. Your toilet has never been so shiny.

Friday, 5 July 2013

HTFU, Melbourne City Council!

"A wee piece of Melbourne history is disappearing," according to an article in The Age, sent to us by Australian Friend. It appears the council (really, what is it with political bodies in Victoria?), whose coffers just aren't flush enough to maintain the city's historic toilets, is pulling the plug on them. Several old underground toilets have been filled with concrete, in a move that stinks of arrogance and contempt for the city's history. Many Melbournians are distraught to see their cultural heritage going down the drain, wishing the council hadn't crapped out with such a vandalous solution.

Concrete: the council didn't exactly think long and hard about this one.
Image from The Age.

One way to make good use of old public toilets is of course to turn them into amusing cafés. Australian Friend sends us this picture, from a café in London where she enjoyed a fragrant coffee the other day.

N.b. this coffee cup stands in an actual urinal
HTFU, Melbourne city council! If Londoners can do it, you can, too!

Related Reading:
HTFU: Wipe for Wildlife
London Movement Sends Café Culture Straight to the Toilet (CBS)
Why Today Is a Toiletally Important Day
A Festive Update
Happy Birthday, Australian Friend!
The Attendant Café

Monday, 1 July 2013

We Basically Haven't Slept Since Wednesday

Things are hectic at the Privy Counsel, but let us pause for a minute to show you a Danish kebab-place toilet on the wrong side of midnight. Suffice to say there was no soap.

Danes know how to party.

At death's door.

It's been a strenuous weekend. Let's have a festive video.

Festive video - The Commitments, Mustang Sally

Related Reading
Let's Talk About Graffiti
Toilet-Door Art
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