Saturday, 29 November 2014

Hungover Ranting: Festschrift to Medievalist (With a Side-Interest in Roman Archaeology) Friend

The Privy Counsel has a proud history of festschrifts.* Our friends being so rampantly intellectual, there are more doctors** among them than you could shake a stick at,*** and we have decided that each friend who earns a PhD deserves a festschrift.****

Medievalist (With a Side-Interest in Roman Archaeology) Friend got her PhD quite a while ago - we can't actually remember when, though we do remember being dead jealous of how fetching she looked in her cap and gown. Here is her festschrift!

We actually have an agenda here, too. Unisex toilets in bars. What the hell is it with unisex toilets in bars? We know that Medievalist (With a Side-Interest in Roman Archaeology) Friend is with us when we say that this nuisance must cease! Let's do a dramatisation of the problem for you, based on real-life events.

One is in a great pub. After a couple of pints and a highly satisfactory discussion of Héloïse and Abélard, suitable names for the dogs of mad-as-spanners academics, and the archaeological merits of Saint Helena, one feels the need to heed the call of nature. One finally stumbles into the toilets, having skulked around for quite some time trying to find the sign pointing to them and having barged into a) the cleaning cupboard, and b) the kitchen (containing surly chef; really awkward) in the process. One finally, as previously mentioned, stumbles into the toilets, only to stumble right out again, horrified, because there are two dudes in beards in there. 
One lurches in horror. One thinks, panicked, that one must be much drunker than one thought, since one has obviously missed the time-honoured gender separation sign, and careened heedlessly into the men's toilets. One grabs onto the wall for support, and looks around, unnerved. There is no "Ladies" sign. Nor a "Gents" one. There is - horror of horrors - a unisex toilet! 
One minces back in, warily. The dudes in beards smile awkwardly. While one is ensconced in one's cubicle, trying to suppress one's mounting panic, one hears several other people stumbling back and forth, confusedly, trying to work out if the toilet is indeed a unisex one. 
It is the most unnecessarily cringe-worthy situation mankind has put itself in since - hell, we can't even think of a historical equivalent, it is that bloody awful. 
One washes one's hands quickly, shifting out of the way so another hipster dude can reach the paper towels, wishing one could take the time to adjust one's make-up properly, and spray one's hair, but not wanting to appear inordinately appearance-obsessed in front of the fifteen hipster dudes in beards and denim shirts who have suddenly appeared and are crowding the sink, all smiling awkwardly.


Don't get us wrong - we are committed to smashing the patriarchy and dissolving restrictive gender stereotypes. But we don't want to have to share a toilet with fifteen awkwardly smiling hipster dudes in beards and denim shirts. 

So, on that note, we have selected a set of weird toilets, where the cubicles look like Guantánamo Bay cells, but which are blessed with CLEAR GENDER SEGREGATION, to celebrate Medievalist (With a Side-Interest in Roman Archaeology) Friend. Ladies and gentlemen (and Jonny): the toilets at Kulturværftet in Elsinore!

*We have two, so far. (Three, with this one.) Read them here.
** Of the not-useful-in-an-emergency, non-medical kind.
***We don't recommend shaking a stick at any of them. Their overeducated state renders them highly strung and nervous.
****Well, some of them, anyway, on an arbitrary basis,  unless we're too drunk to remember.

It's even blue. No confusing, gender-neutral beige, black or green. This signage couldn't be clearer.
Did we mention before that WE ADORE CLEAR SIGNAGE?

Ok, so actually the signage is revolting, but at least it isn't confusing, right?

This sink was functional and blessed with mixer taps, and there wasn't a single bearded hipster dude crowding it.


Danes, like Swedes, do good toilets but are strangers to the polite subjunctive.
Strangers, in fact, to politeness as a concept.
"Close the door when you leave!"

A sturdy, confidence-inspiring lock and handle.

Concrete is actually a very unhygienic material for a toilet.
It looks quite cool in a post-apocalyptic way though, right?
The toilet roll holder is from Tork, of which we approve.

A ventilation pipe!
And, for unknown reasons, a cage-like structure to ensure toilet-goers don't escape.

Safe disposal of all one's old razor blades and syringes.
Finally, a chance to empty one's pockets of detritus and old needles!

A water-saving flush!

Well, that's that, folks. Be careful with unisex toilets!

Oh, except for the festive video, of course. Here's a special song for Medievalist (With a Side-Interest in Roman Archaeology) Friend, that we know she's a fan of!

Festive video - Lucinda Williams, Come On

Related Reading
Our friend Jane's latest rampantly intellectual blog post, called Interdisciplinarity: It's Not a Dirty Word
A toilet that we know Medievalist (With a Side-Interest in Roman Archaeology) Friend is very fond of:
Let's Get Medieval - King's Manor, York
All posts incorporating Medievalist (With a Side-Interest in Roman Plumbing) Friend
Other toilets in Elsinore:
Festive Things That Are Red
The Royal Toilet at Kronborg: "A Foul and Pestilent Congregation of Vapours."

In other news:
Have you considered turning your back on mindless consumerism and instead benefiting mankind by spending a penny on Oxfam Unwrapped, WaterAid, or ToiletTwinning? Or why not donate to Amnesty International, or your local women's shelter?

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