Sunday, 26 January 2014

Thomas Crapper Day Greetings from Winchester!

How do you intend to celebrate Thomas Crapper day? This important day falls, Wikipedia tells us, on 27 January, and clearly requires some sort of festiveness. Though he didn't - as every educated person knows - invent the flush toilet, Crapper did invent other useful things like the ballcock, and innovate the hell out of existing inventions.

Never hesitant when it comes to a chance to celebrate, we thought we'd honour the inventor of the valveless water waste preventer by posting some photos from our recent jaunt to Winchester!

Shewee Fiend Friend, having spent large amounts of time in this venerable city, guided us confidently and efficiently through the pubs of Winchester, paying special attention to the weird and the wonderful, and ensuring that by the end of the night we were not only thoroughly hammered but had seen some truly amazing toilets. This is why we make such a big deal of our friends - they're so goddamn awesome!

We started our Winchester pub crawl by wending our way to the Wykeham Arms, a truly great pub, filled to the rafters with atmosphere and mind-bogglingly excellent local ale.

The toilets were behind this charming door

You know how we feel about non-mixer taps, so we won't distress you with more ranting.
The soap was good, though!

We do love it when one gets not only lovely soap but lovely lotion, too!
You can get more of this soap-and-lotion combo, as well as an exciting toilet,
at Grays Court in York!

Admirable paper towels!

Here's a random drunken shot
of the toilet interior, for your delight and edification.

The excitement starts here!

Fire-engine red! With an amusing lever!
Rather too hot to handle!
(Pun, as always, intended.)

This placard was helpfully displayed above the toilet.

Personally, we can't get enough of beautiful sinks with soap AND hand lotion!
We end up so giddy with joy that we don't even know how many points to award.

Ain't it a beaut!
Sanitan don't appear to have a website, but you can check out
their Facebook page if that kind of thing rocks your boat.

Last but not least - this fancy watermark really made our day!

 As far as we remember, our day in Winchester was festive to a very high degree. There was, apart from excellent pubs (more reviews coming!), homemade ginger beer. And cats. And a nunnaminster. The kind of stuff, in short, that makes life worth living!

So how many points do we award this bog? We're fucked if we know. But we really enjoyed it and can't recommend it enough!

Related Reading
Halloween Horror - Drunken Graffiti and Mindless Lurching in Winchester
Posts related to Thomas Crapper:
Thomas Crapper: The Silence of the Toilets
Right up Our Alley
Gleeful Antics at Grays Court
Toilet-Related Celebrities
New Year's Musings
Historical toilets:
Historical Toilets, Baths and Kitchens - a Useful and Humbling Lesson
A post related to Thomas Crapper only tenuously, or indeed not at all:
The Old Ballcock and Chain, or, An Open-and-Shut Case, or, The Long Tap Lever of the Law

Sunday, 19 January 2014

In Which We Indulge in a Feminist Rant and, of Course, Incontinence

Having read yesterday's post on the mind-boggling incontinence of our acquaintance, you are naturally eager for more. Well, you're in luck, because we seem to spend all our time talking about urination these days! For instance, we had a conversation with Tudor Friend about whether shewees are feminist or not. Shewee claim that shewees are not "an act of feminism", but we would argue that they are! (We're not having a go at Shewee - we adore them! It's just that we personally view the shewee device as liberating in a way that we define as feminist!)

We acquired our first shewee after going for a stupidly long run with Quasi-Intellectual Friend, who is prone to beard growth and exaggerated athleticism. Having been annoyed by not being able to heed the call of nature with the same ease as Quasi-Intellectual Friend, we were very pleased with our plastic funnel. Quasi-Intellectual Friend, of course, mocked it, claiming to be happy with his "hewee". While we are not of the opinion that a woman must be "like a man" in order to achieve equality, we do nonetheless acknowledge that being female has certain physiological setbacks, and not being able to take a piss comfortably when in the outdoors is one of them. (Read Shewee Fiend Friend's account of reclaiming her womanhood and pissing all over the countryside here.)

Viewing the pictures of members of the Privy Counsel trying the public urinal in Hoxton square with their shewees, Tudor Friend remarked:

The latest Privy Counsel post is amazing! Wow, your friends have wet themselves a LOT!!! But I 100% agree that squatting is impossible, my knees and quads are not up to it, and even hovering is really, really not on. It's good to hear someone else agree! I always have people look at me like I'm a total pussy for not having perfected the out of door squat piss. So, have to ask... there's a picture of people using Shewees at a public urinal in London? Do they have anything comparative set up for the ladies to take a free wee? Those without Shewees, that is.

We replied that no, as far as we know there is no equivalent for ladies; presumably we are all supposed to be wearing crinolines. (Tudor Friend had mentioned earlier that "hoopskirts are like portable privacy-toilets... fond memories of roadside weeing in hoopskirts".) Tudor Friend retorted:

Crinolines *are* great for private-public pissing, but only if you're not wearing knickers. How can you not see [Shewee] as feminist? It's a WAY FOR WOMEN TO PEE OUTSIDE. It's giving women options, and freedom to camp!!!

We took this as licence to quote Caitlin Moran. We do love her so! Ladies and gentlemen, let's have some Caitlin Moran quotes! Caitlin says, on feminism:

We need to reclaim the word “feminism.” We need the word “feminism” back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist — and only 42% of British women — I used to think, “What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? ‘Vogue’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?”
We just fucking love this woman. Image from Tumblr.

God, that was great, wasn't it? Let's have some more CatMo:

These days, however, I am much calmer — since I realised that it’s technically impossible for a woman to argue against feminism. Without feminism, you wouldn’t be allowed to have a debate on women’s place in society. You’d be too busy giving birth on the kitchen floor – biting down on a wooden spoon, so as not to disturb the men’s card game – before going back to quick-liming the dunny. This is why those female columnists in the Daily Mail — giving daily wail against feminism — amuse me. They paid you £1,600 for that, dear, I think. And I bet it’s going in your bank account, and not your husband’s. The more women argue loudly, against feminism, the more they both prove it exists and that they enjoy its hard-won privileges.

Since we mentioned yesterday that some dude named David was once fined €30 for urinating in public, we can't argue that women are being fined for heeding the call of nature and men aren't. But men still have a free urinal in Hoxton square (and other places), while women are left with the choice of either holding it in or wearing giant hoop skirts. CatMo says:
You can tell whether some misogynistic societal pressure is being exerted on women by calmly enquiring, “And are the men doing this, as well?” If they aren’t, chances are you’re dealing with what we strident feminists refer to as “some total fucking bullshit”.
How lucky, then, that Danish designers have thought of an alternative! (If you're a regular reader you will know that we have designated Denmark "Everyone's favourite toilet country"! Basically everything we hear about this fantastic country reinforces our view!) Voilà: the female urinal!

We just adore Denmark! Image from Fastcodesign.

The Pollee female urinal from Peebetter comes in three models: Shy, Topless, and Naked (those bold Danes!). We still love our shewee and couldn't live without it, but wouldn't it be great if there were more urinals for women?

Apparently this is the "Naked" version. Image from Fastcodesign.

Having "delighted" (this being our term of choice for describing the act of lecturing our friends on stuff we like till we're blue in the face) Tudor Friend with Caitlin Moran quotes for quite some time, she said, "And I'm loving the Caitlin Moran quotes. I should look for her writing". To which we replied, wittily (our term of choice for describing our attempts at levity): "Yes! How to Be a Woman is rocket-up-the-arse illuminating!"

Related Reading
A post about our new year's party, incorporating shewees and stories of mindboggling incontinence:
Shewees Are a Girl's Best Friend!
Our very first account of shewees: 
Far from the Madding Crowd: A Walkers' Dilemma
Shewee Fiend Friend's legendary shewee review: 
Our post about CatMo in Denmark, everyone's favourite toilet country: 
Caitlin Moran: Our Favourite Non-Toilet-Related Person!
Our post about CatMo in a bathroom:
Joy in the Morning, Afternoon, and Well into the Night: Caitlin Moran in a Bathroom
More info on crinolines and public urination:
The Historic Toilet Tour of York

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Shewees Are a Girl's Best Friend!

Well, well, well, well, well. Due to academic commitments we have been unhygienically busy (ain't nobody got time for washing!) here at the Counsel lately, with the regrettable result that we have been unable to bring you the pictures from our debauched NEW YEAR'S PARTY WITH SHEWEES! Luckily, however, we have now managed not only to wash our hair, but to get our photos sorted!

For those of you who missed the announcement, Shewee very generously donated some female urination devices for our new year's party in London's trendy Shoreditch! As you can well imagine, the combination of booze and shewees basically cannot fail (see this example from Truly Madly Kids if you don't believe us), and a splendid shindig it was, too!

It didn't take very long for the party to deviate into a discussion of unfortunate and/or illegal instances of public urination (read about one of ours here). Some dude called David opined that "It is expensive if you get caught", adding, "The most I've spent is €30 urinating in public".

Australian Friend told us the fascinating story of a friend of hers (who shall remain anonymous), who not only regularly goes in her pants on the way home from the pub, but who chooses to inform her friends of when she is doing it. This, of course, is nothing compared to the antics of Very Brave Friend, who once pissed herself on the night bus when drunk.

Shewee Fiend Friend's sister, meanwhile, has a clever habit of sitting down a hill and pissing down the slope, which strategy Australian Friend has also used profitably.

When camping in Australia, it is apparently de rigeur to dig a latrine trench. If it's long enough, Australian Friend informed us, you don't have to worry about aim: you just straddle the trench. Australian Friend added that one definitely cannot aim after a Brazilian! "I defy anyone to try," she snorted feistily.

The subject of camping brought us to another tricky business: squatting when hiking! Awkward at the best of times, and completely objectionable in places where a lack of adequate vegetation renders one's arse exposed not only to inclement weather but to curious stares! Shewee Fiend Friend expressed the anguish of many women of our acquaintance when she said, "I can't squat so I used to have to not drink for six hours [when hiking]". This is why Shewee is truly a girl's best friend!
Australian Friend also touched on a related issue: squatting over dirty public toilets. "Hovering! Massive quad burn! Like Austin Powers!" this athletic woman ranted, vehemently, regarding the agony of lengthy urination when hovering over a less-than-clean loo. Australian Friend once suffered the trauma of accidentally pissing on her jeans when hover-pissing in a pub. She then had to wash her jeans in the sink, and dry them under the air dryer. This also happened to Australian Friend on another occasion, in a cinema.

As a most relevant aside, the Head Counsellor's mother is currently in Italy, enjoying the wine and complaining about the alla turca toilets. They are apparently tricky to use when one is veering in the direction of 70 and not comfortable with squatting. The Counsellor reminded her mother about the time when she used one on a wet, slippery floor, wearing ski boots, just after having torn an anterior cruciate ligament to bloody shreds. The Head Counsellor's mother thought about it then said, "you win".
Well, quite.

Could all of these uncomfortable situations have been avoided if the ladies in question had been equipped with shewees? They could.

Members of our party proudly displaying their brand-spanking-new shewees, kindly supplied by Shewee!

The urinal in Hoxton square, new year's eve.

At the Imperial War Museum! Because the green shewees are the same colour as this massive gun!
As a very non-relevant aside, Shewee Fiend Friend informs us that the Royal Tyrrell museum in Drumheller, Alberta, is the 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 may add, as a postscript, that once you've got into the habit of using your shewee while drunk, you can never go back.

Related Reading
Our personal public urination débacle:
A Morally Improving Story for World Toilet Day
Shewee Fiend Friend's rampantly entertaining Shewee review:
Our original Shewee review:
Far from the Madding Crowd - A Walkers' Dilemma
Using an alla turca toilet with a torn knee ligament - how to conquer the pain and get on with your business:
Italian Toilets: Mi Piace Servizi Igienici
More alla turca toilets:
On Her Majesty's Privy Service
Also, don't miss the Italian Trains!

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