Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas, the Acropolis Museum, and an Academic Debate (And Some Very Festive Calypso Music)

So here it is again, merry Christmas, and everybody's getting ding-dong merrily on high. Or we are, anyway, every chance we get. (If you find that all those irritating songs about snowmen, sleigh bells, and virgin (what?)  mothers (you're kidding, right?) correspond poorly with reality as you know it, then do check out our cynical festive video from the other day.) For Christmas - despite what assorted misguided Anglo-Americans, and others, may believe - emphatically happens today, on the twenty-fourth. This is well known, and attested by Scandiwegians and Colombians the world over. And also, allegedly, Loretta Lynn.

Though not being, as previously mentioned, huge fans (or indeed fans at all) of the dude commonly known as Jebus, preferring to highlight the pagan roots of most of the Christmas shebang (and if one should dispense with the whole "Christ" part of Christmas and go for a rampantly unapologetic jul/jol/jól (hell, even Weihnachten is cool in our book) -based terminology, then all the better), we still believe in spreading peace and goodwill the year round, and perhaps especially so at this time of year, when extended exposure to insane family members, in worryingly confined spaces, renders good vibrations extra necessary in order to avoid painful social situations, and bloodshed.

In furtherance of feelings of joy and good cheer, therefore, we've got some extra juicy toilet photos for you! From the Acropolis Museum in Athens! But first, an important issue needs to be addressed. Before we do even that, however, let's have a calming picture. Christmas is a very stressful time - to be avoided completely, if possible, or spent shitfaced, if not. (At the Privy Counsel we have found a combination of avoidance and shitfacedness to be singularly successful. (The less said about our mulled-wine session with Exuberant Archaeologist Friend the other day, the better (let us content ourselves with stating that the words Ish kakhfê ai'd dur rugnu are not unimportant in the context).))

Enjoy this soothing picture of a beach outside Athens, for a calming few minutes.
...Aaaand - breathe. There. Better?

Tudor Friend wrote to us post-haste after we published the post on upright toilet rolls the other day, pointing out an important issue that we had, in our eagerness to promote the previously mentioned good cheer and merriment, carelessly skated over, namely the difficulty of combining hygiene with upright toilet rolls. Tudor Friend said:

My dear Privy Counsellor,  
While I applaud your championing of the proper way to hang loo roll (one does wonder at the perversity of those who hang it backward) I must take issue with the usefulness of upright roll spindles. I frequently encounter one of these at a friend's abode, and in my experience it has the most unfortunate habit of unwinding, leaving a pile of fallen paper trailing towards the ground (a place of dubious hygiene, obviously). Theoretically the upright spindle satisfies the difference between those who are adamant in their wrongheadedness and those right-thinking people who understand the importance of hanging a roll forward, but gravity is a harsh mistress, and I remain uncertain that domestic tranquility should be purchased at the potential expense of getting floor germs on one's backside whilst in the pursuit of cleanliness.  
Does the learned Counsellor have any suggestions on how, if one is to install such a spindle, this difficulty might be overcome?  
A Forward-Thinking and Upright Citizen 
[In the interest of saving space and preserving everyone's sanity, we omit our own replies, making for a fragmentary correspondence with a highly enjoyable staccato rhythm. Like a literary calypso band! Tudor Friend continues:]
*snerk* The funny thing about this post is that it hearkens back to a fight [Other Friend]  and her ex-boyfriend Wanker had - he was quite fussed about the issue [regarding which way to hang the toilet roll] and she thought he was, well, a wanker for caring. 
It's the one thing where Wanker was, in retrospect, correct. He was in most other respects what his name suggests. (I don't even remember the guy's name; we've been calling him Wanker for fifteen years now!)  
[Original Friend]'s landlady has a giant spindle in their bathroom - the kind you'd normally put spare rolls on - but they use it for the "active" roll as well - and so of course it's constantly trailing on the floor. Their solution seems to be to stuff the trailing end into the hole, but I think that makes it look messy, and there's that weird thought that *someone else has touched what's about to touch my ass*. I've actually meant to write to you about this situation and keep forgetting!  
[There is more, but we'll break here before things get beyond the point where no toilet blog should go.]
Then again we were actually in the Siesta pub, whose vertical toilet roll occasioned this multitude of correspondence, this very afternoon, and it was totally fine. There was no bog roll on the floor. Everything was fine. We examined the holder from every angle, literally and figuratively, and pondered the matter at length and in depth, but couldn't think of a single argument against the vertical toilet roll. (Apart, obviously from the DANGEROUS FLYING TOILET BACTERIA - but we have decided to let that one go, in the interest of preserving the tattered remains of our mental health.) Perhaps, Tudor Friend, you should stop bitching and get your arse over to Scandiwegia?

Anyway. For our special Christmas FUCK NO jul/jol/jól/Weihnachten extravaganza, we've got some kick-arse photos from the Acropolis Museum in Athens for you! The toilets were all sleek and black and clean and functioning and awesome!

This, ladies and gentlemen, is an excellent toilet with (probably) a motion-sensor flush
- we are ordinarily too distrait, and temporarily too pissed, to remember if it was a motion sensor,
but it does rather look like it, doesn't it?

We approve of this bin and these bog-roll holders.


And, voilà - a fascinating glimpse of our Athens correspondent! We are thoroughly overjoyed by these sinks, the soap, and the paper towels!
If you like almost looking at people, enjoy an almost-glimpse of our secret celebrity here, Uncle Sean's handsome almost-there face here, and Australian Friend's exquisite and pretty damn visible, actually, form here.

If you ever go to the Acropolis Museum, do take a few moments to enjoy their highly soothing and intellectually pleasing reading room, rich in free wifi and a splendid view of the Erechteion caryatids. (While we're at it, we apologise unreservedly, if that is the word we are looking for, to everyone who was forced to wait outside the toilets while we took photos.)

We must now find some cheese. Here, have a festive video!

Festive video - Mojo Nixon, Christmas, Christmas

Merry Christmas, dear readers! Or, rather, god jul/glædelig jul/gleðileg jól/frohe Weihnachten! And Καλά Χριστούγεννα to our Greek friends!

Related Reading

Some of our favourite Christmas posts from over the years:
A Christmas Story - Egils Saga

Christmas 2013: Shetland Shithouses Part II. Umm, Poetry in Motion?

The Spirit of Christmas: Mixer Tap, Urinals, Relief

Christmas musings/rantings from the other day: Rocking, Rolling, Ranting

All previous posts about Greece

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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